How many goodly creatures are there here!

Stage Management PIP Alex Kimmel offers a window into the Tempest rehearsal hall.

interns at Haight-Ashbury

Interns Katie, Jessica, Erin, and Alex at Haight-Ashbury.

I’m Alex and I’ve just completed my first week as an SM intern at Cal Shakes! Three cheers to Erin, Andrea, Katie, Jess, Kendall, and Jessica—all the other interns—for completing their successful first weeks!

And it has been such a fantastic first week. Just yesterday, we stumbled through all of Act I, and it looks fantastic. This comes as no surprise, but I am just overwhelmed by the talent and hard work everyone has thrown into this play. The play goes by quickly and is packed full of beautiful movement pieces, moving language, and lots and lots of charm and wit.

Since internships are about learning I thought I would use this blog to share the lessons I have learned at Cal Shakes so far.

Lesson 1: Cal Shakes folks are friendly folks! Smiling seems to be part of the dress code and everyone is extremely helpful (especially explaining how to properly use “Big Ricoh,” the printer).

Lesson 2: Percolators make weak coffee… I have yet to discover the ideal coffee- to-water ratio in a percolator, and for that I apologize to everyone who drinks the coffee I make. I’m working on it, and it’s getting better (I promise)!

Lesson 3: The nanosecond you take your eyes off the prompter’s script is the nanosecond that someone calls for line.

Lesson 4: Glitter is fun but it’s a bear to pick up. Folding the glitter makes it easier and faster to pick up (thanks, Corrie Bennett!).

Lesson 5: The universe—and Cal Shakes folks—are generous. If you mention that you are looking into buying a bike, someone may give you one for free (thanks again to Corrie!). That being said, the intern house would benefit from a vacuum …

Lesson 6: The songs in the play will get stuck in your head for three days straight. Singing Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer” is an effective if unpleasant way to get the songs of the play out of your head (Thanks Catherine Castellanos!)

Lesson 7: Actors are creative, witty people (see Lesson 6), and if you give them a prop of a roasted rabbit on a spit, they will do creative, witty things with it … primarily when they are on their breaks.

Lesson 8: Scamels are delicious if you know how to cook them correctly.

I hope you have found these lessons as valuable as I have; if there are any that you don’t understand, I hope you take it as incentive to come see The Tempest opening in just two short weeks! It’s going to be a magical show!

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Fare thee well, Cal Shakes!

By Marketing Intern Anna Kritikos

My last day as the Marketing Intern at California Shakespeare Theater is quite nearly here—I leave tomorrow. And I will be sad to go. This summer has been fun, and challenging—a fun challenge, you might say—learning about a whole new company and trying to figure out how I could serve it best as an intern. Nearly all of my time this summer was spent with Cal Shakes: I worked in the office during the weekdays and I was up at the Bruns Amphitheater about three evenings a week, working in the Theater Store. Given this chunky time commitment, it is kind of amazing to me that I never grew tired of Cal Shakes. Not even slightly weary, even though most of what I did this summer was live and breathe Cal Shakes. I was happy to invest so much of my time in this company. I think this is because a) I love theater, and it’s good fun to be around other people who love theater too, and b) because of the energy and passion and friendliness of all of the people who work here. When I told people that I worked in the office for the Marketing Department, they all assumed it was a stuffy, boring work environment. But it is actually a lovely, vibrant office, filled with funny people with buoyant personalities. And not only were they fun people to work with, they are all passionate and talented. So it was a pleasure learning from them and doing tasks for them when I could. And even though they are all so busy, all the time, they always took the time to answer whatever questions I had.

One thing I really appreciated about my supervisors, Marketing and PR Manager Marilyn Langbehn and Publications Manager Stefanie Kalem, is that they always welcomed me into their various meetings, and filled me in and answered whatever questions I may have had. It was really interesting to hear ideas being expressed and discussed, and then see them cultivated and carried out into tangible products, like with the various social media marketing campaigns and development campaigns.

Having the rehearsal hall a stone’s throw away from the office was also awesome. I was able to watch (and help a bit when I could) the photo shoots for the past three shows, and those were fascinating and a lot of fun. I loved observing the collaboration between the director, the actors, the photographer Kevin Berne, Artistic Director Jon Moscone, and Marilyn. The final product always looked magnificent.

Publicity photo for THE VERONA PROJECT, taken by Kevin Berne. (I was there when this was taken!)

Just being around this office, being a fly on the wall, and doing my intern duties—helping with press releases, research, the organizing of archival lofts and A/V closets, aiding the social marketing campaigns and the Cal Shakes blog and so on, has taught me a lot about marketing and office life in general. At the moment, I feel very satisfied with my stint as an intern, and how I have grown from this experience. Granted, I am no fortune teller, but I’m sure that in the future I will come to realize just how much I’ve learned, as I move onwards and look back on my experience here at ol’ Cal Shakes.

So, in conclusion, I am reporting an excellent experience as an intern/Theater Store employee for Cal Shakes. I have grown quite fond of this lovely company, and I will miss it dearly.

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A Teen Night to Remember

A group at THE VERONA PROJECT Teen Night enjoys pizza and soda.

By Marketing Intern Anna Kritikos

It was The Verona Project Teen Night last night in the beautiful Upper Grove at the Bruns Amphitheater. And good times were indeed had by all.

On the agenda for the evening: a dinner—a feast, shall we say—of  pizza and soda, a fun and engaging pre-show activity to introduce the students to The Verona Project, and a raffle drawing— the prize being a Verona Project T-shirt (which are quite comfortable, by the by).  The pizza arrived piping hot, courtesy of Classic Catering, and soon thereafter the students arrived. There were upward of 35 guests that attended the event, so it made for a lively crowd. They dug into the cheese pizza like nobody’s business, and they carried on and conversed with one another until Trish Tillman, the director of Cal Shakes’ Artistic Learning programs, hopped up on a picnic table and gave everyone the basic plot of The Verona Project. It was no dull summary—Trish had the kids cracking up.

Trish Tillman leading the group through a synopsis of THE VERONA PROJECT

Trish then led the kids through an activity that had them connecting to the more emotional concepts in the play. She posited questions such as: Have you ever been in love? Have you ever liked someone who didn’t like you back? (To which one cheeky kid yelled out, “Oh yeah! All the time!”) If they wished to answer “yes,” they would walk to a different picnic table. It was a good activity and the kids were definitely into it, laughing and running from picnic table to picnic table. ‘Twas a good, old-fashioned ,rowdy time.

Showtime was nearly upon us when Trish announced the next activity—the raffle drawing. As the crowd collectively held its breath, Marilyn Langbehn (Cal Shakes Marketing and PR Manager) announced the winner, and this lucky young man (pictured at right) emerged victorious. So, look out for this guy and his spankin’ new Verona Project T-Shirt.

In all, Teen Night was a top-quality event that was followed by an excellent performance of The Verona Project.

There will be another Teen Night on September 29 during The Taming of the Shrew. Buy tickets here

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