MEASURE FOR MEASURE Kicks Off Theatricum Botanicum's 2012 Summer Season, 6/2

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Theatricum Botanicum's 2012 Summer Repertory Season will present four plays in repertory on its mainstage: Measure for Measure and A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare; Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw; and The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Brevoort. In addition, Cherry Docs by David Gow will get six performances in Theatricum's intimate second performance space.

"This season tackles serious issues with hard-hitting tragedy and dark comedy," explains Theatricum artistic director Ellen Geer. "None of these plays gives us easy answers. But it's important that the questions be asked. Each of us is good and bad, we all have light and dark sides, but we make a choice as to which side wins out."

Theatricum Botanicum is known for its spirited productions of Shakespeare and modern classics in a spectacular outdoor setting. Unlike companies that stage continuous runs of a single play, Theatricum, using a company of actors, performs each play on a rotating basis so that it's possible to see all four mainstage plays in a single summer weekend.

Opening the season tonight, June 2 is Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare. Director Ellen Geer sets Shakespeare's unconventional comedy of ethics, sexuality and deception in California during the turbulent '60s when issues of women's rights, religious freedoms and the emergence of Black and Latino pride were at the forefront of political debate.

Opening the very next day, on Sunday, June 3, is Theatricum's signature production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, co-directed by Willow Geer and Melora Marshall. Comic rustics, thwarted lovers, transfigured humans and war in the fairy world make up this most entertaining and beguiling of Shakespeare's comedies.

One week later, opening on June 9, Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw joins the mix. Ellen Geer directs Shaw's epic masterpiece and prophetic depiction of a society teetering on the brink. Young Ellie Dunn is invited to the country home of the eccentric Captain Shotover by his daughter Hesione. Soon the family is divided over Ellie's decision to marry for money, not love. But despite the brilliant debates about politics, economics, desire, war, education, religion and science, they are all ignoring the greater cloud that is looming. Written before World War I, Shaw said about the play, "It has more of the miracle, more of the mystic belief in it than any of my others."

When The Women of Lockerbie, written by Deborah Bevoort and directed by Melora Marshall opens on June 30, all four mainstage productions will be up and running. Inspired by a true story, The Women of Lockerbie is a stunning tribute to the triumph of love over hate. A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie, Scotland, looking for her son's remains which were lost in the bombing of Pan Am 103. There, she meets the women of Lockerbie who are fighting the U.S. Government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane's wreckage. Determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, the women want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the bereaved families.

On September 6, Cherry Docs by David Gow will open in Theatricum's intimate second performance space, the S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion, where each of six performances will be followed by a panel discussion. When a Jewish lawyer is assigned to defend a young skinhead accused of brutally killing an immigrant man, he must alter his preconceived notion of humanity in order to discover forgiveness. Playwright David Gow dares audiences to examine their capacity for compassion and poses a question: is there atonement for all crimes?

In addition to the five plays in the Repertory Season, Theatricum offers a variety of satellite programming including Under the Oaks featuring comedy improv, poetry and music; a series of special mainstage engagements including Lexi Pearl's "Momentum Place," "A Night Under the Stars with Amy Madigan," Wendie Malick & Friends," and "The Woody Show," a tribute to songwriter, folklorist and labor leader Woody Guthrie, who was also a longtime Theatricum friend; Family Fundays – featuring CreativePlayGround and Peter Alsop's Kids Koncerts – on Saturday and Sunday mornings; Botanicum Seedlings: A Development Series for Playwrights featuring free readings of new plays on select Sundays; and Theme Dinner Buffets in the idyllic Theatricum gardens. Audiences are always invited to picnic on the lovely grounds before or after a performance.

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum is located at 1419 North Topanga Canyon Blvd. in Topanga, midway between Pacific Coast Highway and the Ventura (101) Freeway. The amphitheaters are terraced into the hillside, so audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Picnickers are welcome on the grounds before or after the performances.

For tickets, group discounts, and a full schedule of theater, music and family entertainment, call 310-455-3723 or go to www.theatricum.com.

Theatricum Botanicum's Full 2012 Summer Schedule

Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare plays June 2 through Sept 1:

Saturday, June 2 at 8 pm
Sunday, June 3 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 10 at 3:30 pm
Sunday, June 17 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 23 at 8 pm
Sunday, June 24 at 3:30 pm
Sunday, July 1 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, July 7 at 4 pm
*Sunday, July 15 at 3:30 pm
Sunday, July 22 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, July 29 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 4 at 8 pm
Sunday, Aug. 5 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 11 at 4 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 18 at 8 pm
Sunday, Aug. 19 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 25 at 8 pm
Sunday, Aug. 26 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 1 at 8 pm
*Prologue (pre-show discussion): Sunday, July 15 at 2:30 pm (included in ticket price)

A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare plays June 3 through Sept. 30:

Sunday, June 3 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, June 9 at 4 pm
*Saturday, June 16 at 4 pm
Saturday, June 23 at 4 pm
**Thursday, Aug. 2 at 8 pm
**Thursday, Aug. 9 at 8 pm
**Thursday, Aug. 16 at 8 pm
**Thursday, Aug. 23 at 8 pm
**Thursday, Aug. 30 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 1 at 4 pm
Monday, Sept. 3 at 6:30 pm (Labor Day)
Saturday, Sept. 8 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 16 at 3:30 pm
Sunday, Sept. 23 at 3:30 pm
Sunday, Sept. 30 at 3:30 pm
*Prologue (pre-show discussion): Saturday, June 16 at 3 pm (included in ticket price)
**Pre-performance Mediterranean buffet 'Dream Dinners' attended by costumed fairies at 6:30 pm every Thursday in Aug.: Aug. 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 (separate admission, or combination packages available)

Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw plays June 9 through Sept. 30:

Saturday, June 9 at 8 pm
Sunday, June 10 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, June 16 at 8 pm
Sunday, June 17 at 7:30 pm
Sunday, June 24 at 7:30 pm
*Sunday, July 8 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, July 14 at 4 pm
Saturday, July 21 at 4 pm
Sunday, July 22 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, July 28 at 8 pm
Friday, Aug. 3 at 8 pm
Friday, Aug. 10 at 8 pm
Sunday, Aug. 19 at 7:30 pm
**Friday, Aug. 31 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 2 at 3:30 pm
**Friday, Sept. 7 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 9 at 7:30 pm
**Friday, Sept. 14 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 4 pm
Saturday, Sept. 22 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 23 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 29 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 30 at 7:30 pm
*Prologue (pre-show discussion): Sunday, July 8 at 2:30 pm (included in ticket price)
**Pre-performance "British Pub Grub" dinners at 6:30 pm on Aug. 31, Sept. 7, 14 (separate admission, or combination packages available)

The Women of Lockerbie by Deborah Bevoort plays June 30 through Sept. 29:

Saturday, June 30 at 8 pm
Sunday, July 1 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 7 at 8 pm
Sunday, July 8 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 14 at 8 pm
Sunday, July 15 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, July 21 at 8 pm
Saturday, July 28 at 4 pm
Sunday, July 29 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 4 at 4 pm
*Sunday, Aug. 5 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, Aug. 11 at 8 pm
Sunday, Aug. 12 at 3:30 pm
Friday, Aug. 17 at 8 pm
Saturday, Aug. 18 at 4 pm
**Friday, Aug. 24 at 8 pm
Saturday, Aug. 25 at 4 pm
Sunday, Sept. 2 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 8 at 4 pm
Sunday, Sept. 9 at 3:30 pm
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 8 pm
Sunday, Sept. 16 at 7:30 pm
**Friday, Sept. 21 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 22 at 4 pm
**Friday, Sept. 28 at 8 pm
Saturday, Sept. 29 at 4 pm
*Prologue (pre-show discussion): Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2:30 pm (included in ticket price)
**Pre-performance "Highlander Banquet" dinners at 6:30 pm on Fridays, Aug. 24, Sept. 21 and Sept. 28 (separate admission, or combination packages available)

Cherry Docs by David Gow plays Sept. 6 through Oct. 13:

Thursday, Sept. 6 @ 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 13 @ 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 20 @ 8 pm
Thursday, Sept. 27 @ 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 6 @ 8 pm
Saturday, Oct. 13 @ 8 pm

UNDER THE OAKS featuring comedy improv and music in the intimate S. Mark Taper Foundation Pavilion:

Friday, June 29 @ 8 pm: comedy improv with Off The Grid
Friday, July 6 @ 8 pm: Poet's Gathering
Friday, July 13 @ 8 pm: A Tribute to Warren Zevon
Friday, July 20 @ 8 pm: A Tribute to Dory Previn
Wednesday, July 25 @ 8 pm: comedy improv with Off The Grid
Friday, July 27 @ 8 pm: What Do You Dream Of? (a tribute to Martin Luther King)
Wednesday, Aug. 29 @ 8 pm: comedy improv with Off The Grid
Wednesday, Sept. 26 @ 8 pm: comedy improv with Off The Grid

MAINSTAGE SPECIAL ENGAGEMENTS:

Sunday, May 13 (Mother's Day) @ 2 pm: Lexi Pearl's Momentum Place – Lexi Pearl curates Theatricum's annual offering of modern dance, aerial acts, juggling and performance art
Sunday, Aug. 26 @ 7:30 pm: A Night Under the Stars with Amy Madigan, Wendie Malick & Friends
Monday, Sept. 3 (Labor Day) @ 2 pm: The Woody Show – A tribute to the songwriter, folklorist and labor leader who was also a longtime Theatricum friend

BOTANICUM SEEDLINGS:A DEVELOPMENT SERIES FOR PLAYWRIGHTS – The 10th Anniversary Season of this series furthers new works and new voices, presenting free readings of new plays:

Sundays, June 10, 17, 24 @ 11 am: Spring Playreadings
Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 20 & 21 @ 2 pm: SeedlingsFest – A Festival of (short) Playreadings

THEATRICUM BOO-TANICUM – The bucolic Theatricum transforms into the haunted BOO-tanicum with the theater company's second annual Halloween extravaganza

Friday, Oct. 26, 2 pm – 9 pm

FAMILY FUNDAYS with Peter Alsop's KIDS KONCERTS (20th Anniversary Season) and CREATIVE PLAYGROUND: Every Sunday and three Saturdays @ 11 am, June 3 through Nov. 3 (dark July 29):

Sunday, June 3 - Creative PlayGround presents The Legends of King Arthur
Join Arthur, Guenevere and Merlin for stories from the Round Table, and learn that might is not right; that being kind is the better way to be; and that all people (even kings) are created equal.
Sunday, June 10 - Creative PlayGround presents Ferdinand the Bull
Join Ferdinand the Bull and his friend Sammy the cow in a meadow in Spain. This adaptation of Munro Leaf's classic story about a young bull who does not like to fight reminds us all to accept and celebrate individuality in others and in ourselves.
Sunday, June 17 - Creative PlayGround presents Aesop's Fables
Led by Aesop himself, audience members participate and help find the morals in "The Tortoise and the Hare," "The Wind and the Sun," "The Country Mouse and the City Mouse" and "The Lion and The Mouse."
Sunday, June 24 - Kids Koncerts presents Rhythm Child
Norman Jones glides us into singing and playing drums along with his friends and kids. Always a delight, he's back again to kick off our 20th year of Kids Koncerts.
Sunday, July 1 - Kids Koncerts presents DidiPop
Full of laughter and warmth, DidiPop dazzles us with her skills as a mom, songwriter, music teacher and vivacious performer.
Sunday, July 8 - Kids Koncerts presents The Sunflowers
Music, puppets and story-theater with helpful fun messages.
Saturday, July 14 - Creative PlayGround presents Three Tales by Hans Christian Andersen
Classic Andersen fairytales of "The Swineherd," "The Princess and the Pea" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" are woven together to tell the history of a single royal family.
Sunday, July 15 - Kids Koncerts presents Mark Lewis
A consummate storyteller, songwriter and Theatricum actor, Topanga's Mark Lewis plays with the families while he plays music for the kids.
Sunday, July 22 - Kids Koncerts presents Debi Derryberry
One of L.A.'s most active voice-over artists, energetic Debi and her little buddy Baby Banana are a big hit with the pre-school set.
Sunday, July 29 - NO FUNDAYS PERFORMANCE TODAY
Saturday, Aug. 4 - Creative PlayGround presents The Velveteen Rabbit
Adapted from Margery Williams' classic tale of true friendship and what it means to be "really real," Creative PlayGround's version of this most wonderful story modernizes language and locale but retains the original heart.
Sunday, Aug. 5 - Kids Koncerts presents The Hollow Trees
Grab your partner for a bluegrass spin around the dance floor as we stomp and sing to the Hollow Trees hootenanny music.
Sunday, Aug. 12 - Kids Koncerts presents David Tobocman
David's wide range of musical styles and clever song lyrics help kids learn and feel safe in a big world.
Sunday, Aug. 19 - Kids Koncerts presents Dan Crow
One of our pioneer Kids Koncert silly-song singers is back to help us celebrate our 20th season.
Sunday, Aug. 26 - Kids Koncerts presents Randy Kaplan
Randy's country blues songs and comedic storytelling take kids and parents on a wonderful ride.
Sunday, Sept. 2 - Kids Koncerts presents Earthworm Ensemble
Kids Koncert first-timers, this folk band sings kid songs about buffaloes, birds, trains, farmer's markets and how to make you own pizza.
Sunday, Sept. 9 - Kids Koncerts presents Hullabaloo & Melissa Green
Kids laugh, dance and clap their hands with San Diego stars Hullabaloo, while Melissa Green gets our families singing along in celebration of her new album, "Sing Loud."
Sunday, Sept.16 - Kids Koncerts presents Peter Alsop
Our founder! Kids love laughing at Peter's concerts because he writes funny sing-along songs; parents love his clever and helpful insights. Don't miss this one!
Sunday, Sept. 23 - Kids Koncerts presents Evo Bluestein
Evo taught American folk music and dance for thirty years, so you might suddenly find yourself playing an instrument or clog dancing at his show.
Sunday, Sept. 30 - Kids Koncerts presents Gwendolyn & The Good Time Gang
Gwendolyn and her Gang are back with rock n' roll and new family songs to close up our 20th anniversary Kids Koncert party.
Sunday, Oct. 7 - Creative PlayGround presents The Velveteen Rabbit (see Aug. 4)
Sunday, Oct. 14 - Creative PlayGround presents The Legends of King Arthur (see June 3)
Sunday, Oct. 21 - Creative PlayGround presents Three Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (see July 14)
Sunday, Oct. 28 - Creative PlayGround presents Halloween Stories
Three ghost tales that leave even the youngest audience members able to sleep at night.
Saturday, Nov. 3 - Creative PlayGround presents Dia de los Muertos: Cuentos de mi Familia
Alex and his best friend Hannah celebrate The Day of the Dead by building an altar and communing with the spirit of Abuelo – a great storyteller, a farmer, and a performer with the Teatro Campesino. Abuelo leads us all in a retelling of the traditional story Musicians of the Sun.

TICKET PRICES:

Mainstage Rep Shows (Measure for Measure, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Heartbreak House, The Women of Lockerbie): $10 - $33
Second Stage (Cherry Docs): $20
Play/Dinner combo packages: $55 (adults); $50 (seniors & vets); $45 (students/AEA); $22.50 (children 7-12); $5 (children 6 and under) includes a buffet dinner & a performance; advance reservations required
Under the Oaks: $10- $15
Family Fundays: $9
Botanicum Seedlings: Free
Mainstage Special Engagements: Call theater for pricing

The outdoor amphitheaters at The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum are terraced into the hillside of the rustic canyon. Audience members are advised to dress casually (warmly for evenings) and bring cushions for bench seating. Picnickers are welcome before or after the performances.

PARKING:

On-site lot: $5
Free on road
For more information and to purchase tickets, call 310-455-3723, or go to www.theatricum.com.

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