Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Palo Alto Players Announces Reimagined 90th Anniversary Season Featuring ALLEGIANCE, MATILDA and More

Palo Alto Players Announces Reimagined 90th Anniversary Season Featuring ALLEGIANCE,  MATILDA and More

Palo Alto Players, the Peninsula's first theatre company, has announced its reimagined 90th Anniversary season - a lineup of shows designed to withstand these uncertain times. The updated 2020-21 lineup, beginning September 2020, was unveiled in a video message to patrons on June 25, 2020 by Artistic Director Patrick Klein and Managing Director Elizabeth Santana and includes AN ACT OF GOD, ALLEGIANCE, MEN ON BOATS, MATILDA THE MUSICAL, and TWELFTH NIGHT. Performances will either be live-streamed, live in person at the Lucie Stern Theater, or a combination of both, as the company continues to follow state and local mandates regarding gatherings. Subscriptions are on sale now at or by phone at 650.329.0891. Individual tickets for the September show go on sale in August and for the remaining season beginning in October.

Palo Alto Players' 90th season kicks off in September 2020, treating audiences to a side of divinity unlike any other with the hilarious play AN ACT OF GOD, written by Emmy Award-winning head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, followed in November with the Peninsula premiere of the new musical ALLEGIANCE, a story inspired by the personal experiences of television star George Takei (Star Trek). In January 2021, pack your gear for a 21st-century telling of a 19th-century American explorer, when the company presents MEN ON BOATS. The cast isn't quite what it seems in Jaclyn Backhaus' play set in the 1869 American West. Roald Dahl's MATILDA THE MUSICAL, the Tony Award- winning musical based on the 1988 children's novel of the same name will be presented in April/May 2021, and closing the season in June 2021, is William Shakespeare's romantic comedy TWELFTH NIGHT.

"Palo Alto Players motto this season is to be nimble, be flexible, and adapt," said Artistic Director Patrick Klein. "We had to take a hard look at what we anticipate would be possible for our 90th season given the uncertainty of when we can gather again, while also recognizing the importance of theatre in bringing hope and joy to people during this difficult time. The health and safety of our artists, staff, volunteers, and patrons will always be our first priority as we move forward. But I'm happy to say that the show will go on at Palo Alto Players either live, live-streamed, or both! We hope you will join us on a theatrical adventure like never before."

In chronological order, Palo Alto Players' 2020-21 season is as follows:


September 5 - 20, 2020 (preview September 4)

By David Javerbaum

The One with the first and last word on everything has finally arrived to set the record straight. After many millennia, and in just 90 minutes, God (assisted by His devoted angels) answers some of the deepest questions that have plagued mankind since Creation, such as: why did He decide to create the universe, which sports team does God choose when they all pray to Him for a win, and what does He think of Kanye West? From the multi Emmy Award-winning head writer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and creator of Twitter's massively followed @TheTweetOfGod, this hit comedy AN ACT OF GOD treats audiences to a hilarious side of divinity unlike any other.


November 7- 22, 2020 (preview November 6)

Book by Mark Acito, Jay Kuo & Lorenzo Thione

Music and Lyrics by Jay Kuo

Inspired by the true childhood experience of TV/film actor and social media icon George Takei (Mr. Sulu on Star Trek), ALLEGIANCE tells the story of the Kimura family, whose lives are upended when they are forced to leave their Salinas, California home following the events at Pearl Harbor, and join 120,000 other Japanese-Americans in internment camps dotted around America. Sam Kimura seeks to prove his patriotism by fighting for his country in the war, but sister Kei fiercely protests the government's treatment of her people. An uplifting testament to the power of the human spirit, ALLEGIANCE follows the Kimuras as they fight between duty and defiance, custom and change, family bonds and forbidden loves.


January 16 -31, 2021 (preview January 15)

by Jaclyn Backhaus

MEN ON BOATS is the tale of ten men, four boats, and two great rivers, told on stage entirely without boats, rivers ... or men! Pack your gear for this 21st-century telling of 19th-century American explorer and one-armed Civil War veteran John Wesley Powell, who assembles a brawny band of soldiers, trappers, and adventurers to explore the waterways of the American West. Inspired by Powell's actual travel log from 1869, Jaclyn Backhaus's nimble and ingenious script is provocative, laugh-out-loud theater, performed by a cast of women who infuse America's legends of male conquest with a sly blast of subtext.


April 24 - May 9, 2021 (preview April 23)

Book by Dennis Kelly

Music and Lyrics by Tim Minchin

Based on the book, Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda is a little girl with astonishing wit, intelligence and psychokinetic powers. She's unloved by her cruel parents but impresses her schoolteacher, the highly loveable Miss Honey. Over the course of her first term at school, Matilda and Miss Honey have a profound effect on each other's lives, as Miss Honey begins not only to recognize but also appreciate Matilda's extraordinary personality. Matilda's school life isn't completely smooth sailing, however - the school's mean headmistress, Miss Trunchbull, hates children and just loves thinking up new punishments for those who don't abide by her rules. But Matilda has courage and cleverness in equal amounts, and could be the school pupils' saving grace! Packed with high-energy dance numbers and fresh, clever songs, the Tony award-winning MATILDA is a joyous girl power romp. Children and adults alike will be thrilled and delighted by the story of the special little girl with an extraordinary imagination.


June 12 - 27, 2021 (preview June 11)

By William Shakespeare

Orsino loves Olivia (who won't give him the time of day). Olivia loves Viola (whom she thinks is a boy). Viola loves Orsino (who doesn't know she's a girl). Malvolio loves being in love; and Sir Andrew, Toby Belch, and Maria love life to its fullest. It's all rollicking confusion, but these hilarious characters do, at last, find love where they least expect it. Palo Alto Players is thrilled to welcome back our friends from the Gunn community to present one of Shakespeare's most loved comedies!

For more information or to purchase season subscriptions, visit the company online at, by phone at 650.329.0891, or in person (pending state and local orders) at the Box Office at the Lucie Stern Theater located at 1305 Middlefield Road in Palo Alto, Tuesday-Friday 11am - 4pm PT. Five-show subscriptions and Flex subscriptions (5 tickets to be used in any combination) are available now. Special discounts for seniors, educators, military and patrons under 30 are also available. Some restrictions may apply. In addition to significant savings, subscribers receive other benefits such as priority seating, free ticket exchanges, discounts on the purchase of additional single tickets, and invitations to special events.

Related Articles View More San Francisco Stories

Featured on Stage Door

Shoutouts, Classes & More

More Hot Stories For You