We will expand the possible by exhilarating minds, igniting passion, and nourishing individuality.
We strive for everyone, regardless of age, circumstance, or background, to discover the relevance of theater in their lives by:
Making boldly imagined and deeply entertaining interpretations of Shakespeare and the classics;
Providing in-depth, far-reaching creative educational opportunities for diverse youth;
Developing new models that expand who participates in making theater, how they participate, and why.
Diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. Everyone has a voice, and we long to hear it.
Artistic Risk. We are at our most creative when we go beyond our comfort zone.
Learning. We love what we have yet to discover.
Financial health. Without it, nothing we do would be possible.
Environmental Responsibility. We strive to create, not to deplete or destroy.
Humor. We work best together when we laugh together.
Authenticity. If it isn’t real, it won’t connect.
A sense of home. We strive to create a place where everyone is safe, everyone is nurtured, everyone belongs, and everyone is always welcome.
Founded in 1974, Cal Shakes is an award-winning, nationally recognized regional theater now under the leadership of Artistic Director Jonathan Moscone and Managing Director Susie Falk. Through seasonal productions at our outdoor amphitheater, and in year-round school and community-based programs, Cal Shakes expands access to the arts and builds diverse ownership of our region's cultural vitality by fostering participatory approaches to the artistic process and arts education.
Over the last decade, our Main Stage productions-both new works and responses to Shakespeare and the classics-have earned a national reputation for their exhilarating artistry and boldness of imagination. We engage artists of the highest caliber from around the country to make the past present, reimagining the classics with a thrilling potency that provides a diversity of perspectives and aesthetics to an audience of more than 45,000 people annually.
Launched in 2003, our New Works/New Communities program brings disparate communities together to engage directly in the creation of new works of theater inspired by classic literature. Through this inclusive artistic process-one that extends community relationships beyond the life of each play-we hope to nourish a cultural ecosystem that authentically reflects the extraordinary diversity of Northern California.
Established in 2001, our Artistic Learning program is our primary vehicle for increasing access to arts education through in-depth opportunities that engage a broad cross-section of nearly 5,000 Bay Area youth annually. Through in-school residencies, Student Discovery Matinees, Summer Shakespeare Conservatories, and other endeavors, our program builds students' artistic, literacy, and social skills while cultivating their creative minds and voices.
Just as our Main Stage sits on priceless parkland, environmental stewardship is in Cal Shakes’ nature. We are committed to responsible scenic design and building practices that reuse and recycle materials; and our 2010 renovation created native plant habitats, bioswales, and other sustainable features.