PETALUMA THEATER ARTISTS WORK THEIR CRAFT COUNTY-WIDE: Over the next month, several Petaluma-based actors, directors and other theater-makers will be taking to the stage in some high-profile stage productions, in Sonoma County and beyond.
At the Shakespeare in the Cannery Festival (held inside the ruins of the old cannery near Santa Rosa’s Railroad Square), the lavish Shakespearean fantasy “Fairyworlds!” – a stripped-down adaptation of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” directed by Jared Sakren – features a key performance (two, actually) by Petaluma’s Brian Abbott. The veteran actor, who just appeared at the cannery in last month’s “In The Mood” – a WWII adaptation of “Much Ado About Nothing” – is playing the dual roles of Egius (pretty much the heavy of the piece, forcing his daughter to marry against her will) and Snug the Joiner, a sweet, not-bright craftsman talked into playing a lion in the show’s play-within-a-play.
Other Petalumans involved in the visually stunning show include Stage Manager Jenna Templeton and fight choreographer Marty Pistone.
The play runs Thursday to Saturday, through September 2, 7 p.m. Shakespeareinthecannery.com
Marty Pistone, it so happens, is also the director of 6th Street Playhouse’s “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” marking the musical’s 50th anniversary. The beloved play features most of Charles Schulz’s indelible characters, including Lucy, Snoopy, Schroeder, Linus, Sally, and of course, Charlie Brown.
Petaluma’s Katie Kelley is featured in the show as Charlie Brown’s precocious little sister Sally, who has one of the best lines in the show, stating, “The past has always interested people. I must admit, however, that I don’t know much about it. I wasn’t here when it happened.”
“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” runs August 18-September 17. Details at 6thstreetplayhouse.com
Another Petaluma-based actor, Jeffrey Weissman, whose appearance in Magic Theater’s “The Fisher King Project” (September 7-September 10) was recently reported in these pages, will be appearing in Petaluma director Carl Jordan’s staging of the nerds-in-love romantic comedy “Pinky,” at San Rafael’s Belrose Theater, October 27-November 11. Presented by Marin Onstage, the play (first staged in 2012) was written by Argus-Courier’s own Features Editor David Templeton, and is loosely based on a true story from Templeton’s dungeons-and-dragons-loving teenage days. Info and tickets at Marinonstage.com.
WINE COUNTRY SPOKEN WORD FESTIVAL LAUNCHES CROWDFUNDING CAMPAIGN: In other performing arts news, the inaugural Wine Country Spoken Word Festival, to take place in downtown Petaluma October 13 – 15, has spun up a fundraising campaign via the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.com. Producers Dave and Juliet Pokorny hope to raise $10,000 through the campaign, nearly $4000 of which has already been raised since the site went live two weeks ago. The festival will feature NPR/This American Life star Sarah Vowell (also the voice of the Invisible Girl in Pixar’s “The Incredibles”), plus storyteller Bil Lepp and performance poet Steve Connell. To check out the site, which includes a fun video in which Dave Porkorny gives a coffee cup a ride all through downtown Petaluma, visit GoFundMe.com, and search for Wine Country Spoken Word Festival.