A Day in the Life

Stephanie Ann Foster, one of our premiere teaching artists, reflects on a day at camp. Stephanie Ann has been involved with Cal Shakes Artistic Learning since 2014, working in schools, leading professional development workshops for our teaching artists and classroom teachers, and as Oakland’s Conservatory Coordinator in 2015 and 2016. Photos below: 2016 Oakland Conservatory, by Stephanie Ann Foster.


“How do we do this?” “TOGETHER!”

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Stephanie Ann Foster (and baby Quinn) with Oakland Conservatory kids, 2016.

The opening ritual of conservatory, our morning assembly, is audible all the way out to the street. We dance, we vote on creative ideas for costume days (Dr. Who, the students assure me, is quite the Shakespeare corollary). We redistribute dropped jackets and water bottles—the joyfully flung detritus of young actors who have put all their concentration into combat, improv, and the history class ghost stories that trickle out of Shakespeare’s plays when you poke at them with your (required) pencils.

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We come here to try on new selves, and to recognize the pieces of ourselves in others. We come here to break apart texts, and maybe our whole selves while we’re at it.

Then we rebuild.

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Together.

2017 Conservatories are on sale now. For more information and to register, click here. 

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Artistic Learning: Inside and Out

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20161121_105541Cal Shakes’ teaching artists not only teach to students around the Bay Area—they learn how to be better teachers themselves. We strive to create a team of teaching artists that are culturally competent and well equipped to encounter the populations of students we serve, we hold trainings around the following issues/topics:

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion
Teaching Children on the Autism Spectrum
Child Development and Psychology
Teaching Shakespeare to Elementary and early Middle School students
Teaching Shakespeare to upper Middle and High School students

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20161121_123850According to our teaching artists, the training:

“…really put into perspective a lot of tactics I had already been using in my teaching and helped show me the mechanics of the methods.”

“…[provided] learning techniques to create equitable classroom environments. Thank you for this training.”

“…[gave me] SO MUCH insight into the Autism Spectrum. The trainer made the content very accessible and hands on.”

“…provided a safe space in which to re-assess my teaching approaches. I really appreciate the excellent trainings.”

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We are so proud of our teaching artists’ continual dedication to expanding their knowledge and skills with kids in classrooms and in our Summer Conservatories! Artistic Learning professional development and mentorship programs are part of a two-year initiative funded by the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation.

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