It’s always such a pleasure standing in front of you, looking out at the sea of faces that make up our Cal Shakes family, inviting you into our theater, into our stories. Stories, in their way, teach us how to be human. They teach us our morality, our sense of right and wrong, how to love, how to hate, how to live. And as we come to our final show in a season that saw box office records broken, I’m excited to reaffirm our commitment to telling vital stories for these interesting times.
Since I arrived at Cal Shakes, we’ve taken a good hard look at what it means to be a classical theater for the 21st Century. We’ve considered the fiscal challenges of producing professional theater in the Bay Area. We’ve listened to many of your concerns over increasingly hectic summers and the erratic weather of spring and autumn. We’ve heard from many of our most ardent supporters that Cal Shakes should always be BOLD theater—big enough to fill the vast outdoors. We wanted new ways to celebrate the unique experience of the Bruns, be they return engagements of popular productions or extraordinary events that we couldn’t pass up (more on all that later). I’m excited to share that for 2018 we’ll be creating a concentrated subscription season filled with the epic and eventful work so many of you crave, of scale and scope and audacious, uncompromising vision—a true summer at the Bruns, anchored by three plays from June to September, each a vital story that speaks as much to who we are as to who we’ve been.
• First up, a literary classic re-imagined: Quixote, a sparkling new adaptation by Octavio Solis based on Cervantes’ Spanish Golden Age masterpiece but conceived anew, setting La Mancha along the modern-day Texas-Mexico border and filled with flights of fancy and Tejano tunes.
• Next up, a contemporary riff on the medieval morality play: Everybody, by acclaimed playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon), plumbing the depths of the human condition with surprising humor, heart, grace, and dancing skeletons.
• Our season closes with a Shakespearean event of epic proportions: our take on The War of the Roses, a monumental evening of theater spanning four of Shakespeare’s histories—Henry VI Parts 1, 2, and 3, and Richard III—a fast-paced, far-ranging, vividly theatrical depiction of two powerful families—the Lancasters and the York—and their decades-long fight for the English throne.
Whether you’ve been with us for decades or are joining us for the very first time, thank you for being with us this summer—for the shared laughter and tears and song and celebration, creating community with our artists under the sky. Join us for our 2018 season. We’ve set a big table, and it wouldn’t be the same without you.
See you next season,