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Directed by David Lear

Shakespeare in the Cannery

A Community-Based Creative Arts Project

Shakespeare in the Cannery began five and a half years ago. 

along with our neighbors, we forged ahead to clean up the vacant lot of the town's historic Cannery, transformed it to comply with the city codes and finally, raised a stage.  The first Shakespeare in the Cannery season began with Romeo & Juliet and now, in our fifth and final season, we close with Shakespeare in Love, our tribute to William Shakespeare.

Produced and Presented by

The Arlene Francis Center for Spirit, Art, and Politics

A Co-Created Community Center in the Heart of Sonoma County 

Situated in Santa Rosa’s historic Railroad Square and West End Districts, the Center produces nonprofit and charitable cultural, educational, social, ethical and ecological activities united by a common purpose—the development of a theory and practice that will foster the creation of a better world, one in which human beings will come to see one another as the source of each other’s completion, as inherently good and caring social and ecological beings who seek to fully recognize each other’s common humanity and interconnectedness with all of life, and to create a world based upon justice, kindness, love, and respect for the earth.

Past Productions

Romeo and Juliet

Summer 2014


Summer 2015

Twelfth Night

Summer 2016

Much Ado About Nothing

Summer 2017


David Lear

Martin Hamilton

Christpher Costin

A founding member of the Loading Zone, a collective of actors and playwrights. History as the technical director at Playwrights Horizons and Roundabout Theatre. After moving to Sonoma County in 1990, he graduated from Sonoma State University and began designing and directing for Actors Theatre. He became the artistic director at the 6th Street Playhouse in 2005, and then the technical director for the next seven years. In 2008, he organized a fundraiser performance about the life of Vincent Van Gogh. Lear works with Cinnabar Theatre in Petaluma as scenic designer, and with Main Stage West in Sebastopol as both scenic designer and stage director.  

The executive director of the Arlene Francis Center. Mr. Hamilton received a 2013 Boho Award from the North Bay Bohemian - an honor given to organizations and people that make significant contributions to the arts in Sonoma County - for his “tremendous work” at the Arlene Francis Center. A creative leader of the New College of California for 30 years, Mr. Hamilton served as president of the school for ten years. In addition, he has a long history of working with underserved communities to develop mental health, law and literacy services.  

Legal consultant to Shakespeare in the Cannery. An attorney with Beyers Costin Simon in Railroad Square, Mr. Costin has previously been the Chairman of the Board at the Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, where he is currently a member of the Honorary Board. In addition, he currently serves as President of the Board of Main Stage West. Mr. Costin and his wife Hillary are active supporters of the arts in Sonoma County, including the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Green Music Center in Rohnert Park. 

David Lear
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