This year's 11th annual Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival, which begins July 20, will be dedicated to , who left an indelible mark on a show that has put the town on the artistic theatre map in California.
Organizers said will be honored with a special recognition on the show's opening weekend because he was instrumental in helping bring Shakespeare to Los Gatos, said festival spokesman Jack Parees.
"He was always so wonderful and so supportive," Parees said. "We felt it was something we wanted to do for him."
Parees explained a bust—a special statue depicting Dubois—is being built, which will become a part of the festival's actual stage in his memory. Flags will be flown at half-mast and company artistic director Bruce W. De Les Dernier will give a speech about his legacy to the arts in Los Gatos. The festival's program, too, will have have a dedication to Dubois, he said.
The show will feature three plays in repertory: Romeo and Juliet and The Two Gentlemen of Verona, by William Shakespeare, as well as an original adaptation of Alice in Wonderland by De Les Dernier, the artistic director of the Festival Theatre Ensemble.
The nonprofit group represents all the actors, staff and volunteers who participate in the plays, which begin at 8 p.m., July 20 and continue until Aug. 11. The company consists of about 35 people.
- The Two Gentlemen of Verona comedy explores love Italian style. The Ensemble, however, will set the love tale in '60s clothing and music. This performance will be presented on opening night, July 20. It's directed by Rachel Bakker.
- The Romeo and Juliet tragedy about two young forbidden lovers who come from enemy families will continue to showcase the festival's traditional performances complete with swordplay and high drama. It's directed by De Les Dernier.
- Alice in Wonderland will be an original stage adaptation by De Les Dernier catering to children.
- The festival will also present Fight for the Train, which will feature the Ensemble's so-called "Fight Collective," during a fundraiser to benefit Billy Jones Wildcat Railroad. This performance is suitable for all ages and will be presented Thursday, Aug. 2.
Produced by the Ensemble and directed by De Les Dernier and Rachel Bakker, the festival has been playing to sold-out audiences since 2001, according to Parees.
The performances are staged in an outdoor setting at Oak Meadow Park, located at the corner of Blossom Hill Road and University Avenue, featuring amphitheater-style seating, with wheelchair accessibility available.
"Attendance was fabulous last year. It was really, really good," Parees said, adding that on average each performance attracts between 200 and 210 people.
The performances are as follows:
- July 20, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
- July 21, Romeo and Juliet
- July 22, Alice in Wonderland
- July 27, Alice in Wonderland
- July 28, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
- July 29, Romeo and Juliet
- Aug. 2, Fight for the Train
- Aug. 3, Romeo and Juliet
- Aug. 4, Alice in Wonderland
- Aug. 9, Alice in Wonderland
- Aug. 10, The Two Gentlemen of Verona
- Aug. 11, Romeo and Juliet