To enrich and empower the community by bringing live theatre that is accessible, intimate, classical, and local.
What we do
Festival Theatre Ensemble (FTE), founded in 1994 by Artistic Director Bruce W. De Les Dernier, is dedicated to the production of classical theatre and the creation of stage adaptations of classic novels, legends, and fairy tales. The initial three-show season was created largely for touring, much as in the sixteenth century, when acting troupes had no theaters of their own, but would travel from village to village, using whatever stage was available.
Festival Theatre Ensemble has traveled far and wide to bring Shakespeare to various communities in northern and central California, finally settling into a permanent home in the historic town of Los Gatos with the founding of the Los Gatos Shakespeare Festival, performing under the stars each summer in Oak Meadow Park since 2002. In 2011, FTE founded Shakespeare at Full Circle Farm, a festival at a sustainable, community farm in Sunnyvale. FTE is actively seeking indoor venues in the area to fulfill their goal of offering high quality theatre year-round.
In addition to its main-stage festival performances, Festival Theatre Ensemble offers Camp Shakespeare and Midsummer Faerie Camp for children during the summer. FTE also performs interactive theatre for school-aged children with their productions of The Shakespeare Connection: Monsters and Clowns, tailored for grades K-6. These performances are available throughout the South Bay and Peninsula.
Festival Theatre Ensemble is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) theatre company dedicated to providing exceptional entertainment that remains affordable to all. Audiences are consistently full, yet ticket sales cover just half the expenses of performing to nearly 3000 people each summer. The company is grateful to its sponsors and loyal fans who join it each summer to "play in the park after dark!"
Like history? So do we. Take a little stroll down memory lane and look back at our previous seasons.
“The best summer theater on the Peninsula for the last few years has been the outdoor Shakespeare and other classics produced by Festival Theatre Ensemble… don't miss it.” - John Angell Grant, Palo Alto Daily
“This company has...a wonderful interactive camaraderie, significant theatrical skills and a gem of a director.” - The North Coast Journal
Board of Directors
Vicki Alexander, President
Kimberly Dawn Wood, Secretary
Mary Tomasi-Dubois, Advisory Board Member
Matthew W. Castle
Bruce W. De Les Dernier
Robin De Les Dernier
Aaron Michael Parees
Kimberly Dawn Wood