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Archive for Theatricum Botanicum


Photo by Miriam Geer

Photo by Miriam Geer

Don Shirley – LA Observed

The end of summer approaches. Have you seen any alfresco theater this year?

Fortunately, the 299-seat Theatricum Botanicum keeps its expansive stage busy from the first week of June through the first weekend of October, in Topanga Canyon. That’s twice as long as the Old Globe’s outdoor season in San Diego.     Read more…


AS YOU LIKE IT at the Theatricum Botanicum

Photo by Ian Flanders

Photo by Ian Flanders

Deborah Klugman – Stage Raw

Sometimes staging Shakespeare in a period piece setting adds color and spark. Other times, this sort of stage dressing proves either a distraction and/or irrelevant to the production as a whole.

Both is the case with director Ellen Geer’s current mounting of As You Like It, which is set in mid 19th century America and features the costumes and music of that era.  Read more…

Now running through Sept. 26.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD at the Theatricum Botanicum

Photo by Miriam Geer

Photo by Miriam Geer

Pauline Adamek  – Stage Raw

Ellen Geer directs a large ensemble of actors and, together with the design team and crew, the Theatricum Botanicum company delivers an endearing stage version of one of the most beloved novels in American literature.  Read more…

Now running through Sept. 27.

Outside in Topanga and Griffith Park, inside in ‘Luka’s Room’


Don Shirley – LA Observed

Alfresco theater is one of the best features of an LA summer, yet the big LA media usually ignore it. Charles McNulty, the LA Times theater critic for nearly a decade, wrote an essay last week about ensemble acting in three of LA’s tiny indoor stages, but he has never written a word (according to a search of the LA Times database) about the ensemble acting or anything else at the two companies – Theatricum Botanicum and Independent Shakespeare — that consistently produce on Actors’ Equity contracts in LA’s considerably larger outdoor venues, for much larger audiences. em>Read more…

AUGUST OSAGE COUNTY at the Theatricum Botanicum


Steven Leigh Morris  – Stage Raw

Perhaps it’s Quixotic, but I find Theatricum Botanicum to be a kind of beacon, a shining light on the hills of Topanga Canyon. The alfresco venue was co-founded by TV actor and Old Leftie Will Geer, whose fame was cemented – if fame is ever cemented – by his role as grandfather Zebulin Tylor Walton in the 1970s TV-series The Waltons. Read more…

LEAR at the Theatricum Botanicum


Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

 Shakespeare’s King Lear has its potencies. Simply described, it follows the downfall of a once-powerful leader and the dysfunction of his family. Pondering his retirement, the monarch asks his three daughters to avow their love. The elder two, Goneril and Regan, lavish empty words on papa. The youngest, Cordelia, refuses to play that game, believing her actions of loyalty and respect will trump her sisters’ verbiage. Read more…

Now running through September 28.

The Taming of the Shrew at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum

Taming Shrew

Photo by Ian Flanders

David C. Nichols – LA Times

With summer here, the whirligig of time brings in “The Taming of the Shrew” at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, and it proves a blissfully madcap occasion. This rip-roaring take on William Shakespeare’s ever-popular romantic comedy opens the 40th anniversary season at this incomparable outdoor venue with marvelous forward momentum.
Read more…

Mayank Keshaviak  – LA Weekly

The slapstick, or batacchio, which originated in the commedia dell’arte of 16th-century Italy, is a wooden device used to create a loud, smacking sound. So it seems fitting that in staging Shakespeare’s contemporaneous tale of a headstrong woman who finally meets her match, director Ellen Geer plays its physical comedy to the hilt, incorporating slide whistles, drums and other noisemaking devices to punctuate the onstage pratfalls, fisticuffs and acrobatics.

Read more…