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California Shakespeare Theater.

Cal Shakes Announces Shared 47th Season

Cal Shakes will invite other Bay Area organizations to use its outdoor amphitheater.

ORINDA, CALIF.: California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) has announced its 2021 season, called the Season of Shared Light, which will see the organization’s Bruns Amphitheater opened to Bay Area community groups, artists, and arts and culture organizations.

“We’ve done a lot of reflection this past year,” said artistic director Eric Ting in a statement, “about the need to respond to these recent crises with compassion and humility; and have thought long and hard about how Cal Shakes might return in meaningful service of a more resilient community. How might we seek to share resources rather than amass them, to cultivate relationships rather than transact them? Over the next few months we’ll be sharing the fruits of that labor—a developing vision of mutual aid rooted in creative expression and collective action.”

The result is a 47th season which will see Cal Shakes produce only one play, Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale, directed by Ting. Throughout the summer, Cal Shakes will share its open-air venue with local arts organizations and community groups, including Destiny Arts, Bandaloop, West Edge Opera, and other groups to be announced at a later date. Additionally, Cal Shakes will continue developing digital and, safety permitting, in-person programming throughout the year, including Shakespeare In-Depth with Philippa Kelly and its Direct Address series, as well as other performance and educational offerings.

“We know that outdoor space will continue to be a premium in 2021,” said managing director Sarah Williams in a statement. “So sharing our grounds with our fellow arts and cultural organizations feels like exactly the thing we can and should be doing this year. We are eagerly looking forward to the summer, and operating under the assumption that by May we will be able to responsibly return in some capacity. Above all, we will continue to be flexible and monitor the mandates around reopening to ensure the safety of our artists, staff, and community.”

Due to the ongoing pandemic, specific dates for events will be announced at a later date.

California Shakespeare Theater, founded in 1974, strives to use the power of authentic, inclusive storytelling to create vibrant communities through its work onstage, in schools, and with people in non-traditional settings.

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