44TH Season includes stories of visionary scope: 

an adaptation of Cervantes’ masterpiece 

by Octavio Solis; a Branden Jacobs-Jenkins West Coast premiere; 

and an epic Shakespearean event


Berkeley, CA, September 18, 2017—California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes) today announced its 2018 Season of firsts at the Bruns Amphitheater: Quixote by Octavio Solis, adapted from Don Quixote by Miguel Cervantes, June 13-July 1; the West Coast premiere of Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, July 18-August 5; and The War of the Roses, adapting William Shakespeare’s historical tetralogy covering Henry VI, parts 1, 2, and 3, and Richard III, August 22-September 9. Cast and creative teams for each will be announced at a later date.

First up, a literary classic re-imagined: Quixote marks the return of playwright Octavio Solis (John Steinbeck’s The Pastures of Heaven) to the Bruns with his acclaimed adaptation originally commissioned by Oregon Shakespeare Festival but conceived anew, setting La Mancha as a modern-day Texas border town. Filled with flights of fancy and Tejano tunes, Don Quixote and his trusty sidekick Sancho ride into battle against dragons, evil enchanters, and illusions of the mind.

Next, a 21st-Century riff on the medieval morality play: Everybody by acclaimed playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (An Octoroon) in its West Coast premiere. Everybody dies. It’s the one universal truth. So when death comes knocking, one of six actors chosen randomly at the top of each performance seeks companionship for their final journey in an allegorical play that plumbs the depths of the human condition with surprising humor, heart, grace, and dancing skeletons.

Finally, a Shakespearean event of epic proportions: The War of the Roses, a monumental evening of theater spanning four of Shakespeare’s histories—the Henry VI trilogy and Richard III—delivering a fast-paced, far-ranging, vividly theatrical depiction of two powerful families—the Lancasters and the Yorks—and their decades-long fight for English rule that’s sure to leave you breathless. When weak leadership and civil strife run rampant, what are the consequences? Who will take the throne?

“I’m excited to share with you our plans for 2018—stories of visionary scope that speak as much to who we are as to who we’ve been,” says Eric Ting, Artistic Director. “This season also brings changes. We listened as many of our audiences expressed concerns over their increasingly hectic summers and the erratic weather of spring and autumn. We heard from many of our most ardent supporters that Cal Shakes should always be BOLD theater—big enough to fill the vast outdoors. We wanted new ways to celebrate the unique experience of the Bruns, be they return engagements of popular productions or extraordinary events that we couldn’t pass up. And so we’ve created a concentrated subscription season filled with the epic and eventful work so many of our audiences crave, of scale and scope and audacious, uncompromising vision—a true summer at the Bruns, anchored by three plays from June to September. This also affords us room to explore additional programming at the Bruns—with subscribers benefitting by broadened experiences and early access to tickets. Stay tuned for more information as those plans develop.”

Last season, Cal Shakes saw record single ticket sales for its hit show, black odyssey, and the audience and critical response was overwhelmingly positive. California Shakespeare Theater continues to redefine the boundaries of classical theater for the 21st century, producing new works inspired by classic texts and presenting Shakespeare that engages with the contemporary moment. “Who we are as a people, as human beings, is in no small part defined by the stories that we were raised on,” continues Ting. “Stories, in their way, teach us how to be human. They teach us our morality, our sense of right and wrong, how to love, how to hate, how to live. Next year’s stories will be no exception.”

Season packages for the three-play season are available now; single and group tickets go on sale to the public April 9, 2018. Prices start at $99 for a three-play subscription, with discounts available for seniors, youth, and full-time K-12 educators.

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


California Shakespeare Theater (Cal Shakes), under the leadership of Artistic Director Eric Ting and Managing Director Susie Falk, is now in its 43rd season as a nationally-recognized leader in drawing on the power of authentic, inclusive storytelling to create more vibrant communities. Serving more than 43,000 people annually, Cal Shakes invites people from all walks of life to make deeply-felt connections with our shared humanity through its work onstage, in schools, and with people in non-traditional settings throughout the Bay Area who have little or no access to theater. For more information, visit

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