Only Two Weekends Left of Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival

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GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, heads to it’s final two weekends! The festival which kicked off June 28 with Shakespeare’s rarely-produced romance, The Winter’s Tale alongside two of his most popular comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors has already boasted record attendance of more than 27,000, making it the largest summer theater event in the City of Los Angeles and the largest Shakespeare Festival in Los Angeles

Independent Shakespeare Co. Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival: Only Two Weekends Left

GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, heads to it’s final two weekends! The festival which kicked off June 28 with Shakespeare’s rarely-produced romance, The Winter’s Tale alongside two of his most popular comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Comedy of Errors has already boasted record attendance of more than 27,000, making it the largest summer theater event in the City of Los Angeles and the largest Shakespeare Festival in Los Angeles.

This year, ISC returned to Griffith Park with over 40 nights of programming. In addition to the main stage productions, ISC offers other programming throughout the summer with Players in the Park/Jugamos en el Parque, a pre-show workshop series funded by The James Irvine Foundation for young people and their families featuring imaginative exercises taught by ISC Acting Company members.

"GO!" L.A WEEKLY
"Pick of the Week" EYE ON L.A ABC7
"Critic's Pick" BACKSTAGE
“the city’s most popular Shakespearean locus” - LA STAGE TIMES
"...an audacious mix of intelligence, craft, and wonderment." - L.A WEEKLY
"...one of the community's treasures." - L.A TIMES
"...athletic, unbuttoned, intellectually provocative..." - BACKSTAGE
"On stage and off, every age and ethnicity can be found." - Shakespeare In L.A
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream” suits the freewheeling style of ISC, with its shamelessly effective physical comedy." LA TIMES
"[the]....fizzy cast plays like a soda can shaken and sprayed...Adding to the evening’s charm is an onstage band...this six-piece combo offers
a sweet contrast to play’s breathless slapstick, but also sings its subtext." LA TIMES

ISC Acting Company members are some of Los Angeles’s most seasoned stage professionals. Their experience ranges from Broadway, London’s West End, major US regional theaters, and some of LA’s best venues. ISC has historically attracted an uncharacteristically youthful and diverse theater audience. The 2011 audience was: 49% non-Caucasian, 72 under 35 years old (19% under 18), and 57% earning under $50,000 a year. ISC is also one of the few theaters in Los Angeles performing under a paid contract with Actors’ Equity Association. It also offers health and pension benefits to its Union performers, something only a handful of LA theaters do, all of whom have substantially larger budgets.

Players in the Park: Free workshops for families! Led by ISC teaching artists, your family will learn about A Midsummer Night's Dream, explore Shakespeare’s language, take a backstage tour, and try out how it feels on the ISC stage. All students take home materials about the play. Through generous support by the James Irvine Foundation, workshops and materials are available in both English and Spanish. All ages are welcome! Workshops begin promptly at 5:00. Please leave a bit of extra time to park! Reservations recommended: email Sarah or call (818) 710-630

Currently On-Stage:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Directed by Melissa Chalsma

In a fantastical Athens surrounded by an enchanted wood, the lines between dreaming and waking are deliciously blurred. As the wedding of Duke Theseus to his captured Amazonian bride approaches, a group of tradesmen rehearse a play celebrate the nuptials. In the shadows alongside them, the King and Queen of the fairies do battle, lovers succumb to magic and to each other, while forest spirits seek to unravel the mysteries of the human heart.

This production of Shakespeare's most intoxicating comedy is staged with athletic abandon and dazzling costumes: perfect for the whole family.

Scenic design is by Caitlin Lainoff; costumes by Garry Lennon; and lighting by Bosco Flanagan

The Comedy of Errors by William Shakespeare
Directed by Melissa Chalsma

Do you ever feel that something in your life is missing? The Mediterranean Island of Ephesus at the tail end of WWII is a dangerous place. Locked in a battle with neighboring Syracuse, the town is suspicious of strangers. Into this place, two men come to town seeking to find themselves, but inadvertently cut a path of chaos. During the upheaval, love is lost and found, lives are saved, and a community is restored.

A live band "Dr. Pinch & The Pinchtones" and period dancing complete Shakespeare’s most compact and fast-paced comedy.

Scenic design is by Caitlin Lainoff; costumes by Kate Bishop; and lighting by Bosco Flanagan

“Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival” runs Thursdays through Sundays at 7 p.m. through September 2. All Performances are FREE! Griffith Park FREE Shakespeare Festival is located in The Old Zoo at Griffith Park (near 4730 Crystal Spring Dr.) GPS Coordinates of the parking area: 34*8.034’N, 118* 17.100‘W Visit http://www.iscla.org or call (818) 710-6306 for directions and information.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no seating at the site. Please bring a blanket or low-backed chair. It is also very cool when the sun goes down. Dress warmly.

Independent Shakespeare Company (ISC) was founded in 1998. We have been producing accessible, imaginative performances of classical plays since that time. Our first performances were located on the Lower East Side of New York. The stripped down production style of our early productions enabled us to travel easily and we quickly found ourselves touring Europe, ending with an invitation to perform our production Macbeth for four weeks at The King’s Head Theatre in London. In 2001 we relocated to Los Angeles and -- with the support of the Department of Recreation and Parks and the Department of Cultural Affairs -- founded Free Shakespeare in Barnsdall Park, in 2004. Because of audience demand, in 2010 we moved to the significantly larger venue at the Old Zoo and re-christened the summer season the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. We have produced 19 fully staged productions over eight summer seasons. The growth in attendance is extraordinary: our first season played to fewer than 1,000 people; by 2011 over 25,000 people came to Griffith Park for 36 nights of free Shakespeare productions. For more information call 818-710-6306 or visit http://www.iscla.org

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Xavi Moreno
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