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Be not afraid of greatness

A snapshot of Shakespearean productions across Southern California.

June 26, 2008


Independent Shakespeare Co., Hollywood; (323) 836-0288,

Hollywood's Barnsdall Park plays host to this critically acclaimed company, now in its fifth season. The productions are traditional, with minimal sets and modest costumes. The emphasis is on clarity of diction and making Shakespeare accessible.

"Twelfth Night," through Aug. 23; "Henry IV, Parts One and Two," July 3-Aug. 22; Christopher Marlowe's "Dr. Faustus," July 24-Aug. 24. Tickets: Free.

Shakespeare by the Sea, San Pedro and other locations;

The name says it all. Experience the Bard at scenic waterfront locations around Los Angeles and Orange County. This summer, venues include Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, Polliwog Park in Manhattan Beach and Valley Park in Hermosa Beach.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Tuesday, July 01, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 36 words Type of Material: Correction
Shakespeare in the Vines: An article in Thursday's edition of The Guide about Southern California Shakespeare productions gave the wrong phone number for the Temecula company Shakespeare in the Vines. The correct number is (866) 653-8696.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream," through Aug. 8; "Antony & Cleopatra," through Aug. 9; "The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)," Friday-July 26. Tickets: "Dream" and "Cleopatra," free; "Complete Works," $25.

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, Topanga; (310) 455-3723,

One of the most scenic theater spaces in L.A., the Theatricum Botanicum was founded by Will Geer, best known for his role in "The Waltons." It's now run by his daughter and her extended family, who have kept the quality of productions high and the crowds coming. (Its production of "As You Like It" is an L.A. Times Critic's Choice.)

"As You Like It," through Sept. 28; "A Midsummer Night's Dream," through Aug. 28; "Macbeth," through Sept. 28. Tickets: $8-$28.

Shakespeare Santa Monica; santamonica

Founded in 2004, this company has amassed a loyal following in its short history. Performances are Saturday and Sunday evenings at Reed Memorial Park, near the tennis courts.

"Two Gentlemen of Verona," July 5-July 12. Tickets: $20.

Shakespeare Festival / LA, downtown Los Angeles and Palos Verdes; (213) 481-2273,

This award-winning company performs in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in L.A. and at the South Coast Botanic Garden in Rancho Palos Verdes.

"The Taming of the Shrew," July 9-July 27. Tickets: Free.

The Actors' Gang, Culver City; (310) 838- 4264, theactorsgang .com

Now in its third summer, this family-friendly festival from the Actors' Gang runs Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m. in the park adjacent to the Ivy Substation.

"King O'Leary," Aug. 9-Aug. 31. Tickets: Free.

Long Beach Shakespeare Festival, Long Beach; (562) 431-3541,

This one-performance festival takes place at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach. This year, the organizers have increased the number of seats from 500 to 750 to accommodate the crowds. Reservations are required, however.

"A Midsummer Night's Dream," Aug. 3. Tickets: Free.


The Old Globe, San Diego; (619) 234-5623,

The granddaddy of all SoCal Shakespeare festivals, the Old Globe presents big-budget productions featuring opulent sets and costumes. The prices are comparatively high, but the magnificent outdoor seating area makes it all seem worth it.

"All's Well That Ends Well," through Sept. 26; "Romeo and Juliet," through Sept. 28; "The Merry Wives of Windsor," through Sept. 27. Tickets: $42-$64.

Shakespeare Orange County, Garden Grove; (714) 744-7016,

The O.C.'s sole theater company dedicated to the classics takes over the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove each summer. Feel free to bring food and the family. Best of all, there's free parking adjacent to the theater.

"Henry V," July 10-July 26; "The Tempest," Aug. 7-Aug. 23. Tickets: $30-$32.



Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival, Thousand Oaks; (805) 493-3455, kingsmen

This 11-year-old festival takes place in Kingsmen Park at California Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, with a season-opening, 1970s-style version of "As You Like It." Tickets are available for purchase at the door only.

"As You Like It," Friday-July 13; "Henry IV," July 18-Aug. 3. Tickets: $15, or two for $25.

Shakespeare Santa Barbara, Los Olivos and Santa Barbara; (805) 231-5088, www.shakes-sb .com

The festival is held at two locations -- the Fess Parker Winery in Los Olivos and the Casa de la Guerra in Santa Barbara. Audiences can purchase wine by the glass or the bottle, but no outside alcohol is permitted.

"Much Ado About Nothing," Aug. 2-Aug. 24. Tickets: $20-$22



Shakespeare in the Vines, Temecula; (866) 653-5696,

This company invites audiences to experience Shakespeare performed in some of Temecula's most scenic vineyards. "Twelfth Night" and "The Taming of the Shrew" will take place at the Frangipani Winery, and "Romeo & Juliet" is at the Wiens Family Cellars.

"Twelfth Night," July 11-July 20; "Romeo & Juliet," Aug. 15-Aug. 23; "The Taming of the Shrew," Sept. 12-Sept. 21. Tickets: $15-$20.

Fictitious Theatre Company, San Bernardino; (909) 954-4540,

Performances take place at Arroyo Valley High School in San Bernardino.

"Othello," Aug. 15-Aug. 29; "Two Gentlemen of Verona," Aug. 15-Aug. 29. Tickets: $5-$10.

San Jacinto Shakespeare Group, Riverside and Hemet; (800) 645-4465

This theater group produces quality Shakespeare productions in Sycamore Highland Park in Riverside and at the Ramona Bowl in Hemet.

"The Tempest," Aug. 16-Sept. 20; "Macbeth," Aug. 17 and Aug. 24. Tickets: $12-$15.

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