Volunteer Ushers Needed for Twelfth Night Performances at Intersection

Rami Margron as Orsino, Cindy Im as Viola/Cesario, and Maria Candelaria as Olivia in Cal Shakes and Intersection for the Arts’ coproduction of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Michelle Hensley; photo by Kevin Berne.

Rami Margron as Orsino, Cindy Im as Viola/Cesario, and Maria Candelaria as Olivia; photo by Kevin Berne.

Public performances for our all-female production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Michelle Hensleya coproduction with Intersection for the Artsbegin on Thursday, February 20, and we’re in need of volunteer ushers for all performances at Intersection, 925 Mission, Suite 109, San Francisco.

There is a lot of good information about Twelfth Night on our website. During your volunteer shift, we consider you part of the Cal Shakes extended staff. We ask that you act professionally, treating your volunteer shift as a job and a responsibility to be taken seriously. In return, you’ll get to see the full performance of Twelfth Night!

Interested? Contact Jamie Buschbaum at jbuschbaum@calshakes.org or call 510.548.3422 (email strongly preferred). Read on for more information.

We ask that our volunteers:

  • Be on time.
  • Be positive, helpful and friendly.
  • Be responsible

Here is some information on eligibility requirements for these shifts:

  • You must be 17 or older to usher alone
  • If you are between the ages of 13 and 17 you must come with a parent or guardian and they must usher with you.
  • You must be able to walk and climb a few stairs to get into the venue.
  • You must be comfortable standing for long periods of time.

Dress Code: All volunteers are asked to wear comfortable, sturdy clothing and shoes. Please wear appropriate black. Clothes should be casual and comfortable, but tidy. No open-heeled shoes allowed.

Call Time and Training: Please arrive at the theater at your report time, ready to work. When you arrive, please let the box office associate know you are an usher. Cal Shakes depends on your being on time to your ushering shift. If you are more than 10 minutes late, you will not be permitted to usher and it will count as a no-show. After two no-shows, you will not be allowed to return as an usher. You will be trained in your duties for the night by the box office associate or their designated substitute. Please consult with any staffer if you have any questions or encounter a situation you cannot handle.

Before, During and After the Performance: After checking in, you will go through a brief orientation with the box office associate and assigned to a position. Please do the job asked of you until the curtain speech begins. While ushering, please do not eat, drink or chew gum.Please leave any valuables at home.

General Policies:

  • All shifts must be scheduled in advance. Please do not show up unannounced.>
  • A volunteer usher who drinks, or leaves without cleaning up at the end of the performance will not be allowed to return.
  • Cal Shakes reserves the right to turn away any volunteer usher.

Interested? Contact Jamie Buschbaum at jbuschbaum@calshakes.org or call 510.548.3422 (email strongly preferred).

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

Talking About Love

Marketing intern Natalie Sanchez reports back from rehearsals for Twelfth Night.

Love is a complicated thing: how our bodies and minds process it, how we become brave enough to begin to verbalize it, how we share it with the world, how we fight for it. But have you ever fallen in love with someone who only saw you as a friend? And—to make things worse—that friend trusted you so much that they would confess to you their love for another person? They might even be so desperate as to ask you to help them convince their beloved to be with them.

Rami Margron as Orsino, Cindy Im as Viola/Cesario, and Maria Candelaria as Olivia in Cal Shakes and Intersection for the Arts’ coproduction of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, directed by Michelle Hensley; photo by Kevin Berne.

Rami Margron as Orsino, Cindy Im as Viola/Cesario, and Maria Candelaria as Olivia; photo by Kevin Berne.

Rehearsals for Cal Shakes and Intersection for the Arts’ coproduction of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (performing at Intersection February 2—March 2) are happening right now, and many of these questions arise as the actors begin to embody the characters. What could be going on in the head of Viola (Cindy Im) when she is asked by her own beloved, Duke Orsino (Rami Margron), to chase after his love, Olivia (Maria Candelaria)? Why does she agree? And how can these feelings become manifested in one scene, as full of emotions as the first encounter of two women who have such different intentions? I got to watch members of the ensemble work through some of these challenges when I sat in on rehearsals for Act I, scene 5 late last week.

Viola is persistent when passing as Cesario, promising to sleep outside until Lady Olivia lets him in, which she ultimately does, slowly and unintentionally inviting him to her life. “Bring me my veil,” she says to her gentlewoman, having her stand next to her, showing that her guard is up. But she eventually removes the veil, and the unveiling carries meaning to both characters: For Olivia, this is a moment of letting Viola/Cesario in, although, when she shows herself, she turns her face with her hand, asking, with a stern look, “Is it not well done?” For Viola, this is the first time that she gets to look at the face of her rival; in rehearsing this moment, director Michelle Hensley asks Cindy (who plays Viola) to be honest and really say that she is beautiful.

The director states that, among the many feelings that could be going on in her head, Viola might be curious to know why Olivia does not love the Duke.

“For Orsino loves you with adorations, fertile tears, / With groans that thunder love, with sighs of fire” says Viola. “Where does that come from?” asks the director. Possibly from the Duke, Cindy responds. Or it could be talking more about the feelings she has for the Duke. Curious to know more, Maria Candelaria (playing Olivia) makes the character choice to sit on a nearby stool as she backs up: With her body language, she says “it isn’t easy to reject you.”

When the director stops the scene to ask how they are feeling, Cindy shares her thoughts about the moment: “As a man, Viola gets to speak more candidly that she would as a woman.” Meanwhile, Olivia is enchanted, noticing the vulnerability in the way Viola speaks to her of Orsino’s love for her. Maria says, “Even when she is mad at me it is beautiful.” Michelle questions her further: “Why do you tip him?” Maria answers: “It’s courtesy.” As she thinks about it a little more, she says, “She is also trying to keep it together and process what she is feeling. Maybe she is trying to reinstate the social norms.” “But she keeps talking,” Michelle counters. If Olivia wanted Viola/Cesario to leave, she would have let him leave. After Viola leaves, when Olivia talks about what she is feeling, the director says, “Talk to them (the audience). They are here to process this with you.”

Who are you rooting for in this love triangle? Come prepared to help these characters unravel their emotions next month! Information on the cast, the production, and how to buy tickets—all costing $20—can be found here.

 

Share
Posted in 40th Anniversary, Professional Immersion Program, Triangle Lab, Twelfth Night | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s our 40th anniversary: Tell us a story.

The Tempest at John Hinkel 1980

Jane Macfie as Ariel and Julian Lopez-Morillas as Prospero in THE TEMPEST at John Hinkel Park, 1980

As you may have heard or seen us mention, 2014 is our 40th anniversary season. Yes, we’ve come a long way since our first show, of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on May 10, 1974 at the Unitarian Fellowship Hall in Berkeley. For one thing, we’ve had a lot of names: Emeryville Shakespeare Company (which is what we were called for that production of Midsummer, at least), Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Festival, California Shakespeare Theater/Cal Shakes, and probably a couple more in between. For another, we’ve performed a lot of places: the Unitarian Hall, John  Hinkel Park, our current Bruns Amphitheater, and now—for the special production of Twelfth Night coming together in our rehearsal hall as I type this—at the intimate performance space of our co-presenters, Intersection for the Arts.

Howard Swain as Puck and Dan Hiatt as Bottom in MIDSUMMER

Howard Swain as Puck and Dan Hiatt as Bottom in MIDSUMMER, the first production at the Bruns, 1991; photo by David Allen.

Did I forget some names and locations? If so, I’m hoping someone will let me know. Because there are scores of folks who have been with us, if not from the very beginning, then at least for decades. Nancy Carlin, for example, was in As You Like It and A Midsummer Night’s Dream our first summer in John Hinkel Park, 1975; and she’s portraying Malvolio and Valentine in Twelfth Night next month! There are patrons who had first dates at John Hinkel, and whose children or grandchildren now attend our Summer Shakespeare Conservatories. There are generations for whom an evening or afternoon at the Bruns is a family tradition. There are actors, staff, and volunteers who have been with us for 20 or more years. Are you one of them? Because we would love to hear from you. As the year unfurls, we’ll be rolling out new initiatives, celebrating special events, and publishing historical articles in our Main Stage show programs—all honoring our decades of history, and the bright future yet to come. And we want to hear your story.

Did you meet your lifelong best friend in one of our youth programs? Were you at that first performance, in the audience or backstage? Do you remember John Hinkel Park fondly? Have you been subscribing since the Bruns opened in 1991? Have you seen every production we’ve ever done?We’re hoping to collect your stories throughout the year, for a variety of uses. If you have one, you can share it in nearly as many ways as there are Shakespeare plays:

We’re really looking forward to hearing from you, and to honoring our four decades with you all year long.

Share
Posted in 40th Anniversary, By Stefanie Kalem, Main Stage, Twelfth Night | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Ask Philippa: 2014 Pre-season Edition

Philippa Kelly, resident dramaturg for Cal Shakes, invites your questions about our 2014 season, which begins May 21. Subscriptions on sale now.

Headshot of Philippa Kelly

Resident Dramaturg Philippa Kelly. Photo by Richard Friedman.

2014 brings a very exciting season for many reasons—not the least of which is that it’s Cal Shakes’ 40th anniversary.

First up is Lorraine Hansberry’s iconic A Raisin in the Sun, directed by Patricia McGregor, who first joined us at the Bruns last in 2012 with her magnificent Spunk. A Raisin in the Sun offers a stunning portrait of a black family’s experience in racially divided Chicago, injecting domestic and racial tension into 1950s self-portraits of the post-war American Dream. Raisin made Hansberry the youngest playwright, the fifth woman, and the only black writer ever to win the New York Critics’ Circle award. (The play also inspired the Pulitzer Prize-winning Clybourne Park, written 60 years later and directed by our own Jonathan Moscone in an award-winning production at A.C.T. in 2011). Next is Shakespeare’s early play The Comedy of Errors, directed by Aaron Posner, a comic take on mistaken identity that offers a brilliant look at the dark side of Shakespeare as well as the light—loss, isolation, family reunion, and redemption. Third in our season director Moscone brings us Pygmalion, often seen as George Bernard Shaw’s most enduringly important play, a savagely ironic critique of the British class system. (This play, too, made such a social impact that it gave birth, 44 years later, to another masterpiece, the musical My Fair Lady.) Lastly is A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Shakespeare play most often described as “perfect” in its exploration of love that opens out, concertina-like, from an early threat of punishment and even death. Buoyed by perhaps the most beautifully poetic language of Shakespeare’s entire career, director Shana Cooper will take us into the “green world” of the forest—will the lovers emerge from the forest different, or more truly themselves?

Look out, too, for my free, off-season session, Reprises and Rehearsals, a look at how the plays of the 2013 and 2014 seasons connect to different works and themes in their authors’ lives. Date TBD. In the meantime, post any question or observation you like right now (and into the early spring) and I will post an answer as quickly as possible—often within 24 hours.

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.

Share
Posted in Ask Philippa, By Philippa Kelly (dramaturg) | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 24 Comments

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

Artist-Investigator Susie Lundy’s Sky Burial

Artist-Investigator, Susie Lundy, took photos of her project, Sky Burial, a publicly installed, community-processional project composed of 131 hand-crafted, mixed-media wings exhibited throughout Oakland at each homicide site, commemorating individual murder victims of 2012. See them below:


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Photos by Susie Lundy

Share
Posted in Artist-Investigator Project | Tagged | Leave a 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