Our organization was formed in 2000 by John Leonard, a local community arts activist, Steve Coleman, an accomplished set designer and Mill Valley resident, and grew under the leadership of artistic director Mikel Clifford - one of the founders of the Berkeley Shakespeare Festival. Clifford directed the first five productions beginning withÂ As You Like ItÂ (pictured above). She moved to Minnesota in 2004, but remains a supporter of the group. Susannah Rose Woods, another accomplished director and theatre educator,led the 2005-7 productions ofÂ Love's Labor's Lost,Â Midsummer Night's Dream, andÂ Twelfth Night. Local director Julianna Rees-Cleaveland and fight director Joe Lucas took the helm forÂ Romeo and JulietÂ in 2008. The company celebrated its tenth anniversary in summer 2009 with a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare'sÂ Comedy of Errors calledÂ A Hot Day in Ephesus which was created by company member Victoria Siegel and was directed by Patricia Inabnet.
Live, acoustic music has been a central element of the Curtain's vision; Don Clark has arranged or composed most of the music, which he performs with the aid of on-stage band.
In summer 2010, longtime company member Michele Delattre took the helm as artistic director with a return toÂ As You Like ItÂ followed byÂ Merry Wives of WindsorÂ (2011) andÂ Much Ado About NothingÂ (2012). In summer 2013 the company stretched its wings on two fronts: company choreographer Steve Beecroft and Marin director Carl Jordan joined forces to produce (in partnership with Marin Onstage) a rock-and-roll musical,Â Return to the Forbidden Planet,Â based on characters from Shakespeare'sÂ Tempest. The musical ran indoors at Tamalpais High School's beautiful Caldwell Theatre. It was such a success that they restaged in January 2014 using the Novato Theatre space. In the park, the Curtain explored great theatre beyond Shakespeare in a production ofÂ King StagÂ by the 18th century Italian playwright, Carlo Gozzi. This introduced another new director to the Curtain company, Doyle Ott, an expert in masked comedy traditions.
Doyle returned in summer 2014 to help design the opening storm scene for Michele Delattre's production of theÂ Tempest. In summer 2015 Carl Jordan directedÂ Taming of the ShrewÂ and he will return in summer 2016 to directComedy of Errors.
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