Theater News

Independent Shakespeare Company Brings Free Shakespeare to Los Angeles’ Griffith Park

ISC will host the largest free Shakespeare festival in Los Angeles history, opening later this month.

<i>As You Like It</i> promotional photo, courtesy of Independent Shakespeare Company.
As You Like It promotional photo, courtesy of Independent Shakespeare Company.

On June 27, Los Angeles’ Independent Shakespeare Company is heading to the Old Zoo at Griffith Park for another season of free Shakespeare. The largest free Shakespeare festival ever to come to L.A., ISC has scheduled 40 nights of programming, featuring a series of three plays.

Opening the festival on June 27 will be 18th century Irish playwright Oliver Goldsmith’s comedy She Stoops to Conquer. Directed by ISC Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma, the play will run through July 27. This will be followed by a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, opening the following weekend on July 5 and running through August 31. Managing Director David Melville will helm Luis Galindo in the title role as well as Melissa Chalsma as Lady Macbeth. Shakespeare’s As You Like It will round out the summer, set to run from August 1-September 1 with direction by Cassandra Johnson.

ISC will offer audiences an interactive pre-show workshop before a selected performance of each of the three productions. The pre-show workshop for She Stoops to Conquer will be held on Saturday, July 20 at 5pm; the workshop for As You Like It will be held on Saturday, August 17 at 5pm; and the workshop for Macbeth will be held on Sunday, August 25 at 5pm. The company has also developed a Salon Series of discussions led by experts on topics relating to Shakespeare to supplement its productions.

“For the last ten years, we have had the extraordinary privilege of performing free Shakespeare in Los Angeles,” said Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma in a statement. “Knowing that we are the first experience of Shakespeare (and even live theater) for so many young people is an honor, and we feel a responsibility to make the experience engaging, challenging, and memorable.”

The creative team for the Griffith Free Shakespeare Festival features scenic design by Caitlin Lainoff, costume design by Michael Neumann, lighting design by Bosco Flanagan, and music composed by David Melville.

For more information, visit the ISC website here.