"I love the setting, the art, the whole experience." —Cal Shakes enthusiast.


The Taming of the Shrew
Student Discovery Matinee Video by Kyle Garrett.

The Cal Shakes Student Discovery Matinee Series presents select Main Stage productions for student audiences. A day of performance at Cal Shakes includes an informative Teacher’s Guide, a lively pre-performance interactive engagement at the theater, and a post-show Q&A session with the actors—all included in the price of a ticket. Our fun, educational pre- and post-show classroom visits by highly trained Teaching Artists are available at a very reasonable additional charge, and help contextualize the play and prepare students to more deeply engage in the production.

“Cal Shakes always provides such a welcoming and engaging experience for our students. Their generosity allows us to bring Shakespeare into the lives of our urban students, making it accessible for learners of all abilities and interests.”
—Ashley Varady, sixth-grade reading teacher at KIPP San Francisco Bay Academy

Thank you to the Fruit Guys for donating fruit to feed over 2000 students
during our 2015 Student Discovery Matinees!

  • Student Matinee
  • Info For
  • Pre- & Post-Show
  • Funders
  • FAQ

Cal Shakes is pleased to announce dates for our 2016 Student Discovery Matinee Series. Our 2015 dates sold out quickly—book now before it’s too late!

2016 Student Discovery Matinee Series Dates:
* Much Ado About Nothing June 1, 3 —On sale now!
* Fourth Show, TBD September 28, 30 & October 5, 7 —On sale in January 2016.

Performances begin with a pre-show presentation starting at 10:45am.

To book tickets, please fill out the following form: http://goo.gl/forms/8bCkGISSmy

California Shakespeare Theater prides itself on presenting exciting and engaging stories in which the classics are often reimagined to relate to modern life. Frequently we address subjects that might challenge younger members of our audiences, and we encourage you to take on the role of deciding for yourself, with your student(s), how much you wish to engage in plays that might bring up things you feel sensitively or strongly about. In Shakespeare, violent acts and passionate love are frequently depicted, and he deeply explores questions of identity in both comedy and tragedy. In this we find rich ground for how people engage in today's world. We know these stories reflect everyone's struggles with individuality and the greater world, and that is what we wish to share with our audiences. Our only agenda is to share what we see around us, and interpreting through our art the human struggle in which we are all engaged.

We require that student groups be accompanied by adult chaperones at a ratio of one chaperone for every 10 students. Fee based chaperone tickets will be $15 at a ratio of one chaperone to every 10 students. Additional adult tickets are $25.

Welcome to the California Shakespeare Theater! We have an incredible show planned for you, and we hope you are looking forward to the experience as much as we are. In order to ensure that you and your students have a safe and enjoyable day, please review the following rules and share them with your students. We rely on our teachers/chaperones to do the majority of the supervision while at the theater. Please note that we expect you to arrive at the theater with 1 chaperone for every 10 students. Should a problem arise with a student at any point during the day, we will ask the student to sit outside the theater with a chaperone until the conclusion of the performance. Please make every effort to see that students are attentive and respectful to the theater, the grounds, the actors, and our staff. Thanks so much, and we’ll see you soon!

Please note: Performances generally run approximately two hours and 30 minutes minutes (including one 10-minute intermission) and are followed by a 15-minute Question-and-Answer period. Please contact learn@calshakes.org to inquire about run times for the performance you are attending.

Some other things to keep in mind:

* You are about to visit an outdoor theater. As we all know, weather in the Bay Area can be quite unpredictable. Please urge your students to prepare for both hot and cold weather: jackets, sunscreen, hats, and plenty of water to drink. Bug spray is a good idea too!

* Upon arrival, your group will be escorted from the parking lot by Cal Shakes Staff and Volunteers, who will lead you to one of our beautiful eucalyptus groves to wait until we’re ready to lead you into the theater.
* Please remain in your grove until your group is called to be seated.

* Please have your students stand next to the person they want to sit with, and/or away from people who might distract them.
* Ushers will lead your group into the theater.
* Once your students are seated, they cannot change seats as it disrupts the flow of traffic.
* Chaperones: we ask that you spread yourselves out amongst your students to supervise them during the show.
* Please stay in your seats, even if there are empty seats available—moving during the show is disruptive to the actors, and there may be other people assigned to those seats.

* Once the performance has begun, students and chaperones may only leave the theater in the case of emergency. Please use the restroom before the show, after or at intermission.
* Students may not leave the theater during the performance unless accompanied by a chaperone. An usher will let you back in at an appropriate time in the play.
* Aisles must be kept clear because they are used by the actors.

* Photography and video are prohibited, including cell phone pictures and footage.
* Electronics (cell phones, gaming devices, etc) may not be used during the performance, out of respect for the actors.
* Phones and electronics being used during the performance will be confiscated.

* There will be concessions available at intermission. Because of limited time and the large number of attendees, we strongly encourage your students to pack lunch and snacks for the day. Please encourage your students to bring cash.
* You may eat in the theater, but please unwrap noisy wrappers ahead of time. Gum and other messy foods are discouraged.
* Please have your students take all trash & recyclables with them when you leave. There are bins in the lobby.
* Water fountains are in the main lobby and behind the theater near the technical control booth.

* Smoking is not allowed. Fire danger at our site is very high. Anyone smoking will be asked to leave the theater.
* Our theatre is surrounded by a wilderness area, complete with poison oak, bees and other critters. Please stay within designated areas: the theater, lobby, groves/picnic areas and paths.
* Please use the footpath to travel from the parking lot to the theatre and back. For your safety, please stay off the road to make way for cars and the BART shuttle.

Get your students prepared for and enthusiastic about seeing the show!  Our highly-trained Cal Shakes Teaching Artists visit your classroom to provide a dynamic and exciting session to teach students the themes and plot of the play, familiarize them with the language and our production, and help them gain an understanding of the relevancy of the story to their modern lives. Call Artistic Learning Programs Manager Beverly Sotelo, 510-809-3293 or bsotelo@calshakes.org to learn more about how to take advantage of this great opportunity. 

California Shakespeare Theater's Student Discovery program for Twelfth Night is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Other Student Discovery underwriters include: Dodge & Cox, the Walter & Elise Haas Fund, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation, the Thomas J. Long Foundation, the MCJ Amelior Foundation, and the Ida and William Rosenthal Foundation.


To book tickets, please fill out the following form: http://goo.gl/forms/8bCkGISSmy

Student Matinee FAQs

How many chaperones am I required to bring? Do they have to pay?
Cal Shakes requires there be one chaperone for every 10 students you are bringing to the theater.

What time does my group need to arrive at the theater?
We ask that groups arrive at the theater between 9:30am and 10am. If onsite activities are happening on the day you are attending and you would like your students to participate, please arrive at 9:30am to allow time for your students to participate in the activities.

How do the students eat while at the theater?
Students are allowed to eat during the show if they wish. There is also a 15-minute intermission in which they may eat or purchase a snack from our café. Because the intermission is only 15 minutes and the café lines are usually long we recommend that students do not rely on purchasing food by bringing a lunch or snacks with them.

What type of weather should we prepare for?
The weather is never certain at the Bruns Amphitheater. It is usually chilly in the mornings and warmer in the afternoons. We recommend that you dress in layers that are easily removed. Sunscreen, water bottles, sweatshirts, and blankets are always a good idea.

What is the timeline for the day?
9:30-10:20am – Arrival of groups and theater-activities in the groves
10:25-10:30am – Students line up to enter theater
10:30-10:45am – Seating for pre-show engagement
10:45am – Pre-show Engagement with Teaching Artist
11:00am – Pre-show Engagement Ends/Show begins Late seating completed for start of show approx..
Intermission - a 10-minute intermission will occur during the show, unless otherwise noted
End of Show - Groups that cannot stay for Q&A exit theater, Q&A begins shortly thereafter
End of Student Matinee Day - Remaining groups exit the theater