Skip to content

SPARC returns to outdoor theater with opening night benefit

Company to perform "The 39 Steps" by Patrick Barlow
SPARC Theater logo.

SPARC Theater is celebrating their return to live outdoor theater this summer. The theater company is set to host an opening night benefit picnic at their new location at Darcie Kent Vineyards.

The June 25 event will take place from 6-10 p.m. and will include a performance of "The 39 Steps" by Patrick Barlow, a spoof on Alfred Hitchcock's 1935 spy thriller of the same name, organizers said in a statement.  

"The 39 Steps" was adapted by Barlow from the novel by John Buchan, which inspired the Hitchcock film.

Four actors take on 150 roles in the fast-paced whodunit, two-time Tony and Drama Desk Award-winning comedy. SPARC Theater's performance of the play will preview on June 23 and close on July 10. 

At the benefit, attendees can meet the artists, have a picnic dinner from On the Vine Catering and wines from Darcie Kent Vineyards. There will be music from Open Strings followed by the show. Tickets to the event are $275 per person, with $150 of each ticket being a tax-deductible donation, organizers said. SPARC is raising funds for a new modular stage to use in their future productions, the benefit will help cover the cost of stage construction. 

"The 39 Steps" cast features Armando McClain, seen in "The Taming of the Shrew" (Petruchio) and "Macbeth" (Macbeth) for SPARC and five seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Malcolm Rodgers seen in "Othello" (Iago), "Persuasion," and "A Winter’s Tale" for SPARC and Sydney Schwindt from "The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare abridged" (revised) at SPARC.

The show also features guest artist Charlie Lavaroni bringing training from the famed Shakespeare & Company. Guest director Cassidy Brown leads this production having played three of the four roles in previous productions.

Organizers said the event will follow CDC and Alameda County COVID-19 protocols current to the event date. 

Tickets and more information are available at