I absolutely love Shakespeare performed outside…in its natural state, so to speak.
So I was thrilled when Dean Productions announced they were performing "The Tempest," which is one of my favorite of his plays. The park is such a great location, quiet and blissfully still at night, tucked up into the foothills of Burbank/Glendale. It’s really a lovely place to see a play, the occasional hoot of an owl or visitation by a curious deer adds to the wonderful atmosphere.
Susannah Snowden-Ifft (l.), Julia Stier Photo credit: Maggie Jorgensen.
This company really puts their heart and soul into every production, and I have seen quite a few of them! They always perform a very special comic short before the main event. They work with children fighting cancer and together they write a short play for the actors to perform. It’s really fun, the actors obviously enjoy it too and this year was just as precious as ever!
Caitlin Stoodley, Nick Gallagher
It’s predominantly a fairly young company, apart from a couple of more mature lovelies, but I love that. The actors are all excellent and full of the energy required to perform this lyrical and magical play. Performed as a playhouse production, the actors flit between roles and manipulate the simple set as and when needed quite beautifully. A sail becomes a beach and a trunk becomes a cave as one actor morphs from one role to another. As the story careens from ship wreck to wizardry to wandering regretful princes and lost sons and drunken servants, the actors lovingly perform their parts with a great reverence for the words and a deep sense of the irony and hilarity of this much loved, much studied, neoclassical masterpiece.
There is a little bubbling magic and some very gentle audience participation, which is always a joy with one of the Bard's comedies. There are lovely songs and passionate, heartfelt flirting and I absolutely love the way they interpreted Ariel - always a dilemma and a challenge how to give life to this iconic role, you must discover this for yourselves, however!
So it’s wonderful! It’s only on for a few weeks to I recommend you get a Shakespearean move on!
Oh and it’s free…yes free, although if you have a soul you will generously donate to their charming Halloween buckets when they come round at the end.
Running October 10 - October 20, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Thursday, Friday Saturday 7.30pm
Brand Park, 1601 W Mountain St, Glendale California 91201
Nick Gallagher, Tuesday Grant, Jennifer Lewis, Susannah Snowden-Ifft, Philip Sokoloff, Julia Stier, Caitlin Stoodley.
Director - Rebecca Lynne
Musical Director/Composer - Michael Turnblom
Costume Designer - Melissa Wilson
Lighting Designer - Kassie Winkler
Sound Designer - Jeremy Leung
Stage Manager - Michael Carachure
House Manager - Lisa Bigelow
Publicist - Philip Sokoloff