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Shakespeare in Sonoma County Summer 2018

Satiate your Shakespeare cravings this midsummer in Sonoma County.

There’s no better place to experience (or re-experience) Shakespeare’s finest work than under the stars and against the backdrop of Sonoma Wine Country in the full bloom of summer.

“This is very midsummer madness.”

William Shakespeare, Twelfth Night Act 3, Scene 4

Midsummer madness in Sonoma County?

Well, that might not be exactly the best way to describe the scenario, but to say that the Bard does indeed have a long-standing association with Sonoma County would be no stretch at all. And rightfully so.

Shakespeare in Sonoma County, California

There’s something almost, dare I say, romantic about live theater performed outdoors. This is especially true of the poetic works by William Shakespeare, which are only enhanced by the trappings of being staged in settings that recall the very earthy origins of theatre itself.

This summer, Sonoma County once again celebrates the Bard in multiple mediums, all of which are guaranteed to satisfy your Shakespeare fix. Below are three fine examples:

“Two Gentlemen of Verona 2018”

Sonoma Shakespeare Avalon Players

Aug. 8-19, 2018

Shakespeare at Buena Vista Winery, Sonoma County, California

Experience Shakespeare under the stars in the fountain courtyard at Buena Vista Winery every Wednesday through Sunday, from Aug. 8-19, 2018. For the better part of the last four decades, the Sonoma Shakespeare Avalon Players have brought the works of Shakespeare to life in the spectacular setting of this 150-year-old landmark winery. This year they present Two Gentleman of Verona, the light-hearted story of best friends Proteus and Valentine, young lovers, and saucy servants that is believed to be among Shakespeare’s earliest works.

Guests are invited to take their night at the theatre up a notch by making a reservation to dine at the winery before the play. Enjoy a light supper with free-flowing wine, assorted cheeses, olives, nuts, bread, and dessert pre-show and then settle in for an unforgettable evening of theater under the stars (with preferred seating I might add). General tickets are $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here.

“Shakespeare in Love”

Shakespeare in the Cannery

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Aug. 5

Shakespeare in the Cannery in Sonoma County, California

Well it’s not quite Shakespeare but it is a wonderful celebration of the man and his work presented with festival-style seating before a dramatic outdoor stage in the ruins of a 19th-century cannery near Railroad Square in Santa Rosa,

The Arlene Francis Center and Shakespeare in the Cannery debut their take on “Shakespeare in Love,” the multiple Academy Award-winning imaginary story of a struggling young playwright, who regains his mojo after finding his muse in a cross-dressing woman who longs to perform on the stage.

As this will be the final season for Shakespeare in the Cannery, this production is particularly special and as such is not to be missed. So pack your picnic and your lawn chairs and make an evening of it as this beloved Sonoma mini-institution takes its final bow.

Shows run every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday through Aug. 5. Tickets are $30. For more information, click here.

“Shakespeare in the Shadows”

For those unable to experience Shakespeare in Sonoma in person this summer, the film Shakespeare in the Shadows from Sonoma County filmmaker Joshua Dylan Mellars offers a small screen version of the same for your viewing pleasure. Nominated for an Emmy, Mellars’ telefilm features performances from some of Shakespeare's best-known plays adapted to and set against the backdrop of Sonoma County and the North Bay Area.

Check your local listings as the film will be airing nationally later this year.

And with that, to quote the Bard himself, ““Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.”

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