Romeo + Juliet is one of our most iconic love stories. But it's also an unflinching examination of a community in strife. As families war against each other, a state dissolves into crisis.  

Shakespeare’s Verona might be any number of cities today. Whether we consider our current political divisions or the heated debates about gun violence, immigrants, or gentrification, we hear the notion of “us versus them” all around. And when we cast another group as the "other”, their humanity is lost to us.

The city

Like Shakespeare’s Verona, Oakland is home to many different residents all working and living beside each other. It's a city of incredible diversity, culture, and history. And like Verona, it has also experienced deep division and discord.

Oakland has also seen a recent burst of artistic growth – yet there remain relatively few options for professional theater. We’re excited to bring more Shakespeare to our city.


We believe that Shakespeare belongs to everyone. And we believe that good theater has the power to move, teach, and inspire whole communities. By offering affordable ticket prices, youth discounts, and free shows for schools, our goal is to create a beautiful, accessible production for everyone.

Led by director Rebecca S'manga Frank, our show features the work of an all-female creative team. Men are still hired more than women in many creative positions, and we're dedicated to changing that. We're proud to support the work of female artists in our production.