For grades: 3-12
Fees for live visit: single performance - $695; two back-to-back performances - $760
Funding: $100 travel fee beyond 100 miles from Vallejo, CA. $150 beyond 200 miles.
Living History Theater »
You were absolutely inspiring. The acting, the costumes, the set, everything was great. Even your Study Guide was the best I've ever seen. The kids learned not only about art and history, but about science, and thinking independently. --- Art Teacher, Carden Day School
LEONARDO DA VINCI: RENAISSANCE MAN - This show travels back to 15th century Italy to bring to life the unparalleled genius of Leonardo da Vinci. The Master calls students into his studio as apprentices, and demonstrates his techniques and discoveries. Students can ask questions of the greatest genius in history, in this interactive show, complete with a wonderful set and sumptuous costume.
Actor/Scholar Michael Oakes traveled throughout Italy and France researching this edu-taining portrait. Leonardo leads us through his youth around Florence, home of Dante, Machiavelli, Galileo, and that powerful family of patrons and popes, the Medici. Students learn how Leonardo excelled not only as an artist but also as an engineer, inventor, musician, and scientist, to become the epitome of the Renaissance Man.
The Old Master reveals the mysteries behind his masterpieces, The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa, and why many of his greatest works were never completed. We marvel at inventions centuries ahead of their time, such as the submarine, hang-glider, and helicopter. Leonardo elucidates his pioneering studies in anatomy, geology, flight, etc. We explore his personal loves and professional rivalries with the likes of Michelangelo and Raphael. The audience gets into the act as apprentices, and in a game of "Decoding Da Vinci", puzzling Leonardo's beloved riddles.
Underlying themes include independent thinking, perseverance, and the struggle for artistic, scientific, and personal freedom.
More Award-Winning Shows To see a full description of other shows in our repertoire, click any of the links below, or visit www.liveoakes.com.
Coyote Tales (grades K-12) Mythical tales of 'the trickster' from many tribal traditions.
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.
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.
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 graduated 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