Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival 2016
Richard III begins Saturday, June 25
The Tempest begins Saturday, July 30
Thursdays-Sundays & most Wednesdays at 7pm
FREE (donations gratefully accepted)
June 25 - July 24
William Shakespeare, with emendations by Colley Cibber
For over 200 years, the most produced play in the world was Colley Cibber's adaptation of Shakespeare's Richard III. Through the ages, classical actors (including David Garrick and Edmund Booth) refitted it for their versions of the indelible anti-hero. ISC pulls the best from the past and combines it with an entirely modern take for this electrified re-imagining of the tale of a man driven to pursue power by any means.
July 30 - September 4
In Shakespeare's final play, magic, first love and the forces of revenge intersect on a mysterious island. Prospero has spent 12 years in exile watching his growing daughter, Miranda, all the while plotting to punish his duplicitous brother with the sorcery he has been practicing. But when the opportunity presents itself, he learns that magic doesn't make the man, the world is stranger than it appears and that perhaps the past is only history.
Our performance site is at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park.
Ample free parking is available. Look for the hot pink signs directing you to the parking lots near the Merry-Go-Round. Parking lot 2 is the closest to the performance site, but do be prepared for a bit of a walk up a hill.
Downloadable Parking map is here.
Please note: as with anywhere in the city, don't park against curbs painted red and look out for "no parking" signs! Griffith Park has fire lanes and they are serious about enforcing them!
Plan your evening
- We welcome children at our performances! But please be advised, these are not Shakespeare performances edited or changed for children. Shakespeare wrote about the human experience, and his plays include examples of sexuality and violence, and deal with adult themes. Email us and we'll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about particular performances. And please, keep your children with you at all times.
- There is an uphill walk from the parking areas to our performance site. If you have mobility challenges, please call us at 818-710-6306 to make arrangements.
- Don't forget your picnic! (Note: alcohol is prohibited in Los Angeles City parks.)
- Dress in layers as it gets chilly in the evening.
- We have a concessions tent with hot and cold beverages, cupcakes, kettle corn and light snacks. Cash and credit cards accepted.
- We encourage your consideration of those around you! Low seat beach chairs (legs lower than 3") are welcome behind our chair line. The lower area closest to the stage is reserved for those with picnic blankets.
- As a courtesy to those around you, we ask you to leave your four legged friends at home.
- You may find that bug spray and sunscreen are also helpful to bring with you.
- For disabled access, please call us at 818-710-6306 for information and to make arrangements.
Special events throughout the summer. All are FREE!
Players in the Park/Teatristas en el parque: workshops for families
These interactive workshops are high energy and introduce participants to the plays & characters. You'll also meet some of the actors and take a backstage tour.
Before Richard III - Saturday, July 9 & Sunday, July 17
Before The Tempest - Sunday, August 7 & Saturday, August 27
Workshops begin promptly at 5pm
Reservations recommended. If you have questions or would prefer to make a reservation by phone, please call us at (818)710-6306.
The Barrio Mobile Art Unit from Self Help Graphics & Art
Saturday, August 13 at 4pm
Create your own Shakespeare-inspired print with Self Help Graphics’ Barrio Mobile Art Studio. Come early to stencil and screen print your own design before the performance. Suitable for all ages.
Self Help Graphics & Art is the leading non-profit visual arts center serving the predominantly Latino community of Los Angeles. Self Help Graphics’ mission is to drive the creation of new work by Chicano and Latino artists through fine art printmaking and multiple visual art forms.
Pre-show performances by our Festival Arts Partners
Come to the park early to enjoy these curtain-raising acts
Performances begin at 6:30pm
Invertigo Dance Theatre
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 8-10
Friday, Saturday, Sunday, July 15-17
Invertigo Dance Theatre produces engaging dance pieces of virtuosic movement delivered with signature and stunning athletic physicality. The company forges a new relationship between audience and performer and its storytelling incorporates elements of theatre, spoken dialogue and live music. Invertigo was founded in 2007 by Artistic Director Laura Karlin and has quickly become a cornerstone of the Los Angeles dance scene. Invertigo is a Bloomberg Philanthropies Arts Innovation and Management (AIM) grant recipient and has performed in such venues as the Ford Theatres, Los Angeles Theatre Center, Alex Theatre, LACMA, Broad Stage and Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Its Dancing Through Parkinson's program offers weekly dance classes to people living with Parkinson's disease was recently featured on NPR. Its Invert/ED education program empowers young people through the creative process. Invertigo performs its critically-acclaimed full-evening work After It Happened at the Ford Theatres on Friday, September 30.
Saturday, August 13
While holding a strong foundation in Mexican folk music, La Victoria resonates a sound that reflects their city of Los Angeles. Vaneza Calderón (guitarrón), Mary Alfaro (guitar), and Rosalie Rodriguez (violin) combine their passion for mariachi music, diverse Latin-American genres and other sounds to produce a repertoire that has the ability to unite generations through music. In addition to their weekly residency at Las Perlas in downtown L.A., these musicians perform throughout the country and are involved in studio recordings, theater, musical instrument string production, and museum work.
The Silver Lake Chorus
Saturday, August 21
The Silver Lake Chorus performs choral arrangements of indie music and exudes both the edgy, independent spirit of Silver Lake and the heart of community choral singing. TSLC’s debut album, produced by Aussie crooner Ben Lee, features rare and new tracks written exclusively for the chorus by amazing indie artists like Sia, Aimee Mann, The Bird and the Bee, Tegan and Sara, Ben Lee, The New Pornographers, Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie), John Roderick (The Long Winters), The Flaming Lips, and Justin Vernon (Bon Iver). TSLC regularly performs live in and around Los Angeles and can also be heard singing the theme song for the SNL feature film MACGRUBER as well as backup vocals on Andy Samberg and Akon’s single, “I Just Had Sex.”
Salon Series: discussions at the intersection of Shakespeare and contemporary Los Angeles
Salons begin at 6pm
Wednesday, July 20
Ranger Mendibles, Park Ranger
City of Los Angeles Department of Recreation and Parks
Sunday, August 21
John Frank, Senior Librarian
Los Angeles Public Library
Dates to be announced soon:
Steven Leigh Morris, Executive Director, LA Stage Alliance
Melissa Chalsma, Director, Richard III
Matthew Earnest, Director, The Tempest
Symphony In The Glen
The 2016 performance will be announced later this spring
2015 marked third year collaborating with Symphony In The Glen!
Signifying Nothing delighted audiences with symphony music, Shakespeare and Commedia dell'Arte.