In a Time of Economic Extremes, Shakespeare's Timon Recast as a Silicon Valley CEO

Brennan Pickman-Thoon plays a Silicon Valley version of Shakespeare's Timon of Athens, a wealthy man rudely awakened into the realities of economic disparity when he falls on hard times.  (Photo: Courtesy of Cutting Ball Theater)

For nearly two decades now, the Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco has taken classics and set them in modern times to make relevant points. That’s the case with Shakespeare’s Timon of Athens. (Say TIE-mon to sound smart.)

Timon in this version of the play is a young, wildly successful CEO who loves to throw wild parties for others like himself. But when his fortunes fail, he finds himself friendless. And because this is a work from Shakespeare, Timon is exquisitely eloquent expressing his rage and disgust.

"It's a very interesting play, but one that you rarely get to see," says Cutting Board co-founder and director Rob Melrose.

Now, he is the first to praise the generosity of techies like those on the theater's board, but San Francisco is a city marked by sweeping gentrification and radical economic disparity.

"We have the experiences of, you know, tech billionaires right up against people living in the street right here in our own neighborhood. The vast income inequality of our city is reflected in this play of Shakespeare’s," Melrose says.

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Timon of Athens runs through April 29 at the Cutting Ball Theater. Details here.

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