Artistic Engagement

Cal Shakes Artistic Engagement invites more people to engage with theater in different ways. Our projects take performances to unusual places, support deep artist/community collaborations, and celebrate the artist in everyone.

We believe that through collaboration, artists and community members can lift up each other’s work: starting conversation, sharing stories, bridging difference, and activating deeper civic participation.

Civic Dialogues
Cal Shakes’ Civic Dialogue Series seeks to explore the intersections between theater and issues affecting our community. Each season we will explore topics related to our productions and organizational practices. For recaps of previous Civic Dialogues please see our blog posts:

Old Plays, New Faces: Representation in Classic Theater
Watch the archived livestream via Howlround

The Construction of Gender: Actualizing Women's Empowerment

Breaking the Binary: Building a Trans*/Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary Inclusive Theater
Watch the archived livestream via Howlround

The Artist-Investigator Program
The Artist-Investigator program asks artists to lead our investigation into what the performances of the future might look like and to help us discover what happens when the arts are more deeply integrated into community life. For recaps of our previous partnerships with Artist-Investigators, see our Artist-Investigator blog posts.

Community Tour
Our community tour brings Cal Shakes performances to community venues around the East Bay to build a theater that is accessible to everyone.


Our 2016 production of Othello reached almost 13,000 people at the Bruns before going on
to tour to 8 community sites throughout the Bay Area. See how the show translated to these
more intimate settings, and how tour audiences responded to the piece.




Cal Shakes’ Artistic Engagement programs are made possible with generous support from: