The first play I saw at the Grove Shakespeare Festival was "Julius Caesar" several years ago. I must admit I didn't know quite what to expect. I had some vague premonition that there would be a confusing array of characters running around, dressed in outdated costumes, mumbling unintelligible lines. How wrong I was! The play made what had always been a confusing period of history much clearer, the costumes added a real sense of the times, and the lines awoke me to the beauty of Shakespeare's poetry.
It was a refreshing change from sitcoms on TV, commercial films at the local movie house and the other trappings of suburban life.
I've seen most of the other plays since then and have continued to be captivated by them. The humor of the provincials in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," the pathos of the fallen king in "Richard II," and the star-crossed romance of the lovers in "Romeo and Juliet" have indeed made me feel a part of the grandeur that was Elizabethan Theater, and given me a new appreciation of its greatest spokesman, William Shakespeare, who "was not of an age, but for all time."
Even if the theater closes, I would like to say thanks to (Grove artistic director) Thomas Bradac and all of those who made it possible for the people in Garden Grove and the surrounding areas who looked for something more from their entertainment dollar than what had previously been available to them. You have expanded our world by giving us a taste of Shakespearean theater, performed live by a professional company, and now that we know it's out there, we can seek it elsewhere--we are not confined by the boundaries of Garden Grove.