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Odyssey Theater Company The roots of this non-profit regional theater organization date back to the 1990s with the first outdoor production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in Christmas Hill Park. That was followed by Yours, Anne, Fiddler on the Roof, The Miracle Worker, Quilters, Oliver! and more. For a time, Odyssey Theater lived within the realm of the Gilroy Unified School District where the organization’s Artistic Director, Dr. Kate Booth, also teaches theater arts. In 2014 Odyssey was re-launched as a non-profit theatre company with transitional funding from the Gilroy Foundation. Programs have included an apprenticeship spring drama, a summer conserva- tory, and a main stage fall production. According to board chairman Jim McCann, “We thought, why should people have to travel far and wide to see Shakespeare? We can offer our own summer series right here in South County.” Odyssey did just that, performing Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Christopher High School Amphitheater in August this year. They are now looking at additional venues for future productions. “We want to connect the community to Shakespeare’s work,” Booth said. “Students from Christopher, Gilroy, Live Oak and Sobrato High Schools have performed Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet on stage. This September, we’re taking thirty- three students to Oregon’s Shakespeare Festival.” Why all the attention on Shakespeare? “His work is full of the big themes of human nature,” Booth said. “Shakespeare created three-dimensional characters with complex drives and motives…tyrants, tragic heroes and impetuous young lovers. His stories will always be relevant.” Midsummer Night’s Dream GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015 gmhtoday.com 11