Friday, July 25, 2008

just who are those jonas brothers anyway ?

Hi. I'm Ava.

As five-week conservatory has sadly just come to an end, two-week conservatory is gearing up for a exciting beginning (and Hannah and I have just had our final YWCA Hip-hop class), I feel it's time to stop and reflect for a moment on the summer thus far. My five-week group were the 8th, 9th, and 10th graders, appropriately named the Dashing Danes (please note the alliteration). Last Friday, along with the rest of the highly talented camp, they performed our post-apocalyptic interpretation of Shakespeare's Hamlet. The show, as with the four others performed that day, was a huge success and I commend all the students on their high level of dedication and creativity. In one of our final circle-ups as a group we reflected on the great deal I had learned from them (most notably, who the Jonas Brothers are and just why we hate Miley Cyrus) and the pearls of wisdom they took away from me ("how to flirt with boys!" and more seriously: how to be collaborative owls). To be honest, the positive experience of it all has left me a little bit nervous moving into two-week conservatory. Hannah and I will be working together with the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders, and that's a whole new challenge. Will I be entertaining/patient/helpful enough for the younger students? Will a 30-minute version of Pericles even make sense? Who's going to explain what a brothel is??

Time will tell. And, regardless of my doubts, I'm having a blast trying to figure it all out.


Ava Jackson

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

I am Hannah Fazio and I grew up in Minnesota. For those of you who haven't been there, it's usually pretty cold and always very flat with cows and lakes and all that. In the summer it's humid and pretty hot.

It's not really the ideal place for outdoor theater. That's probably why my parents were so impressed when they came to visit me from Minnesota this past weekend.

We went to see An Ideal Husband on the Cal Shakes Main Stage. My brother packed a little picnic and, though all the tables were taken by the time we got there (an hour and a half before the show), we found a little stump and had a nice time. While watching the show, my dad commented that the hill behind the stage was probably bigger than any peak in Minnesota, which is probably true. Both my parents loved the show and the entire experience in general, and the packed picnic tables are proof that people appreciate the beautiful setting and wonderful theater as much as we did.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

8 AM Magic at the Cal Shakes Conservatory.

Hey all, Kristin here. Home at a decent hour from Cal Shakes' Five-Week Conservatory in Lafayette. Tomorrow we are putting on five Shakespeare shows, so the interns have been "all-hands-on-deck" for the past week. I have been staying late to help with lighting (and by helping, I mean handing over my crescent wrench and standing on ladders). I have slept scarce hours in the past week and it's starting to show. So needless to say, waking up is hard.

Today was a once, twice, three times a-wakey day. Three alarms, three snooze buttons and three valiant attempts to rouse myself. I hopped on the BART at the ungodly hour of 8 AM, ready to pass out and wondering how I was going to make it through the long day ahead.

I caught the shuttle to the Bentley school from the BART station. When I walked onto that bus and sleepily said hello to Richard, I was greeted with a flood of salutations.

"Hi, Kristin!"
"Good morning, Kristin!"
"Ahhh, Kristin!!!"

I whipped around to find half of my kids sitting on the shuttle! They greeted me with bright eyes, smiling faces and waving hands. And even though I fell asleep on the way to Bentley, it totally made my day. Joyful greetings are way better than coffee. OK, maybe not better. But still pretty fantastic.

For the past four weeks, I've been stage managing Romeo and Juliet with the oldest group of actors. My kids are in high school and completely amazing. I feel so blessed to be able to pop over to Lafayette for a couple hours every day and get to watch 16 kids take remarkable strides as performers and as people. The talent, energy and commitment they dish out every day is unbelievable.

Tomorrow is our big show day. I am so proud of them and so excited to see what they give to that audience. It's a little odd for me, because though it is the last day, I'll be seeing most of them next week.

SHAMELESS PLUG! Cal Shakes will be represented at the San Francisco Theater Festival with our conservatory's production of Romeo and Juliet! It ain't over 'til it's over, baby!

So, moral of this blog entry: I love my kids. Tomorrow's going to be epic. Lack of sleep results in disjointed blog entries.

XoXo - Kristin Loughry, SM Intern.

Saturday, July 12, 2008


Hey there ... Hannah Fazio here. Anyone who knows me would probably be very amused and a little afraid to know I'm working with power tools this summer. It's not really something I do. That's why I was skeptical when one of the production interns asked me to help him build sets--I haven't built anything since Tech Ed in eighth grade. My experience in theater has so far solely been in acting and assistant directing because, honestly, I tend to overlook other aspects. I always thought they didn't concern me because I was planning on being an actress or a writer, but now that I have discovered the wonders of power tools, I think I might reconsider my life plan so that it can include more staple guns.

When I arrived to help Ben, the scene intern, after two week camp on Tuesday I was unsure of exactly what he wanted me to do. "Wait, wait ... you want me to touch that saw? Can I just glue stuff?" I asked. He assured me that it would be fine, and I put the goggles on and started sawing the wood pieces. After that I think it's safe to say that I was a flat-building machine. Every time I touched the staple gun my heart raced. I felt like such a rebel. It was awesome. When we were done with the whole process of cutting the wood, stapling the flats, covering them with cloth, and then finally to painting them, I felt so accomplished. I actually built flats that would help serve as a setting for the plays in the conservatory productions of Twelfth Night, Pericles, Hamlet, and Romeo and Juliet. It was awesome.  

Saturday, June 28, 2008

A (Tues)day in the Life of Pericles . . .

Hello all! I suppose introductions are in order before we depart on this epic blogging journey.

My name is Kristin Loughry. I am going into my junior year at Ithaca College in upstate New York. I'm originally from the Boston area. I enjoy pina coladas and getting caught in the rain, though I hate Jimmy Buffett. (Good thing that song is by Rupert Holmes, then, says your older-than-dirt editor.) I have never lived in California before. I came out here because a) they offered and b) I thought it would be fun. And boy, how right I was! I am one of four stage management interns here at Cal Shakes this summer. I was assigned to work on Pericles. Now that Pericles has closed and my summer is far from over, I've had some time to reflect on my experience thusfar and take advantage of new opportunities Cal Shakes is putting before me.

In future entries, I shall regale you with tales of tech, conservatory camp and the infamous intern apartment. But for now, while it is fresh in my mind, I'll take you on a super condensed version of my life during the run in Pericles.

Oh, and I also promise the future entries won't be this long. They probably will include stories from Pericles, however. But only because I love Pericles. A lot. Maybe a little bit too much.

7:30 AM - Wake up! Wonder why you are awake so early. Remember you have a SMAT (student matinee) at 11 AM. Make scrambled eggs with oregano because it's the only spice you have.

8:30 AM - Attempt to leave the apartment. Realize you forgot something. Repeat three times.

9:30 AM - Arrive at the Bruns! Conquer the hill.

9:35 AM - Apply sunscreen. Liberally.

9:40 AM - Sweep the carpets on stage. Curse carpet for being difficult to sweep. Whistle (or hum, as the case may be) while you work.

9:45 AM - Crawl around on the carpets checking for staples. Remove staples with a screw driver and replace with screws.

10:10 AM - Watch as the knights make funny faces during dance call and certain actors do fight call without pants.

10:20 AM - Fold the oceans. Again. And again. And again.

10:25 AM - Move Ellie the elephant. Curse Ellie for being huge and made of steel.

10:30 AM - House open and Actor's half hour break. Make yourself a bagel.

10:45 AM - Get dressed for show. Find Petey the Parrot (as pictured above) and complete your ensemble. Put on more sunscreen because you're already burning.

11 AM - Places for the SMAT! Make sure the actors put shoes on so that they don't get third -degree burns on the bottoms of their feet.

11:05 AM - Kill a bee for Pericles.

11:20 AM - Be serenaded by our melodious bovine neighbors. Curse the cows for being cranky. Swear to cook some beef when you get home.

11:30 AM - Escape the heat in the air-conditioned dressing rooms for all of Pentapolis.

12:20 PM - Intermission!

12:35 PM - Start Act II. Cue the actors with an otter pop in hand.

12:36 PM - Hold otter pops for people that are onstage.

12:52 PM - Find out that there is something sharp onstage that the actors have been stepping on. Find out its been there since Act I. Warn everyone as to where it is and keep Band-aids handy.

1:30 PM - Curtain call! Begin resetting for the top of the show.

1:35 PM - Go watch the Q & A session with the kids. Note all adorable questions.

1:50 PM - Retire to the green room. Pass out on the couch.

5 PM - Wake up! Continue to be in a nap coma.

5:15 PM - Vacuum the runners. And the escape stairs. And the trap room. Empty the shop vac twice during all this vacuuming because there's so much sand everywhere.

6:15 PM - Check the area of stage where there was a sharp thing. After an exhaustive search, find nothing. Determine that someone is on crack. Re-sweep the carpets. Continue checking for and removing staples.

6:45 PM - Stomp about stage like a possessed woman with a screw gun, re-securing pieces of floor.

6:55 PM - Move Ellie again. Wonder why she's so freakin' huge.

7:00 PM - House open! Run up to catering and grab the "Chris Kelly Burrito."

7:15 PM - Witness the debauchery of the 80s dance party in the women's dressing room. Sing along to Laura Branigan's "Gloria."

7:30 PM - Places! Listen to the House Speech from backstage. Chant PEET'S COFFEE AND TEA with the patrons. Watch Sarah Nealis kiss part of the set.

7:34 PM - Do the Antioch Dance.

7:40 PM - Continue to curse the cows as they get louder when the sun goes down. Watch farmers chase them across the hills.

8:00 PM - Re-tie Cindy-Lou-Who, the dead hooker used in the brothel.

8:50 PM - Intermission. Call your best friend. Tell them that even though you were supposed to call them today, you will have to call them tomorrow because by the time the show is done it'll be 1 AM on the east coast and they have to work in the morning. Become frustrated with time differences.

9:05 PM - Places for Act II!

9:10 PM - Sneak up to the booth to watch the Leonine/Marina scene. Snag some hot chocolate. Sneak back down to spot some pirates.

9:15 PM - Catch Cindy-Lou-Who as she comes flying off the deck.

9:25 PM - Stargaze as Lysimachus is swayed by Marina's virtue.

9:45 PM - Play hide-and-seek with Gower as you try to cue him for an entrance.

9:50 PM - Hand off lanterns to temple-goers. Nearly kill yourself getting the lantern into the hand of a Pericles, who is traveling 90 MPH after a quick change.

10:01 PM - Do the "catching lanterns" dance. Try not to get made fun of.

10:05 PM - Put everything away, tarp up the boxes, big props and green room couches.

10:10 PM - Hang out and unwind with the cast. Shoot the shit, play some poker, and have impromptu dance parties long after the patrons go home.

11:42 PM - Arrive home. Start eating Nutella with a spoon straight out of the jar. Avoid judgmental gazes from your roommates.

11:45 PM - Make t-shirts for the entire cast and crew. This project takes several days. Be woeful that "Kristin's Craft Corner" has taken over the apartment.

11:55 PM - Watch too many episodes of Heroes with your roommate. Wake everyone up when you both vocalize every plot twist.

2:00 AM - Pack up the craft corner, hit the shower and pass out. Think about going to work again tomorrow and smile as you go to sleep. Smile extra wide when you remember that you don't have a SMAT and can therefore sleep in.

Congrats! You've made it to the end of our journey. Next week, we can all look forward to more stories and short blog entries.

XoXo - Kristin Loughry, SM intern.

A day in the life

In many ways the Cal Shakes office is like any other office. Coffee is a great priority, desks are decorated with pictures of happy children, not-so-happy children, and travel destinations. Personal items are displayed so that everyone can remember the great memory surrounding some joke that no one remembers. The interns get their closet (a very warm, attractive closet) and everyone is happy.

And then there is the copy machine.

The copy machine is both your best friend and your worst enemy. It is like a child that gleefully runs ahead only to collapse, exhausted a few moments later. You can coax it, offer it new toner and miles of paper, but if it wants to stay jammed it will stay jammed. Everyone in the office circles around it with an air of reverence and frustration. "Will it be nice to me? Will it print my 50 manuals? Or my 100 forms?" Like a child, eventually its stubbornness wears off and its gears become eager to be fed pages. So have patience, read a book, stare at the actors' head shots and all will be well.

One must also develop--how should I put it?--a certain telephone style. "Hello this is ____ calling from Cal Shakes. Your son is enrolled in our summer camp.... No nothing happened... No he didn't eat... no he didn't put... Yes, everything's fine...I'm only calling about a form...Yes a form...It's missing. You gave it to him? Well it's not here. I don't know what he could have done to it. Could I send you another?" Et cetera.

It's nice when one can disappear into a research project, put all those random internet browsing skills to use. Find community organizations involved in farm outreach (for our NW/NC Steinbeck Project), or professors who specialize is qualitative educational research, or brainstorm educational themes for teacher manuals.

Then there are the rehearsals. On breaks or when the office has a slow day you can walk down to the rehearsal hall and watch proceedings that anyone outside of theater would consider the behavior of lunatics. The director pops out of his chair to whisper secret little suggestions to a pensive actor. Actors circle, mumbling lines. Some lounge on the side. Some sit muttering how they would direct it. Some joke easily. Some joke awkwardly. Sometimes a bit is done a million times. Sometimes the scenes flow beautifully. Then there are those times when one forgets that it's a rehearsal hall, and just falls into the tale. But a break must come or the time must end and the story is never finished. One leaves wanting to hear more, to see more of these characters' lives.

But the characters become people who walk around and say hello to you and ask you where you're from. Then the day goes on.

--Kate Jopson (artistic learning)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Hey guys!
It's been a while! I've been way busy with finals, studying and scholastic things. Oh and the fact that THE SEASON IS HERE!
If you all have a chance, go see Pericles. It's fantastic.
I really like italics.
I'm going to write in them.
Anyways: This is my last post 0n the Cal Shakes intern blog because I am no longer an intern. It's sad and wonderful all at the same time. Kind of like this fantastic movie.
These italics are starting to bug me.
Again, anyways: I'm really excited for this summer. I started my big-person job on Monday as the Artistic Learning 2 Week Camp Coordinator which has been really really fun. There have been moments where I'm working and feeling like I shouldn't be doing what I'm doing on the clock because it's so fun and I end up having to remind myself that I'm doing my job.

I even got my own Cal Shakes email! . Want to see my signature? OKAY:

Derek Smith
Artistic Learning Camp Coordinator
California Shakespeare Theatre
701 Heinz Ave. Berkeley, CA
"Pitch-perfect!" - SF Chronicle
"Breathtaking, completely engaging, and joyously theatrical!" - Contra Costa Times
Shakespeare's PERICLES
adapted & directed by Joel Sass
now - June 22
Call 510.548.9666 or click

Sorry. Next Order of business.

IN THE HEIGHTS is my new favorite musical.

Let's go to...


This is Brian Nash, a musician that I saw perform at The Duplex in Manhattan a year or so ago. He's way funny and does a lot of piano-bar type of shows. Anyways, this is him performing all characters in ONE DAY MORE from Les Mis. Sooooo fantastic.

Make sure to catch me on the main cal shakes blog where I'll be posting about my job in Artistic Learning and then all the usual musical theatre references that I sneak on in!!!

Peace and Love,


Friday, May 9, 2008

Tis the Season!

Oh Hello there...

Sorry it's been so long since I've blogged, it's been really busy around here. The good thing though is that it's a really good busy. It's like that holiday buzz because the season has started!
Two weeks ago when I drove up to the Cal Shakes parking lot I was so happy to not find a parking lot because it made me remember that Pericles had started rehearsal which meant officially that THE SEASON HAD STARTED!!! (But let's not lie, I knew this day was coming thanks to the fact that I made one of these for my room.) It's not that the off-season at Cal Shakes isn't fun, it's just that there's a certain hustle and bustle of the Season that really brings Heinz alive.

Anyways, I started off April 25th (seems like a year ago) with a lot of fun stuff to do. New Works/New Communities had a big meeting in Jon's office which made it totes official. We discussed follow up procedures and discussing the upcoming events that we do during the season. Last season we did a program called Love Test where non-profit youth organizations from Oakland and San Francisco were given an teaching artist residency who helped them write their own version of King Lear. Then, they went into rehearsal with professional actors from our 2007 production of King Lear who acted out their scripts in a performance prior to a special matinee performance of the show.

Now this week I'm doing some organizational stuff to help get New Works set up for this season as well as basking in the seasonal spirit of Heinz.

Oh something else I wanted to mention was that I work at this little restaraunt/cafe in Danville and I was talking to this couple that I was serving and we were talking about theatre and how her daughter was a theatre student in college and how I am too. Then about 20 minutes into the conversation we all three realized that we knew eachother because their daughter was an intern with me last summer! Britt Lauer and I go way back to Dublin Theatre Company improv classes so it was really fun to see her parents again. But also, I was stunned because Britt's mom told me she read the intern blog! And on top of that, UNDERSTOOD one of my musical theatre references and emailed it to Britt. Astounding. I also thought that was really cool because I always picture just some Cal Shakes employees occasionally reading this and not anyone else. So shout out to Mr.&Mrs. Lauer! Thanks for reading!

In other news...

I'm attending San Diego State University in the fall which is really exciting. Doin the college thing with dorms and everything! But more importantly...


This is Reg Rogers in The Injured Party at South Coast Reperatory in Costa Mesa, CA. Reg was Richard in Richard III last season and one of my favorite things about working in a theatre company is seeing what actors do next or just seeing them play other characters. It looks like he's fantastic in this.

I think that's it!

Peace and Love,


Friday, April 18, 2008

4 More Weeks

until school's out. I feel like since I'm a college sophomore that I shouldn't have this underlining countdown going on in the back of my head due to a profound maturity level or something, but I don't. I feel like every spring semester just gives me this intense feeling of excitement to be out in the sun hanging out and being active rather than at my desk pretending to be interested in the different social classes of America. I guess it's that little third grader in me. On that note, exactly 30 more days till finals and then I'm FREE!

On more of a Cal Shakes note:
Today was pretty busy for me. I came in and helped look for names of Production Assistants then had a mini-meeting with Emily Morrison (AL Mother Hen) about this summer and planning ahead for future work on 2-Week Camps! It was totes* exciting and I can't wait to start. After that little mini-meeting I caught up with Beth Sandefur (Gala Queen) which was nice since I hadn't seen her in a good two weeks. Then I went on to having a New Works/New Communities meeting and catch-up session with Tara and J-Rich (Jessica Richards, Cal Shakes Princess). Lovely, lovely times y'all. Right now I'm working on updating our contact lists for bay area youth organizations to work with for our 12th Night Project. It's sad to have to update this list because often times you'll find that some non profit organizations have closed or lost a member of their team.

What else to talk about.......

let's see.
I know I already mentioned that [title of show] is going to broadway, so what else.............

OH! The NY Times did a fantastically witty review on Brodway's: The Little Mermaid. Check it out here.
here are some highlights:
"The whole enterprise is soaked in that sparkly garishness that only a very young child — or possibly a tackiness-worshiping drag queen — might find pretty."
"Ursula’s electric-eel henchmen resemble revelers at Limelight, the departed New York dance club, on a dinosaur-theme night."
"The unfortunate Ms. Scott has eight octopuslike tentacles to contend with, which may account for the bizarre mutability of her accent, which shifts among Cockney, plummy English, Brooklynese and Zsa Zsa Gabor Hungarian."

God I love the NYTimes.

OKAY: How about


How crazy is Elaine Stritch?
and i love every minute of it.

Peace and Love,


Friday, April 4, 2008

Blog for Blogs Sake

That's right, y'all. I don't have much to talk about so I'm really just posting a blog for the sake of posting a blog. I was out of the office last week due to a necessary mental health day* and because it was just so darn sunny outside.

Today I haven't done too much either though. I'm sort of just working on writing cover letters to some San Diego theatres and formulating my resume. It's actually really great because I'm using a lot of the resources given to me last summer during the Resume Workshop for interns. I know that sounds like a blatant plug for reasons as to why you should apply, but it's true. I saved all of the notes and information and have been using a lot of it for applying for part time jobs for when I move down to San Diego. It's also been really nice because Daunielle Rasmussen (Intern Shepherd) has been helping me figure out how to present it all. Usually I wouldn't have any problems but since I've done so many different jobs at Cal Shakes I don't know how to explain that and where to do so.

Enough of the boring stuff- let's move on to more important topics like...

-I know this has absolutely nothing to do with Cal Shakes and/or my internship whatsoever, but you have NO idea how excited I am for this. Check it out!

Something else on today's blog itinerary: The Cal Shakes Bullpen Blog has moved! Sort of in the way that Lucky's got married to Albertson's and changed their name to Albertson's. Then just recently changed their name back to Lucky's, which I guess means they got a divorce... But either way it's really exciting. has all the wonder of Stefanie Kalem's blog but with the addition of actor blogs and blogs from Word for Word members!

Let's move on to ...


I'm pretty sure I've posted Stairway to Stardom videos on here before, but this is my new favorite**. S2S was a 1980's public access television talent show. If that doesn't spell fun...

Things to Note:
1.) She wrote and composed the song herself.
2.) I'm pretty sure she made that outfit too.
3.) The vocal riffs on "Tease-a-Louise"
4.) Fierce facial expressions

Well blog children that seems to be it for the week. Next week I'll be in San Diego and then maybe the week after that I'll post the BLOG OFF with Stefanie Kaylime. What is Kaylime? is it a flavor? KEYLIME. A pie. That's right. And a great one at that, even though I'm not much for meringue.

Peace and Love,


*Who sleeps on books? Ever heard of a pillow? duh....
**Besides Melissa Ann Ledwon and Precious Taft.

Friday, March 21, 2008


So on Monday, I went to Salinas with Jessica Richards, Tara Misra, Jon Moscone, Stefanie Kalem Octavio Solis, and a few wonderful Word for Word people. I'm not going to blog about that yet because we haven't organized the photos from it yet and Stefanie's going to make an awesome Road Trip Movie about the trip which will be a part of the BLOG OFF! Get excited, people.

So I've got a fun story for you all. I'm upstairs sitting in Daunielle Rasmussen's (Official Intern Shepherd) GLORIOUS desk that is without question the nicest desk in all of Cal Shakes. I'm on the brand new macbook that we bought for the company and I'm organizing the photos that we'll post on the new works/new communities flickr page soon. Just an ordinary day in the ordinary life of my internship. 

All of the sudden the whole freaking bull pen comes up which was really weird and wonderful but I just figured that they were having some meeting that I was going to just continue working during. But it was weird to see everyone up in artistic either way. So then Emily Morrsion (Artistic Learning/Interpretive Dance Goddess/Song Leader) said that they all needed to talk to Jean-Paul and at that moment, in my head I was picturing like, everyone filing a complaint to Jean-Paul. I don't know what about, but it just made sense to me. The next thing I know, they're singing that jolly good fellow song to me for a good five minutes. I must have had the most confused face on because I literally had no idea what the heck was going on.

For a minute I thought they might have mistaken my birth date. 

But in reality, they were actually thanking me for my work on the gala, which was very, very wonderful and kind of them. They got me a HILARIOUS card and a gift that was WAY too much and I just want to say thank you to them blog style. Hats off you you, Cal Shakians and thank you so much for the card and gift. It is really wonderful and quite an honor to work with all of you, I love you all very much.

So again, stay tuned for the upcoming BLOG OFF between Stefanie Kaylime's Bull Pen Blog and my humble intern blog. Think super-bowl people. I want to hear about the super-blog pool going on.

For now please enjoy this week's...

(i don't know how to make an underline because "command+u" isn't working on the macbook and I use a PC and i also don't know how to embed it)
This is what I want to be when I grow up.
Not a Tony winner, just as cool as Beth Leavel.

Thanks again Cal Shakians. Keep Shakin' it!

Peace and Love,


Friday, March 14, 2008

Post-Gala & Pre-Trip


So last weekend was the 2008 California Shakespeare Theatre Gala: Gateway to India. It was absolutely INSANE! We arrived at the Rotunda building in Oakland at 9AM on Saturday morning. We sorta just hung out for the first half hour. While Paul Doyle and I indulged in some delicious Odwalla Orange Juice (props to Liz for food that day) Beth Sandefur (Gala Queen) had a rundown of the day's events. That's when the heavy lifting began and to be honest, I still had a good time. It was really hard work but it was still with really fun people who are all putting in their time to raise some money for theatre. It was cool.
The BEST part of it, though, was Winkie. Allow me to explain: The Rotunda wasn't allowing us to use the regular elevators to load things up to the second floor, so we needed to use the freight elevator. It looked like this inside except bigger and more terrifying. Let me give you the rundown of events that take place when you take a ride on Winkie (our name for the frieght elevator).
1.) Open doors of death. (LOUD NOISES)
2.) Step inside and close doors of death and cage of terror.
3.) The brakes attatch to the elevator. (SCARIEST NOISE EVER)
4.) Then you ride either up or down, being able to see the walls move on both sides of you, which still makes really scary noises.
-If you're lucky, Winkie will make a piercingly loud screeching noise that reminds me of the revival of Sweeney Todd.
I swear you guys, it was the best part of being on Gala Crew. Paul and I literally rode it about twenty times either for sport or to do actual work.
So then baisically once everything was set up, we took a break. I took a nap in my car and then went back in my homecoming best to the gala! All of the decorations looked beautiful and it all came together. The event itself went by really fast (either because I was mentally asleep during it or because I was over caffinated) and after the party was done we started carrying heavy things again. Little by little the staff left, but there were a magic 6 that stayed to load everything into the truck. Jean-Paul Gressieux, Jessica Richards, Ian Evans, Paul Doyle, Beth Sandefur and I. After waiting for the tech guys to finish loading their stuff we finally loaded ours and we were out of there by a fresh 4AM.
Again, hard work but with fun people all for a good cause.

Monday Cal Shakes is taking another trip down to Salinas! Jessica, Tara and I are being accompanied by Jon Moscone (Artistic Director), Stefanie Kalem, Octavio Solis and a few fabulous members of Word for Word Organization. It's going to be way fun and I'm excited to go back, it's a beautiful area. More on this later! Also: stay tuned for an official BLOG-OFF between Stefanie Kalem's Cal Shakes' Bull Pen Blog and me and my blog!


This is the brand new Broadway show In The Heights about the beauty of living in Washington Heights. How awesome does it look? Check it out here. I'm thinking that this might be the show to watch this season.

That's all for now!

Peace and Love,


Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Gala!

What's a gala? And how do you pronounce it?
These are both good questions to which I do not have answers. What I do know is that I need to be at the Rotunda building in Oakland at 9AM tomorrow to carry heavy things. I also know that The Gala's theme is Gateway to India and the dress is "festive formal." The only real experience I have with super formal events is the prom so the only thing I can picture for "festive formal" would be this or this. Thus, I have no idea what I'm supposed to wear, but either way I think it's going to be really fun and exciting and glamorous.

In the other shoe J-Rich (Jessica Richards), Tara Misra and I have been working on doing research on other New Works-type programs that other theatre companies across the Nation have put together. What I've found so far is that almost no other theatre does exactly what Cal Shakes' New Works/New Communities program does. The most common New Works program is doing staged readings of brand new shows alongside the playwright. What Cal Shakes does is brings people of diverse backgrounds together around the creation of a new work of theater inspired by classic literature. Through a process of heavy research, community involvement, writing and workshops, we find a way to bring and relate new theatre to diverse communities with stories of their own to tell through literature like The Pastures of Heaven. It offers a very specific point of view and after doing so much research, I'm proud to work for such a progressive, original program. It's very cool.

Moving on to the next item on the agenda, who saw the finale of Project Runway? Let's just put it this way: it was FIERCE! Here's my breakdown:
Rami Kashou's collection was a little disappointing. While it was intricate and detailed, some of the designs were a little bit dated, repetitive and off.
Jillian Lewis' collection was beautiful and incredibly detailed, but had no consistency. It didn't look like a line of clothes it just looked like someones closet.
Christian Siriano's collection was fanTASTIC! During the start I was a bit concerned because it was black after black after black, but then went into some incredible pieces.


I know it's long but just sit back, open a can of Fresca and enjoy.
1.) The variety of outfits meeting her versatility.
1.) SO MANY QUOTES! Current faves:
-"Ostrich feathers, anyone?"
-"Here I've added a fox draped over my shoulder."
-"Or when I'm riding my motorcycle!"
-"The puffed sleeves on this dress make it particularly interesting."
3.) There's a part two...

Peace and Love,

Derek Smith

PS: Happy Birthday to our awesome Production Manager, Jean-Paul Gressieux!

Friday, February 22, 2008

What's that smell?

Hey, long time no blog.

This morning when I stepped out of my car into the Cal Shakes parking lot, I smelt something most foul. I couldn't really figure out what it was, but it was something. I walked into the bullpen and simply said "Why does it smell like poop outside?" Of course, at ten in the morning this made for some GREAT conversation. But yes, the Cal Shakes office has been smelling chicken manuer all day due to some updated landcape. Good for the flowers, bad for the appetite.

Enough of the doodie, let's get to last weekend which is when I went on a road trip to Salinas* with Jessica and Tara from New Works/New Communitites! We were going so we could do some field research about John Steinbeck, migrant farm workers, agricultural history and The Pastures of Heaven. It was great fun and we met some incredible people with lots to say and share with us.

We did a lot, so rather than writing about all of it, I'm going to give you some highlights:
1.) The Steinbeck House: where John Steinbeck grew up in his childhood but has now been turned into a lunch restaurant. The restaurant has been designed, decorated, and kept up by all donated services. The only service that is being paid for is the Chef’s work and the book keeper’s services. I found this to be really incredible because it's a community working together, giving up their free time and energy to restore something so important. The house is ran by volunteers of the Valley Guild who will invite you to take a look around and tell you all about the house’s history and answer any questions you might have. The food was delicious and served by such nice ladies. I must admit that I felt a little out of place because the atmosphere is very Ladies Who Lunch.**
2.) The Farm offices with Chris Bunn: The Farm is an agricultural education center and produce business located just outside of Salinas. Chris is the owner of The Farm with the assistance of his son Christopher. He showed us a book of compiled photos from The Farm taken in the 1930’s and 1940’s which revealed so many interesting aspects of historical agriculture. He's a great contact for this project and has been a great resource for the information that we need.
3.) HULLABALOO!: Hullabaloo was a restaraunt that we went to for dinner in downtown Salinas. The menu was a little decieving because it looked like an all american food place with just regular food which was offsetting for it's fancy ambience. Anyways, it ended up being fantastic food with great, original flavors.
4.) The Steinbeck Center: We toured through the exhibits and became much more aware about John Steinbeck’s life and how he lived it. It was an incredible fusion of the way his life reflected his writing and gave us a great look into his passion for writing. Another main exhibit at The Steinbeck Center was the Agricultural life museum which gave a great look into the history of “Ag” in the Monterey Bay County.
5.) Corral De Tierra: This had to be my favorite part of the trip. We just drove through the hills and had to stop a few times because it was absolutely breath taking. I've always loved California and have always had a huge obsession with it's beauty, but the Corral really rejuvinated my love for our Golden State. "Where ocean meets land."
Here are some pictures from the trip:

The Steinbeck House and Tara. Hi Tara!

Road on Corral De Tierra.

Castle Rock.... soooo pretty.

Now it's time for.....

go there, people.
1.) The music
2.) The Costume
3.) The artistic piano pantomime.
4.) The transition from pantomime to dance.
5.) Is this video taken in an office building?

(I know, I ditched WordoftheWeek, but this is WAY more important and interesting.)
Ramine will get into the final three and Christian will win the overall price. Why? Cause he's fierce.

That's all for this week!

Peace and Love,

*Fun fact about Salinas: Salinas produces 80 % of the nation's lettuce! WOW!
**Who saw The 2006 Broadway revival of Company on PBS Wedensday night? SO GOOD. Why didn't Raul Esparza win the Tony for that?

Saturday, February 2, 2008

OMG! Liz Taylor?!

Good Morning, Berkeley!

I was going to say Baltimore and make a musical theatre reference, but I decided against it, for once. So again, I'm blogging from home because the internet and phones were down for most of the day yesterday, just like last friday. If the same thing happens next friday, I say we officially name Fridays "Slack Off Fridays." Sort of like "Casual Fridays" but less awkward and more fun.

So what did I do yesterday? Oh! First I did the morning hello to the bull pen. That was fun because I like conversing with Paul and Beth about musical theatre, television and stuff. They both have a really great way of expressing what they liked and didn't like about it all, it's quite fun. We discussed Bare: A Pop Opera (I think the ":" make it look overly official), Cashmere Mafia (great television, people), and the play The Laramie Project.
Then I went up to artistic and had a little mini-meeting/chit chat about New Works and the upcoming trips and such. After that I devoted the whole day to a project which can only be described as tedious.

Over the past seven years the Casting Filing Cabinet has become the home of 2340327948230943204 unorganized headshots and resumes. The clear, bold lables might trick you into thinking that Martha Stewart* herself organized it, but oh no... if you look closer you just might find a local male non-equity actor qualified for understudy work named John Smith in the female, equity, out of town A-E file. It's quite disheartening. So for six hours I went through that monster and proudly finished by the end of the day.

OH! I found out what I can do to make my blog original...

Vampire: Any person, thought or feeling that stands between you and your creative self expression.
Kill those vampires, people [tos].


Just watch this, and we'll compare notes next week.

Peace and Love,


*Martha Stewart has been running the gamut for ages, kids and had the biggest comeback since carbohydrates. Kudos to you Martha, Kudos.

Friday, February 1, 2008

What It Do

Or should I say what does it do? :) Me, I sit and wait to scan the beautifuls into the computerdora. Headshots are awsome because they're like silent slides or comic books with no words.

Its chilli outside..being that it's winter... and getting here was slow but i look forward to the day ahead...coming here is always a cheer, something's always going on, so personal life takes a backseat. No time for morning time blues when there are actors to be taken care of:) being an intern at Cal Shakes is kinda like being a blood cell. The blood cell carries nutrients and fluid throughout the body to assure the body remains functioning normally. Instead of nutrients we carry clip boards and papers and instead of bodily fluids we carry water and donuts. But seriously team work's the dream work and we're the dream team. GO INTERNS!!!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The One With The Links


Doesn't the title of this blog remind you of "Friends" episodes? I'm trying to figure out like, a signature blog thing. Somthing personalized that I can slip in here, sort of like how the Desperate Housewives episode titles are all Sondheim Musical Numbers? I wish I'd thought of that first, 'cause who doesn't love Stephen Sondheim? I've been reading a lot of blogs lately to get some ideas which, thanks to the [title of show] blog, leads me to why there are so many links in this blog. They're little fun surprises in case you get bored.

So I have to first admit that I am not blogging this blogtastic blog from Cal Shakes like one may assume. I'm actually blogging from my comfortable room at home in San Ramon. I know, this is outlandish and promiscuous but on Friday (my alotted blogging day) the phones went down as well as the internet. So I started a really funny blog on microsoft word assuming that I'd just email it to myself and then post it when I got home. Then I realized that email requires an internet connection, the upside is that I have a lot to talk about so be excited.

Like the links? Me too.

So I started off my Friday with the weekly hello to the bullpen, but this morning was particularly fun. I had been raving about this incredible semi-new musical called Bare to Beth and Paul and brought a copy of the cds for them to share and pass around. As we were discussing it, Marketing Goddess Susie Falk chimed in with the incredibe fact that her friend has a lot to do with the show itself which was, I have to admit, really exciting.

The reason I bring this up is because after working for Cal Shakes for about eight months, I'm still completely stunned at how tight knit the theatre community is. It extends from New York city to San Francisco to all over the U.S. and is possibly one of the coolest part of working in a major regional theatre, everyone is connected.

Back to the day: after saying my hellos I went up to the artistic office which was soooo warm and cozy. The work for today was really fun. We had a New Works/New Communities meeting at which was so great because we're really getting started and settled into the project. We're currently making connections with historians, farmers and members of the Monterey Bay County so that we have some people to talk to when we make our trips out there. So right now I'm trying to make some of those connections and planning fun activies for us to do while we're there.
I'm sorry for the excessive links. But they're funny right? Or too much?

OH! I still need to put in pictures from last season/summer. Here they are:

So these are the Lancasters. When I was interning with Artistic Learning I co-Assistant Directed Richard III with this group and under the direction of the extremely talented Trish Tillman.
And this is me with two of the five campers who played Richard. They were pretty rad, y'all. Word.
This was the last scene in Richard III.
And these are just a few of the incredible friend that I met over the summer. Francesca to your right, Douglas (also seen on intern blog thing), Margaret and I. Fun times all around.
WOW this was a long blog! Hope you enjoyed it!
Peace and Love,

Friday, January 18, 2008

Back to Steinbeck

Hey Y'all!
(like the way Britney says it)

So after a long first week of the semester I was fortunate enough to end it with Cal Shakes. Today I got back to the core of my personal internship which is with New Works/New Communities. We're gearing up for a trip to Salinas in order to find some of the historical feel for where The Pastures of Heaven took place. I've always had a fancy for the history of the golden state so doing research on such a beautiful area like the Monterey Bay County has been a really fun adventure for me.

We're going to be meeting with some of the farmers, artists and basic members of the community in order to create a forum where we discuss the origins of the area specifically involving the 1920-1940 era.

In the other shoe, casting is still going on and that's always exciting to hear about. After spending last summer with CalShakes, I've been able to get to know actors and other theatre companies within the bay area. So now it's fun to discuss what's been going on with some of our resident actors at other companies as well as who will be returning this season.

Although this has absolutely nothing to do with Cal Shakes, I happen to be a huge musical theater fan and would just like to say how terribly sad I am that RENT will be closing on Broadway June 1st. *moment of silence*
And moving on....

So this is pretty much it for this week but "stay tuned" for next week because I'll be posting pictures from my experiences as an intern for a few different departments as previously promised!

Peace and Love,


Friday, January 11, 2008

Who Would've Thought...?

Who would have thought that working for a theater company would be so much fun! The atmosphere of everyone is so positive that the work gets done so fast. It's like they say, "time fly's when your having fun", a little cheesy but true. Watching the auditions are my favorite part because its SO much different when you're on the "other side" of the audition, its a great opportunity to see what directors look for in auditions, and what should've stayed at home ha ha. So far its been great here at Cal Shakes, lets just see what new thing are up for the future!

Your Local and Lovable Intern
:) Johnathan (:


Hello Web World! Whats the dizneal? Para me--Welcoming the new year and trying to keep warm! Lets see.... First i can say that our intern production of Savage Love was SUPER fun! In less than a month we came together and put on a show, and rocked it! We practiced and performed in a little art studio in downtown Oakland; super cozy and quaint. The cast only consisted of five {two of whom go to Laney college para me and three i just met} so we were just super cozy period:). Even smaller than our cast are the founding members of the theater company us interns were working with. The company is called Rough and Ready--coming soon to a theater near you-- no seriously, we are definitely going to do something like that again. Within the movement and language we worked with View Points {origins from NYU-my dream school-} which is something i personally have never worked with. It was really interesting, a lot of running and jumping and turns and chaos, but very controlled chaos. Our director, Corinne, was trying to teach us how to respond to our own kinetic senses simultaneously with one another. We did exercises such as sun salutations in unison, rhythm in unison and counting with one another without knowing who would say which number or when. The connection that was built was amazing. We knew so well the energies of each other that it made it a breeze to work with one another during the production. The version of the play that we were working with was a serious of poems that followed one another with some relation. The poems were really relavent to relationship issues like "Acting", "Babble" -ing, and "Killing" {not in the literal sense} but thats all the time i have for today, hope to be read by u again soon:)
Adios, Antonette!!!!


Hello World!

My name is Derek Smith and I am a proud Cal Shakes intern! Being completely aware of how generic that first sentence was, I must forewarn you all that I've never kept a blog before so I hope that my writing fulfills you like Perez Hilton on a boring day. I also hope to be just as funny and incredible as the breakout internet celebrity of 2007, Stephanie Kalem of The Cal Shakes Bullpen Blog ( ).

So just to give you some of my background at Cal Shakes, I started off as an intern at Cal Shakes in the Artistic Learning Department. As an "AL" Intern, I was the assistant director for a camp production of Richard III and acted as a teacher's assistant during all of the camp classes for middle school students. Doing the AL internship was possibly one of the most fun and educational experiences that I've ever had. I became great friends with the other interns and was given a chance to expand my theatrical perspective.

Today, I am a New Works/New Communities intern. I'm helping out our Artistic Team with taking one of John Steinbeck's books The Pastures of Heaven and turning it into a stage play to be debuted in our 2010 season. I do a lot of basic research about the time period and about the basic history of migrants in California- The California Dream, but not today.
Today has been such a blur of craziness! We're casting for our 2008 season, which I think is really fun. As interns we get to watch most of the professional actor's auditions as well as help out with the general audition process. So lately we've been dealing with converting all 5 million of our head shots and resumes to a digital database. This means scanning many many many head shots manually which is not the funnest thing to do. So after a thrilling hour and a half of scanning head shots into the computer, we go to match the head shots to the online resumes and find just blank, white pictures.

I had scanned 124 head shots on the wrong side. Just one of the many mindless moments that I have at Cal Shakes.

Almost like when Paul (Devo Extraordinare) and I went to the post office with 1000 stuffed envelopes and put them in one by one rather than all at once in the bulk mail door.

I'm so excited to continue this blog and hope to entertain you all with wit that I don't have!

Peace and Love,