Theatricum Botanicum Announces Summer Season

L-R Steve Deering, Gerald Rivers, Carolyn Marie Wright, Earnestine Phillips, and Melora Marshall in Measure for Measure

Theatricum Botanicum’s 2012 Summer Repertory Season boldly takes on the extremes of love and hate, right and wrong, and good and evil in an all or nothing showdown of the human spirit. Prepare to be riveted by moral dilemmas, heartbreak, forgiveness and atonement when Theatricum presents four plays in repertory on its mainstage: Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare; Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw; and The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort. In addition, Cherry Docs by David Gow will get six performances in Theatricum’s intimate second performance space. 

“This season tackles serious issues with hard-hitting tragedy and dark comedy,” explains Theatricum artistic director Ellen Geer. “None of these plays gives us easy answers. But it’s important that the questions be asked. Each of us is good and bad, we all have light and dark sides, but we make a choice as to which side wins out.”

Theatricum Botanicum is renowned for its spirited productions of Shakespeare and modern classics in a spectacular outdoor setting. Unlike most theaters in the Los Angeles area that stage continuous runs of a single play, Theatricum, using a company of actors, performs each play on a rotating basis so that it’s possible to see all four mainstage plays in a single summer weekend.

Opening the season on Saturday, June 2 is Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Director Ellen Geer sets Shakespeare’s unconventional comedy of ethics, sexuality and deception in California during the turbulent ‘60s when issues of women’s rights, religious freedoms and the emergence of Black and Latino pride were at the forefront of political debate.

Opening the very next day, on Sunday, June 3, is Theatricum’s signature production of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, co-directed by Willow Geer and Melora Marshall. Comic rustics, thwarted lovers, transfigured humans and war in the fairy world make up this most entertaining and beguiling of Shakespeare’s comedies. There’s no more perfect setting than the leafy bower of Theatricum’s outdoor stage to experience this delightful tale of misguided mortals and naughty spirits.

One week later, opening on June 9, Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw joins the mix, directed by Ellen Geer. The Women of Lockerbie, directed by Melora Marshall opens on June 30, and on September 6, Cherry Docs by David Gow will open in Theatricum’s intimate second performance space, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion, where each of six performances will be followed by a panel discussion.

Theatricum also offers a variety of satellite programming including Under the Oaks featuring comedy improv, poetry and music; a series of special mainstage engagements including Lexi Pearl’s “Momentum Place,” “A Night Under the Stars with Amy Madigan,” Wendie Malick & Friends,”and “The Woody Show,” a tribute to songwriter, folklorist and labor leader Woody Guthrie, who was also a longtime Theatricum friend; Family Fundays – featuring CreativePlayGround and Peter Alsop’s Kids Koncerts – on Saturday and Sunday mornings; Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights featuring free readings of new plays on select Sundays; and Theme Dinner Buffets in the idyllic Theatricum gardens. Audiences are always invited to picnic on the lovely grounds before or after a performance.

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The amphitheaters are terraced into the hillside, so audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. For tickets, group discounts, and a full schedule of theater, music and family entertainment, call 310-455-3723 or go to


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pam Higgins
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 20:35:10

    ‘Can’t wait for this coming season. What a great promo shot!



  2. shakes2011
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 21:11:20

    I thought the same thing when I saw it. It gives a nice feel for the show.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: