Vision has become a reality with the inaugural season of Transcendence Theatre Company this month in the old winery ruins at Jack London State Historic Park in Glen Ellen. The group is partnering with to save the park, which was among 70 threatened with closure by the state this year due to budget cuts.
The summer season follows a successful one-night benefit concert at the location in October, which galvanized local support, enabling the theater group to take up residency. The history association won a California State Parks Foundation grant that helped it take over site management in May.
According to Amy Miller, Transcendence artistic director, at Saturday night's show, the group did a motorhome tour of several states looking for a location to fulfill their dream of creating a non-profit theater group residency. She said they were excited to find "the phenomenal location of Sonoma" and to be part of an "out-of-the-box" way to contribute to keeping a state park functioning. The group will donate a portion of proceeds from each summer concert to the operation of Jack London park.
The company plans to bring in 44 Broadway and Hollywood singers and dancers for the shows, which are collectively called "Broadway Under the Stars." Performances continue through September, with four sets of themed shows over 14 nights. Guests can picnic and do wine tasting on the great lawn at the park prior to performances. For show and ticket information, click here.
Jack London State Park spans 1,400 acres and is also known as Beauty Ranch. Visitors can hike 26 miles of trails and see many stone buildings and ruins associated with the ranch, where the author farmed in the early 1900s. The adjacent Jack London Vineyard, still owned by London's relatives, supplies grapes to Kenwood Winery in Sonoma Valley.