California Shakespeare Theater Announces 46th Season

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California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) announces three of the four titles for its 2020 Season at the Bruns Amphitheater: the West Coast Premiere of Aeschylus' The Oresteia by Ellen McLaughlin, May 27-June 14; the world premiere of 1001 Nights (A Retelling) by Leila Buck and Evren Odcikin, August 19-September 6; and Romeo y Juilet by William Shakespeare in a new bilingual adaptation by Karen Zacarías, September 23-October 1; with a to-be-announced Shakespeare play which will run July 8-26. Cast and creative teams for each will be announced at a later date.

"In this, our election season, we were inspired to lean into some fundamental questions we all face," says Artistic Director Eric Ting. "Can we preserve our democracy in a moment of profound disruption? Will we seek the safety of the familiar, or find strength (and beauty) in our plurality? What do we owe our children? It feels, sometimes, as if crisis compounds upon crisis, that one cruelty is quickly replaced by another. How are we to respond to this? With fear? Or with courage and compassion? And when we do finally reach the end of it, who will we choose to be, whose company will we choose to make, and can we meet that future with joy and hope and fellowship?"

First up, Cal Shakes presents the West Coast premiere of The Oresteia by Ellen McLaughlin, directed by Eric Ting. Freely adapted from the Ancient Greek plays of Aeschylus comes this chronicle of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, and their children-Iphigenia, Electra, and Orestes-and the tragic tale of the fall of the House of Atreus. Called "heart-stopping" by The Washington Post, this is a story of family, war, power, and sacrifice, and our collective responsibility to disrupt the tragedies amongst us with mercy, compassion, and grace.

The summer continues with the World Premiere of 1001 Nights (A Retelling) by Leila Buck and Evren Odcikin and directed by Evren Odcikin. Like black odyssey and Quixote Nuevo, this play is being developed as part of Cal Shakes' New Classics initiative in deep collaboration with Bay Area communities in an effort led by Raeshma Razvi. Inspired by the Middle Eastern folk tales of One Thousand and One Nights told by Shahrazad to save a kingdom and all the women in it, this "retelling" is a mix of ancient and contemporary reflections celebrating the resilience of MENASA (Middle Eastern, North African, South Asian) women in our society-one that often resists nuance, complexity and contradiction.

The final play of our 2020 season will be Romeo y Juliet, Shakespeare's most iconic tale of young, ill-fated love presented in a bilingual adaptation by Karen Zacarías. Director KJ Sanchez returns after a national tour of our 2018 hit Quixote Nuevo to imagine these star-crossed lovers in a world steeped in the music and mores of Latinidad.

Season packages for the four-play season are available now; single and group tickets go on sale to the public in spring 2020. Prices start at $132 for a four-play subscription, with discounts available for seniors, youth, and full-time K-12 educators. Subscribers get the best seats at the lowest prices and those who renew for 2020 before Macbeth closes can secure the same rates as their 2019 subscription!

For information or to charge tickets by phone with VISA, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express, call the Cal Shakes Box Office at 510.548.9666. Additional information and online ticketing is available at

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