TheatreWorks began 50 years ago during a time in our nation’s history of uncertainty and hope for a better world. Like today, everyday people were marching in the streets, making their voices heard, and demanding more from their democracy. When “Popcorn,” our first show, premiered in July of 1970, a divided community banded together behind a fledgling group of theatre artists who had a vision and a dream. 

These artists hit a chord by providing space for ideas, allowing for beauty in our lives, and answering a need in our community. We are still bonded together by that need. Great theatre, great art, can provoke thought, provide much-needed different points of view, open hearts, and make us, as the late US Representative John Lewis once said, “stand up, speak up, speak out.”

Beginning this fall, join us as we honor our roots and focus on getting out the vote and standing up for racial justice–two inextricably linked pillars of our democracy. Celebrating diverse voices, we will curate online theatrical experiences designed to elevate, empower, and uplift all in our community. And hopefully, during this time of need, our collective voices can help us build the bridge from empathy to action.


Land Acknowledgement

TheatreWorks acknowledges that our offices are on the traditional territory and homelands of the Ramaytush Ohlone peoples who lived in the southern part of the San Francisco Bay Area to Monterey. Prior to the arrival of the Spanish in 1769, the Ramaytush Ohlone numbered approximately 1400 persons and lived in eleven tribelets.

TheatreWorks is working with members of the local Ohlone community to expand our understanding of the lands on which our theatres in Palo Alto and Mountain View sit.



Table of Contents 

Poems for DemocracyGet Out the Vote!Actor James Monroe Iglehart on Racial Justice
Quotes for Democracy • It Can't Happen HereAnti-Racism Update • Hold These Truths 


Poems for Democracy

Courage Rising

by Beau Sia

Performers: Roneet Aliza Rahamim, Aldo Billingslea, Khalia Davis, Jomar Tagatac, Rinabeth Apostol,
Steven Flores, Juan Amador, Leigh Rondon-Davis and Phil Wong

I, Too

by Langston Hughes
Performer: Tim Bond

Let America Be America Again

by Langston Hughes
Performer: Aldo Billingslea

Get Out the Vote!

Celebrate Women's Equality

One hundred years ago, the 19th Amendment, giving women* the right to vote, was ratified. In 1965, The Voting Rights Act was signed into law, outlawing discriminatory voting practices and ensuring that women (and men) of color were also given the right to vote.



Resources for getting out the vote

Now more than ever it's important to exercise our right to vote. 


Actor James Monroe Iglehart on Racial Justice

 Tony winner and TheatreWorks alum James Monroe Iglehart speaks with Founder, Artistic Director Emeritus Robert Kelley.

Quotes for Democracy


It Can’t Happen Here

Presented as a Broadcast Partner with Berkeley Rep

October 13, 2020 · 5pm PST/8pm EST through November 8

YouTube with live post-show talkback
Free · No registration required

Lisa Peterson, Tony Taccone, and Bennett S. Cohen share some insights into the how and why of making the audio version of It Can’t Happen Here in 2020. 
Listen to their intro here starting at 5pm PT!


(TONIGHT starting 7:15pm PST)


Written in 1935 during the rise of fascism in Europe, Lewis’ darkly satirical It Can’t Happen Here follows the ascent of a demagogue who becomes president of the United States by promising to return the country to greatness. In 2016, Berkeley Rep unveiled a new stage adaptation of Lewis’ prescient novel, one week after that production ended, the presidential election roiled our nation. Now, Berkeley Rep reprises that production with the same director, but this time as a radio play in four episodes, just in time for the 2020 presidential election. We’re delighted to welcome back much of the original cast including David Kelly as the candidate Buzz Windrip, and to have Academy Award nominee David Strathairn join us as the liberal protagonist Doremus Jessup.


Anti-Racism Update

Anti-racism work at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley

 Here is an updated message to the TheatreWorks family and community.


Resources to Help Make a Difference

Learn how you can help stand with us in support of Black Lives Matter


Hold These Truths

This production was available October 6 – November 3, 2020
Special Encore On-Demand Performance of our 2018 production

By Jeanne Sakata
Directed by Lisa Rothe
Starring Joel de la Fuente

An unsung American hero, Gordon Hirabayashi, fought passionately for the Constitution against an unexpected adversary: his own country.  An inspiring true story of conscience amidst conflict, it is a one-man portrait of American character at its best.