Ask Philippa: The Tempest edition

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly. Photo courtesy Philippa Kelly.

Power and authority, betrayal, injustice, what it means to be a parent, what it means to love and to relinquish: These are some of the themes threading through Shakespeare’s late masterpiece, The Tempest. Come see our All the Bay’s a Stage production, directed by Rebecca Novick and starring three of our Cal Shakes favorites as well as four new additions to our theater family. We welcome you to share your thoughts, just as we’ve been honored to share our stage.

I’d be delighted to answer any artistic or dramaturgy questions about what’s in store for this touring production of The Tempest, which will culminate in six public performances at the Oakland Museum of California. Curious about cast, themes, creative choices, or anything else? Ask Philippa! Please leave your questions in the comments, and I’ll be sure to respond.

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Dr. Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theater, is also a professor and author. Her 2010 book, The King and I, a meditation on Australian culture through the lens of King Lear, garnered international praise in its very personal examination of themes of abandonment, loss, and humor).

You can email Philippa at pkelly@calshakes.org, or post below to ask her a question.

The Tempest runs Fri-Sun from Nov. 13-22 at the Oakland Museum of California. To buy $20 tickets to these intimate public performances click here; or, call the Box Office at 510.548.9666.

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All the Bay’s a Stage Tour of The Tempest Takes the Bay Area by Storm

By Rebecca Novick

We’re deep in rehearsal for The Tempest, Cal Shakes’ upcoming All The Bay’s a Stage touring production (which I’m directing). With eight actors and one musician, plus a vanload of props and costumes, this show will tour to seven different community sites before playing to the general public at the Oakland Museum of California (OMCA) from November 13th to the 22nd.

Ariel (Amy Lizardo) atop a ship's mast in a rehearsal for The Tempest. Photo credit: Jamila Cobham.

Ariel (Amy Lizardo) atop a ship’s mast in a rehearsal for The Tempest. Photo credit: Jamila Cobham.

As we delve into the play and figure out how to make a storm from just a few instruments and props, and how to make magic with few tricks up our sleeves, we’re thinking hard about the audiences we’ll be playing for. We’re remembering the laughter and empathy we found as we performed for homeless clients of Berkeley Food and Housing Project last year and the deep knowledge of life’s challenges that gave SRO residents in San Francisco a window into the extremity of a Shakespeare play.

BFHP residents witnessing last year's tour of Twelfth Night. Photo credit: Callie Cullum.

BFHP residents witnessing last year’s tour of Twelfth Night. Photo credit: Callie Cullum.

And we’re surer than ever that these words and these stories can be meaningful to any audience, and that we learn more about these plays every time we invite more people to be part of the audience.

Ferdinand (Rafael Jordan) and Miranda (Tristan Cunningham) embrace in a sneak peek of The Tempest on the Cal Shakes Theater Stage at the Life is Living Festival. Photo credit: Sonjhai Meggette/Esoteric Images.

Ferdinand (Rafael Jordan) and Miranda (Tristan Cunningham) embrace in a sneak peek of The Tempest on the Cal Shakes Theater Stage at the Life is Living Festival. Photo credit: Sonjhai Meggette/Esoteric Images.

This year we are immensely grateful for the partnerships that will allow us to share The Tempest with a broader audience than we currently reach at the Bruns. We will be touring to Allen Temple Arms, a housing complex for low-income seniors in East Oakland; a hotel operated by DISH (Delivering Innovation in Supportive Housing), which permanently houses formerly homeless San Franciscans with serious health problems; Civicorps, a West Oakland high-school diploma and job training program for 18-26 year olds; the Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center in downtown Oakland; incarcerated women at the Federal Correctional Institute in Dublin; the Hacienda assistant living facility for low-income seniors in Martinez; and to homeless clients of Berkeley Food and Housing Project.

Tickets for The Tempest are on sale now for only $20! There are just six public performances at the OMCA so make sure to get your tickets before this ship has sailed!

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Our 2015 Bucket Brigade Raises More than $85,000!

The cast of Twelfth Night at curtain call. Photo by Jay Yamada.

The cast of Twelfth Night at curtain call. Photo by Jay Yamada.

If you’ve been to a Cal Shakes production, you know that audience members reach into their pockets at the end of each show and donate what they can to the Bucket Brigade. This year, our Bucket Brigade had record-setting results, with audiences contributing $86,358 to support Cal Shakes artistic and education programs! Board members and other donors contributed an additional $57,731 in matching gifts, along with $15,000 from McRoskey Mattress Company during the run of The Mystery of Irma Vep.

Thank you to all of you who contributed to the Bucket Brigade. Your support—whether $1, $20, or $200—makes a difference in the lives of so many who are touched by Cal Shakes’ work. We also want to give special recognition to the matching donors (below) who stepped forward with larger gifts to match the generosity of our audiences.

Didn’t get the chance to donate to the Bucket Brigade? You can still make a difference by making a donation here. Thank you!

2015 Bucket Brigade Matching Donors

Megan Barton & Brian Huse

Barbara & Rick Bennett

Jamie Buschbaum

Michael & Phyllis Cedars

Josh & Janet Cohen

Chapin Cole

Ellen & Joffa Dale

Joe Di Prisco & Patti James

Patrick Golden & Susan Overhauser

Maureen & Calvin Knight

Blake & Shelly Larkin

Drs. Hilary Lerner & Yuriria Lobato

Janet Magleby

Craig & Kathy Moody

Susan Morris & Kathy Morris

Nancy Olson

Shelly Osborne & Steve Tirrell

Noralee & Tom Rockwell

Jim & Nita Roethe

Michael & Virginia Ross

Claire, Dean, & Will Ruskin

Michele & John Ruskin

Maureen Shea & Allen Ergo

Jean Simpson

Sharon Simpson

Lawrence & Patty Siskind

Frank & Carey Starn

Alexandra & Peter Starr

Kate Stechschulte & David Cost

Betsy Streeter & Robert McFarlane

Mark Toney

Mark & Rosie Traylor

Buddy & Jodi Warner

Jay Yamada

 Plus our friends at:

Chevron

City National Bank

McRoskey Mattress Company

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Get to Know our new Artistic Director Eric Ting

Eric Ting helps plant a tree at the Bruns to commemorate his arrival at Cal Shakes.

Eric Ting helps plant a tree at the Bruns to commemorate his arrival at Cal Shakes.

From cold sesame noodles to The Taming of the Shrew Eric Ting talks about what he loves, what he’s intrigued by, and what he’s most looking forward to when he arrives in the Bay Area.

Where are you from?

I was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, raised in Morgantown, West Virginia. My father was a geologist. He passed away between my junior and senior years of high school, which is why I ended up staying in Morgantown for college; to stay and help my mom who ran a Chinese restaurant for about 23 years. When she retired from the restaurant she turned the whole building into an arts complex with a ceramics studio and walk-in kiln, and a cafe where they exhibit art. She’s been a real inspiration to me.

What are you most looking forward to experiencing in the Bay Area? Other than joining the Cal Shakes team of course!

I’m looking forward to taking my daughter [the four-month old Frankie] to the ocean for the first time.

How did you originally get into theater?

Through puppetry. I was a biochem major at West Virginia University with minors in women’s studies and creative writing. I decided for my last year in school that I would only take classes that I would never ever think to take, and puppetry was one of them. Then I fell in love with it. Joanne Siegrist who was head of the puppetry program there at the time introduced me to all of the design faculty, because I had a visual arts background—I was a sculptor and a painter when I was younger—I ended up getting involved in all these other aspects of theater. I designed the lights for Cloud 9 by Caryl Churchill and I was cast in a production of The Comedy of Errors that was directed by Harold Surratt, who is a graduate of A.C.T., and it just kept snowballing from there…

What is the directing accomplishment you’re most proud of?

I directed an adaptation of Macbeth at the Long Wharf that we called Macbeth 1969. It was controversial to say the least. At the time we were in the midst of bringing troops back from Iraq, and I was reading about PTSD and the experiences of soldiers coming home from the war, which Macbeth has all these allusions to. During our second workshop we brought a drama therapy group from a VA hospital to the theater and their responses to the reading… That was a very good moment.

What is your favorite Shakespeare play, and why?

I don’t know that I have a favorite Shakespeare play. I’m not coming here with a list of my top plays that I want to direct; I’m looking for plays that speak to who and where we are now. I love Richard II, Richard III, All’s Well. I love Midsummer. There’s a reason why it gets done all the time. It’s just really good. I’m super intrigued by The Taming of the Shrew. Partly because I don’t know how it lives in the moment today. It’s like throwing a gauntlet down for me when trying to understand how we would do a play like that when there is all this conversation around gender parity in this country. Is there a place for a play like this today? And how do we carve that place out for it? Oh, I love The Winter’s Tale. If there’s going to be something that defines my tenure here at Cal Shakes it will be the plays that I choose and the manner in which they speak vividly to the moment. I’m looking for ways to engage around these timeless works that simultaneously makes a case for: Why now? Why today? Why here?

If you were going to bring a picnic to Cal Shakes what would be in it?

It would have to be Chinese food! Cold sesame noodles, some steamed dumplings… There will definitely be some white rice. There might be some chicken curry… and maybe a Thai lime juice. So, not all Chinese. [laughs]

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Meet our Earl of Gloucester: Charles Shaw Robinson

During the run of King Lear (Sep. 16–Oct. 11) we will be posting interviews with the cast to help our audiences get to know the men and women behind some of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters. What was the first role they ever played? What is their pre-show ritual? To find out, keep reading! 

Charles Shaw Robinson as the Earl of Gloucester in King Lear. Photo by Jay Yamada.

Charles Shaw Robinson as the Earl of Gloucester in King Lear. Photo by Jay Yamada.

Charles Shaw Robinson’s “clarity of language and thought make you wish he were in every Shakespeare play,” wrote Chad Jones in this Theater Dogs review of King Lear. The Juilliard-trained actor is close to granting his wish, having played Iago in Othello, Benedick in Much Ado About Nothing, and Brutus in Julius Caesar here at Cal Shakes, plus the title roles in Hamlet at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Pericles at Center Stage. He also played an incarnation of Shakespeare himself called Shag in Equivocation at the Marin Theatre Company. Here, the superior Shakespearean actor talks about his favorite role he’s every played (It’s a Shakespeare character of course!) and how to get a seat on a busy BART ride…

Where are you from?

I’m a local boy. San Francisco.

What do you think your King Lear character’s best quality is? Worst?

Best: kindness. Worst: lack of insight.

Favorite line in King Lear:

‘Tis the time’s plague, when madmen lead the blind.

First experience at a play, or musical:

I saw my first professional play at A.C.T.

First acting gig:

I played the Troll in Three Billy Goats Gruff in first grade.

Favorite role you’ve ever played:

Iago

Favorite Shakespeare play:

Much Ado About Nothing

Do you have pets? If so, what are they?

Does a teenage son count?

What shows/movies/books/art have you seen/read lately that have really spoken to you?

The novel, Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel; and the Keith Haring exhibit at the de Young.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Eat dinner early, take a brief nap, read the play again.

What is your line memorization technique?

Mumble my lines aloud on BART—it always gets me a seat.

The one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget:

Anthony Hopkins in Equus on Broadway; or Fiona Shaw in Machinal at the National, London; or Janet McTeer in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House on Broadway.

King Lear runs through October 11. For tickets click here.

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Meet our Goneril: Arwen Anderson

During the run of King Lear (Sep. 16–Oct. 11) we will be posting interviews with the cast to help our audiences get to know the men and women behind some of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters. What was the first role they ever played? What is their pre-show ritual? To find out, keep reading! 

(l-r) Anthony Heald as King Lear, Arwen Anderson as Goneril, and El Beh as Regan in King Lear. Photo by Kevin Berne.

(l-r) Anthony Heald as King Lear, Arwen Anderson as Goneril, and El Beh as Regan in King Lear. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Arwen Anderson’s ice blue eyes pierce through to the back row of the Bruns when she gives evil orders like, “Pluck out his eyes,” as Lear’s vindictive elder daughter Goneril. Having played Lady Capulet in our 2013 production of Romeo and Juliet, Anderson has become almost as good at sending a chill through Cal Shakes as these early October nights, but the actress has a warmer side too. In that same production she deftly balanced Juliet’s misguided mom with the peacekeeper Benvolio and she earned rave reviews for her role as the devoted Julia in The Verona ProjectKing Lear director, Amanda Dehnert’s 2011 musical adaptation of The Two Gentlemen of Verona–where not only did Anderson sing, but she also played multiple instruments. Pretty good for a girl who literally got her start at the Bottom…

Where are you from?

I was born in Staten Island, NY; raised in Bucks County, PA; and have lived in San Francisco for almost 19 years now.

What do you think your King Lear character’s best quality is? Worst?

Goneril is super smart and well spoken. Alas, she is also entitled and power hungry and will do ANYthing she needs to do to get what she wants.

Favorite line in King Lear:

Right now, I don’t know about a favorite line in the play, but I am always caught by Lear’s line towards the end, after Cordelia has died: “Why should a dog, a horse, a rat have life and thou no breath at all?” I find it terribly sad and moving.

First experience at a play, or musical:

When I was five, I saw Annie on Broadway. I was hooked. I came home and told my parents I wanted to be an orphan.

First acting gig:

I was Bottom in Midsummer in fourth or fifth grade. I was tall for my age and this was the start of many years of being given boys’ roles. I was devastated. I wanted to wear a dress, not an ass head.

Favorite role you’ve ever played:

That’s easy. It was here [at Cal Shakes] as Julia in The Verona Project, which was also with Amanda Dehnert. No question. :) (Although, my runner up is Stella in Streetcar [Named Desire].)

Favorite Shakespeare play:

I don’t really do favorites, but I did recently see Cymbeline and found it very strange and intriguing.

Do you have pets? If so, what are they?

Oh yes: an old man cat named Gato and two parakeets named Motleys and Mugwump.

What shows/movies/books/art have you seen/read lately that have really spoken to you?

Ha! I wish I had something brilliant to say here, but I had a baby a year and a half ago, and quite frankly I wasn’t able to see, read, or watch much at all during that time. Although I did carve out time to read Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I loved it.  He has an imagination the size of an ocean and it’s always a huge treat to dip into it.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Breathing. Deep breathing.

What is your line memorization technique?

I just repeat them as often as I can. While walking, biking, on the BART… Over and over and over…

The one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget:

Again, it’s so hard to pick one. There is an amazing group out of Montreal called Les 7 doigts de la main. They do a blend of acrobatics/aerial and theater and they never disappoint. But about 10 years ago they toured a show called Rain and it was the most beautiful and joyful and simple and astonishing and heartfelt night I can remember in the theater.

King Lear runs through October 11. For tickets click here.

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Meet our Earl of Kent: Aldo Billingslea

During the run of King Lear (Sep. 16–Oct. 11) we will be posting interviews with the cast to help our audiences get to know the men and women behind some of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters. What was the first role they ever played? What is their pre-show ritual? To find out, keep reading! 

Aldo Billingslea as the Earl of Kent in King Lear. Photo by Jay Yamada.

Aldo Billingslea as the Earl of Kent in King Lear. Photo by Jay Yamada.

“Aldo Billingslea brings down the house with a tour de force delivery of old Kent’s cavalcade of insults,” wrote Robert Hurwitt in his San Francisco Chronicle review of King Lear. Before Billingslea brought down the Bruns as the Earl of Kent, Lear’s closest advisor who epically hands Goneril’s servant his behind, he entertained Cal Shakes’ audiences in a wide-range of roles including, Sweet Back and Joe in 2012’s Spunk, and Polixenes and the Bear in The Winter’s Tale and Lord Windermere in Lady Windermere’s Fan during our 2013 season. Offstage he is a Professor of Theatre Arts at Santa Clara University where he teaches acting, directs plays, and is Associate Provost for Diversity and Inclusion. Plus it appears he knows a thing or two about raising chickens…

Where are you from?

Born in San Bernadino; lived in Istanbul, Michigan, and got to Fort Worth, Texas by second grade.

What do you think your King Lear character’s best quality is? Worst?

Best: Loyalty

Worst: Lack of impulse control!

Favorite line in King Lear:

Calling someone an S.O.B.!

First experience at a play, or musical:

Third grade watching Hansel and Gretel as opera

First acting gig:

Pierre and the Lion in Carole King’s Really Rosie

Favorite role you’ve ever played:

Joseph Merrick in The Elephant Man

Favorite Shakespeare play:

Othello

Do you have pets? If so, what are they?

Beckwourth the 16 ½-year-old Lab/Chow mix; Ramon the turtle; Benjamin the cat; Rose, Daisy, Tulip, Buttercup, and Chrysanthemum the chickens.

What shows/movies/books/art have you seen/read lately that have really spoken to you?

The New Jim Crow [Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander]

What is your pre-show ritual?

Driving

What is your line memorization technique?

I read the other actor’s part. A lot.

The one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget:

Mark Rucker’s The Taming of the Shrew at South Coast Rep with Marco Barricelli.  Perfect, witty, sexy, Rat Pack, and everything rooted in the text.  I saw it three times and PAID TWICE!

King Lear runs through October 11. For tickets click here.

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Meet our Cordelia (who also plays the Fool): Kjerstine Rose Anderson

During the run of King Lear (Sep. 16–Oct. 11) we will be posting interviews with the cast to help our audiences get to know the men and women behind some of Shakespeare’s most tragic characters. What was the first role they ever played? What is their pre-show ritual? To find out, keep reading! 

Kjerstine Rose Anderson as the Fool in King Lear. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival-regular Kjerstine Rose Anderson begins our production of King Lear with a hauntingly beautiful rendition of “The rain it raineth every day” from Twelfth Night. This sentiment carries through her revelatory performance as both Lear’s youngest (and favorite) daughter Cordelia, and the lovingly pesky—imaginary?—Fool. In his Theater Dogs review Chad Jones wrote, “Anderson is terrific in both roles, crackling good chemistry with the marvelous Anthony Heald as Lear.” She makes her Cal Shakes debut in King Lear. With a performance like this, we hope she’ll be back every season!

Where are you from?

Seattle, Washington

What do you think your King Lear character’s best quality is? Worst?

Generosity. Pride.

Favorite line in King Lear:

“Sa, sa, sa, sa!”

First experience at a play, or musical:

I played Yum-Yum in The Mikado in seventh grade.

First acting gig:

An adaptation of Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier at Book-It Rep in Seattle.

Favorite role you’ve ever played:

Elinor in Sense & Sensibility

Favorite Shakespeare play:

Much Ado About Nothing (Ed. Note: Much Ado just happens to be our 2016 Season opener!)

Do you have any pets? If so, what are they?

Jupiter the cat

What shows/movies/books/art have you seen/read lately that have really spoken to you?

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

What is your pre-show ritual?

Coffee.

What is your line memorization technique?

Figure out what I mean…

The one performance you’ve seen that you’ll never forget:

Hamilton at the Public. BEST THING I HAVE EVER SEEN—EVERYONE SHOULD SEE IT. [Ed. note: Hamilton is currently playing on Broadway.]

King Lear runs through October 11. For tickets click here.

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Ask Philippa! Lear Stories Edition

 

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly. Photo courtesy Philippa Kelly.

King Lear is about an elderly king who makes a fatal, capricious decision that wreaks havoc on his country. But it is his family that is the focus of this play—his blood relatives and their husbands and servants, as well as the “family” of loyal servants who try to comfort him in his bewilderment, suffering and rage. They remind Lear of who he was and is (“your Majesty”). But the true meaning of their love goes deeper than titles and entitlements—they are willing to suffer with him, to give themselves over to the service of love.

We are all in some sense servants when we love: the king has never known this, but he comes to discover what love can mean. The place where we first learn about love—and about how to misunderstand or abuse it—is in our families, those places of intense, chaotic, misdirected feeling.

In The King and I I wrote my own personal account of family love, which sought to illuminate, via King Lear, how I saw my own family within the larger networks of Australian society. I looked to King Lear to tell me more about my family, and I looked to my family and my society to afford a deeper and richer understanding of King Lear.

King Lear invites us to think of our families within a frame bigger than ourselves; deeper than ourselves; more varied than our own personal experience.

Kjerstine Rose Anderson as Cordelia and Anthony Heald as Lear in Cal Shakes' production of King Lear. Photo by Kevin Berne.

Loss, abandonment, entitlement, authority—these issues are all fundamental to King Lear, and, 400 years later, this play still resonates deeply within families all over the world. We all come from some kind of “family”—some two people generated us, and they had their own lines of descent. We may experience our families as absent, loving, broken, supportive, ungrateful, or even, as Lear does, destructive—but all of these experiences constitute some kind of family connection.  I don’t pretend to have the answers to complex family dynamics (although, being a Lear scholar, I have many thoughts about them). But if you have a response to King Lear that evokes your own family relationships, here are four things you can do:

 

  1. Show up at the Bruns on the evening of September 24th (6-7pm) or 25th (6:30-7:30pm), or at the Champion donor event on October 10th. At any of these three events (or at all—our stories often shift as we tell them) you can record your family story with Cal Shakes’ Rebecca Novick and her Triangle Lab team. The Cal Shakes Triangle Lab is partnering with communities to make a moving document of “Lear family stories,” of which your story can be a vital part.
  2. Email your thoughts to Rebecca (rnovick@calshakes.org) if they feel, as a whole, too personal to be shared in public circulation. There will be an opportunity to work out with Rebecca and her team whether you feel that any part of your story is suitable for the community art-making project in written form. You are the artist; Cal Shakes is your artistic collaborator.
  3. Blog your thoughts here on Ask Philippa! to be shared on this forum.
  4. Avail yourself of the email address available below, in which case I will receive your story directly and will treat your thoughts as personal. I’ll be delighted simply to read and respond.
Learn more from Rebecca and her team and sign up for or the project here.

Dr. Philippa Kelly, Resident Dramaturg for the California Shakespeare Theater, is also a professor and author. Her 2010 book, The King and I, a meditation on Australian culture through the lens of King Lear, garnered international praise in its very personal examination of themes of abandonment, loss, and humor).

You can email Philippa at pkelly@calshakes.org, or post below to ask her a question or tell your family story.

Buy tickets for King Lear here; or, call the Box Office at 510.548.9666.

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Announcing our 2016 Season!

James Earl Jones and Mary Alice in the 1985 world premiere of Fences at Yale Rep.

2016 at Cal Shakes will be filled with sharp wit, “will they or won’t they” couples, tragic heroes, Pulitzer Prize-winning writers, New York Times-heralded directors, and plenty of excitement, with our new Artistic Director, Eric Ting, starting this fall. Ting will choose the fourth show—a Shakespeare play as is our tradition—which will be announced later this year. Below are the first three titles of our 2016 Season, selected by our former artistic director Jonathan Moscone. To ensure premium seating, big savings, and flexible dates, subscribe or renew your subscription here. Single tickets will be available this spring. Until then, check out our production of King Lear, which runs through October 11th.

Much Ado About Nothing

By William Shakespeare/ Directed by Jackson Gay / May 25–June 19

She’s a witty, independent woman and he’s a pompous, misogynistic man, making Beatrice and Benedick a match made in entertainment heaven. This dynamic duo at the center of Shakespeare’s sharpest comedy about the thin line between love and hate, has become the archetype for “will they or won’t they” couples. Jackson Gay, who has been named one of the “power players of off-Broadway,” by the New York Times, directs.

Fences

By August Wilson/ Directed by Raelle Myrick-Hodges/ July 6–July 31

This powerful drama about a middle-class family’s disillusion with the American dream marks two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner August Wilson’s Cal Shakes’ debut. Set in the 1950s, Troy Maxson is a charismatic former baseball player-turned-sanitation worker. With his solid paycheck and lessons in tough love, he is the de facto captain of his own house, but when an affair is exposed and his son lashes out, this tragic hero fights to keep his family together and his strong beliefs intact.

You Never Can Tell

By George Bernard Shaw /Directed by Lisa Peterson/August 10–September 4

Let the battle of the sexes begin, in George Bernard Shaw’s sharply witty take on marriage and the modern woman. Mrs. Clandon, a famed feminist author and lecturer, fled, with her three children, to the island of Madeira to escape her unhappy marriage. When they return to England 18 years later, she is accidentally reunited with her husband at a seaside resort, while her daughter, raised in her mother’s mirror image, fights against falling in love with a devoted dentist. What will happen? As a wise waiter continuously, and hilariously, observes, “You never can tell.”

Fourth Show, TBD

By William Shakespeare/September 14–October 9

The final play of the Main Stage season—written by Shakespeare as is our Cal Shakes’ tradition—will be announced by Artistic Director Designate Eric Ting at a later date.

Renew your subscription online now or call the Box Office at 510.548.9666, and you’ll receive a complimentary box of gourmet cookies from Holly Baking Company, which will be available for you to pickup at the Welcome Center when you visit the Bruns for your scheduled performance of King Lear. The Welcome Center will also have forms ready to fill out if you’d rather renew or subscribe in person.

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