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GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2020 Cancelled; Virtual Festival Planned for August

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GRIFFITH PARK FREE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL 2020 Cancelled; Virtual Festival Planned for August

On April 30, Independent Shakespeare Co. artistic director Melissa Chalsma released the following statement to supporters, audience members, donors and the community of Los Angeles:

"It is with great regret that we have to announce the cancellation of the 2020 Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. Having spoken with the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks, it is neither possible nor responsible. After 17 years of continuous programming, it feels very strange to contemplate this hiatus. We hate to disappoint our audience, but the reality of the situation is clear, and we must do our part to help our city through this crisis as safely as we can.

"Cancelling programming presents grave challenges for all arts organizations. We rely on donations from our free programming and ticket sales from our Studio events. Moreover, we are concerned for our festival artists and staff, many of whom have come to count on our summer contract. With this in mind, we have been strategizing how to honor our commitment to our audience and our artists.

"Although we can't perform in the park this summer, we know the Festival is a meaningful tradition to many Angelenos: so we're going to bring the Festival indoors and online. ISC will produce an all-new The Comedy of Errors that will live stream from our Studio space, free for anyone to access. If it is safe, we will welcome a limited audience to join us in person. Along with this production, we will be hosting our regular Players in the Park workshops, lectures, and community events in the digital world. We will be gratified to provide employment for artists, and we'll do all we can to make it as exuberant and connected an experience as audiences are used to.

"We hope we will be able to return to more regular programming in the fall, and we fully intend to bring our planned season of King Lear and As You Like It to the summer of 2021."

While we stay safer at home, ISC will present a livestream event, The Living Room Follies on Saturday, May 16 at 7:30pm PST. This fundraising event will feature ISC artists, celebrity guests, music, scenes and more. It will be streamed free for all, and everyone is encouraged to dress up for a night in, and share on social media using the hashtag: #ISCFolliesChallenge. ISC launched the Imagining Tomorrow Fund to support the organization and ISC artists continuing to create and plan bringing accessible theater and Shakespeare to the community.

ISC continues to share art and Shakespeare with the ISC Art Break, a series of podcasts, video projects and more, featuring ISC artists.

All offerings are accessible through their website:

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