Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Griffith Park to get Permanent Stage for Free Shakespeare


Big news from the folks that bring us free Shakespeare under the stars in Griffith Park all summer: a permanent stage is being built!

Last summer the Independent Shakespeare Company (ISC) performed to more than 38,000 people in the sloping natural outdoor amphitheater of the Old Zoo in Griffith Park, having come a long way from its initial performance in 2001 before 14 people and a dog. This summer expects even bigger crowds, and the ISC was pleased to tell the Larchmont Buzz that thanks to Councilman Tom LaBonge’s hard work and the Department of Recreation and Parks, funds have been secured to build a permanent platform in the park that will serve the ISC and other performing companies such as Symphony in the Glen.

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“The permanent stage will be located where we currently have to build and rebuild our stage every year in the Old Zoo section of Griffith Park,” Marisa Johnston, Development and Communications Manager for ISC told the Buzz. “Basically, it’s a platform with a lighting truss. The design is wonderful, it doesn’t overwhelm the space and will sit where the current temporary stage is located.” The $4 million project will also include improving the paths and lighting on the route to the natural amphitheater, and making the stage and parking areas ADA accessible. The ISC will still have to construct a wooden stage on top of the cement structure for its performances, but will save time, money and energy not having to roll out 10,000 feet of cable every performance and build the entire set over and over.

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“Councilman LaBonge was the one who said it out loud: the ISC should have a permanent stage. He went a long way to making this happen, to our benefit and also to others needing a place to stage dramatic or musical performances,” Johnston said. He identified the Prop K funding for park improvements and staff member Sheila Iranian helped shepherd it through City approvals. Construction on the facilities will begin in the fall of 2013 after  the conclusion of this summer’s Shakespeare season, and the new stage will debut for the summer 2014 season.

“It’s a testament to the fact that Shakespeare should be here with us in Los Angeles, and Griffith Park,” noted Johnston.

This year, the ISC will kick off the summer season June 27th with Oliver Goldsmith’s rolicking comedy She Stoops to Conquer, followed by some 40 free performances of Shakespeare including Macbeth and As You Like It. The full season schedule can be found on the ISC website.



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Julie Grist
Julie Grist
Julie co-founded the Larchmont Buzz with fellow buzzer Mary Hawley in 2011 and served as Editor, Publisher and writer for the hive for many years until the sale of the Buzz in August 2015. She is still circling the hive as an occasional writer.

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