Thursday, December 20, 2007

Rocket Fuel for the Office Set

Today is the last full day of business here at Cal Shakes. And in case you fear we may be getting detrimentally holidazed too early, rest easy--there's enough sugar in the Bullpen to propel my 1983 Volvo sedan straight to the moons of Jupiter.

There is:
Homemade guava and blackberry fruit jellies
A tray containing peppermint bark, nut and raisin bark, and truffles
Homemade burfis
Russel Stover marshmallow and caramel Santas

Elizabeth had to take our everyday basket of drugstore candy (currently containing Hersheys miniatures, Rolos, and mini Reese's cups) and stash it somewhere to make room for this dulcet bounty.

It's 12:08 now. By 3pm we should be doing jumping jacks in the parking lot, en masse.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Q: Do you know what the worst thing about going on vacation is?

A: The two weeks leading up to the vacation.


We have been busier than a one-armed paperhanger with a case of the hives around here ... we sent the winter/spring classes brochure off to the printer, changed the name of the gala (it's now Gateway to India—lovely, no?) and secured wine of many colors for it (thank you, Wente Vineyards!), almost finished the season brochure, put up next season's production calendar online ... all while participating in the festive espionage that is the Secret Santa. Oh! And attending two (count'em, 2!) holiday parties, one with the board and one without*, and even starting auditions for next season.

It's awesome--every time you go into the kitchenette to rinse out your coffee mug, there's a man or woman pacing the Plank Stage and making strange noises, performing some strange hybrid of acting warm-up exercise and actual physical exercise (have I mentioned that the green room is as cold as a tomb this time of year?).
Here's a few of today's auditoners, accompanied by pictures of them making faces appropriate to their monologues:

Carmalita Shreve is an Equity actor who travelled here today from Vallejo; she auditioned with the Duchess of York's cursing monlogue from Richard III.

This is Mary Mims, another Equity member who performed a cursing monologue from RIII—this time Queen Margaret's. Mary came all the way from Portland to audition and to visit friends, but she didn't drive, as she's never learned. In fact, Mary thinks that "the automobile is the second-worst invention of our time." The first? "Gunpowder."

Jackson Davis has two last names. His name(s) is/are also an intersection in San Francisco, but sadly, not where he lives. This Equity actor's from the South Bay, and he performed two monlogues today: one form Richard II and one as Tregorin from The Seagull. He recently did a show at Marin Theatre Company.

And finally, the only truly local actor I spoke to today, and also the only non-AEA: Natanya Silverman, who performed one of Viola's monologues from Twelfth Night.

Best of luck, guys!

*Check out some staff holiday party photos!

Friday, December 7, 2007

Cal Shakes' Favorite Sweet Young Things

Oh, how we love our interns around here. They dress up like zombies and space cowboys for our silly Shindigs, answer the audition hotline, teach us old folks about the Awkward Turtle and T.M.I. Turkey, and generally are the Scotch tape that that binds this nonprofit arts organization together.

I even heard a rumor that at least one of them actually reads this blog.

So of COURSE it's my great pleasure to point out that, this coming Monday, the Cal Shakes Intern Company will be reimagining a classic of their own:
Come see the interns of Cal Shakes as
Rough 'n Ready Players
SAVAGE/LOVE written by Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin

Three shows only.
Date: 12/10/2007
Times: 5:30, 7, and 8:30 PM

Location: Oakopolis Creativity Center
447 25th St. Oakland, CA94612 in between Broadway and Telegraph

To RSVP: email Daunielle Rasmussen
(510) 548-3422x133

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Classes and Cuddly Things

So, the winter/spring classes page is live--we've got new pictures and new classes for grown-ups and kiddies alike. There's a teen class wherein they do selected scenes from Romeo and Juliet, but with some serious fight choreography. There's the adult improv class that I'm going to be taking. There's a comedy workshop for middle schoolers. There's a Literary Society wherein students sift through the texts of each of 2008 season's productions, spending two weeks on the dramaturgy of each.

I'm happy the page is live, and that the brochures for both those classes and the 2008 season will soon skip off to the printer, and not just because we've been working on them so hard for so long. (Seriously, you try finding photos that represent plays whose staging and costuming direction is barely a glimmer in their respective directors' eyes--this morning I spend an hour looking for medium shots of the Kennedys giving speeches.) It's because we're hurrying them off to the printer so we all can toddle home for the holiday break. And then when we come back, it's not long till classes start, the gala happens, and winter slides into spring. And the the spring classes happen, and then ... it's Cal Shakes season time again.

And in the meantime, today we've got the winter's first rainstorm. But I'm wearing a cuddly turtleneck, and I can easily imagine the sun of the Bruns on my face.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Unbearable Lightness of Coordination

I'm anxiously waiting final edits on our winter/spring classes web page and brochure. This is one of the things with which almost anyone who has "coordinator" in their title can sympathize; oftentimes the word "coordinate" is just a tender, palliative way of saying "nag and wait." I'm a little grumpy today, so I keep making little jokes about "turning this building around" and "firebombing," but of course it's all in fun. And coordinatin' is my game, so I shall sit (and nag) and wait just the same.

Or maybe I'll sneak out of the office and figure out where our fearless leader's off to, dressed like Elmer Fudd.