THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN and our 46th Birthday!

IMG_7758In honor of our final production of our 15/16 Season, Eric Coble’s The Velocity of Autumn, a play exploring the aging process with a comedic touch, we’ve asked a special question of our audience as they enter the theater. This season, we celebrated our 46th birthday. Since 1970, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley has brought live theatre to the South Bay Area. When did you begin attending?

The 1970s?


Our inaugural production of Popcorn in 1970.


1980s? Continue reading

The many faces of Mark Anderson Phillips

Longtime audience favorite Mark Anderson Phillips has enjoyed a long and varied career on the TheatreWorks Silicon Valley stage, appearing in everything from farcical comedies to contemporary dramas to classic period pieces. One of the most recognizable faces in Bay Area theatre, Phillips returns as a conflicted son desperately trying to reason with his aging mother in Eric Coble’s The Velocity of Autumn. As we approach Opening Night, let’s take a look back at just a few of his many memorable roles here at TheatreWorks:

As You Like It

Phillips as Silvius with Juliette Morgan as Phebe in 1995’s As You Like It. Photo by Wilson P. Graham.


Under MilkWood

Phillips as Nogood Boyo with Tanya Shaffer as Lily Smalls in 1996’s Under MilkWood. Photo by David Allen

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The Life of a Freelance Director

Giovanna Sardelli, director of The Velocity of Autumn, is a veritable whirlwind of energy. She would have to be, in order to keep up with the demanding schedule of the life of a freelance director! As our Director of New Works, Gio keeps her finger on the pulse of new works in America, traveling to festivals and showcases around the country. The energy and the new plays she brings us are invaluable to the mission of our New Works Initiative and TheatreWorks as a whole.

gio des pres

Gio at the first rehearsal for The Velocity of Autumn

TWSV: How did you start directing? Was this always your passion?

Gio: I actually began as an actress. My MFA is from the Graduate Acting Program at NYU, and I spent a decade working in theatre and I had a small, recurring role on the soap opera Another World. I never really figured out the business of acting—I didn’t enjoy auditioning, and when I did get a part, I was always more interested in how it all came together rather than just my tiny part of the story telling. Zelda Fichandler was then the chair of the Graduate Acting Program and she had started a directing program with Paul Weidner. It was a year-long, tuition-free program that was an extension of the Grad Acting Program and they invited me to attend. Zelda was the one who told me that I thought like a director. And I’m so grateful to her and to Paul for supporting me in the transition into directing because it is what I love to do! Continue reading

Introducing the cast of THE VELOCITY OF AUTUMN

Meet the dynamic mother-son duo of The Velocity of Autumn!

Susan GreenhillSUSAN GREENHILL (Alexandra) is very happy to be making her debut at TheatreWorks and to be working with Giovanna Sardelli again. In New York she was in Crimes of the Heart on Broadway, and in new works at Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, Actors Studio Theatre, and Urban Stages, among others. Regionally she has appeared at numerous theatres from Long Wharf Theatre to Repertory Theatre of St. Louis in such plays as The Clean House (Acclaim Award), Sideman (Barrymore Award), Noises Off, Private Lives, Becoming Dr. Ruth, Dinner With Friends (SRQ award), and Dead Accounts (directed by Ms. Sardelli). On TV and film, she has been seen on The Good Wife, Law and Order, The Chappelle Show, Clarissa Explains It All, Guiding Light, Italian Movie, Pecker (Jon Waters, director), Bargain by Hail Street, and New World Order (Sundance Festival).

Mark PhillipsMARK ANDERSON PHILLIPS (Chris) is happy to be back at TheatreWorks, where he was last seen in Fallen Angels. Other TheatreWorks credits include Time Stands Still, The 39 Steps, Opus, Snow Falling on Cedars, Theophilus North, and Proof. Most recently, Mr. Phillips was seen in the off-Broadway production of Ideation at 59e59 Street Theatres, Stage Kiss at SF Playhouse, and As You Like It and The Merry Wives of Windsor with Santa Cruz Shakespeare. Other regional work includes roles with Magic Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre (Seattle), Arizona Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, Word for Word, and Center REPertory Company. Directing credits include The 39 Steps, Sleuth, and Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike with Center REPertory Company, and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde with City Lights Theater Company.

The cast recently kicked off rehearsals this week with director Giovanna Sardelli:

Velocity First Day

Reserve your seats for The Velocity of Autumn now!



1440 COUNTDOWN at TheatreWorks

The most epic sleepover of the year has arrived!


At 5pm this evening, 1440 Countdown will officially kick off at our rehearsal studios in Redwood City. Teams of 5-8 people from local high schools will take part in a overnight play creation lockdown, with only 24 hours to create a ten-minute piece to be performed for family, friends, and a distinguished panel of judges providing feedback on each team’s work.


Late night creativity during 1440 Countdown. Some students aren’t quite able to stay awake for the whole night.

Ahead of tonight’s festivities, we sat down with  Associate Education Director Katie Bartholomew for more on 1440 Countdown.

TheatreWorks Silicon Valley: What makes 1440 Countdown so special? Why do you think students return every year?

Katie Bartholomew: 1440 Countdown occurs once a year, with a different theme, and different requirements and challenges for writing the play. Yes, it’s the same structure, but the process of getting to that performance for judges is different every year. Students look forward to coming every year for a fun evening out with their peers, the challenge of writing a play, and the opportunity to try and write the winning play. It’s special for students to have a chance to express their creative ideas and thoughts in a safe and supportive space. It’s about the process the students go through to create something new, not the play itself. Also, how much fun is it to be out of the house and up all night eating junk food with friends?

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