Main Stage 2008 polls-a-poppin’—what’s your favorite??

OK, so, don’t try to deny it: We’re halfway through November already. Some people have finished shopping for holiday gifts, while the rest of us are just starting to feel the guilt of not having started. (Or, if you’re like me, you’re thanking your lucky, lazy stars that you never got around to mailing those birthday presents to the east coast.)

Here at Cal Shakes, we’ve just finished general auditions for the 2009 season. Our esteemed graphic designer has already designed a number of attractive choices for Romeo & Juliet art, and will be working in earnest tomorrow on the show art for Private Lives. Our Spring Classes brochure will go to the printer in the next few weeks, and, perhaps most importantly, I think I saw the receptionist Administrative Project Manager preparing the bowl full of Secret Santa name choices yesterday.

But the 2008 season still looms large over all of this next-season preparation and year-end festivity: The Development department is preparing “Return on Investment” reports for all of our sponsors, filled with impressive numbers and beautiful pictures from the most reason Main Stage productions; and, in fact, this time of year we’re constantly reviewing the photos from all of our 2008 activities—Main Stage plays and Audience Enrichment events, Summer Theater Programs, adult classes, New Works/New Communities workshops, and more—for use in various brochures, web pages, and other marketing materials.

As a result, I find myself in my usual state of mind for this year—much like that phenomenon wherein you can’t discern which childhood memories are legitimately yours, or which have been created by looking at photo albums and home movies, I’m currently so overwhelmed and impressed by the visuals generated by Kevin Berne and Jay Yamada this season that I can’t recall which 2008 Cal Shakes productions and individual performances were my favorites.

Can you? I’m curious as to what Main Stage stuff that folks who read this blog liked best in 2008—not just overall productions but also individual performances, costumes, set and lighting design, even specific moments from Pericles, An Ideal Husband, Uncle Vanya, and Twelfth Night. If you’ve got opinions, please express them in the comments section!

Pictured, from top to bottom: Delia MacDougall and Sarah Nealis in Pericles, as photographed by Kevin Berne; Michael Butler in An Ideal Husband, as photographed by Kevin Berne; Barbara Oliver and Annie Purcell in Uncle Vanya, as photographed by Jay Yamada; Andy Murray and Dan Hiuatt in Twelfth Night, as photographed by Jay Yamada.


0 thoughts on “Main Stage 2008 polls-a-poppin’—what’s your favorite??

  1. >Hands down, it was Annie Purcell’s performance in UNCLE VANYA. True, beautiful, and heartbreaking.Other personal faves included Danny Scheie roller-skating in the Cal Shakes’ parking lot playing “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina” on the trombone; Ron Campbell’s multiple-role turn in PERICLES; the gorgeous screen by Annie Smart in AN IDEAL HUSBAND; and Sharon Lockwood’s cross garters in TWELFTH NIGHT.

  2. >I vote for the Cal Shakes Summer Camp performances @ the Orinda Community Center. In two weeks the children and teachers created AWESOME Shakespearean theater! Hands down, they are the stars, to me 🙂

  3. >12th Night Friday, 9-18Sitting in the sprinkles, sure the show would be cancelled when the mist cleared at exactly 8:00. Stage Manager announced that if they were able to dry the stage satisfactorily, that the show would indeed go on at 8:15. The almost full house went wild, and some people from the audience chipped in wiping down every surface imaginable.Just a lot of fun, and exciting to be among die-hard fans.

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