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Phone: 707-643-7819
For grades: 3-12
Requirements for live visit: $100 travel fee beyond 100 miles from Vallejo, CA. $150 beyond 200 miles.
Fees for live visit: single performance -$695; 2 back-to back performances - $760.


Living History Theater »

Very well researched and executed. I have never heard the students so enthralled and quiet! Skillfully stellar integration dovetailing into the curriculum areas of drugs and alcohol, history, and literature.
--- Ms. Dietz, Teacher, Holy Family Education Center, San Jose

The Call of the Wild: The Life of Jack London - In this dynamic portrayal, actor/scholar Michael Oakes tells the greatest story Jack London ever wrote; his own life. Audiences can directly question America's most translated author in this interactive show which includes a strong anti-alcohol message.


From the age of nine, London toiled as a "wage-slave", becoming a factory worker, oyster pirate, sailor, writer, and rancher. In his 40 short years, London roamed the globe from the from Europe to Asia, from the Klondike to the South Seas. He twice ran for mayor of Oakland, and was recruited as a presidential candidate.


Jack London wrote 52 books and over 1000 articles and essays. He gained fame for such enduring classics as The Call of the Wild, White Fang, The Sea Wolf, and To Build a Fire. His social writings, such as The War of the Classes, The People of the Abyss, and John Barleycorn provide passionate insights into the great labor, suffrage, and temperance movements of his day.


Mr. Oakes has performed this renowned chautauqua at Jack London State Historic Park, The California Historical Society, the Jack London Association Conference, The California Writers Association Conference, San Francisco Main Library, schools, colleges, and museums throughout California. Renee Oakes introduces the show as Jack's "mate-women" Charmian London. Exerpts from her letters, journals, and writings cast a more intimate light on this larger than life literary legend. An informative Study Guide is included for schools.


More Award-Winning Shows
To see a full description of other shows in our repertoire, click any of the links below, or visit


 Scripted Shows


  • Coyote Tales (grades K-12)
    Mythical tales of 'the trickster' from many tribal traditions.
  • From Colonies to Country (grades K-12)
    A colonial quilt of diaries, documents, letters, and songs.
  • I Have A Dream: Dr. King & The Civil Rights Movement (grades K-12)
    A rousing musical history of the man and the movement.
  • A Christmas Carol (grades K-12)
    Dickens' literary classic comes to life with carols and student actor parts.
  • Ancient Greece and Rome (grades 3-12)
    The contributions of these cultural Titans are explored in an interactive show with evocative sets, classical costumes, a Greek game show, and a Roman Rap!
  • The Complete Condensed History of California (grades 3-12)
    An inspiring and hilarious whirlwind tour de force of history, including Native Californians, Explorers, Missions, the Gold Rush, African American '49ers, Asian immigrants, the Great Quake, Beats, Hippies, and dot-com-ers. Whew!
  • In the Wake of Gold (grades 3-12)
    A maritime voyage through Gold Rush California, with links to science, U.S., & World history.

Chautauqua Interactive Living-History Portrayals

  • Leonardo Da Vinci: Renaissance Man (grades 3-12)
    Renaissance Italy through the eyes of the Master.
  • Muir of the Mountains (grades K-12)
    The inspiring adventures of the 'Father of our National Parks.’
  • Shakespeare: Live! (grades 3-12)
    An entertaining and accessible portrait of the 'Prince of Players.’
  • Edgar Allen Poe (grades 3-12)
    Combines details of Poe's tragic life with passionate passages from his poems and prose to exhume America’s most haunting author.
  • John Steinbeck (grades 3-12)
    Selected readings and personal anecdotes bring to life this seminal American author of The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men, and East of Eden.

Grade Level: All shows can be performed appropriately for grades 3-6, or 7-12. Shows marked K-12 are also suitable for lower grades.

Format: Our living history shows have one of two formats: scripted, or un-scripted chautauqua. The scripted shows weave together many historic characters. Each chautauqua is an interactive visit with a major historical figure.

Show Length: Shows can be tailored to run from 35-60 minutes, with 45 minutes most common. We love to do Q & A sessions if you schedule extra time.

Also available...

Live Oakes Educational Theater is dedicated to combining rigorous research with acting expertise to bring history to life. Since 1994 our mission has been to inspire our audiences with stories from the past that can make a difference for the future. We have a large repertoire of award-winning shows. We are seasoned professional actor/scholars, who research and write our own shows; we pride ourselves on really knowing our subjects. We have performed at Historical Societies, National and State Historic Parks, Museums, libraries, conferences, universities, theaters, Big Reads, and schools throughout the U.S.


Artistic Director Michael Oakes has been acting, directing, and teaching drama for over twenty-five years. He graduate from Stuyvesant H.S. in N.Y., earned his B.S. and M.S. at the University of Wisconsin, and trained at A.C.T. As a member of Actor's Equity, he performs with professional theatres, and tours his own shows throughout the country. His award-winning screenplay, DA VINCI'S DREAMS is being considered by Dreamworks, Warners, and Disney.


Our Managing Producer and Musical Director, Renee Oakes, is a classically trained soprano, a leading North Bay actress, and Musical Director. She is soprano section leader and frequent soloist with the Grammy nominated Pacific Mozart Ensemble, with which she has performed with Bobby McFerrin and recorded original works by Dave Brubeck. Ms. Oakes enhances our productions with women's history and traditional songs that touch the spirit.


2012 Hollywood Outreach Program Winner


Interpretive History Merit Award - California Historical Society


Global 500 Award - UNESCO

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