perseverance, dear my lord, keeps honour bright

― William Shakespeare, Troilus and Cressida

A brief history of The Curtain Theatre

Our organization was formed by Mill Valley arts producer John Leonard, set designer Steve Coleman, and artistic director Mikel Clifford. The opening production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It was staged in summer 2000 to celebrate Mill Valley’s centennial.

With sponsorship from Mill Valley Arts Commission, the Outdoor Arts Club, Parks and Recreation, and generous community donors, the Curtain Theatre has continued to produce free summer shows in the city’s beautiful Old Mill Park Amphitheater.

In summer 2010 the board established the Curtain Theatre as a non-profit, named after one of London’s first public theatres. Built near the Curtain Close in Shoreditch, it was described in Shakespeare’s Henry V as the “wooden O.” The Curtain was home to Shakespeare’s company, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, until they constructed the Globe in 1599. Like our own Curtain Theatre, the 1577 original featured an open-air stage and a conspicuous shortage of curtains.

Though the theatre’s focus is on free Shakespeare, it occasionally stretches out into other classical drama.

Hot Day in Ephesus | Summer 2009