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PERICLES Announced At The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival

PERICLES Announced At The Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival

This summer Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) presents the rarely-performed epic Pericles at the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, directed by ISC Co-Founder and Artistic Director, Melissa Chalsma. Pericles will begin previews on Saturday, July 27 at 7pm, will open on Saturday, August 3 at 7pm and perform through Friday, August 30 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park. All ISC summer Shakespeare productions are FREE to the public! Pericles is the second of two productions being presented at this year's Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival. Twelfth Night is currently playing and will run in repertory through September 1.

Love is lost and found again in one of Shakespeare's most spellbinding plays. The young Pericles sets out for adventure, but gets more than he bargains for. Twenty five years later, it's his daughter's turn to sail to the high seas as she seeks to unravel the mystery of her birth. Pericles is an epic tale, spanning continents and decades, complete with knights errant, Greek gods and pirates...and more than few surprises.

Director and ISC Artistic Director Melissa Chalsma comments, "I think modern companies may shy away form Pericles because of its fantastical, epic quality-it seems too big to fit into a theater! However, it was one of the most popular plays in Shakespeare's time, and the Elizabethans definitely got that right. It's very scope makes it a thrilling opportunity for imaginative staging, and the way the story shifts between low comedy, high tragedy and gorgeous romance ensures that there is something for everyone. I'm so excited to bring this incredibly fun piece of theater to Griffith Park!"

Adds ISC Managing Director David Melville, "Director Melissa Chalsma's starting point for the production is a bit of art imitating life: We are imagining we are a troupe of Renaissance players that have accepted a booking at the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, and we've got to put together the set, get on our costumes, and navigate the challenges of the park all while putting on Pericles. The audience will definitely need to get involved in the action. I love that we are getting the chance to introduce this incredible creative play to a contemporary Los Angeles audience."


Melissa Chalsma (Director) Under Melissa's leadership, Independent Shakespeare Co. (ISC) created the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival, which has grown into the largest theater event of its kind in Los Angeles. Melissa directs and acts in many ISC productions. Her directing includes A Midsummer Night's Dream, Titus Andronicus, Measure for Measure, Richard III, Twelfth Night, and Romeo & Juliet. She has performed in theaters across the country, on Broadway (including the American premiere of Harold Pinter's Moonlight with Jason Robards, Blythe Danner, and Liev Schreiber) and in the UK.

In her ten years as a college faculty member she taught at Moorpark College, Pepperdine University, and California State University, Northridge. Melissa received her MFA from The Professional Theatre Training Program at the University of Delaware.

The cast of Pericles will feature Patrick Batiste, Brent Charles, William Elsman, Hao Feng, Lorenzo Gonzalez, Aisha Kabia, Carene Rose Mekertichyan, David Melville, Kelvin Morales, Xavi Moreno, Bukola Ogunmola, Gyasi Silas and Sabra Williams.

Scenic Design is by Caitlin Lainoff. Unit Set Design is by Natalie Morales. Season Lighting Design is by Bosco Flanagan. Costume Design is by Tom Blunt and Melissa Chalsma. Music Direction is by David Beukers.

Pericles will begin previews on Saturday, July 27 at 7pm and will open on Saturday, August 3 at 7pm. Pericles and Twelfth Night will play in repertory through September 1. All performances and events are free! The festival is located in The Old Los Angeles Zoo at Griffith Park (near 4730 Crystal Spring Dr., adjacent to the Merry Go Round). GPS Coordinates of the parking area: 34*8.034'N, 118* 17.100'W. Visit or call (818) 710-6306 for further directions and information.

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