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.

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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.
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“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.

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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

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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.

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A Winter’s Tale Chalkboards

During A Winter’s Tale, we asked audience members “What Heals Us” on the Triangle Lab Wall, here are some responses:


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KALW Interview with Rebeka Rodriguez about Califas

The final phase of the Califas Festival has begun–Alleluia, the Road runs at Intersection for the Arts through November 17. Listen to a KALW interview with Intersection’s Program Director, Rebeka Rodriguez about the Califas Festival below: 

Artery: Califas Festival brings diverse stories of California to light
By Jen Chien
California has been called the most diverse state in the country. People come from across the world to make their homes here. People of color now make up about 60% of the state’s population, and 112 languages are spoken in the Bay Area alone.

The Califas Festival — which runs through November 17 — is a multidisciplinary arts celebration that seeks to tell some of the stories of this multifaceted state of ours. The festival presents both professional and non-professional artists, and is put on by the Triangle Lab, a collaboration between Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco and California Shakespeare Theater in Orinda. KALW’s Hana Baba sat down with Rebeka Rodriguez of Intersection for the Arts to find out more.

Click here to listen on KALW’s page

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Racial Equity Training Session with Tammy Johnson

Calling all teaching artists and community activists! The Triangle Lab invites you to participate in a FREE Racial Equity training session with Tammy Johnson, a dancer, writer, and equity consultant living in Oakland, California. Whether you are interested in teaching racially equitable frameworks or looking to engage racial justice in your work with communities of color—this workshop will open doors to all of this and more.

This Racial Equity training session aims to create a shared understanding about the principles behind and application of a racially equitable framework. The workshop will focus on identifying and defining different levels of racism, understanding racial justice as a vehicle for equity, and facilitating a discussion on the application of these ideas. This workshop is appropriate for artists at any stage in your exploration and understanding of these issues and important for anyone working in our diverse region.

This workshop will be held on Monday, November 18 at Intersection for the Arts, 925 Mission St, SF from 2-5pm

Register HERE now, while spots are still available!

Tammy Johnson is a dancer, writer, and equity consultant living in Oakland, California. Johnson cut her teeth directing electoral and issue campaigns in Milwaukee, Wisconsin around living wage ordinances, public education, and welfare and electoral reform. She spent a decade advancing racial equity as a trainer, writer and public speaker at the Applied Research Center (ARC), where she gained recognition for her knowledge of equitable public policy practices. At ARC she coproduced Race and Economic Recovery with Linktv and ARC’s Word video blog series. Johnson has written for many media outlets, including the Christian Science MonitorThe Huffington Post, and ColorLines.com. As co-director of the award winning bellydance duo Raks Africa, Johnson manages the Girls Raks Bellydance and Body Image youth program and local productions.

TMJ Abundance Consulting was developed to inspire individuals and organizations to embrace the value of equity by meeting the needs of diverse communities and rejecting ideologies of scarcity that divide us. The goal is to enable individuals and groups to develop transformational relationships and efforts that are intentional about dismantling structures and norms that disempower us, and to work toward creating what Reverend Martin Luther King called, “the beloved community.”

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A Winter’s Tale–Cabinet of Memories

For A Winter’s Tale, the Triangle Lab Wall features a cabinet of objects that we are asking patrons to explore and share memories that are evoked by them. Read some of people’s memories below:


Perfume Bottle
“Victorian”

“Mother”

“I thought immediately of perfume. My grandmother used to have larger versions of this object, and I would hang out in her ‘fancy’ bathroom and try all the different perfumes out of the beautiful bottles”

“Mom”

“Old people”

“I’m reminded of my grandmother who was born in Ireland. She came to the United States when she was 3, but remembers seeing the Satue of Liberty as they arrived in New York”

“Vanity”

“Ooo…shiny”

“Grandma sitting at her vanity table fixing her hair”


Wooden Top
“My mother has/had two of these. We were not permitted to play with. However—we have them now and let our grandkids touch them ☺”

“The dark chocolate ice cream bar was delicious so far. Still some to go.—like life!”

“Reminds me of trying to teach grandkids how to spin”

“I think it’s just an old fashioned top. Big woop!”

“Looks like an acorn”

“Makes me think of all the Christian kids playing dredil at our Hanuka party”

“5 year old me went to a business convention with my father—the first of its kind in Vietnam after 1975—My dad was the inventor of these new styles of bookcases and furnitures that used parts that looked just like this object. Nobody really bought this stuff. We ended up with a lot of bookcases and furnitures of his design ☺”

“Once upon a time their was a snail named Bob”

“I believe it’s a dreidle. I have no memory of ever playing with one. I once bought a small one for my son because all of his friends were celebrating Channukah”

“The top reminds me about something completely different—my trip to the Louisville Slugger Bat Factory and museum in Louisville, KY in 2012. I can’t get the image of the bats being turned on a lahte and the smell of fresh wood chips on the floor.”

“I remember when the nice lady at the table next to ours came over with this wicker basket full of cards and a wooden, acorn-shaped top and asked us to write about a memory associated with this object. ☺”

“Age seven, there was a restaurant in San Leandro that was a buffet about 1973. They gave wood tops away to chilren for eating there. I remember my grandfather giving me tops from this place. He was cheap.”

“The sound of rocks tumbling on St Mary’s beach in Newfoundland 2004”

“The top reminds me of my trip to visit family in the Açores when I was 7 (1984). My Tio Francisco gave me two tops that he had made. One had been finely shaped with tools to maximize the spin. The other had been roughly carved with a knife—basically a square plannted on a pyramid. Both are displayed on a bookshelf in my living room today.”

“Rarity, ancient, prized, valuable, sentimental, functional, aged, filled with finger prints, wood, acorn, support, structure, charcoal, burnt, smoked, scratched, chipped, peek-a-boo, barrel, dusty, hand-filled”

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A Winter’s Tale–Cabinet of Memories

For A Winter’s Tale, the Triangle Lab Wall features a cabinet of objects that we are asking patrons to explore and share memories that are evoked by them. Read some of people’s memories below:

Broken Watch Piece
“I think about all the watches I’ve worn and lost generally made pretty cheaply and purchased at the drug store. This one looks like it was really built to last”

“Railroad pocket watch. Taking a trip. Train whistle. Pulling away from the station.”

“There is a book called the Clockwork Angel that I read with friends in high school”

“Reminds me of the pocket watch my uncle gifted me 35 years ago on my 1st visit to California”

“A Star Trek communicator from the Next Gen series…WEIRD, I KNOW”

“A computer part used in a home on Atlantis”


Clapper Toy
“Disneyland and its ice cream. The ice cream was in shapes of, Mickey, Cinderella’s carraige, and Goofy. The one it reminds me of the most is the glove shape one”

“This is the sound of one red hand clapping”

“One must be able to clap politely, even outdoors”

“Headaches”


Ball on a String
“6 year old visiting the elderly neighbors, learning to play jacks and marbles and ball in a cup—happy”

“Attachment”

“Smooth curves amid the smell of wood. ball to balance if I could”

“When I was a child I had a solobat”

“Playing with my Alaskan bear, Opal”

“1st time to watch Fiddler on the Roof”

“Childhood→accidentally whacking another kid in the head. Tears”

“Stores in Chinatown”

“My Swedish nanny”

“Failure”

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