Two years ago, I approached the talented group Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company and asked staff to walk through Willow Glen’s Bramhall Park with me to see if they would consider performing at the venue. At first glance, it was viewed as less desirable, due to the fact that the grass was dead in the summer, and the amphitheater had electrical connections that no longer functioned and sub-optimal lighting. Despite these less than ideal circumstances, we agreed to keep in touch.
Each fiscal year, San Jose’s councilmembers are allocated $20,000 in “HP grants” that can be utilized to provide grants to cultural, educational or recreational groups. These funds are allocated solely at the discretion of the elected official. My allocations, listed in this column, represent my personal priorities and values not only as an elected official, but also as a proud citizen of San Jose.
I was 13 when I saw my first William Shakespeare play. We saw “King Lear,” one of the Bard’s last and darkest plays. It was a magnificent occasion for me, and I still have a passion for the Bard’s work, as well as watching performances in an outdoor setting—especially in a park. San Jose residents should feel lucky that special performances will take place next month in Willow Glen, where the Shady Shakespeare Theatre Company will put on its season opener, “The Twelfth Night.”