Theatricum season mixes new with old

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum, the outdoor theater in Topanga Canyon, will kick off its summer repertory program with “Antony and Cleopatra,” Shakespeare’s clever interpretation of the historic romance. It will play every Sunday afternoon at 3 p.m. from June 4 through Sept. 24.

“Antony and Cleopatra” will star Abby Craden and Joel Swetow as the two lovers whose passion leads to their destruction. Both actors have impressive theater credentials. Ellen Geer, a member of the multi-generational theatrical family, will direct a cast of 30.

Three other plays will be enacted during the summer, including Shakespeare’s comedy, “Twelfth Night,” running from June 10 to July 29 and from Sept. 4-30. “Omnium Gatherum,” a new play by Theresa Rebeck and Alexandra Gersten-Vassilaros, will share the spotlight with the two Shakespearean offerings, as well as George Bernard Shaw’s early comedy, “You Never Can Tell,” opening on July 1. “Omnium Gatherum,” about a party given for eight disparate people, was a hit at the 2003 Humana Festival and a contender for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize. It runs from July 29 to Oct. 7.

During the course of the season, the troupe offers readings of new works, poetry evenings, and special programs for families. The annual Hootenanny, featuring the “Woody Guthrie Show,” is set for Oct. 8 from noon to 4 p.m.

Theatricum’s 266-seat amphitheater is set in a rustic ravine located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. Audience members are advised to bring warm clothing and cushions for the bench seating. Ticket prices are: adults, $15 and $25; seniors and students, $12 and $15; children ages 6-12, $8; and children under six are free.

By the end of the summer, all four plays will be running and it will be possible to see each one during a single weekend. Because the dates and times vary, it is advisable to call 310.455.3723 for ticket information.

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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