Silicon Valley Shakespeare Welcomes a New Executive Director

by Naomi Crews

Doug BrookDoug Brook has been named new Executive Director of Silicon Valley Shakespeare.

Silicon Valley Shakespeare Announces New Executive Director

Silicon Valley Shakespeare is pleased to announce the appointment of Executive Director Doug Brook. Effective immediately, Doug will be to leading the troupe as it prepares for its summer 2015 season, which will include his directorial debut with SVS.

Evolving from a bootstrap startup in 1999 to an established presence in the South Bay arts scene, Silicon Valley Shakespeare now offers four full-scale productions every year at three different venues, plus a comprehensive education program for children and teens. It brings together amateurs and professionals both on stage and behind the scenes to create vibrant dramas and comedies that can be enjoyed by young and old alike.

Doug Brook brings to SVS nearly 30 years of theatre experience. In 2013, he founded Theatre Chevruta, which offers staged readings of Jewish theatre pieces at the Addison-Penzak Jewish Community Center in Los Gatos. Some 20 of his own plays have been staged or produced nationwide, and two plays he directed won Silicon Valley Small Theatre Awards. Doug is a vice president of the international Association for Jewish Theatre and a longtime member of both the Dramatists Guild and the TheatreWorks New Play Committee. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees from Carnegie Mellon University and has twelve years of senior management experience at several Silicon Valley high-tech companies.

As only the second-ever executive director of Silicon Valley Shakespeare, Doug Brook understands the challenges ahead. “As we know in Silicon Valley, even the most graceful, planned exit of a founder and leader can be challenging. I want to ensure that SVS is in a strong position to carry forward for years to come the legacy that our current Executive Director and Co-Founder, Dinna Myers, has created and fostered.”

Dinna is also excited about this new chapter in SVS’s life—and her own. “Helping to steward this extraordinary band of merry players for the past 16 years has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. But the time has come for me to seek new adventures in strange lands, so later this year I’ll be winging my way toward a new life in New Zealand. The appointment of long-time SVS supporter Doug Brook puts me greatly at ease. With a strong head for business, no-nonsense approach, and commitment to preserving our culture and connection to our community, I believe with all my heart that Doug is the person best suited to position this company as one of Silicon Valley’s top performing arts organizations. I’ll still have my hand in SVS marketing and development for the foreseeable future, so if you see me at one of our productions this summer, please let me introduce you to Doug and give you a hug goodbye.”

Artistic Director Angie Higgins also welcomes Doug Brook’s appointment. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the Board’s decision to hire Doug as our new executive director. Not only will his experience as a manager serve him well in helping SVS grow and thrive, his expertise as an artist makes him an executive who can connect with the heart and mission of the company.”

Board Chair Sasha Abrams says, “On behalf of the Board of Directors of Silicon Valley Shakespeare, I’m delighted to welcome Doug Brook as the new executive director. His wealth of experience and demonstrated leadership in management and theatre will help SVS implement its vision to innovate the classics through unique and relevant theatrical experiences that illuminate and inspire modern audiences.”

This summer, Doug will direct Ken Ludwig’s Shakespeare in Hollywood for SVS, an experience he has looked forward to. “After years of enjoying and admiring this company’s productions, and collaborating with various of its artists elsewhere, the stars (and schedules) finally aligned to let me direct. In addition to entertaining people, this production is a terrific opportunity for me to experience firsthand the needs and joys of the artistic branch of the troupe.”

Silicon Valley Shakespeare’s 2015 summer season begins with The Comedy of Errors at Willow Street Park in San José on June 12th. In July and August, join us at Sanborn Skyline County Park in Saratoga for Antony and Cleopatra and Shakespeare in Hollywood. Visit www.svshakespeare.org for details.