The summer season lineup at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum includes four timeless classics that continue to reflect our life and times centuries after Shakespeare’s death 400 years ago. It all takes place at Theatricum’s unique and spectacular outdoor setting under the California live oaks and summer skies of Topanga. The five mainstage productions will play in repertory through October 2. Dates indicate the first performance of each show:
June 4: The repertory season kicks off on with Romeo and Juliet, set in East Jerusalem. Director Ellen Geer elucidates the continued relevance of this 421-year-old play, setting Shakespeare’s tale of forbidden love and warring families in a city beset by age-old prejudices, street violence and religious differences.
June 5: Theatricum’s signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Melora Marshall, is a company staple that heralds the arrival of summer in Topanga. Once again, the most magical outdoor setting in Los Angeles is transformed into an enchanted forest, inhabited by lovers both fairy and human.
June 18: The opening of TOM, a world premiere adaptation with music, written and directed by Ellen Geer, that brings a fresh perspective to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s classic novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” Long before Black Lives Matter became part of our lexicon, Stowe’s great novel demanded freedom and equality for all, changing forever how Americans viewed slavery, galvanizing the abolition movement and contributing to the outbreak of the Civil War.
July 9: The Imaginary Invalid, directed by Mary Jo DuPrey, is Constance Congdon’s adaptation of Molière’s skewering of the health care profession from an entirely different century.
July 30: Titus Andronicus, directed by Ellen Geer, joins the season repertoire. Theatricum sets Shakespeare’s first tragedy, the violent tale of a government gone awry, in the future, to spark a flame of caution… but always with a flicker of hope.