We Are Cal Shakes

Helping sustain Cal Shakes through 2021 and beyond.

In 2020—a year like no other—we’ve focused on one particular aspect of our mission:

engaging with the contemporary moment.

With your help, we’ve navigated as a theater with no theater— supporting our artists, sharing our resources, and envisioning a better future for when we all can gather at the Bruns again.

We’ll be honest, it hasn’t been easy. Ticket sales normally cover 40% of our budget. That loss is profound. There are still so many unknowns and challenges ahead, that we need your help this season, more than ever, to make our shared vision possible. 

We believe if we lead with love, we will eventually return to that thing we love. With your gift today, you join us in this enduring belief. Are you in?

Did you know...

Despite the pandemic, social-distancing measures, and our cancelled season, Cal Shakes pivoted to continue to serve our community, our artists, our students, and our audience as we would in any other year. Things just looked a little different.

Fight Class on Zoom

Both our summer conservatory and in-classroom residencies moved online proving it’s possible to teach stage combat over Zoom! And we expanded to offer adult classes with Shakespeare In-Depth and Structural Design for the Stage. Our team is busy developing innovative programming for the Spring.

Outdoor movie theater

Though we couldn’t produce plays at the Bruns, we offered up the grounds as a resource for socially-distanced activities that followed all local safety protocols. From film premieres to virtual concerts, dance classes to Bar Mitzvahs, our beautiful space became much more than a theater. 

Cal Shakes Direct Address

Two weeks into shelter-in-place, we launched Cal Shakes Online—a digital platform designed to bring solace, conversation, and laughter to our community. Our most popular series, Direct Address, continues to examine the historical structures at the root of the racial inequality in our industry.

To support the artists and arts workers who lost their livelihoods this year, we offered sessions on financial management, provided micro-commissions, gathered in listening circles to learn how we might contribute, and adjusted our operations to meet what needs we could.

We continue to work with activists and community groups to use storytelling as a form of civic engagement and are eager to highlight Tatiana Chaterji who is finishing a curriculum for teaching artists with a lived connection to criminalization to lead theater-based work inside a carcel setting.

Cal Shakes remains a place where classic stories from all points of view have a home, a place where extraordinary artistry contributes to a more just society. As we look toward a brighter 2021, we look forward to welcoming you back to the Bruns and reconnecting after along time spent apart.

Looking for other ways to donate? From recurring gifts, gifts of stock, planned giving, and donor-advised funds (like Fidelity Charitable, Charles Schwab Charitable, or BY Mellon), there are lots of ways to show your support. Learn more and see if your company offers a matching gift program with one easy click!

Watch Our Video!

Play Video

Header photo from the 2019 Echoes concert at the Bruns; photo by Zhanara Baislova.

Scroll to Top