During the summer months, Shakespeare becomes as American as mom, baseball and apple pie. That’s because as the temperature warms, the Bard’s plays are performed in hundreds of Shakespeare festivals and Shakespeare in the Park productions across the country. Productions range from the opulent to the threadbare. But all of them are motivated by an abiding love for Shakespeare and dedication to sharing his genius with modern audiences in a more casual setting than a brick and mortar theater.
Below, listen to L.A.’s Independent Shakespeare Company as the cast and crew rehearse this season’s production of Macbeth. (Spoiler Alert! It doesn’t end well.) Every year, the ISC performs Shakespeare’s works on an outdoor stage in Griffith Park, and they do it free of charge. Melissa Chalsma, the director of the ISC talks about the joys and challenges of producing Shakespeare on a rock bottom budget.
With all of L.A.’s acting and production talent, not to mention climate, it’s no surprise that outdoor Shakespeare performances are especially popular here in Southern California. Here are some of Southern California’s best Shakespearean acting companies.
- Griffith Park: Independent Shakespeare Company performs in Griffith Park all summer
- Topanga Canyon: Theatricum Botanicum is in Topanga Canyon
- Shakespeare by the Sea: Shakespeare By The Sea travels all over the Southland
- Orange County: Shakespeare Orange County is in Orange Grove at the Festival Ampitheatre
- Ojai: Ojai Valley Shakespeare Festival
- Santa Clarita: Santa Clarita Shakespeare Festival
- Long Beach: Long Beach Shakespeare Company