Scroll down for directions. They are on this page, after the schedule.

The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival begins June 26, 2014 with performances of:

  • Twelfth Night
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • A Merry Wind Blows: an evening of Shakespeare and music in association with Symphony In The Glen
  • Players in the Park/Teatristas en el parque: pre-show workshops for families
  • The Salon Series: discussions at the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary culture
  • Great pre-show performances by our Festival Arts Partners 

(Download a pdf: calendar2014)



TWELFTH NIGHT opens June 26
Count Orsino is madly in love with the grieving Countess Olivia, who has sworn off society for seven years. As Orsino ignores affairs of state in favor of affairs of the heart, Olivia leaves her power in the hands of her fun-despising steward, Malvolio. Into this upside down world lands the unsinkable Viola. Disguised as a boy and longing for her lost brother she also falls prey to the heady scent of Illyria. Adding mayhem to the mix are a drunken uncle, a besotted knight, and a fool who may be the only sane resident of this beguiling place.

Baptista has a problem. His biggest job is to see his daughters married well. His youngest, Bianca, is a piece of cake: she’s obedient, dutiful, and modest. However his eldest, Kate, just doesn’t know her place. She’s headstrong, opinionated, and prone to speaking her own mind. What’s a father to do? His salvation appears in the form of Petruchio, a traveler with an eye on Kate’s plentiful dowry. He uses every dirty trick in the book to tame her, but he just might find in the end that you can’t keep a good woman down.

A MERRY WIND BLOWS with Symphony In The Glen
Saturday, September 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Symphony In The Glen has been making beautiful music in the Old Zoo and throughout Los Angeles for 20 years. This one-night-only event brings musicians, singers, and Independent Shakespeare Co. actors together for a night of Shakespeare  scenes, songs, and music. Maestro Arthur B. Rubinstein leads the way: join us as we make a merry wind blow!


Workshops begin promptly at 5:00.
July 20, 27 ; August 17, 23

Reservations recommended for Players in the Park: reservations here or call (818) 710-6306.

Led by ISC teaching artists, these family-friendly workshops are interactive, high-energy introductions to the evening’s play. They are made possible in part by Union Bank, and are open to both English and Spanish speakers.

SALON SERIES: The Intersection of Shakespeare and Contemporary Culture

(Salon Series discussions meet before the show under a tree, no reservations needed.)

Playacting in Shakespeare’s Classroom with Robin Lithgow
Friday, August 1 at 6:00 pm

Explore the impact of Erasmus and humanism on the training of students both in classical rhetoric and colloquial Latin. The focus of the discussion will be on the connections between Shakespeare’s grammar school engagement with Erasmus’ Colloquies and the colloquial aesthetic of his comedies.

Robin Lithgow recently retired as the Director of the Arts Education Branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District.  She was one of the architects of the Elementary Arts Program and devoted her career to bringing theatre and the arts back into the core of instruction, pre-K through twelfth grade.

Renaissance Social Justice and Conspicuous Consumption with Bianca Ryan
Saturday, August 2 at 6:00 pm

In The Taming of the Shrew, Petruchio withholds from his new bride food and fine clothing. English Renaissance moral and medical writers condemned both rich people’s gluttony and delight in fashion at the expense of charitable giving and communal well-being: an attitude towards food and finery that remains with us today.

Bianca Ryan received her PhD from UCLA in 2009.She has taught at UCLA and is currently a lecturer at Mt. St. Mary’s College in Renaissance literature, history of the English language and linguistics, and medical writing for doctoral students.

Re-arranging Gender in Shakespeare’s Plays with Ellen Geer
Friday, August 8 at 6:00 pm

Due to social mores, in Shakespeare’s time, the men played women. In the 20th and 21st century we continue to investigate gender in the Bard’s plays – keeping honor for his work and wisdom, but injecting our own depth of social experience. Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum Artistic Director Ellen Geer and leading Theatricum Botanicum company member Aaron Hendry ask the questions how do you determine when a woman can play a man in Shakespeare? Or when a male role can become a female one? What do these gender switches do to the theme, content, integrity and impact of some of the greatest works in Western Theatre?

As Theatricum Botanicum’s Artistic Director, Ellen Geer has guided the professional Equity repertory season and educational Academy of the Classics since 1978, directing more than 50 productions and acting in over 30. Ms. Geer is currently a graduate professor of classical acting in UCLA’s Department of Film, Theatre and Television.

Performing the Shrew with Claire Marie Peterson
Saturday, August 16 at 6:00 pm

Shakespeare’s Shrew is replete with playacting. How is Kate’s taming framed for us by Shakespeare, by his characters, by the ISC, and by ourselves with what we bring to the performance?

Claire Marie-Peterson holds a BA in Comparative Literature at CSULB, an MA in English at UCI, and a PhD in English Rhetoric, Literature, and Linguistics at USC. Her doctoral dissertation was on the rhetoric through which women gained entrance to higher education in Victorian Britain

SUMMER IN THE STUDIO: visit our Atwater Village indoor space for these special August events. (Reservations recommended for all Studio presentations. Available here or call 818.710.6306)

Shakespeare Behind Bars
Wednesday, August 6 at 7:00 pm

This award- winning film by Hank Rogerson’s is a year-long journey with the “Shakespeare Behind Bars” theater troupe  at the Luther Luckett Correctional Facility. The prisoners’ individual stories are interwoven with the plot of The Tempest as the inmates delve deeply into the characters they portray while confronting their personal demons.

Solemn Mockeries by Richard Creese
Wednesday, August 13 & 20 at 7:00 p.m.

Meet William-Henry Ireland, the original slacker. He’s deemed “too stupid to educate” by his father, yet somehow this undistinguished 18th century teenager pulls off the literary crime of the century as a Shakespeare forger. Directed by Jeffrey Wienckowski, this one-man show features David Melville as William-Henry looking back over twenty years, reliving the glorious moment when he could say that he was Shakespeare


ARTS PARTNERS: pre-show performances by extraordinary artists on stage before the evening’s performance

Invertigo Dance Theatre
July 12, 13, 19, 20, 26, 27 at 6:30 pm

Invertigo Dance Theatre produces dance theatre that blends wit, playfulness, live/original music, intense physicality and bold theatricality. Created for the festival, Feste’s Dream imagines the travels of Twelfth Night’s clown.

Hiya the Band
Sunday, August 3 at 6:30 pm

Hiya: 1(exclam.) An informal greeting. 2. (noun) A five-piece folk/electronic band form Los Angeles with exquisite vocal harmonies. Download their EP at

Saturday, August 9 at 6:30 pm

Arf is an eclectic, electro pop influenced progressive band with creative textures and grooves. Their a capella performances have won them 2nd place in the 2013 and 2014 Harmony Sweepstakes LA regional a capella festival.

The Elliot Deutsch Big Band
Sunday, August 10 at 6:30 pm
This is the most exciting, energetic, and virtuosic big band in Los Angeles. Featuring original compositions and 17 of the hottest young professionals in jazz, the Elliot Deutsch Big Band has a unique and exciting sound all its own

Pacific Opera Project
Sunday, August 24 at 6:30 pm
Pacific Opera Project brings accessible, affordable, entertaining opera to audiences across Los Angeles.  The average ticket price for a POP show is under $20! Next up is a September production of Tosca “A Moving Production”, in which the audience, cast, and 22-piece orchestra will move from venue to venue each act.  December brings a revival of the incredibly popular La Boheme, “A.K.A. The Hipsters”, set and performed in Highland Park.  More details at




The festival stage is located at the site of Old Zoo, in Griffith Park, on the east side. There are three direct freeway access points:

Print 1) From the Southbound 5: take the Los Feliz Blvd West exit turning right up Crystal Springs Drive almost immediately upon exiting the freeway. There may be roadworks along this section of Crystal Springs Drive, so be aware of them while entering the park. Follow the signs to make a right turn onto Crystal Springs Drive.

2) From the Eastbound 134: take the Victory Blvd exit (following signs to the LA Zoo). You will make a right onto Riverside, and an immediate left onto Zoo Drive (which will then become Crystal Springs Drive as you continue past the Los Angeles Zoo).

3) From the Northbound 5: take the Griffith Park exit, which will take you to Crystal Springs Drive. Turn right on Crystal Springs Drive.

In all cases, look for our signs along the way directing you to the venue. You will arrive at an intersection where there are several activities including the Merry-Go-Round, Shane’s Inspiration Playground, and the Wilson Harding Golf Course, as well as the Ranger Station. Look for our signs that will direct you to Parking Lot 2 (go past Parking Lot 1) for available parking.

PLEASE NOTE: the parking here is plentiful and free, but can be a bit disorienting as there are several connected lots. Stay calm, follow the signs, and let us know if there is anything we can do to make it more clear.

From Parking Lot 2, follow the path (look for our signs) leading from the north end of the parking lot to the stage. If you are using an internet map service, you can enter the address below. As you near your destination, keep an eye out for our signs, which will direct you to parking and the festival stage. THIS ADDRESS WILL NOT WORK for GPS coordinates: your system will get you to the park, but please read the above directions carefully.

There is no physical address for the site. However, the very nearby ranger station is: 4730 Crystal Springs Drive, 90027  The closest GPS location is  34.134204,-118.284962

IF YOU NEED disabled access, please call the ISC office at (818) 710-6306 for more information.

And please–there are no seating risers so REMEMBER YOUR BLANKET OR LAWN CHAIR!

• Performances begin at 7:00 p.m.  Please give yourself enough time to drive to the site, park your car, and make your way to the venue.

• There is no seating at the venue: please bring a blanket or a low-backed lawn chair.
• DRESS WARMLY! Once the sun goes down, it gets quite chilly. Pack blankets and cozy up to your friends.
• We will be selling concessions on site, or you can pack your own picnic. Please note, however, it is a city park, and alcohol is prohibited.
• Although we light the exit path, you may want to bring your own flashlight as well.
Also, we’re sorry…but please, no dogs.
• We’ll say it again…DRESS WARMLY! Even if it is a hot day. Some people even bring coats and hats!


• It is a short walk along a paved path to the venue. Wear comfortable shoes. There will be ISC volunteers in the parking lot and along the path to the stage eager to assist you.
• If you need disabled access, or help getting from the parking lot to the stage, please CALL THE ISC OFFICE AND WE WILL MAKE ARRANGEMENTS TO ASSIST YOU: (818) 710-6306.

• Although the performance is free, we will be giving you a few opportunities to make contributions to support free Shakespeare

You’re still reading? In that case, we’ll let you know that we are grateful and delighted to perform for you.
Thank you!