1. Travel

Summer Theatre Festivals around Los Angeles

Shakespeare in the Parks and Other Outdoor Theatre

By

Shakespeare by the Sea Comedy of Errors

Shakespeare by the Sea Comedy of Errors

Photo © 2006 Kayte Deioma, courtesy of www.KayteDeioma.com

Summer is a time for outdoor theatre festivals in Los Angeles, most of which focus on Shakespeare and other classics. Some theatre companies perform theatre in public parks, while others have permanent venues. Some are free, while others have a comparatively hefty ticket price. LA's summer theatre festivals are listed here according to when in the season they begin, with the earliest ones usually starting at the beginning of June.

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum Summer Repertory Season

Annual summer season of Shakespeare and the Classics set in a rustic, outdoor amphitheatre located in a natural canyon ravine. Picnickers are welcome.
When: June - October, various times
Where: Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga
Cost: $10-$35
Info: 310-455-3723, www.theatricum.com
 

Shakespeare by the Sea Performances

This annual series of performances of Shakespeare is set in an outdoor theater overlooking the Pacific Ocean as well as various locations throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. Feel free to bring a picnic, a blanket, chairs, and dress warmly to enjoy an evening of lively theater under the night sky. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
When: Mid-June to Mid-August 7:30 p.m. pre-show, 8:00 p.m. show, Sundays 7 pm
Where: Point Fermin Park, 807 Paseo Del Mar, San Pedro and other locations throughout LA and Orange County
Cost: FREE
Info: www.shakespearebythesea.org

Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park

The internationally recognized Independent Shakespeare Co. brings several of Shakespeare's works back to Griffith Park for a summer season of free outdoor performances. Bring a picnic, a blanket, your family and friends, and enjoy a perfect evening at the theater.
When: End of June to End of August Thurs - Sun 7:00 p.m.
Where: Festival Stage, Griffith Park Old Zoo, 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, LA 90027
Cost: FREE
Info: 818-710-6306, www.iscla.org

La Canada Flintridge Shakespeare Festival

The La Canada Flintridge Shakespeare Festival is part Shakespeare and part original works inspired by Shakespeare.
When: End of June through July, Thurs - Sun 8:00 p.m.
Where: Byrnes Amphitheater, Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, (former Biltmore Hotel) 440 St. Katherine Dr, La Cañada Flintridge, CA 91011
Cost: $12-$29, festival passes available
Info: www.vanguardrep.com

Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles

The Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles is returning this summer to the Japanese Garden at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center for their two week run.
When: July
Where: The Japanese Garden on the grounds of the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center campus 11301 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90073 (adjacent to the Brentwood Theatre)
Cost: Starting at $25; premium seating available, Free for active military, veterans and their guests (while they last, reservations required)
Info: www.shakespearecenter.org

Long Beach Shakespeare Company's Shakespeare Festival

Free outdoor Shakespeare performances in July at Long Beach parks.
When: July
Where: Varies, Long Beach
Cost: FREE
Info: www.lbshakespeare.org

West Hollywood Summer Performing Arts Series

The Classic Theatre Lab's free theatre performances at Kings Road Park . Reservations are recommended.
When: July
Where: Kings Road Park, 1000 N Kings Rd, West Hollywood, CA 90069
Cost: FREE
Info & Reservations: (323) 960-5691, www.classicaltheatrelab.org

Shakespeare Orange County's Summer Season

Orange County's professional classical theatre company presents Shakespeare and other classics "Under the Stars," at the Festival Amphitheatre in Garden Grove. Free parking. Picnic Areas Available.
When: Mid-July through August, Fri-Sat, some Thursdays
Where: Festival Amphitheatre, 12762 Main Street, Garden Grove
Cost: $33-$35. Ask about "PAY WHAT YOU WILL THURSDAYS."
Info: 714-590-1575 www.shakespeareoc.org

Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival

The Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival is part of the LA SummerFest at Rivendale, located at the entrance to Towsley Canyon Park in the city of Santa Clarita in northern Los Angeles County.
When: Mid-July through the first weekend in August
Where: 24255 the Old Rd Santa Clarita, CA 91321-3922
Cost: FREE
Info: (661) 799-3378, scshakespearefest.org

Culver City Summer in the Park

Actor's Gang presents family friendly far out adaptations of Shakespeare's classics Saturday and Sunday mornings in Culver City's Media Park.
When: Weekends in August
Where: Media Park, 9070 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 (corner of Culver next to the Ivy Substation)
Cost: FREE
Info: 310-838-GANG (310-838-4264), www.theactorsgang.com
More About Theatre in Los Angeles

This information was accurate at the time of publication. Please check with venues for the most current information.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.