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WILL GEER’S THEATRICUM BOTANICUM 2021 SUMMER SEASON
|Theater in West LA|
Date(s): 07/10/2021 to 11/07/2021
Day(s): Friday Saturday Sunday
Time(s): 7:30 p.m.; 4 p.m.
Address: 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga 90290
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This summer, three different plays will be presented under the stars at Theatricum Botanicum’s beautiful venue: a fresh look at Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare’s iconic thriller about power, politics and the elusive nature of truth viewed from a new perspective — that of the Soothsayer; the company’s signature production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, infused with music and song to heighten the pleasure, in which the Topanga woods are once again transformed into an enchanted forest inhabited by lovers both fairy and human; and the world premiere of The Last, Best Small Town by John Guerra, a tale of small town America set in nearby Fillmore, CA.
All three productions will play in repertory July 10 through Nov. 7. 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 three plays in a single summer weekend.
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 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 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.
Theatricum Botanicum continues its campaign to “Go Green,” completing the Topanga Creek revitalization project headed by Debbie Sharpton. All nonnative plants have been removed from the grounds with the help of many volunteers, and native plants have been planted. Visitors will be greeted by a mural of a red-tailed hawk and signage that confirms that nature and art live together. Theatricum is committed to being an active defender of the planet and a warrior against climate change.
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.
For a complete schedule of repertory performances, call (310) 455-3723 or go to www.theatricum.com.
NOTE: It is always a good idea to verify date, time, location and other information prior to going.
Eye Spy LA is not responsible for the accuracy of this information.
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