What’s With the Game Board?

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Scenic Design by Joe Ragey / Photo by Kevin Berne

When you come to see Around the World in 80 Days, it may not look like what you were expecting. You’ll be greeted with a show curtain that reads “Le Tour du Monde en 80 Jours,” surrounded with sweeping railroad tracks that seemingly encircle the set.

But there’s a method to the madness. Joe Ragey’s set design is inspired by a chromolithograph game board of Around the World in 80 Days, c. 1904-1915, by Roche Frères Printing, Paris. The board itself is used as a backdrop and on the side walls of the set, while the cover of the box, with the title in the original French, serves as a front curtain for the show.

box lid

The game board represents scenes from Jules Verne’s 1872 novel, with thumbnail illustrations numbered from 1 to 80 arranged counterclockwise and encircling a map of the world (which also appears on the floor of our set). The game board includes some anachronisms such as an illustration of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor (dedicated in 1886) and cable cars in San Francisco (which first debuted a year after Verne’s novel). The great popularity of Verne’s book, and of a theatrical adaptation that he co-authored around 1880, inspired the production of an unusually large number of spin-off products in France, including several games.

Jules Verne, 'Around the World in 80 days', 'Jeu de l'oie' (Snakes and ladder games)

Join us at the Lucie Stern Theatre this holiday season to see this fantastical set – and all the secrets that will come when we take the lid off of the box. Performances begin tonight!

For more information, visit theatreworks.org.

Week of Gratitude: Everyone

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During our Week of Gratitude we celebrate the generosity of TheatreWorks’ community members, including you!

We’re grateful for each person who plays their part here at TheatreWorks. Please enjoy a few stories from your fellow community members who, like you, make a difference at TheatreWorks, as well as in our greater Silicon Valley community.

So give yourself a round of applause! TheatreWorks staff might put on the show, but you’re the inspiration.

Thursday, November 23: EVERYONE

TheatreWorks reaches over 100,000 audience members each year. That’s bigger than the city of Palo Alto! Without you, our audience, to whom will our actors perform? Our artists spend weeks rehearsing the material, but you help finish the equation by attending and applauding.

We are grateful for your enthusiasm and partnership in the art of TheatreWorks. You inspire us to keep finding incredible stories for the stage.

Thank you for joining in on the Week of Gratitude celebration. Share what you’re grateful for via email.

Week of Gratitude: FutureWorks

WOGratitudeWebHero

During our Week of Gratitude we celebrate the generosity of TheatreWorks’ community members, including you!

We’re grateful for each person who plays their part here at TheatreWorks. Please enjoy a few stories from your fellow community members who, like you, make a difference at TheatreWorks, as well as in our greater Silicon Valley community.

So give yourself a round of applause! TheatreWorks staff might put on the show, but you’re the inspiration.

Wednesday, November 22: FUTUREWORKS

Can you imagine TheatreWorks 50 years from now? Maybe it’s impossible to know, but we all share a vision of a strong, united, and thriving TheatreWorks right here in the Bay. FutureWorks members designate TheatreWorks as a beneficiary in their planned giving, ensuring that we will serve our shared community for generations to come. By celebrating their legacy in this way, they play their part in securing a vibrant and thriving future—even for another 50 years to come!

We are grateful for their vision and passion. Take some time to meet a few of your fellow FutureWorks members, and feel free to send us your answers to the questions as well!

gannonsCAROLYN & TERRY GANNON

How many years have you been involved at TheatreWorks?
Since 1985, when we moved to the Bay Area from Santa Barbara. First we were individual ticket buyers, followed quickly by being season subscribers and donors.

Why did you choose to join FutureWorks?
Kelley, his staff, and the board of directors have built something magical and enduring.  We feel confident that supporting TheatreWorks through a legacy gift is a solid investment in the performing arts in Silicon Valley. The youth programs, New Works Initiative, and regular season performances are all worthy of support.

Share your own personal vision of TheatreWorks 50 years from now.
In its own state-of-the-art building, TheatreWorks will have major works produced on its main stage, and smaller stages for (a) youth performances and theatre classes and (b) a cabaret setting for live performances of music, comedy, or other performing art forms as a source of space rental revenue to help sustain TheatreWorks. Lots of underground parking and close to public transportation. TheatreWorks will also have founded a school of theatre performance, playwriting, staging/lighting/etc. which could be co-located with the TheatreWorks stages.

Laurie WaldmanLAURIE WALDMAN

How many years have you been involved at TheatreWorks?
My cousin was a subscriber for many years before I even knew about TheatreWorks. Occasionally I got to go when his theatre partner couldn’t at the last minute and I was greatly impressed by the quality of the productions. I became a subscriber 10 years ago, first with my cousin, then with my own membership.

Why did you choose to join FutureWorks?
My mother took me to plays from the time I could walk, about age three, and I have loved theatre ever since. I live in Santa Cruz but I have had subscriptions to the Broadway series in San Francisco for more than 30 years, and I had subscriptions to San Jose American Musical Theatre and San Jose Rep for many years. TheatreWorks has always stunned me by the quality of the productions—every detail is considered. The casting, the acting, the sets, the costumes, the music when there is music, all the parts of theatre are done with such excellence, I am awed by every performance I am privileged to see. A few years ago when I was updating my estate plan, I decided that I wanted to support that which has given me the most joy in my life, and that is theatre. And the most joy in theatre in my life comes from TheatreWorks. I am thrilled to know that after I’m gone I will be able to support this amazing organization through a donation of a percentage of my estate.

Who is your favorite character in any past TW production?
Jerusha Abbott in Daddy Long Legs. She is bright and feisty, eager to learn, hardworking, and instinctively knows that women are equals to men and should be treated as equals. She recognizes authenticity compared to phoniness in people she meets. Also, I love her character, because she experiences such growth during the four years covered in the play. And she still retains her loving heart and strong values.

Share your own personal vision of TheatreWorks 50 years from now.
My vision for TheatreWorks in 50 years: I imagine a TheatreWorks Village, open daily, where people of all ages can learn about all aspects of the theatre—writing, production, acting, etc., and it is set up to especially attract kids and teenagers so that people can be exposed early like I was, to the thrill and joy of live theatre. TheatreWorks Village would include at least one state-of-the-art theatre for performances, and lots of rehearsal areas, dressing rooms, prop building areas, lighting construction, living space for out-of-town performers, office space for all the administration people involved in creating and maintaining the productions and the Village. And restaurants with healthy food that feed staff and visitors while they are in the Village. If the Village covers acres of space, there can be an electric van that shuttles people around, like a golf cart for 10 people at once. I haven’t worked out all the details—it’s just a fantasy. You fill in the rest from your own imagination.

Learn more about Legacy Giving and FutureWorks at TheatreWorks.

Week of Gratitude: Donors and Funders

WOGratitudeWebHero

During our Week of Gratitude we celebrate the generosity of TheatreWorks’ community members, including you!

We’re grateful for each person who plays their part here at TheatreWorks. Please enjoy a few stories from your fellow community members who, like you, make a difference at TheatreWorks, as well as in our greater Silicon Valley community.

So give yourself a round of applause! TheatreWorks staff might put on the show, but you’re the inspiration.

Tuesday, November 21: DONORS AND FUNDERS

Over half of TheatreWorks’ budget supports our mainstage program, and we are so grateful for the subscribers and ticket purchasers who help us fund the creation of incredible art. However, to support our education programs, the New Works Initiative, and the events surrounding the mainstage productions, we rely almost entirely on you—our TheatreWorks investors! Your generosity allows us to produce your next favorite show while empowering Silicon Valley students through arts integration programs and celebrating new and diverse art for the stage.

We are grateful to you for playing your part in making Silicon Valley a better community to call home. Take some time to meet a few of your fellow donors, and feel free to send us your answers to the questions as well!

Korol

IRIS AND HAL KOROL

How many years have you been enjoying shows at TheatreWorks?
We have probably subscribed and been involved for the last 25 years.

Which productions have been your favorite?
Iris’s favorite show is Emma. Hal really liked Being Earnest.

Why do you choose to support the company as donors?
We feel lucky to have TW in our lives! TW affords us the opportunity to see world-class productions and to see them right here in our backyard. We walk out of shows amazed at what we have just seen. We are grateful for the immense amount of talent and innovation that TW finds, and also to the management of the organization who make this possible. TW additionally does a superb job in community outreach, particularly in bringing theatre to kids who might not have this resource available to them normally. These are just a few of the reasons why we’re involved.

What is your own personal vision of TheatreWorks 50 years from now?
Our vision for the future would be for TW to have a permanent home of its own.

Lynda Fox PhotoLYNDA FOX

How many years have you been enjoying shows at TheatreWorks?
My husband and I have been seeing TheatreWorks shows since 1992.

Which productions have been your favorite?
Daddy Long Legs, Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin, and 2 Pianos 4 Hands.

Why do you choose to support the company as donors?
My husband and I enjoy the shows and appreciate having such a wonderful company in our midst. We want to be sure that TheatreWorks continues to be successful. We’ve watched other companies fold, and don’t want this to happen to TheatreWorks. It is important for the community to support the arts, especially one as well-managed and financially sound as TheatreWorks. The sets are always very creatively designed, and the talent is of high quality. We’re proud to be supporters and attendees of TheatreWorks.

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
I’d like to play the witch in Into The Woods. And if you ever decide to do Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, I’d like to be the narrator.

What is your own personal vision of TheatreWorks 50 years from now?
Fifty years from now I hope TheatreWorks is as relevant as it is today, showing important plays and musicals. It would be wonderful to have a theatre of its own with the most modern equipment available. I would like TheatreWorks to be considered one of the finest theatre companies in the country and have many more of its shows go on to national and international venues.

CiroHeadshotLoResCIRO GIAMMONA
CEO of Harrell Remodeling, Inc., a corporate sponsor

How many years have you been enjoying shows at TheatreWorks?
Five years.

Which productions have been your favorite?
Wow, that is tough to answer. I guess I would have to say Emma, but then again, the recent production of The Prince of Egypt was absolutely amazing!

Why does Harrell Remodeling choose to support the company as a corporate sponsor?
Harrell Remodeling believes in giving back to the community in which we work. We think the arts, education, and children in particular need more support, and TheatreWorks provides all three. Personally, I support TheatreWorks for the same reasons, but also because I want to continue to enjoy world-class theatre performances with an easy 15-minute drive!

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
I played the part of Algernon Moncrieff in The Importance of Being Earnest while in high school. I would want to reprise that role (in Being Earnest) because it was really fun, and I wouldn’t have to relearn any lines!

What is your own personal vision of TheatreWorks 50 years from now?
I envision TheatreWorks providing a destination theatre experience for visitors from all over the world. It already offers the quality of shows, talent, and production values that should make this happen, but people need to know they can experience all of that right here in Silicon Valley. I also envision the children currently involved in TheatreWorks’ myriad educational opportunities becoming lifelong supporters and subscribers and still enjoying outstanding shows with their grandchildren in 2067!

Learn more about development programs at TheatreWorks

Our Week of Gratitude: Volunteers

WOGratitudeWebHero

During our Week of Gratitude we celebrate the generosity of TheatreWorks’ community members, including you!

We’re grateful for each person who plays their part here at TheatreWorks. Please enjoy a few stories from your fellow community members who, like you, make a difference at TheatreWorks, as well as in our greater Silicon Valley community.

So give yourself a round of applause! TheatreWorks staff might put on the show, but you’re the inspiration.

Monday, November 20: VOLUNTEERS

Around 500 volunteers contribute 6,000 hours each season. They’re the friendly faces who greet you at the theatre; they provide expert support in the headquarter offices; and they even partner with our artistic staff to organize auditions and rehearsals.

We are grateful for their time, energy, and talents. Take some time to meet a few of your volunteers, and feel free to send us your answers to the questions as well!

 

Bob Jackson Photo

Bob Jackson

BOB JACKSON

How many years have you been a part of TheatreWorks?
Five years as a Properties Assistant, and then four years as an usher.

Why do you volunteer at TheatreWorks?
I think TheatreWorks is a good organization and I enjoy my association with the people.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?
I get to see high quality theatre productions.

Which production is your favorite?
Proof
and The Chosen.

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
Mr Weston in Emma.

 

Mabel Lee Photo

Mabel Lee

MABEL LEE

How many years have you been a part of TheatreWorks?
I’ve been volunteering at TheatreWorks for three years, and over ten years volunteering at various other organizations and venues.

Why do you volunteer at TheatreWorks?
I volunteer to provide a valuable resource to the organization and community, and at the same time, I get to see and enjoy the play or reading.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?
I enjoy giving my time to the organization and providing patrons with a positive experience.

Which production is your favorite?
Daddy Long Legs 
and Hershey Felder as Irving Berlin.

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
I would play Jerusha Abbott in Daddy Long Legs.

Barbara Maher Photo

Barbara Maher

BARBARA MAHER

How many years have you been a part of TheatreWorks?
I joined the TheatreWorks family as a volunteer in 2014.

Why do you volunteer at TheatreWorks?
I have been a season subscriber for over twenty years. When I retired from teaching, I decided volunteering with TheatreWorks was a good way to pay back for all the amazing and wonderful evenings of entertainment.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?
Volunteering with TheatreWorks has given me the opportunity to become part of a very special group of people who are dedicated to making professional theatre happen.  I love being a part of the behind-the-scenes workings of a great regional theatre.

Which production is your favorite?
I loved Crowns. The deep friendships of the women and the incredible hats made me happy. Memphis made me want to get up to sing and dance.

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
As a young person I would want to play Jerusha in Daddy Long Legs. As a senior, I would like to be Mrs. Clackett in Noises Off.

Do you have a special or memorable moment volunteering at TheatreWorks?
A most special moment for me was when my four-layer chocolate salted caramel cake went for $1,700 at the Dessert Dash for the gala three years ago. Made me proud to have brought such a hefty price for a cake!

 

 

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Terry Maher

TERRY MAHER

How many years have you been a part of TheatreWorks?
A little more than three years (Barbara and I started in 2014).

Why do you volunteer at TheatreWorks?
I love the theatre. I have a great appreciation for the stories, actors, music, and costumes.  I have always had a fantasy of being on stage, though my imagination far exceeds my actual talent. Volunteering for TW gives me the thrill of experiencing the inner works of the show and then I get to sit back, relax, and be transported to another place when I see the show.

What is your favorite part of volunteering?
I really enjoy the process from behind the scenes. I love supporting the whole team—so many people give their heart, soul, and talent to make a production happen. It is so exciting to see the show when I’ve met the people that make it happen. Food is a way to bring people together and create community. I believe that food nourishes the body and soul. I cook with love and imagine people feel it in the food they eat.

Which production is your favorite?
I loved Crimes of the Heart. I laughed and cried and laughed while I was crying. It was a wonderful story that showed the strength of the sister bond and love. The dancing in The Prince of Egypt was absolutely breath-taking. I was in awe of the collaboration of body movement to create such vivid scenes.

If you could star in any past TW production, which character would you play?
I would be Babe from Crimes of the Heart. I can relate to being the youngest sister (I am the youngest of seven: five girls, two boys) and how crazy dynamics can be in a family. I love how sassy she is: “I didn’t like his looks! I just didn’t like his stinking looks!” Babe has a big heart and tries to protect the people she loves.

Do you have a special or memorable moment volunteering at TheatreWorks?
I have many fond memories, but I think that the first gala I helped with was really special. It was the 2015 gala Tonight Tonight and I helped set up, decorate, serve food, and was part of the cleanup team. I was so excited to help in so many ways. I worked with Managing Director Phil Santora to transform the TW warehouse space into a magical wonderland. I felt like I was on the stage crew for a major production—I busied myself with the staple gun, spray glue, paint, x-acto knife and lots of things that glittered. It was tedious work at times—dear Phil is a perfectionist after my own heart; but so rewarding. I was thrilled to see so many happy guests the night of the event. I was serving food and enjoyed meeting so many attendees. It was a wonderful experience start to finish. I was hooked!

Learn more about volunteering at TheatreWorks.