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TRAVEL & ENTERTAINMENT: TheatreWorks Silicon Valley Streams Multicultural Holiday Celebration “Simple Gifts”

Nov 27, 2020
REDWOOD SHORES, CA. - TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will ring in the holiday season with “Simple Gifts,” a joyful, multicultural celebration of beloved holiday songs and traditions from many diverse backgrounds. TheatreWorks Artistic Director Tim Bond directs his first virtual production with this World Premiere work, crafted by Bond and a cast featuring a bounty of Bay Area theatre veterans. These gifted performers will share beautiful music, meaningful memories, and take audiences on a journey through a variety of winter celebrations, including Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Noche Buena, Diwali, Las Posadas, Winter Solstice, as well as exploring Christmas traditions from around the world. Presented as part of TheatreWorks from Home, “Simple Gifts” will be livestreamed December 10-27, 2020, with on-demand streaming available December 28, 2020 - January 1, 2021. Live post-show conversations with members of the cast will follow every performance.

To accompany “Simple Gifts,” TheatreWorks will spotlight local organizations that give back to their communities throughout the year. Streaming access may be reserved with a donation of $10 or more to support the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Patrons may give viewing access to family or friends by donating to the company—every $10 donated unlocks streaming access for one household. Streaming access is complimentary for current TheatreWorks subscribers, donors at the Inner Circle level ($1,500) or above, and patrons who donated tickets for cancelled performances of TheatreWorks’s productions ofThey Promised Her the Moon, Ragtime, and The Book of Will. The public may gain streaming access to “Simple Gifts” starting Tuesday, December 1 at TheatreWorks.org.



Artistic Director Bond has assembled a talented cast of accomplished performers seen on leading stages including Velina Brown, David Crane, Maya Greenberg, Michelle Jordan, Amy Lizardo, Bryan Munar, Sharon Rietkerk, Maya Sherer, Will Springhorn, Jr., Michael Gene Sullivan, and Adam Saucedo.



Velina Brown returns to TheatreWorks where she performed in “Once on this Island” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” Brown is a collective member of the Tony Award-winning San Francisco Mime Troupe, with whom she has been a principal actor and guiding force for more than 20 years.



Michelle E. Jordan, a TheatreWorks veteran, received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award for her performance in “Dreamgirls” at TheatreWorks, where she was also seen in It “Ain’t Nothin’ But the Blues,” “Crowns,” “Go Down Garvey,” “Hi-Hat Hattie!,” “Shakin’ the Mess Outta Misery,” and “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

Amy Lizardo has performed with leading national theatres including Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theatre, San Francisco Playhouse, and Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. Making his TheatreWorks debut,; while Bryan Munar has been seen at San Francisco Playhouse, Center REPertory Company, Palo Alto Players, and 42nd Street Moon, and was nominated for an SFBATCC Award for his performance in Novato Theater Company’s “A Chorus Line.”



Recently seen in the World Premiere Musical “Pride and Prejudice,” Sharon Rietkerk returns to TheatreWorks where she won a SFBATCC Award for her performance in “Triangle,” a Theatre Bay Area (TBA) award for “Marry Me a Little,” received a SFBATCC Award nomination for her performance in “The Secret Garden,” and was also seen in “Cyrano,” “Little Women,” and the 2015 production of Jane Austen’s “EMMA.”



Making her TheatreWorks debut, Maya Sherer has performed with Center REPertory Company, Ray of Light Theatre, New Conservatory Theatre Center, and Berkeley Playhouse. Will Springhorn, Jr. returns to TheatreWorks where he was seen in “Snow Falling on Cedars” and “Peter and the Starcatcher.”



Michael Gene Sullivan has performed with TheatreWorks many times over the past 20 years, including in “Tuck Everlasting,” “Around the World in 80 Days,” “Cyrano,” “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” “33 Variations,” “Violet,” and “Once on This Island.”

Seen in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s “Frost/Nixon,” Adam Saucedo has also performed with El Teatro Campesino, Pacific Repertory Theatre, and SCU Presents - Santa Clara University.



TheatreWorks Silicon Valley is the recipient of the 2019 Regional Theatre Tony Award. Led by Artistic Director Tim Bond and Executive Director Phil Santora, the Palo Alto-based theatre company serves more than 100,000 patrons per year and has captured a national reputation for artistic innovation and integrity, often presenting Bay Area theatregoers with their first look at acclaimed musicals, comedies, and dramas, directed by award-winning local and guest directors, and performed by professional actors cast locally and from across the country. However, the company’s 51stseason has been postponed in accordance with global efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus).

* * * * *

Photo caption: Maya Greenberg, Michael Gene Sullivan, Velina Brown, David Crane and Amy Lizardo in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s presentation of “Simple Gifts” - a collection of joyful, multicultural celebrations of beloved holiday traditions from many diverse backgrounds. A bounty of Bay Area theatre veterans will share beautiful music, meaningful memories, and take audiences on a journey through a variety of winter celebrations, including Kwanzaa, Christmas, Hanukkah, Noche Buena, Diwali and Las Posadas, and more. "Simple Gifts" streams December 10-27, 2020.

(Photo courtesy of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley)


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