City Shakes Makes Shakespeare & Music Free to the Public

City Shakes Shrew
Director Brooke Bishop, 24, and actress Allison Volk, 26, founded City Shakespeare Company (City Shakes) to make art accessible to the Los Angeles community. Their first production, in collaboration with the James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, is a one-night-only free performance of Shrew, Bishop’s “no-holds-barred adaptation of Shakespeare’s most controversial rom-com,” Taming of the Shrew. It takes place on Valentine’s Day.

The event also features the music of modern ragtime pianist Aaron Beaumont. “It’s an evening of music, fine art, and great theater,” says Volk, who plays Kate in the production. “Oh, and wine and cupcakes, of course!” After all, it is Valentine’s Day. The cast also includes Andrew Thacher as Tranio, Theo Salter as Lucentio, Judy Fleming as Vincentia & Grumio, Colin Martin as Petruchio, Jacques Freydont as Baptista, Mary Keane as Bianca, and Jose Espinosa as Hortensio. 

Bishop believes strongly in the power of community. Knowing theater to be in a losing competition with film due to high ticket prices, Bishop says, “we will never charge more than the price of a movie ticket for our events, and often times our events are completely free to the public.”

Despite her age, Bishop is no stranger to directing and producing Shakespeare. She founded Shakespeare on the Quad in Amherst, Massachusetts, where audience members could enjoy performances for free, and recently assistant directed at Cal Shakes in Northern California. Admission is free, but seating is limited and reservations are strongly suggested. Doors open at 7:00 pm, music begins at 7:30 and show starts at 8:00 pm. For more information and to reserve seats, please visit

Thursday, February 14, 2013
James Gray Gallery in Bergamot Station
2519 Michigan Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Photo credit: Dusti Cunningham


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: City Shakes Makes Shakespeare & Music Free to the Public « CityShakes

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