California Shakespeare Theater

Location: 
Berkeley, CA


Founded in 1974, and now under the artistic leadership of Obie Award-winning director Eric Ting, Cal Shakes takes its inspiration from Shakespeare, who wrote for genuinely diverse audiences, and whose works embrace the full scope of humanity. In our productions of Shakespeare’s work and other classic texts we feature adventurous artists recognized locally and nationally for their work to stage forward-looking productions that reclaim the relevance of these plays for our cultural moment. Our 2016 season opens with Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, adapted by Kenneth Lin and Jackson Gay, with additional text by Kenneth Lin and directed by Jackson Gay. Next up will be Raelle Myrick-Hodges directing August Wilson’s Fences, followed by You Never Can Tell, By George Bernard Shaw, directed by Lisa Peterson. The final play of the 2016 season—and the focus of our 2016 Student Discovery program—is Shakespeare’s Othello, directed by Artistic Director Eric Ting making his directorial debut at Cal Shakes. Following its main stage run we will re-stage the production for our third annual All the Bay’s a Stage tour to community settings such as homeless shelters and prisons, and into schools and communities with little access to theater. Cal Shakes’ Student Discovery program will present four matinees of Othello, and engage thousands of students in multifaceted programming at our theater and in classrooms. Two-thirds of participating students, and all chaperones, attend for free; with many also receiving subsidized travel to and from our gorgeous outdoor Theater. Student Discovery complements Cal Shakes’ residency program, which places theater teaching artists in East Bay schools, and our summer Shakespeare Conservatory program. Cal Shakes is a founding member of Theater Communications Group’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Institute, a prominent national voice for equitable theater-making, and is one of two theaters state-wide in the originating cohort of the Irvine Foundation’s New California Arts Fund, created to advance the capacity of California arts institutions to engage communities of color and low-income communities.

California Shakespeare Theater will present student matinees of Othello directed by Artistic Director Eric Ting, as part of the Student Discovery program. The company will provide related educational activities, including workshops, post-show discussions, and a study guide. They anticipate reaching 34 schools located in California.