#ThrowbackThursday: The Triangle Lab Wall at the Bruns

December 17, 2015

 Before they enter the Bruns amphitheater to watch one of Cal Shakes’ mainstage productions, we invite our audiences to interact with themes from the work on our Triangle Lab wall. Here is a look back at the exhibits from our 2015 season, and the stories our audiences had to share:

 For Twelfth Night, we invited audiences to consider ways, big or small, that they’ve been surprised by their capacity to love:

 “As a gay man, I never thought I could love unconditionally until I had kids. Thank you, Goddess!”

“I never thought I could love myself until I learned to embrace my flaws and forgive myself”

“I never thought I could love being difrent until I relised it’s all I’ve got” [sic]

“I never thought I could love after my divorce until I saw her in a mirror, dancing w/ me step for step!”

 For Life is a Dream, audiences voted for destiny or free will as the driving force shaping our lives (destiny beat free will four to one!):

 “Destiny due to genes – the rest we can choose (except for all the -isms out there)”

“my actions are my only true belongings”

“Destiny is romantic but I build my DREAM -SAF”

“‘LIFE IS LIKE A SONNET’ ‘freedom within a form'”

“The things that happen are random – the way I respond isn’t!”

“Because I’m a hopeful romantic.”

 The Triangle Lab wall for The Mystery of Irma Vep was built like a haunted house attraction, encouraging audience members to reach beyond it to feel “zombie brains” and other vaudeville horrors. We also asked audiences to suggest titles for the wall’s horror library, and their submissions ranged from the wildly imaginative to the terrifyingly everyday:

“If you ever find a trail of fruit loops…FOLLOW THEM!”

“night of th living pasta By Aiden” [sic]

“The Day the Adult Children Returned Home to Live! by Seymore Frustration”

“The Boy who cried and was reprimanded by his misogynistic Father by A. Feministe”

For King Lear, we invited audiences to examine their links to heritage and legacy—what we inherit from others, and what we hope to leave behind: 

 “I, Yousef, bequeath love, prayer and blessings to you and your family because everyone needs gratitude in their lives, prayer and an unconditional, loving heart.”

“I, Debbie Carter, bequeath my music to my students & my children because music should be played by many people, over & over again.”

“I inherited the word ‘strength’ from my mommy <3. That’s important to me because it was the morning of her last day on Earth. She gave me a bracelet with the word ‘strength’ on it as a good luck talisman before we headed to a casino she had a bad headache. It was a hemmohrage.” [sic]

“I inherited nothing and everything from my heritage. That’s important to me because you gotta be who are 100% but accept that you are everyone else at the same time. Oneness.” [sic]

On the Bruns stage, Cal Shakes shares stories with our community—and on the Triangle Lab wall, our community shares their stories with us. As valuable as it is for us to learn how audiences connect their diverse lives to the themes of each play, we most love that the wall helps these audiences connect to each other, right before they sit down together, gathered around a story.


Share Your Story for the Lear Family Stories Project

September 18, 2015  |  Rebecca Novick

 Our family is where we learn about love – for better or for worse.  King Lear demands that his daughters compete for land by telling him how much they love him and he sets a terrible tragedy in motion.  We want to know how love, legacy and loss have played a role in your life.  

 About the Lear Family Stories project:

The Triangle Lab is launching a community story-sharing project inspired by the deep examination of family love and its limitations in Shakespeare’s Lear. The Lear Family Stories project will invite a wide variety of participants to share how love, legacy and loss work in their family.

 We’ll begin by inviting audience members at Cal Shakes’s Fall 2015 production of Lear to share related stories.  Artists, staff and board members will also be invited to participate.  We will then expand past Cal Shakes’ core audience to invite stories from students at Civicorps (a job-training and alternative education program in Oakland) and Our Space (a community center for LGBTQ youth in Hayward).

 These stories – and the framework of Lear – will be the springboard for a new piece of theater to be performed in Spring 2016.  Lead artists (and Cal Shakes’ staff members) Rebecca Novick and Lisa Evans will work with selected participants from our story circles as well as professional actors to create the performance.  Stories will also be shared in a podcast format.

 How you can participate:

 1) Record a story in our booth at the Bruns on September 24th or 25th (open to the public) or on October 10th (at our Champion Donor event).  Click here to learn more about sharing a story, read our prompts, and sign up for a slot.

 2) Join our Cal Shakes story circle. We’ll be holding an evening story-sharing circle in January as part of phase 2 of the project. If you’re interested in attending, please contact Rebecca at rnovick (at) calshakes.org.

 3) Story circle participants may be invited to participate in the devising, rehearsal and performance of the play.  Learn more about this by attending our story circle.