Shakespeare Santa Monica Celebrates 10th Anniversary Season

Shakespeare SM 2013
Shakespeare Santa Monica has been delighting audiences of all ages with outdoor performances of Shakespeare’s comedies set in the Tournament Tennis Courts at Reed Memorial Park in Santa Monica since 2004. They return this summer for their 10th year anniversary season with Twelfth Night and The Taming of the Shrew. Admission is always a suggested donation of $20 or pay what you can. Kids and teens 16 years old or younger are always free.

The company is comprised of aspiring student artists and professional actors unified by their commitment to lifelong training in the classics. Every year the handpicked company of students and professionals train together for weeks before they pick up their scripts for the new season. They train with Louis Scheeder of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Classical Studio, Jean Louis Rodrique of UCLA and John Farmanesh-Bocca former Directing Fellow at The Juilliard School and Guest Faculty at NYU.  More

Review: Ebullient Chemistry Lights Up Theatricum’s The Taming of the Shrew

Aaron Hendry (Petruchio) and Willow Geer (Kate) in The Taming of the Shrew. Photos by Ian Flanders

Okay, I’ll say it. I haven’t seen a production of The Taming of the Shrew that comes anywhere close to this vivid interpretation of the story. It is spectacular! Truth be told, this is one of Shakespeare’s plays I normally don’t like – not because of the story itself but because modern day versions of the play often interpret Petruchio as a completely unlikeable, obnoxious, ego-driven jerk, and Kate as a one-dimensional horrible woman who screams and rages from beginning to nearly the end until her spirit is finally broken by his dominance. It’s a pretty unbelievable story to wrap your head around when viewed seriously, but when you see it through the eyes of director Ellen Geer, it plays out with farcical delight, much to the immense joy of the audience.

Geer takes this bull by the horns and crafts the play within a play conceit (often edited out of productions) as a prank played by a group of modern day jokers on a drunk and very funny Christopher Sly (Gerald C. Rivers). They entice a troupe of actors to present the story of Kate (Willow Geer) and Petruchio (Aaron Hendry) for his pleasure and set him up with a few additional surprises that seal the comic deal. The poor man becomes so involved in the telling of the story that his impulsive outbursts are hilarious punctuations to a lively and dynamic affair.  More

Theatricum Botanicum kicks off its 40th Anniversary Summer Repertory Season

Taming of the Shrew - Theatricum Botanicum

Theatricum Botanicum will present two of Shakespeare’s best-loved comedies for its 40th Anniversary Season: The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Ellen Geer, opens on Saturday, June 1; one day later, on Sunday, June 2, Theatricum’s signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, co-directed by Willow Geer and Melora Marshall, hits the boards. Both plays will continue in repertory throughout the summer as Theatricum sets out to celebrate 40 years of theater, music, poetry and performance in the Topanga woods.

The Taming of the Shrew is a rowdy romp that stands as one of Shakespeare’s sharpest and funniest scripts. No suitor can win lovely Bianca until her older sister, “Katherine the Cursed,” is married off. Can Petruchio subdue Kate’s temper and win her bountiful dowry, or will she continue her shrewish ways? There’s only one way to find out. The cast stars Willow Geer as Kate and Aaron Hendry as Petruchio, with Christine Breihan as Bianca; Bill Gunther as Gremio, John Maidman as Lucentio; Melora Marshall as Grumio; Gerald C. Rivers as Christopher Sly; Franc Ross as Baptista; and Jeff Wiesen as Tranio.  More

City Shakes Makes Shakespeare & Music Free to the Public

City Shakes Shrew
Director Brooke Bishop, 24, and actress Allison Volk, 26, founded City Shakespeare Company (City Shakes) to make art accessible to the Los Angeles community. Their first production, in collaboration with the James Gray Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, is a one-night-only free performance of Shrew, Bishop’s “no-holds-barred adaptation of Shakespeare’s most controversial rom-com,” Taming of the Shrew. It takes place on Valentine’s Day.

The event also features the music of modern ragtime pianist Aaron Beaumont. “It’s an evening of music, fine art, and great theater,” says Volk, who plays Kate in the production. “Oh, and wine and cupcakes, of course!” After all, it is Valentine’s Day. The cast also includes Andrew Thacher as Tranio, Theo Salter as Lucentio, Judy Fleming as Vincentia & Grumio, Colin Martin as Petruchio, Jacques Freydont as Baptista, Mary Keane as Bianca, and Jose Espinosa as Hortensio.  More

Audition Update: PCPA Theatrefest, Redlands Shakespeare Festival

PCPA Audition Tour 2012-2013
PCPA’s season will include a production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, February 21 – March 17 in the Severson Theatre, Santa Maria. To schedule an appointment please call (805) 928-7731 x 4168 or email audition@pcpa.org. They do accept video auditions. Please email links to audition@pcpa.org. For audition requirements and a complete look at the season go to http://www.pcpa.org/default.asp?page=314. Local audition dates:

Saturday, January 19, 2013 at CSU Fullerton
10am to 3pm
Clayes Performing Arts Center Rm. 149
Go to www.fullerton.edu for campus maps
800 N State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA, 92831-3547

Sunday, January 20, 2013 at UC Irvine
10am – 5pm
Studio 4 (on Mesa Dr.) in the Theater complex
Go to www.uci.edu for campus maps

Monday, January 21, 2013 in Los Angeles – Madilyn Clark Studios
12pm – 4pm
10852 Burbank Boulevard
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Redlands Shakespeare Festival
Auditions for the 2013 Season will be held 1:00 – 5:00 pm Saturday, February 16, and Sunday, February 17, at Joslyn Senior Center, 21 Grant St., Redlands, CA 92373. Call-backs will be held at 5pm Sunday, February 17. Auditions consist of cold readings of scenes from the three plays to be presented during the season. No prepared monologues are required. The season includes The Taming of the Shrew (All male cast), Julius Caesar (All female cast), and Love’s Labours Lost (Mixed gender cast).

Redlands Shakespeare Festival is seeking 45 actors of any ethnicity, ages 16 and older, for the 2013 season. All roles are open. Performances will be held in repertory at the 6,000 seat Redlands Bowl outdoor amphitheater. Some pay occasionally available for certain roles – Contract terms are negotiable and include several school site visits. In addition, headshots and resumés are accepted throughout the year. Please send to:

Steven Sabel, Artistic Director
Redlands Shakespeare Festival
PO Box 546
Redlands, CA 92373
or call (909) 335-7377

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