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With its one-of-a-kind, spectacular outdoor setting in the heart of Topanga Canyon, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum offers a summer repertory season of Shakespeare and modern classics, as well as music and performance for kids and adults alike throughout the summer months. Arrive early to picnic on the beautiful grounds before a performance!
Summer has arrived! The 2019 repertory season at Theatricum Botanicum’s magical, outdoor Topanga amphitheater includes Twelfth Night, with original music that lends Shakespeare’s joyous romantic comedy a refreshing new sound and lifts the elevated language to even greater heights Theatricum’s signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which the Topanga woods are once again transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human Moby Dick–Rehearsed, adapted by the great Orson Welles from the novel by Herman Melville — an action-packed adventure in which an acting troupe, working between performances of King Lear, transforms a bare stage into the yardarms, sails, masts and deck of a ship hunting the great white whale a new adaptation, by Theatricum artistic director Ellen Geer, of An Enemy of the People, which resets Henrik Ibsen's powerful play in a small town in South Carolina in the 1980s The Skin of Our Teeth, Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning satirical tribute to the indestructibility of the American nuclear family and D.L Coburn’s Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning The Gin Game starring real life husband and wife Alan Blumenfeld and Katherine James in a coproduction with the Sierra Madre Playhouse.
All six productions will play in repertory through Sept. 29 through Sept. 29 at Theatricum’s spectacular outdoor venue in the heart of Topanga. Unlike most theaters in the L.A. area that stage continuous runs of a single play, Theatricum, using a company of actors, will perform each of the plays in repertory, making it possible to see all six plays in a single summer weekend.
Additional summer programming includes Theatricum’s fifth annual Family Barn Dance on the Fourth of July Under the Oaks, four September evenings of music and performance in the intimate S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights presenting free readings of new plays comedy improv with Theatricum’s in-house troupe Off The Grid Family Fundays, offering interactive children’s theater from Creative PlayGround and music from Peter Alsop’s Kids Koncerts and Theatricum’s annual Halloween celebration, which sees the bucolic Botanicum transformed into the haunted “BOO-tanicum.”
Theatricum Botanicum has been named “One of the 50 Coolest Places in Los Angeles” by Buzz magazine, “One of Southern California's most beguiling theater experiences” by Sunset magazine, and “Best Theater in the Woods” by the LA Weekly. “The enchantment of a midsummer night at Theatricum Botanicum [makes it] crystal clear why audiences have been driving up into the hills since Theatricum’s maiden season way back in 1973. Summer Shakespeare doesn’t get any better than this,” writes StageSceneLA. Says Los Angeles magazine, “The amphitheater feels like a Lilliputian Hollywood Bowl, with pre-show picnics and puffy seat cushions, yet we were close enough to see the stitching on the performers costumes. Grab a blanket and a bottle and head for the hills.”
The beginnings of the Theatricum Botanicum can be traced to the early 1950s when Will Geer, a victim of the McCarthy era Hollywood blacklist (before he became known as the beloved Grandpa on The Waltons), opened a theater for blacklisted actors and folk singers on his property in Topanga. Friends such as Ford Rainey, John Randolph and Woody Guthrie joined him on the dirt stage for vigorous performances and inspired grassroots activism, while the audiences sat on railroad ties. Today, two outdoor amphitheaters are situated in the natural canyon ravine, where audiences are able to relax and enjoy the wilderness during an afternoon or evening's performance. Theatricum’s main stage amphitheater sports a new and improved sun shade for increased audience comfort, installed with support from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Ralph M. Parson’s Foundation. Theatricum is the recipient of multiple awards, including the Margaret Harford Award for “sustained excellence,” which is the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle's highest honor.
Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The amphitheaters are terraced into the hillside, so audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Patrons are welcome to arrive early and picnic before a performance.
For tickets, subscriptions, group discounts and a full schedule of theater, music and family entertainment, call 310-455-3723 or go to www.theatricum.com.
Individual performance dates:
**All shows perform in repertory: go to www.theatricum.com or call 310-455-3723 to find a performance schedule.
Presenter / Producer: Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
Theater > Drama
Theater > Theatrical Comedy
Event Phone: 310-455-3723
Will Geer's Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Topanga CA 90290
LA - San Fernando Valley
Performance Dates: 6/15/2019 - 9/29/2019
All productions run in repertory: go to www.theatricum.com or call 310-455-3723 for a full performance schedule.
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