Welcome Center at the Bruns

Questions, enthusiasm, or feedback? We're here for you.

The Welcome Center, located on the plaza at the Bruns, is here to make your visit to the theater as enjoyable as possible.

Ask what's happening with Cal Shakes, who's giving the Grove Talk, or just say hi.


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GETTING HERE
We've got ample free parking and a free shuttle from Orinda BART.
Click here for directions and other details.

ARRIVE EARLY
Grounds open two hours before the show.
There are plenty of picnic benches and other places to sit in our groves; a new Common Table for sharing food and conversation; museum-grade sculptural installations to explore; a gourmet café serving food, beer, wine, and more; and free, 20-minute informational Grove Talks starting 45 minutes before each and every performance. Late arrivals to the show will be seated at an appropriate interval, at the House Manager’s discretion.

WHAT TO WEAR
Cal Shakes is a casual, outdoor venue.
Wear flat or low-heeled shoes that are good for walking; dress in layers and bring a blanket (or you can rent one) for nighttime performances; dress lightly, bring sunscreen, and consider a brimmed hat and sunglasses for matinees.

FOOD AND DRINK
You’re welcome to bring your own food and drink to enjoy before the show.

Classic Catering’s on-site café—located in the Sharon Simpson Center—offers delicious and affordable gourmet meals, beer, wine, Peet's Coffee, hot cocoa, and desserts; and you can bring food and drink into the Amphitheater as well. All we ask is that you please be mindful of noise, unwrapping, unscrewing, and uncorking all items before the performance begins, or during intermission. Please be courteous: Super-crunchy items like chips and crackers can be very distracting to your neighbors!

THE GROVES

The Grove Talk Grove: This is where the 20-minute Grove Talks take place, 45 minutes prior to each and every performance. It’s the first one on your left as you head up the path, and its many benches and picnic tables are shaded by Eucalyptus trees.

The North Star Grove: Bruce Johnson’s North Star sculpture presides over this, the first grove on your right. In this grove you’ve got your choice of shade or sun during the day, and the café isn’t far.

The Upper Grove: The most quiet and peaceful of the groves is also the one that’s best for large groups to meet. It’s shaded by Eucalyptus and features a fabulous view of the Amphitheater and the Orinda hills.


The Grove Talk Grove: This is where the 20-minute Grove Talks take place, 45 minutes prior to each and every performance. It’s the first one on your left as you head up the path, and its many benches and picnic tables are shaded by Eucalyptus trees. The North Star Grove: Bruce Johnson’s North Star sculpture presides over this, the first grove on your right. In this grove you’ve got your choice of shade or sun during the day, and the café isn’t far. The Upper Grove: The most quiet and peaceful of the groves is also the one that’s best for large groups to meet. It’s shaded by Eucalyptus and features a fabulous view of the Amphitheater and the Orinda hills.

SEATING
Plastic chairs are preplaced in all sections.
If you are seated in our Terrace section, the seats are low-to-the-ground beach chairs. Patrons sitting in the Terrace only may also choose to bring their own chair; if you choose to bring your own, it must be a low-backed beach chair (no camp chairs), with a seat no more than six inches off the ground and a backrest no taller than shoulder height (so the people behind you can see!).

RESTROOMS
Restrooms, including handicapped accessible facilities, are located in the Sharon Simpson Center; additional restrooms are located in the Upper Grove.

RECYCLING
Please use our recycling bins to discard your glass bottles, aluminum cans, plastic bottles and containers, and paper. Please do your part to keep the Bruns green.

#CalShakesCritters: The Bruns is built on East Bay Municipal land–so it’s parkland. You might see a hawk, owl, or bat swoop in front of the onstage lights, and you may hear coyotes howling in the distance. Herds of cattle have been known to wander over the hills that rise up behind our stage, and you could see and hear wild turkeys. In the heat of summer we sometimes even have mosquitoes (bug spray is available—just ask the house staff). We are making every effort to reduce the yellowjacket population on our grounds. However, as the theater is surrounded by acres of wooded watershed, little critters will continue to be a part of the experience. Keep food covered, whenever possible, and promptly dispose of your trash and recyclables. If you do get stung, please contact House Management at once for assistance.

THE BRUNS AMPHITHEATER
Siesta Valley (the home of the Bruns Amphitheater) is one of the original land-holdings of the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD). In agreeing to lease to the Theater, EBMUD seeks to serve the public with a community facility while preserving the watershed with minimal disruption to the pastoral surroundings. This land may be open to the public for performances and private events, but remains restricted private property at all other times. Click here for more information about our home in the hills.

AMPHITHEATER POLICIES


PARKING Parking at the Bruns is free and ample, but please be aware there are areas where parking is not allowed. Those areas are clearly marked. We have had a few break-ins in and around our parking lot during performances. Please make sure to either take your valuables with you, or leave them at home. Cal Shakes is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

LATE ARRIVALS
Performances begin on time. Latecomers will be seated at an appropriate interval at the discretion of the house manager.

ELECTRONIC DEVICES
No videotaping, photography, or audio-recording of performances is allowed. Please turn off cell phones and other devices before entering Amphitheater. The use of any type of camera, video or audio recorder is strictly prohibited in the amphitheater. Such devices may be confiscated at the House Manager's discretion. Since we ask all patrons to silence cell phones during performance, you may leave the House Office phone number 510.548.3422 x143 as your contact number during a performance.

SMOKING
Smoking is prohibited in the Amphitheater at all times, except on stage as part of the productions. Smoking (including Vaping/Electronic Cigarettes) is restricted to our designated smoking area, located where the entrance path meets the central plaza, across from the café.

E-cigarettes and vaping fall under California's comprehensive smoke-free laws and are now banned in all the same places as traditional cigarettes.

CHILDREN
Children under four are not permitted in the Amphitheater as a courtesy to our patrons and artists. To determine suitability of a play for your child over four, please call the box office at 510.548.9666.

PETS & SERVICE ANIMALS
Pets are not allowed on grounds or in Amphitheater, but we are happy to allow service animals at the Theater. Please notify the Box Office when booking your tickets if you require room for your service animal.

GOOD NEIGHBOR BEHAVIOR
Perfumes or scented lotions may cause discomfort to other patrons and may attract yellowjackets. We ask that you keep use of such products to a minimum. Likewise, be mindful of noise—please unwrap all picnic items before the performance begins or at intermission.

OBSERVE ALL SIGNAGE
Please heed all directional and other informational signs on the grounds. They are posted for your safety.

RAIN POLICY
Our performances are rarely cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. Please arrive at the theater for the scheduled performance time and dress accordingly. Patrons who choose not to attend a performance that goes on despite weather conditions will not be eligible for ticket refunds or credit.

PERFORMANCE CANCELLATION
Performances canceled prior to intermission (or within the first hour of performance if there is no intermission) because of inclement weather, or otherwise, entitle ticket holders to a voucher for same value tickets to another performance of the same show pending availability. Performances that are canceled after intermission (or more than an hour into the show if there is no intermission) are considered a full performance and no credit will be given.

Cancellation vouchers must be redeemed within 7 days of the canceled performance in order to reschedule. Please call the Box Office at 510.548.9666 between the hours of 10am-6pm Monday through Friday, and 10am-2pm on Saturday.

MORE INFORMATION


TICKETING POLICIES
Information on ticket exchanges and replacements, performance cancellations, our rain policy, and more can be found here.

ACCESSIBILITY
The Bruns Amphitheater is fully accessible to patrons with mobility restrictions. Click here for details on accessible seating, our wheelchair-equipped shuttle, assistive-listening devices, open captioning, and more.

CONTACT US
Call the Cal Shakes box office at 510.548.9666 or email boxoffice@calshakes.org. Berkeley and Orinda box office hours and more info can be found here.