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September 28, 2009

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September 28, 2009

My son has had an excellent experience in the Cal Shakes summer conservatory as well as in Playshop. The Cal Shakes summer program is staffed by incredible teaching artists who also perform as part of the Cal Shakes theatre. The program is geared toward serious acting with the mindset that young children are capable of learning and understanding Shakespeare. Each program my son has been in has been rich with language, expert teaching and high expectations. As much as I might like to offer constructive suggestions, I have found the program to be quite exceptional. As a teacher educator, I can attest to the high level of teaching that goes on within the program and how well the students respond to being in such a well-managed environment.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

My son has gained confidence, skills and friends and an abiding love for Shakespeare.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

exceptional. Across the board, the teaching artists, student interns and administrators have been thoughtful, conscientious, kind and talented!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the way many urban students perceive Shakespeare.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About once a year

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 27, 2009

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September 27, 2009

My son has been taking acting classes with Cal Shakes for the past 4 years. He started in Elementary school and is now in the 7th grade. He has participated in various acting classes in the Bay area and the Cal Shakes Summer Conservatory is by far the most wonderful program he has every been part of. He has truly learned a about acting techniques, history, text and has been able to hon his skills, and every summer he gets to shine of the stage in a Shakespeare play - that is the biggest thrill! The folks at Cal Shakes are supportive and give every kid who participates the chance to dream big and then lets that dream unfold. They have built a very serious and rigorous acting program where kids really learn all aspects of acting and performance in a supportive environment, while having fun - I can't praise them enough. Every year we have to plan our summers around the conservatory program - it has become part of his life and has a whole community of friendships from through the conservatory who he sees year after year. And since our son has been working with Cal Shakes - we have gone to all the plays each season and have seen some of the best theater performances in the Bay Area. The best part is all young Cal Shakes conservatory actors get to see all the plays for free! This is an organization that needs to be noted for their community outreach, wildly successful youth programs and great theater in an idyllic setting!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

many, many ways. Through acting programs with my son and as an audience member for their summer theater.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

They are warm, gracious and engaged in their community and the youth and audience the service.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

fantastic! I love then all!!

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Create the most inspiring youth out reach and acting programs in Northern California and create a rich learning environment for their constituency.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 26, 2009

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September 26, 2009

I spent this past summer working as an Artistic Learning intern with this company. It was by far the best work experience I have ever had. Their respect for young people and arts education is incredible. They offer amazing summer programs as well as residency programs in the classrooms of local schools. This organization helps learning of all ages and backgrounds. Cal Shakes shows how important arts education is daily. Every day I spent there I felt that I was changing lives. I was given an education on how to educate and that is something that is invaluable. I cannot thank Cal Shakes enough for teaching me what my purpose is and providing students with opportunities of a lifetime.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

giving students confidence, goals and a sense of strength that is near impossible for most adolescents to find.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

watching troubled students become active and engaged with texts that are hundreds of years old.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

caring, intelligent, and leaders in their respective fields.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change every student's life for the better by providing them with world class arts education.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 26, 2009

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September 26, 2009

My Daughter attended the 5 week conservatory over the summer. It was by far the best Summer activity she has ever done. She showed more enthusiasm and interest than I have ever seen her show for anything. This is a serious acting camp where students learn from and interact with professional thespians and other theater folks. We will most definitely do this again.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my daughters attitude and willingness to work hard at this art.

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

my daughter has improved in all aspects of doing homework and completing other work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly professional people with a deep interest in passing on a passion for thier art.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

do a lot more youth programs and reach many more children in this area.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 26, 2009

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September 26, 2009

Our daughter attended CalShakes' 5 week conservatory this past summer and the 2 week conservatory the summer before. We have been attending special performances for students for years. CalShakes has wonderful outreach to the youth community and always has interactive presentations before plus Q&A with the cast after performances. Our daughter (& indeed hundreds of youth) has broadened her acting abilities & knowledge greatly through the in-depth programs provided by this organization.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

the expansion of my daughter's acting ability.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

helpful and very involved with the students they are teaching.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

Cal Shakes is home, for the actors, staff, patrons and especially for the children who attend Student Discovery Matinees and the summer theater programs like 2 week and 5 week Conservatory or 2 week camp. The teaching artists are phenomenal and really let the kids shine and find new talents they never knew they had. I was not only impressed, but astounded that I was learning things along with the kids. At 5 Week Conservatory, my 8 and 9 year old students put on an hour long "Romeo & Juliet" that would make adults jealous. Even more important than having gained new techniques and knowledge is that every child came out of their summer theater program more confident and excited (not just about Shakespeare, but about the arts in general). Student Discovery Matinees allow Bay Area youth to experience a show most of them wouldn't get to otherwise as well as ask the actors questions after the show. From a backstage perspective, the kids always had questions that were so thoughtful, they left even the experienced actors speechless. My only regret is that I didn't grow up in the Bay Area with Cal Shakes to show me just how important the arts are in ALL of our lives, no matter your age!

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

selfless, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and genuinely passionate about theater and spreading it to everyone regardless of age.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

September 25, 2009

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September 25, 2009

CalShakes is a fantastic organization. My personal experience with CalShakes is as a 15-year season ticket holder and supporter. The staff approach both the shows and the student outreach with contagious enthusiasm and zeal for life and beauty and the arts.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

reach every teacher and student in the greater Bay Area to help instill an understanding of and love for performing arts, which would also help children be better students as they learn critical thinking skills.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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