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We’re here to bring people together.

Just as performers have done for millennia, CityShakes brings people together around the universal human need to tell our stories and hear our stories told.

Harold Bloom says it better than we ever could: “The answer to ‘Why Shakespeare,” must be ‘Who else is there?” No dramatist, writer, or thinker, had ever created so many relatable, sympathetic, human characters, nor has since. Every play’s world is a microcosm of our own, containing complex, well-intentioned people who remind us of our selves.

We promise to entertain our audiences with relatable characters and clear stories. You will laugh, ooh, aah, and maybe even cry, because we at CityShakes will settle for nothing less.

CityShakes is dedicated to serving the community by hosting affordable, entertaining events. In an increasingly virtual digital world, the need for face time, not FaceTime, is greater than ever! At City Shakes, we strive to bring all kinds of artists together to work, play, and create together. Then, we invite all kinds of people to play the role of audience member and see what happens. A wise mentor once told us, “You don’t create a community happening. You are blessed to be witness to it.”

Who We Are:

559161_691811686692_917351742_n Allison Volk : Co-Founder, CityShakes ; Katherine, Shrew; Rosalind, As You Like It ; Lady Macbeth, Macbeth

Allison Volk is a Los Angeles-based playwright and actress. Originally from Colorado, she studied theater at Wellesley College and the O’Neill National Theater Institute. She moved to Los Angeles four and a half years ago to dig in and get her hands dirty with “real-world” experience. In 2011, Allison wrote, produced, and acted in the short film, Last Ditch Therapy, which premiered at the BuSho International Short Film Festival in Budapest, Hungary in 2012 and won the Short Film category at the California Film Awards in 2012. She recently made her major motion picture debut as Jane in Gore Verbinksi’s The Lone Ranger, due in theaters summer 2013. Producing is tough work, but it’s the best. It means you get to tell people what to do and they do it. That’s why CityShakes is so appealing – Allison loves making art on her terms. Allison’s plays have been work-shopped and produced on both coasts. In 2010, her one-act play The Last Two People on the Platform was performed alongside work by Lee Blessing and Wendy McLeod at the Attic Theatre one-act play festival, and took the Denise Regan Wisenmeyer Award. In 2012, New York-based theater company Lunar Energy Productions selected Rite of Seymour for their Moonshine reading series. What a blessing to be able to work and play as an artist in Los Angeles! Allison will continue to strive for artistic expression forever, and love it the whole time. ~Allison … www.allisonvolk.com

1010016_10151553829987157_2128411944_nBrooke Bishop : Co-Founding Artistic Director, CityShakes ; Director, Shrew ; As You Like It ; Macbeth Merchant ; Romeo & Juliet ; Twelfth Night

Brooke is a writer and director of theatre and film. Originally from Tampa, Florida, she has believed Shakespeare to be the voice of her generation ever since she saw Baz Luhrmann’s version of Romeo + Juliet when she was nine years old. She went to Amherst College and somehow convinced the Theater & Dance Faculty there to let her direct a full-scale production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream as her senior thesis, though she’d never directed before. Midsummer was a sold-out hit at the College and solidified Brooke’s belief that Shakespeare is for everyone. After graduating, in an effort to explode the boundaries of traditional theatre spaces, she founded Shakespeare on the Quad in Amherst, MA (director, 12th Night, and Beatrice in Much Ado), an outdoor theater company that brings free, accessible Shakespeare to the 5-College community. She worked at the California Shakespeare Theater in Berkeley, CA, as casting assistant, and Assistant to Director Shana Cooper on her production of The Taming of the Shrew. Brooke has also directed and workshopped a number of new plays, assisted directors Lisa Peterson and Joy Carlin, was interviewed as a finalist for the 2012 Drama League Directors Project, and is an alumna of the O’Neill National Theater Institute. Brooke’s first feature film, Innocent Sleep, (a contemporary adaptation of Macbeth written by Allison Volk) is currently in post-production and is due for release in summer, 2015.

 

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CityShakes Co-Founders Allison Volk & Brooke Bishop
photo by Andrew Lubis

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