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Seedlings PLANTING JOY. GROWING HOPE. ALL WHILE HAVING A BIT OF FUN.

Shakespeare (and Backpacks) in the Park

Silicon Valley Shakespeare and Family Giving Tree came to know each other through FGT Drive Leader Coordinator, and SVS Photographer Evelyn Huynh. While the two organizations have very different areas of focus, our motives are the same: to make the Bay Area more fair, fun, and knowledgeable. If you’re reading this, you likely already know that FGT goes about this by providing schools supplies and gifts to those in the most need, while spreading awareness of this region’s poverty. SVS tackles inequality by producing high-quality public theater for free and offering educational arts workshops for Bay Area students.

Family Giving Tree is excited to partner with Silicon Valley Shakespeare by collecting donations of backpacks and school supplies at every performance of SVS’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The show opens in Willow St. Park on Friday, June 7th, and runs every Thursday-Sunday evening at 7PM until June 23rd, so feel free to come to multiple performances!

In preparation for opening night, I was able to speak with actress and backpack tag wizard Alex Teixeira (FGT and SVS volunteer) for some behind-the-scenes insight about her upcoming performance.

Lynn: I hear A Midsummer Night’s Dream is featuring an all-female cast this year, what’s that experience like?

Alex: Every two years, SVS puts on an all-female production. Since the overwhelming majority of actors are women, at least in the Bay Area, it allows more actresses to perform. It also allows women to play some of the more interesting roles in Shakespeare’s work. He wrote at a time when women weren’t allowed to act, so men had to play every role. It’s very fun to be onstage with established women of all ages, some with careers, children, whole lifetimes of experience, who are also laughing at the rude humor in the script!

Lynn: That sounds like a hilarious time!

Alex: Shakespeare wrote for the average joe! It’s this beautiful language, but the humor can be very juvenile. His plays are about things that you didn’t need a formal education or even basic literacy to access. It’s not just jokes, though, even if it’s a comedy. Shakespeare was a person with his own political views, and he definitely used his work as social and political commentary.

Lynn: What’s the setting for this version of Midsummer?

Alex: Well it takes place in a slightly futuristic Cupertino. My character, Flute, has been updated to be a heating and AC maintenance man, instead of a billows-mender. This production places emphasis on the potential for tension between the ordered, well-defined world of the tech industry and the wild, weird, unpredictable realm of nature.

Lynn: Are you excited for FGT’s presence at SVS’s shows?

Alex: I think it’s a great idea! That’s the whole point of SVS being out there. It’s community outreach, and you can’t have a community where no one helps each other.

Boba Review: One Tea

We at FGT have decided that Boba is one of the best ways to jump back into work after a long weekend.

Ordering Experience: 2/5 While there was an incredible assortment of drinks to choose from, certain items on the menu weren’t actually offered in store. After trying to call in our order to no avail, the boba went to the One Tea to order. The store was staffed by a team of two who had just received a very large order right before ours, and they certainly had their hands full. While they missed the toppings for one of our drinks, they remade the tea quickly.

Taste Factor: 5/5 The tea itself was all-around excellent. Liza’s wonderful lemon smoothie was a bit more of an icy consistency than expected. Topped with ice cream, the boba pearls froze, taking on an almost crunchy texture that was unexpected but still very enjoyable. Evelyn had milk pudding for the first time, and found it to be light, sweet, and absolutely delectable.

The Look: 5/5 Visually stunning beverages. With swirls of black jelly undulating like a sea creature and icecream with pearls floating on the crest, this was a somewhat otherworldly boba experience. Our order was certainly aesthetically engaging.

Overall: 4/5 Despite the somewhat rough ordering experience and delayed boba gratification, the taste, texture, and visual appeal of the drinks made for a very successful boba run.

Volunteer Feature: Alex From Canada

Hailing from Canada, Alex Teixeira moved to the Bay Area two years ago and began volunteering with Silicon Valley Shakespeare. Having been deeply involved with theater for as long as she can remember (her first play was at 3 years of age), she received her degree in Theater in Development--a program specifically designed to explore theater from a sociopolitical perspective. After stage and house managing for many productions, she’s excited to be returning to acting this season. Come see her in the role of Flute in SVS’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream!

In addition to her contributions to SVS, Alex has also been volunteering consistently in the FGT office since last Fall. For 2018’s Holiday Wish Drive, she also took on the role of Volunteer Trainer, and used her skill of vocal projection to direct and support some of the over 7,000 volunteers that came to our warehouse.

Fun Trivia: She’s called Alex from Canada because FGT is fortunate enough to have *another* regular volunteer also named Alex.

Credits:

Created with images by inspirexpressmiami - "blog word letters" • sam651030 - "drink glass fruit"

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