The California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) was founded in 1974 and produces four shows each summer at the 545-seat, outdoor Bruns Memorial Amphitheater in the hills between Berkeley and Orinda. CalShakes presents 100 performances each season before 45,000 fans from across the East Bay. The company, which operates on a $4,000,000 annual budget is one of the region’s leading mid-size theaters as evidenced by its regular haul of local awards and critical praise, moreover it pays top wages to local actors, directors and designers. With 30 years of Hewlett Foundation support the company has evolved from a strictly-Shakespeare season to include work by Chekhov, Wilde, and Beckett and has engaged celebrated local playwright Octavio Solis, and artists in Salinas to adapt John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven for the first premiere presentation in 2010. With renewed support CalShakes will be able to mitigate the loss of corporate support and reduced fee-for-service work in East Bay school districts due to the recession and continue to deepen its onsite and offsite arts education programming which in 2008 reached 13,000 students in 107 local schools.
About the Grantee
100 California Shakespeare Theater Way, Orinda, CA, 94563, United States
Grants to this Grantee
for general operating support
California Shakespeare Theater presents a four-show season at the outdoor Bruns Amphitheater and a variety of year-round programs in schools and community-based venues. In 2010, the organization completed construction of a new 7,500-square-foot facility that dramatically improves the experience of its more than 40,000 patrons and artists. Through a long-term partnership with Intersection for the Arts (a Hewlett Foundation grantee), California Shakespeare Theater is bringing a wide range of constituencies together to create new works inspired by classic literature. Renewed support would enable the company to continue producing its main stage season and directly connect under-served communities with the work of classic writers