Volunteer Spotlight: Sam Hsu

Sam Hsu

Sam two-timing us as a volunteer at the Episcopal Community Services SummerTini event.

Sam is a longtime volunteer usher at the Bruns Amphitheater. He’s originally from Taiwan but he now lives in Fremont and claims to have the ability to “nap anywhere.” Sam is an active volunteer at several other Bay Area nonprofit organizations. Volunteering at Cal Shakes is, according to Sam, participating in “outreach to the community and four fun-filled weeknights during the extended summer months.”

Read on to learn more about Sam!

Describe a memorable experience you’ve had volunteering at Cal Shakes. I was selling raffle tickets and interrupting patrons’ dinners, and a few of them offered me food! Of course I graciously accepted.

Do you have any special holiday plans? What kind of holiday traditions does your family like to do in celebration? Well, we’re Asian, so the tradition is to go out and eat. But this year I’m taking mom to visit some of the grandkids at Disneyworld.​

What play—or plays— are you most looking forward to seeing at Cal Shakes in 2014? I’d have to say A Raisin in the Sun and Pygmalion because the non-Shakespeare plays seem just a little bit special in this context, and they’ve always been great fun.​

Who would you cast to play yourself in the movie of your life? Jackie Chan…Underlying almost everything I do is a bit of slapstick and humor, and a touch of cluelessness.

Sam, thank you for being an important part of our Cal Shakes family!

Volunteers are a vital part of our Cal Shakes community. With over 1,000 volunteers, our volunteer corps represents a wide and diverse demographic. Our volunteers hail from throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill, to across the state, from Grass Valley to Los Angeles. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, coworkers and friends. Volunteering with California Shakespeare Theater can be a great opportunity to experience and learn new things, spend time with family and friends, earn high school credit, fulfill community service requirements, see great theater for free, and, most importantly, pay it forward in the spirit of volunteerism. There are many ways to lend a hand at Cal Shakes, and signing up is easy.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to register; once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign up for ushering dates and will be notified of other opportunities.

Share
Posted in Main Stage, Volunteer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Three ways to participate in #GivingTuesday

We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. This year we are joining with nonprofits around the world to help create #GivingTuesday: A new day for giving back. On Tuesday December 3, 2013, global charities, families, businesses, community centers, students and more will come together to create #GivingTuesday.

#GivingTuesday It’s a simple idea. Just find a way for your family, your community, your company or your organization to come together to give back. Then tell everyone you can about how you are giving. Be a part of a national celebration of our great tradition of generosity.

On December 3, you can give to Cal Shakes in more ways than one.

  1. CLICK TO GIVE NOWMoney – Make a difference by making a donation. We can’t do what we do without you. Read a letter from a grateful teacher here; view photos of this year’s arts, education, and community efforts here.
  2. Volunteer Sign up to give your time and energy, and get inside the workings of a nonprofit theater (we’re lots of fun to work with).
  3. In-kind – We need stuff! Check out our wish list below—you may find stuff to give that reduces our costs, freeing up resources for our arts and education programming. If you wish to donate something on our wish list, please contact Annual Fund Manager Ian Larue at 510.899.4907 or ilarue@calshakes.org.

Give once, twice, or three times. Whatever you contribute now will make more theater possible for more people in the Bay Area—including you. And be sure to tweet or post about it when you to, with the hash tag #GivingTuesday. Thank you!

ITEM NEEDED AMOUNT NOTES
Multi-purpose hand truck 1 five-in-one, industrial strength
Folding tables 6  six feet long, lightweight, and sturdy
Paper cutter 1
Cases of water 10 low- or no-sodium
Cases of nonalcoholic beverages 5 sparkling cider
Table linens 4 to fit six-, eight- or ten-foot tables
Button making supplies 1.5” button-maker supplies: pinbacks, shells, and mylar
Fabric softeners 5 large boxes Bounce brand preferred
Benadryl 5 boxes
Music player 1 Bluetooth-enabled, or the kind to plug your device into
Dishwasher 1
Sodastream or other sparkling water maker 1
Framing services 16 11″x 17″
Green Fleece Blankets 50 50″x60″ dark green fleece
Home Depot gift cards any any denomination
Reams of white copy paper any 8.5″x 11″ plain paper; recycled strongly preferred
First-class postage stamps any Forever stamps are best, please
Beads and buttons any For the costume shop
Office Max and Office Depot gift cards any any denomination; office supplies
Berkeley Bowl gift cards any denomination; food and drink for events
Visa gift cards
MasterCard gift cards
American Express gift cards
Discover gift cards
Disinfecting wipes 3 Clorox or any brand for cleaning desktops and telephones, etc.
Handheld video camera 1 Full-featured camcorder preferred; needs to have optical zoom, image stabilization, and firewire cable
Three-ring binders, one-inch 90 black or white; for rehearsal scripts
Three-ring binders, three-inch 10 D-ring, any color
Sunscreen 20 SPF 30 or higher, expiration no earlier than November 2014
Bug spray 15 Expiration no earlier than November 2014
Case of Ricola throat drops 4 Any flavor
Case of hot chocolate 6
Gatorade powder 12 Lemon-lime, big powder canisters preferred
Airjet hand dryer for bathrooms 2
Desk lamps 4 or 5
Picnic tables 6+
Clown noses 50+
Rubber bands 2 boxes
iPod speakers 2 speakers that attached directly to an iPhone or iPod
Noise makers 5 snare drum, maracas, xylephone
Balls 8 From tennis balls to soccer balls, anything will do.
Share
Posted in Artistic Learning, Main Stage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“This was the best field trip I’ve ever been on in my life. …We made Hermione come back to life.”

Actor Christopher Michael Rivera works the audience at a Student Discovery Matinee of A WINTER'S TALE;.

Actor Christopher Michael Rivera works the audience at a Student Discovery Matinee of A WINTER'S TALE;.

From: Ms. Maiuri

Sent: Thursday, October 03, 2013 8:11 PM

To: Clive Worsley

Subject: Thank you so much for everything (could you pass this on?)

Dear Director and Cast of A Winter’s Tale and the Cal Shakes Artistic Learning Team:

I got an email from a student after returning from Cal Shakes’ student matinee performance of A Winter’s Tale: “Dear Ms. Maiuri, This was the best field trip I’ve ever been on in my life.  Also, I’ve discovered that Grace and I have magical powers.  We made Hermione come back to life.  Love, Lisa”

I struggled for years as a teacher in Oakland before I realized that if you’re really honest with students and bring what you love right up to them and put it in their hands, they’ll love it right along with you. I don’t know if it’s the content or the honesty, but it works.

So we study Shakespeare because I love it—the rhythm and the description and the challenge of hearing a play that might be a struggle to understand. I love the slow reveal of the language and the experience of “settling in” when you suddenly realize every word is making sense. I pour my heart into bringing that to my students.

A student asks a question of the cast after a performance of A WINTER'S TALE.

A student asks a question of the cast after a performance of A WINTER'S TALE.

But after I drill and they sweat and we giggle over the plots, we come to Cal Shakes and they’re just mesmerized.  I look over and see kids light up at certain speeches—”It’s too hot, too hot!”—or realize when bits have been skipped or altered, or get quiet and rapt at a moving moment, and I can feel my heart swell and my throat catch.

And then, at the end, to have the actors all come out in hoodies and college t-shirts and sit on the edge of the stage and use real names and talk like real people is the real crux for me.  I can make my students memorize and understand Shakespeare but these artists showed them that it’s okay to stand up and perform in front of others, to cry and feel on stage, to balance football and literature (or even give football up, god forbid), and wear mascara with pride.  Thanks for that. And thanks to the fun and relatable directing and acting choices, they got a Paulina that sounds like their mom’s tough best friend, a steely speech from a jailed mother, a Polixenes that echoes the best and worst of their fathers, and a Leontes who descends into a powerful, believable frenzy that’s surprisingly similar to the throes of middle-school jealousy and spite.

I feel like I’m always making excuses not to write thank-you notes. But Cal Shakes is really special for us, and I thank you all for moving me today.

With gratitude,

Jana Maiuri
(Teacher, Edna Brewer Middle School)

See more highlights of her students’ experience with these photos from Cal Shakes’s 2013 Student Discovery Matinees.

Share
Posted in A Winter's Tale, Artistic Learning, Main Stage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Volunteer Spotlight: Lynn Sims

Lynn Sims is a native of Boise, Idaho, but for the past six years she has called the Bay Area (Alameda) her home. She’s served as a volunteer at Cal Shakes for three years and has helped out at the Cal Shakes office, our annual gala, and the opening nights of Lady Windermere’s Fan and Romeo and Juliet. She even manned the Cal Shakes booth at Solano Stroll and the San Francisco Gay Pride Celebration.

Read on to learn more about Lynn and her experience working in theater and her travels to the Caribbean.

Lynn Sims

Lynn Sims

What do you like about volunteering at Cal Shakes? One of my most memorable experiences I’ve had volunteering at Cal Shakes is when visiting with Dan Hiatt (a Cal Shakes Associate Artist). We were both members of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ISF) for a season in the early ’90s.  

For many years I did technical theater work at the community level and spent three years with ISF. My schedule doesn’t allow me to do that type of work anymore but I enjoy being connected to the theater world.  I find working with Cal Shakes is very similar to ISF. I have been very impressed with the company and have felt very at home.

How do you spend your time when you’re not helping out Cal Shakes? I work for the Department of Agriculture and moved to San Francisco from Idaho six years ago to take the job.  I’ve enjoyed all the Bay Area has to offer including the arts, cultural and sporting events—not to mention the beautiful weather.  

What’s one of your special talents? I’m a great event planner. 

If you could be a character in any play you’ve seen at Cal Shakes, who would it be and in which production? Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing.

What’s one the most exciting things you’ve done this year? I spent a week earlier this year in St. Martin in the northeast Caribbean. It was lovely.  

Lynn, thank you for being an important part of our Cal Shakes family! 

Volunteers are a vital part of our Cal Shakes community. With over 1,000 volunteers, our volunteer corps represents a wide and diverse demographic. Our volunteers hail from throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill, to across the state, from Grass Valley to Los Angeles. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, coworkers and friends. Volunteering with California Shakespeare Theater can be a great opportunity to experience and learn new things, spend time with family and friends, earn high school credit, fulfill community service requirements, see great theater for free, and, most importantly, pay it forward in the spirit of volunteerism. There are many ways to lend a hand at Cal Shakes, and signing up is easy.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to register; once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign up for ushering dates and will be notified of other opportunities.

Share
Posted in Volunteer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frequently Asked Questions About ALLELUIA, THE ROAD

Alleluia Creative Collaborators

Photos of Alleluia creative collaborators by Joan Osato.

We hope you’re planning on experiencing Luis Alfaro’s Alleluia, The Road at Intersection for the Arts, co-produced by Cal Shakes, Campo Santo, and Intersection. Come ready to take in a new and exciting production in an intimate, immersive environment, with visual arts surrounding you and players performing right next to you.

Below is a list of Frequently Asked Questions, devised to enhance your visit to Alelluia.

Where do the performances take place? Performances of Alleluia, The Road take place at Intersection for the Arts, not at Cal Shakes’ Bruns Amphitheater.

Where is Intersection for the Arts located? Intersection is located inside the San Francisco Chronicle building at 925 Mission Street, Suite 109, between Fifth and Sixth Streets in downtown San Francisco. The ZIP code is 94103, should you be using a futuristic device to navigate your passage.

How do I get there by car? From the freeway, take the Fifth Street/Downtown exit; turn left onto Harrison; take the first right onto Sixth Street; then, make a right onto Mission.

Is there parking nearby? Some street parking is available in surrounding alleys, but by far the easiest option is the parking garage at Fifth and Mission, directly across from the Chronicle building.

How do I get there by public transportation? Intersection is conveniently located one-and-a-half blocks from the Powell Street BART station (use the BART Trip Planner to ensure a timely arrival!) and numerous MUNI lines, including the 14 Mission.

Exactly which door in the Chronicle building do I enter through, and how is it marked? Intersection is located at the 925 entrance of the Chronicle building, which is up Mission Street, heading toward Sixth Street, and is not to be confused with the 901 entrance that is closer to the Fifth Street corner.

How do I get into the event space? The door to 925 will be unlocked, and signage and/or staff will direct you to the gallery. The box office is located in the gallery, where you will collect your ticket and program before moving on to experience the first part of the Califas visual arts installation before being directed to the show from there.

Is there assigned seating? Nope, this venue features general admission seating.

I know I already bought tickets, but if I want to buy more when I get there, how much will they cost? $30.

How long is the show with intermission? The show is approximately two hours long, plus a 15-minute intermission.

What’s happening at intermission? Will there be anything I can spend my money on? At intermission we invite you to spend more time with the Califas visual arts installations in both the performance space and the gallery. And there will be both alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages for sale.

Will the gallery be open during intermission? See above.

What if I have more questions? Feel free to contact the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666 or boxoffice@calshakes.org between the hours of 10am–12pm or 1–5pm, Monday–Friday.

Share
Posted in Triangle Lab | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Volunteer Spotlight: Trish Hare

Vounteer Trish Hare

Volunteer Trish Hare double-timing us at some other outdoor venue.

This is Trish’s eighth season volunteering with Cal Shakes. She serves as an usher, passes out programs, sells raffle tickets, and helps out in our office.  She first started enjoying Cal Shakes’ productions in John Hinkel Park.

Read on to learn more about Trish and her family and recent travels.

Where are you from, and why do you love Cal Shakes? I’m originally from a small town in Connecticut.  During my college years I lived in Massachusetts before moving to Berkeley in 1980.  There is no place like the Bay Area; I’m having too much fun with family, friends, and projects while also volunteering for great venues like Cal Shakes. 

Cal Shakes brings such a wide variety of top notch plays to our community.  Their productions transport me to another world where I enjoy the delights of the brilliant actors, imaginative stage sets, and exotic costumes.  Cal Shakes richly satisfies and rewards its audience with the pleasures of the stage.

One very memorable evening I was selling raffle tickets with my friend Ed who holds a degree in theater arts. We were able to sell the most tickets that I have ever sold.  I explained the great programs that Cal Shakes offers to school-age children and he talked about how the theater experience fosters learning in and beyond the arts.  I think we sold over $350 in tickets that night. 

Ah, but another great experience was driving the golf cart from the ticket booth to the theater, bringing those that can’t walk the path to the theater area.  It was in early October and it was the night of one of the presidential debates.  Talk about conversations!  Then, at the last minute I was asked to be ready to pick up one of the actors who was running late. We had a most animated and hysterical conversation about politicians and Shakespeare’s take on politics.  Now that was a memorable experience!

Most often I volunteer for handing out playbills because I enjoy talking to people and helping them have an enjoyable experience at the play.  I also sell raffle tickets, usher, and do whatever is needed to prepare for the performance.  I worked at a student matinee and saw children really get excited about understanding the play.  What really was great was to see a student “get” how incredible Shakespeare’s work is and hear them talk about how it relates to our present day. 

If you could be a character in any play you’ve seen at Cal Shakes, who would it be and in which production?  I think I’d like to be your Titania, Queen of the Fairies,  from A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  Cal Shakes adorned her in flowing, colorful, fanciful costumes that were mesmerizing. 

What’s one the most exciting things you’ve done this year?  This year has been incredible.  In April I traveled with my daughter around Jordan, Sri Lanka, and United Arab Emirates.  I retired a month ago from a fulfilling 30+ year career.  So, now that I have time, I am volunteering through AARP’s Experience Corps where I’ll take part in a literacy program to help Oakland kindergarten through 3rd-graders build reading skills. 

Trish, thank you for being an important part of our Cal Shakes family!

Volunteers are a vital part of our Cal Shakes community. With over 1,000 volunteers, our volunteer corps represents a wide and diverse demographic. Our volunteers hail from throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill, to across the state, from Grass Valley to Los Angeles. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, coworkers and friends. Volunteering with California Shakespeare Theater can be a great opportunity to experience and learn new things, spend time with family and friends, earn high school credit, fulfill community service requirements, see great theater for free, and, most importantly, pay it forward in the spirit of volunteerism. There are many ways to lend a hand at Cal Shakes, and signing up is easy.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to register; once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign up for ushering dates and will be notified of other opportunities.

Share
Posted in Volunteer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A WINTER’S TALE FAQ

A Winter's Tale by Alessandra Mello

Tristan Cunningham, Zion Richardson, Omoze Idehenre, Mackenzie Kwok in A Winter's Tale; photo by mellopix.com.

The top five commonly asked questions around the Cal Shakes offices about our current production of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale—answered at last.

1. Is there going to be a bear onstage?

From Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone: Yes, but you’ll have to see it to find out how it appears.

2. Why is this play less performed/less well known/adapted into film?

From Production Dramaturg Cathleen Sheehan: The play certainly presents some truly daunting challenges in terms of story and staging. There is the dramatic shift in location and tone between Sicilia and Bohemia, the 16-year leap forward, a shipwreck off the coast of Bohemia (which, depending on which scholar you ask about where the  borders were, historically had no coastline), a statue which appears to come back to life, and the tricky business of Antigonus who must “exit pursued by a bear.”

In spite of these challenges and its shifting popularity, A Winter’s Tale has been staged fairly consistently since its inception. In the centuries following its first performances, directors handled these challenges in various ways—sometimes cutting huge portions of the play or allowing one tone to dominate—playing up the Classical themes, for example. In 1756, David Garrick presented Florizel and Perdita at Drury Lane, cutting the first three acts entirely. While 19th–century and early 20th–century productions reinstated Leontes and Hermione as the compelling emotional center of the play, the popular desire for elaborate spectacle meant that the more theatrical elements tended to overshadow the language, characters, and story—and cost a pretty penny as well.

More recently, directors have embraced a more balanced approach to the complexity of the play and accepted the story on its own terms—as a tale including divine, natural, and unusual elements, but one that is essentially human in its struggles and triumphs…with the occasional entrance of a bear.

3. Where in time and space does the play take place?

From Director Patricia McGregor: In this production, in the near future through a Narniaesque door to fantastical fertile lands and the labyrinthine interiors of the self.

4. How will music and dance be featured in the production?

Tristan Cunningham as Perdita

Tristan Cunningham as Perdita in A Winter's Tale; photo by Alessandra Mello.

From Director Patricia McGregor: A Winter’s Tale is performed by a group of traveling storytellers with many tricks up their sleeves. The actors playing Paulina and Autolycus are the ringleaders of this wild theatricalist journey and often use music and dance to transport and transform both the players and the audience. At times, the audience is invited to participate in celebrations and ceremonies through song and dance.

5. What about the play lends itself to a participatory experience?

From Triangle Lab Director Rebecca Novick: I think any play has the potential to be a participatory experience, if the director and the producing theater share that vision.  We like to say that any play could be enriched by “starting with a potluck and ending with everyone dancing on stage.” That said, those are specific participatory activities, and we like to work with directors to design the levels and types of participation that will work best for their production.  In this case, Patricia is particularly interested in how to use a play to build community with an audience, to help people see themselves inside stories that might feel strange or foreign to them, and to encourage people to find their own creative selves.  Seen through that lens, Winter’s Tale is particularly appropriate because it’s a play that asks us to believe that magic can unfreeze our stuck hearts and in Patricia’s production that magic is created collectively by the audience.

A Winter’s Tale runs now through October 20, 2013.

Share
Posted in A Winter's Tale, Main Stage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Personalize Our Onstage License Plate!

In our upcoming production of A Winter’s Tale, travelling storytellers spill out of a vehicle to invite you into the story. And since we marketing folks have got connections with the props department (who are so much friendlier than the DMV), director Patricia McGregor has asked us to ask you to decide what goes on the license plate!

The entry the company likes the best gets put on the plate—and earns its creator two tickets to see A Winter’s Tale, and a photo with the vehicle.

Post your entry—no more than seven characters long—by 5pm PST on Wednesday, September 18, one of the following four ways:

Patricia and the cast would like it to have a nod to Spunk, our 2012 production that got so many of them together for the first time.  Here are some ideas that have been thrown around already; maybe they’ll get you thinking.

Mo-Joe
diddly wah diddy
D wah D
GT2GT
JOE CLRK(E)
JULY JAM
6BITS
ZORA
4ZORA
MI-C-MAY
VICE

A Winter’s Tale runs September 25–October 20, 2013.

 

Share
Posted in A Winter's Tale, By Stefanie Kalem, Main Stage | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volunteer Spotlight: Cormac Kelly

Cormac KellyCormac is a sophomore at Bishop O’Dowd High School and this is his second season volunteering at Cal Shakes. Volunteering primarily at the Bruns, Cormac has sold raffle tickets, distributed programs and blankets, and helped audience members participate with the Triangle Lab.

When asked what was the most exciting thing he’s recently done, Cormac replied: “Participating in the reenactment commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the battle of Gettysburg with my father. This took place in Pennsylvania with 15,000 other re-enactors in the scorching heat and rain over the course of 5 days.”

Read on to learn more about Cormac and his special talents, summer vacation, and what his dream Shakespearean role is.

Where are you from? I was born and am being raised in Oakland. This is an adventure in itself. I have two younger sisters, one is 10 the other is 13.  They bicker when they play, which continues to confound me.  My father, a former journalist, runs our family packaging business.  My mother is in charge of design and marketing for our business and is a gifted photographer.

What do you like to do in your spare time? Time is spent reading historic fiction, history and practicing French.  I just completed The Gates of Fire by Steven Pressfield about the Spartans at Thermopylae, which I loved.  Presently, I have the good fortune of writing this from the base of the French Alps.  Life is good.

Do you volunteer anywhere else? I also volunteer at Fort Point, a Civil War-era fort beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.

What’s one of your special talents? Speak any languages? Play any musical instruments or sportsI am gradually learning French, enjoy narrative storytelling, am blessed with a strong memory, and have a sense of humor.  I can write a good essay if it’s about something I like. I can do an excellent Virginia reel.  Also, I love European history and Shakespearean theater.  As for talents, they’re still evolving.

If you could be a character in any play you’ve seen at Cal Shakes, who would it be and in which production?  Charles Condomine in Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit.

Cormac, thank you for being an important part of our Cal Shakes family! Volunteers are a vital part of our Cal Shakes community. With over 1,000 volunteers, our volunteer corps represents a wide and diverse demographic. Our volunteers hail from throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill, to across the state, from Grass Valley to Los Angeles. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, coworkers and friends. Volunteering with California Shakespeare Theater can be a great opportunity to experience and learn new things, spend time with family and friends, earn high school credit, fulfill community service requirements, see great theater for free, and, most importantly, pay it forward in the spirit of volunteerism. There are many ways to lend a hand at Cal Shakes, and signing up is easy.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to register; once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign up for ushering dates and will be notified of other opportunities.

Share
Posted in Volunteer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Volunteer Spotlight: Ellie Raissi

Ellie RaissiEllie is a Bay Area native, born and raised, and this is her third season volunteering at Cal Shakes. A volunteer of all trades, Ellie helps out in the administrative office and out at the Bruns. “I always associate Cal Shakes with summer,” says Ellie. ”For a Shakespeare nerd like me, there’s nothing better than seeing a great summer production of one of his plays in an amazing outdoor space.”

Ellie is a valuable member of our Cal Shakes family and we’re happy to introduce her to all of you! Read on to learn more about Ellie, her not-so-fat cat, her organizational talents, and how Ira Glass cracks her up.

Describe a memorable experience you’ve had volunteering at Cal Shakes: One time I volunteered to make buttons in the Cal Shakes offices. I needed a mat board for the project, and this really nice staffer helped me hunt for one. She wound up taking me on an impromptu tour of the building. I’d never been beyond the front office, so it was really cool to see where the amazing props and costumes in Cal Shakes’ productions were made. 

What’s a typical volunteer shift like for you? When I volunteer as an usher, one of my favorite tasks is to organize the chairs that patrons will pick up before going into the theater. The chairs are usually stacked on top of each other in a big jumbled mass, and sometimes it can be hard for patrons to quickly grab the number they need. But I’ve worked this volunteer job enough times to know the most common group numbers—like a couple who will ask for two chairs or a family who will ask for four. So l try to stack the chairs in easy-to-grab groupings, neatly arranged in rows, that makes the process a lot easier and faster. I also like to put out the nicest chairs in front so early birds get a benefit. 

How do you spend your time when you’re not helping out Cal Shakes? In addition to volunteering with Cal Shakes, I volunteer as an usher with Cal Performances, which I actually learned about from another Cal Shakes volunteer. And before I graduated in May, I did a lot of tutoring with young kids. My favorite organizations are 826 Valencia, Reading Partners, and Stories to Go. 

When not volunteering, I can be found at my local used book store, the Friends Corner Book Shop. I love to hang out with my friends, discover new coffee shops in the Bay Area, and watch unhealthy amounts of televisionmy current favorites are Suits and Covert Affairs.

What’s one of your special talents? Speak any languages? Play any musical instruments or sports? I have a freakish talent for cleaning and organizing. Nothing makes me happier than to bring order to chaos, especially the chaos of people’s closets. I single-handedly cleaned and organized every closet, cabinet, drawer, and storage space in my dorm room, apartment, parent’s house, and grandmother’s house. I love to clear out clutterone of my favorite parts of the show Hoarders is when the cleaning crews throw out all the junk!      

If you could be a character in any play you’ve seen at Cal Shakes, who would it be and in which production? I would be Elvira from Noël Coward’s Blithe Spirit, which I saw last season at Cal Shakes. Not only was the play hilarious, but Elvira was super entertaining as the dead and vengeful first wife who comes back to haunt her husband and his second wife. Fortunately, I’m not the vengeful sort, but it might be fun to wreak a little harmless havoc on my friends’ lives.  

What’s one the most exciting things you’ve done this year? I saw Ira Glass at Cal Performances, and he just blew me away with his amazing storytelling skills. I honestly can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard.

Do you have any pets? I have a formerly fat cat named Chubby.

Tell us about your family. I have a big extended family in the Bay Area, with lots of aunts and uncles and cousins. I’m especially close to my maternal grandmother, who loves to cook and who has tried repeatedly, with a lot of love and more than a little frustration, to teach me. (We’re still working on making rice.)

Volunteers are a vital part of our Cal Shakes community. With over 1,000 volunteers, our volunteer corps represents a wide and diverse demographic. Our volunteers hail from throughout the Bay Area, San Francisco to Pleasant Hill, to across the state, from Grass Valley to Los Angeles. They are mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, coworkers and friends. Volunteering with California Shakespeare Theater can be a great opportunity to experience and learn new things, spend time with family and friends, earn high school credit, fulfill community service requirements, see great theater for free, and, most importantly, pay it forward in the spirit of volunteerism. There are many ways to lend a hand at Cal Shakes, and signing up is easy.

Interested in volunteering? Click here to register; once your application has been approved, you will be able to sign up for ushering dates and will be notified of other opportunities.

Share
Posted in Volunteer Spotlights | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment