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SummerArts: Theater

Marin Shakespeare Festival (San Rafael, CA)

Forest Meadows Amphitheatre, 50 Acacia Avenue
San Rafael
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(July 6 – September 30, 2012) The Marin Shakespeare Festival was established in 1989 by Lesley and Robert Currier as a long-awaited replacement for the original Marin Shakespeare Festival, which ceased operations in 1973. Launched in 1990 with a production of As You Like It, the MSF has grown enough to now offer three productions per season – two by Shakespeare and one that usually has nothing at all to do with Shakespeare (Stoppard’s Travesties, Shaffer’s Amadeus, and Moliere’s Don Juan being three recent examples). All of these are played at the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San Raphael, an intimate, 500-seat sunken venue nestled in a copse on the campus of Dominican University.

Bookending the summer season, the MSF also offers select trips and events, including three separate trips, led by the Curriers, to Ashland, Oregon to meet members of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s company and sample the OSF’s take on the Bard and various other playwrights. The festival also offers various classes and outreach programs for all ages.

Marin Shakespeare Festival Information

  • Public Transportation: Good (steps from Marin Transit buses 49 and 233 at the Dominican University stop; and a 15-minute walk from Golden Gate Transit buses 17, 22, 23, 27, 29, 35, 36, 40, 42, 44, 45, 45K, 49, 52, 68, 70, 71, 80, 101, and 233 at the San Rafael Transit Center – 3rd Street/Hetherton Street)
  • Handicapped Accessibility: Good
  • Performances/Programs: 3 mainstage shows, plus several Shakespeare classes and special events. Schedule varies
  • Ticket Prices: General $35, Senior $30, Youth $20. Special discounts include Pay What You Will Previews, Senior Day Matinee, Family Day Matinee, and Student Matinee. The Shakespeare Dinners ($35) includes a catered dinner and intimate pre-show Talk (show ticket not included)
  • Group Discounts: Discounts available for groups of 8 or more
  • Subscriptions: Season Tickets – ($75 General, $65 Senior, $45 Youth); Bard Pass – 8 tickets ($200); Fan-atic Card – Good for any and all performances all summer long ($150)
  • Membership: Spearcarrier ($50–$99); Supporting Cast ($100–$249); Lead Player ($250–$499); Star Performer ($500–$999); Director’s Circle ($1,000–$2,499); Producer’s Circle ($2,500–$4,999); Shakespeare Circle ($5,000–$9,999); Great Globe Circle ($10,000–$24,999); Immortal Bard Circle ($25,000+). Depending on level, benefits include a listing in the Mainstage playbill; invitations to the donor appreciation party; complimentary cushion and drink vouchers; complimentary tickets to the performance of your choice; free Shakespeare Dinner tickets; and more.