HVSF Welcomes Drama Desk and Drama League Award Nominee Julia Coffey!

ActingCo_2016_CoffeyCoffey will take over the roles of Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT and Mariana/Mistress Overdone in MEASURE FOR MEASURE.

Artistic Director Davis McCallum has announced that Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Coffey will join the company this week, first appearing in AS YOU LIKE IT on Sunday, July 31.

Coffey was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her performance as Mrs. Janus in Mint Theater Company’s production of London Wall, directed by McCallum. She received a Drama League nomination for her performance of Mrs. Holroyd in The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd, also at the Mint.

Though this will be Coffey’s debut at HVSF, she is no stranger to the character of Rosalind! This will be her third production of AS YOU LIKE IT following those at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, and Baltimore’s Center Stage. Of her performance in Santa Cruz, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote, “Julia Coffey is an ever-more delightful Rosalind, infectiously confused, then irresistibly slipping more deeply in love. Her banter with Celia sets the play’s tone, and her cross-dressed wooing of Orlando leavens affecting romance with sharp comic second thoughts.” Among her other New York credits are The Trip To Bountiful at Signature Theater and Perfect Arrangements at Primary Stages. Most recently, Coffey appeared as Hedda in Studio Theatre’s production of Hedda Gabler. Other reginal credits include: Arcadia (Lady Croom) at A.C.T., Tales from Hollywood (Helen) at the Guthrie Theater, The Merchant of Venice (Portia) at Shakespeare Theatre, Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolyn) at PlayMakers Rep, Romeo and Juliet (Juliet) at Chicago Shakespeare, and Macbeth (Lady Macbeth) at A Noise Within.

Jessica Love, currently playing Rosalind in AS YOU LIKE IT and Mariana and Mistress Overdone in MEASURE FOR MEASURE, will depart from HVSF’s acting company on August 1 to take up a role in the world premiere of Aubergine by Julio Cho at Playwrights Horizons.

Of the transition, McCallum says, “Julia is one of the most gifted actors I know, and I loved working with her on London Wall, so her name immediately came to mind when this vacancy became known. We look forward to welcoming Julia to the HVSF family, and can’t wait to share her work with our audiences at the Tent. It was a pleasure having Jessica Love with us this season, and we wish her well at Playwrights Horizons.”


AS YOU LIKE IT and MEASURE FOR MEASURE run in repertory with MACBETH through August 28, 2016.


The Hubble-Bubble Ruckus of SO PLEASE YOU

In celebration of Shakespeare’s 400 year legacy, HVSF’s family-friendly comedy SO PLEASE YOU tells the story of a servant named Denis who appears only once in Shakespeare’s AS YOU LIKE IT, to announce that, “so please you,” there is a wrestler at the door! This tragical-comical, comical-tragical tale turns the story of Denis inside out, shaking out all the funny stuff between its ears for a rollicking, clownish romp alongside one of Shakespeare’s (almost) silent heroes. Featuring a mosaic of Shakespearean history and language, SO PLEASE YOU offers something for everyone to honor this momentous legacy year.

SO PLEASE YOU dreamer and director Zachary Fine offered up the following to introduce the show. Will you join him under the tent?

Originally published May 4, 2016. SO PLEASE YOU runs August 15 – August 29, 2016.

160710_Img_ZackNEW2Hello! Hi. Hola. HELLO!

Would you do me a favor? You may think I’m crazy, but indulge me for a second. Would you mind just whispering back at me, “Hello”?

Go ahead, try it. Whisper it softly. Wait! First, just look look around and make sure nobody sees you talking to your program.

Did you check? Double check? Now, try it. Pleeeeeaaaaase. Just whisper “Hello.”

YES! Thank you. If you didn’t do it, you can still go back and try it.

So, how’s it going? …Come on, you can do it. You can tell me. You can even bring me closer to your face and hide the fact that you are talking to me, but please just give it a try. Trust me, it’s gonna feel good once you do it.

So, how’s it going?

Really? I hear you. I get it.

So, next question: What did you have for breakfast?

160712_FB_GIF_SoPleaseYouIf you are still reading this and not whispering back at me, you just might be missing out on all the fun. This would be so boring to read if you didn’t play along. Also, I’m not going to write anything about what you are about to see (since I have no clue; we haven’t made it yet).

We’ve come this far. YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me.

So, what did you have for breakfast?

Oh, that sounds scrumptious. I had some toast and scrambled eggs with a little bit of cheddar. It was delicious. And coffee… I think I mentioned coffee. Oh, how I love coffee on a cold May morning! …May?!

Yeah, it’s May 4th, right? No it’s not, it’s today, you say. Yeah, I know, it’s today. No, silly, my today, not your today.

Well, what’s the difference? One’s now and the other is then, you say. But my now is now and your now is then. No, silly. Your now is then and my now is now. You mean your now? Yes, MY NOW! It’s both, right? I think I may have had too much coffee.

Let’s just agree, then, that my now and your now are both now and both then.

As you sit in your now (my then) under the tent, wondering, perhaps even dreaming, about what you are about to see in SO PLEASE YOU, I sit in my now (and your then) drinking my delicious coffee, wondering, perhaps even dreaming, about the same thing. So, are we both together in our dreaming? I think yes.

So, did anyone see you talking to your program? They did?! Did you laugh? Did they laugh? I hope so. I mean, you are having a conversation with a device! Tell the truth, it’s fun to be ridiculous sometimes, right? To let our imaginations run and enter into the world of play?

Welcome to the world of the clown – that part of us that dreams big, that loves to pretend, that loves to play the game, that doesn’t know how it all ends and sometimes like to talk to pieces of paper. The clown embodies for us the rambunctious hope and baffling chaos of our humanity. Ridiculous and sublime, brilliant and idiotic, courageous and terrified – full of curiosity and trepidation, and yet somehow amidst the hubble-bubble ruckus of it all the clown has the terrible/wonderful idea to bring it all out on stage for us to see. The clown dares herself to stand directly in the present moment, the place where the stage and the world meet, and in that place the clown allows us to see, to look, to feel. She stands there for our delight and for our pleasure and for something even greater – the pleasure of our togetherness, the tender magic of our collective imagination.

With that in mind, I invite you into the world of SO PLEASE YOU. What is it about? I have no idea. Remember, it’s May 4th right now, so we haven’t even started rehearsing it yet. But right NOW we are are dreaming together, remember? And our dream is happening NOW. Your now and my then and my now and your then…and we are together, and we are not alone.


SO PLEASE YOU, Conceived and Directed by Zachary Fine, runs August 15 – August 29, 2016.