We are very pleased to announce that we have successfully completed the first phase of our Building for the Future campaign. Under the leadership of campaign co-chairs Jim Roethe and Sharon Simpson, the campaign exceeded its original goal of $8.2 million by raising more than $8.7 million for improvements to the Bruns campus in the Siesta Valley of the East Bay hills between Berkeley and Orinda.
“When we began this project more than two years ago, we knew we were taking a bold step to ensure that Cal Shakes had a viable home for the future,” said campaign co-chair and former board president Jim Roethe. “The success of this campaign ensures that future generations will be able to experience and enjoy world-class theater in one of the most beautiful places imaginable.”
“We’d like to thank the Bay Area community for their generous support of this project, especially during the challenging economic times of the past few years”, said campaign co-chair Sharon Simpson. “Cal Shakes is a Bay Area treasure; our supporters were with us every step of the way to create a permanent, sustainable place for artists and audiences alike, and for that, we are deeply grateful.”
Cal Shakes Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone added, “This is a major achievement for a company of our size. And it is all due to the support of a loyal and loving community of individuals and foundations who believe in the work we do on stage, in classrooms, and in diverse communities throughout the Bay Area.”
Building for the Future transformed the Bruns campus with an emphasis on sustainability and ecological sensitivity. The renovations were designed by San Francisco-based Leddy Maytum Stacy Architects. Construction began in October of 2009, and opened to the public on June 3, 2010. The most notable feature of the improvements is the Sharon Simpson Center, a 7,850-square-foot patron and artist center topped by the Ellen & Joffa Dale Living Roof. The Center houses 23 new restrooms, a modernized café, and new theater store for patrons; greatly expanded dressing rooms and green room for the actors; a wardrobe room, and new offices and storage for house and production staff and volunteers. Among the many other improvements, are a re-grading and landscaping of the Bruns Amphitheater complex featuring native and drought-resistant plants; the creation of a spacious new Sue & George Bruns Plaza, shaded by a mini-grove of freshly-planted Chinese pistachio trees; the addition of the Carol Ann Read & Family Garden & Pathway; a wheelchair-accessible path between the plaza and the theater’s upper seating area; installation ofup-to-date electrical and other infrastructure throughout the complex to support future renovations to the amphitheater; and working capital to provide fiscal stability.
We officially launched Phase One of the campaign in September 2009; campaign committee members included co-chairs Jim Roethe and Sharon Simpson, Ellen Dale, Edward F. Del Beccaro, Susie Falk, David Goldsmith, Anne Grodin, Jonathan Moscone, and John Sears. A list of donors is available upon request.st.
For more information about Cal Shakes newly-renovated Bruns Amphitheater, check outthe Building for the Future website.