2016 Ojai Summer Shakespeare Festival Presents Merry Wives and Macbeth

Ojai Shakes

Peachtree Theater Company will present two productions during its 2016 Ojai Summer Shakespeare Festival in Libbey Bowl, July 21 – 31. Allan Hunt, from the Thousand Oaks Repertory Company, will direct Merry Wives of Windsor, produced by Peachtree’s founding director, Demitri Corbin, while Corbin directs A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Peachtree Theater Company is a not-for-profit organization that brings arts education to at-risk youth in underserved communities. Through community partnerships, Peachtree provides visual, performing, and digital media arts to school districts in the Ojai Valley. The company also pairs youth with veteran artists in full theater productions as part of its Peachtree Professional program. Past productions include, A Dragon Awaits at Ojai Arts Center Theater, The Oblong Man at Zalk Theater, and Love’s Labours Lost, a co-production with Ojai Shakespeare Festival and Ojai Arts Center Theater. With this festival season, Peachtree inaugurates its first Shakespeare internship program.

Also part of the festival is a screening of Shakespeare in Love on July 21 at 7pm.

Shakespeare In Love: July 21 (7pm)
Merry Wives of Windsor: July 22, 28 & 30 (7:30 pm) and July 24 (3pm)
A Midsummer Night’s Dream: July 23 & 29 (7:30 pm), July 31 (3pm)
Peachtree Theatre Company at Libbey Bowl
210 S. Signal Street, Ojai, CA 93023
For more information call 805-272-5018, or visit www.peachtreetheatercompany.com


Ophelia’s Jump Presents The Merry Wives of Windsor and Macbeth at the Sontag Greek Theater

Ophelia's Jump - Wives and Macbeth posterShakespeare’s hilarious, tongue-in-cheek comedy, Merry Wives of Windsor, and his cutthroat tale of corruptive power, Macbeth, will be presented in repertory at Pomona College’s beautiful Sontag Greek Theater in Claremont. Produced in cooperation with The Pomona College Department of Theatre and Dance, performances begin July 17 and will run through the 27, with founding artistic director, Beatrice Casagran directing Merry Wives and associate artistic director Kevin Slay directing Macbeth.

Set in the late 1960s, Shakespeare’s works will be given a fresh, colorful perspective in the amphitheater which was originally built in 1910 and renovated in 1997.

In The Merry Wives of Windsor, two married women (and their money) are pursued by the rotund and rambunctious Falstaff. But the ladies see right through his plots, and form a few of their own. Mischief and hysteria follow, with lovers and lechers chasing after what they truly desire.  More

Audition Update: Santa Cruz Shakespeare Company and Coronado Playhouse

Santa Cruz Shakespeare Company will hold Equity Principal Auditions for its 2014 Summer Season on March 10 from 12:00 pm – 8:00 pm at Center Stage in Santa Cruz, 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. There is metered street parking and a nearby garage at 124 Locust Street. To schedule an appointment, contact Steve Boyle at 408-476-7277 or steve@shakespeareplayon.org, before 9pm. Please prepare 2 contrasting classical monologues under 5 minutes combined, plus a few bars of an a cappella song, and bring a headshot and resume. Performers of all ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to attend. They are seeking AEA actors of all ages, genders and ethnicities for a two-play Repertory Season of Shakespeare’s As You Like It and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Summer Schedule:
June 3: First Rehearsal
July 1: As You Like It, first preview
July 5: As You Like It opens
July 13: Merry Wives of Windsor, first preview
July 17: Merry Wives of Windsor opens
August 10: Both shows close
For more information, visit www.actorsequity.org or www.shakespeareplayon.net.

In San Diego, Coronado Playhouse has scheduled auditions for its upcoming production of Romeo and Juliet at 7:00 pm on Mon. and Tues. April 14 & 15. Callbacks will take place Wednesday, April 16 at 6:00pm. Prepare a 1-2 minute monologue (verse or prose) from any Shakespeare play. On the day of your audition, please arrive at least 15 minutes early. Bring a resume and headshot if available, as well as your calendar through July 20, 2014. All conflicts will be required to be listed on the audition form. In a modern staging of this enduring love story, director Tom Haine takes Shakespeare’s 400 year-old classic and juxtaposes the language of bitterness, anger and recrimination against the poetry of desire, giddiness and attraction proving that Romeo and Juliet is as relevant and direct today as it was when the first audiences heard it. Performances are June 27 – July 20, 2014 (Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2pm. No performance July 4th) at Coronado Playhouse, 1835 Strand Way, Coronado, CA 92118. Questions may be directed toward Tom Haine at tphaine@cox.net. www.coronadoplayhouse.com

Ophelia’s Jump Announces Midsummer Elizabethan Festival in 2014

Ophelia's Jump
Ophelia’s Jump Productions has announced a new partnership with the Pomona College Department of Theatre and Dance: Theatre for the Claremont Colleges, and a number of shows to be produced in 2014.

Shakespeare fans will be happy to note that next summer Ophelia’s Jump will inaugurate a Midsummer Elizabethan Festival in repertory as they present Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor, directed by founding artistic director Beatrice Casagran, July 17 – 27, 2014 and Macbeth, directed by associate artistic director Kevin Slay, July 18 – 26, 2014. Performances will take place in the Sontag Greek Theatre. In addition, the company will present 33 Variations by Moises Kaufman September 5 – 14, 2014 in the Allen Theatre.

“This relationship ends our nomadic ways and gives Ophelia’s Jump an opportunity to produce our shows at venues matching the artistic and technical needs of our ambitious 2014 season,” says Casagran. “The collaboration also affords Ophelia’s Jump artists and Pomona College Theatre faculty the opportunity to collaborate on projects and community outreach thus making Claremont a hub of serious theatrical production and innovation for the east San Gabriel and Inland Empire regions.”

Ophelia’s Jump will also continue its partnership with dA Center for the Arts in Pomona. Their subscription series includes:

February 21 – March 9, 2014
By David Mamet
Directed by Beatrice Casagran
dA Blackbox Theatre

May 23 – June 1, 2014
By Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Doug Oliphant
Seaver Theatre, Pomona College

July 17 – 27, 2014
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Founding Artistic Director, Beatrice Casagran
The Sontag Greek Theatre, Pomona College

July 18 – 26, 2014
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kevin Slay
The Sontag Greek Theatre, Pomona College

September 5 – 14, 2014
By Moises Kaufman
Allen Theatre, Pomona College

For more information, visit www.opheliasjump.org.

Photo Flash: The Porters of Hellsgate’s Merry Wives of Windsor

One of the most appealing qualities of a Porters of Hellsgate production is the abundance of energy and excitement they bring to their work. They are a dedicated young company led by founders Edward Castuera, Jack Leahy, and Charles Pasternak, with a special affinity for Shakespeare. This time the Porters converge at the intersection of screwball comedy and Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor as they play out the misadventures of Falstaff in a 1930s speakeasy setting. You only have one more weekend to see the show, now playing through July 22 at the Whitmore Theatre in North Hollywood. For tickets go to www.portersofhellsgate.com.

Kate O’Toole and Dana DeRuyck as Mistresses Page and Ford


The Porters of Hellsgate’s Screwball Romp: The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Porters of Hellsgate present William Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor directed by Charles Pasternak and produced by The Porters of Hellsgate, June 15 – July 22 at the Whitmore Theatre in North Hollywood.

In the midst of The Great Depression and hot on the heels of American prohibition’s end, a new film genre was swiftly gaining popularity; 1934’s It Happened One Night was far from an over-night success, but by the 1940s, screwball comedy had firmly left its footprint in American film history. The Porters of Hellsgate will continue their sixth season with The Merry Wives of Windsor (arguably Shakespeare’s contribution to the screwball genre) as a raucous bar romp set in the 1930s. Staying true to the genre, they will focus on elements of class and escapism, revel in farce, and order up a round of weddings on the house — all in a breakneck 90 minutes. The Porters’ Merry Wives promises to be one sexy party (with apologies to Mr. Sarris).  More

Audition Update: The Porters of Hellsgate – The Merry Wives of Windsor

The Porters of Hellsgate are now accepting submissions for The Merry Wives of Windsor to run June 15 – July 22 (Fri/Sat/Sun matinee) at The Whitmore in North Hollywood. Directed by Charles Pasternak, it will be set as a wild bar hop through the 1930’s. Rehearsals will begin almost immediately following auditions on Saturday, April 28. If you are interested, please RSVP to PortersofHellsgate@gmail.com by Wednesday April 25 with the subject heading “MERRY WIVES SHAKESLA.” Include your name, contact information, and attach a headshot/resume–instructions for the audition will be sent to you individually. If you have already submitted via Actors Access, please do not re-submit via e-mail as well. One, or the other. Not both. Those auditioning will be expected to bring a headshot/resume, should be prepared to fill out a conflict sheet, will be asked to perform a 2-minute Shakespearean monologue, and may be asked to read from supplied sides. Non-union. Character Breakdown is as follows:  More

Summer Shakespeare delightful and devious at Theatricum Botanicum

Topanga Canyon is one of my guilty pleasures – one among many – and my holiday weekend of Shakespeare at Theatricum Botanicum has started early, with yesterday’s outing of Richard III. Chad Jason Scheppner and Melora Marshall alternate in the title role with Scheppner taking the stage in the performance I saw.

According to the Hollywood Progressive, “Chad Jason Scheppner delivers a wickedly perverse performance as a supervillain who revels in his deceptions, deviousness and dastardly deeds, from unseating monarchs to wooing women he’s made widows of to butchering children to spine tingling acts of treachery: He is the merry knife of Tudor.”

It is a mesmerizing performance.

Next, I follow Richard with A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merry Wives of Windsor, of which the Los Angeles Times says, “Both productions are unpretentious, high-spirited, and fun.”

Exactly what I’m looking for as I celebrate my long weekend with some terrific end of summer theatre. Here’s hoping you take time to make merry and enjoy your long weekend as well. Perhaps I’ll see you in the woodlands of Topanga Canyon.  

Click Here for tickets and information about all of the shows and special events at Theatricum Botanicum.

Independent Shakespeare Co. Takes on The Merry Wives

Photo Credit: Ashby de la Plaine

Only two more chances to see The Merry Wives of Windsor presented by Independent Shakespeare Co., this Saturday and Sunday July 30-31. We had a blast the night we went to the show. It was a perfect summer night and Griffith Park makes a lovely setting for an evening of outdoor theatre.  

We took our own picnic supper but you can also purchase food at the concession stand. Do bring a blanket and low-backed chairs for extra comfort as well as warm clothing. It can get chilly in the park when the sun goes down.

Here is what the critics are saying:

“Low Comedy doesn’t get much lower, or better. The evidence was in the howls of laughter careening across the park.” LA Weekly

“A corker of a revival.” LA Times

“Wonderfully drawn characters” Back Stage West

We heartily agree!

And if you’d rather see something more serious, David Melville is brilliant in Hamlet and you can catch him in one of the two performances this weekend Thursday and Friday, July 28 and 29. Click Here for more information about Independent Shakespeare Co.’s free Shakespeare in the Park and other programs.

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