Shakespeare In Santa Monica
Posted by Claire Pelonis on Aug 9, 2012 - 6:00:18 AM
SANTA MONICA—Shakespeare Santa Monica invites you to come
enjoy the plays of William Shakespeare against the backdrop of beautiful Santa
Monica. The company’s ninth season opens Friday, August 10.
Every summer since its inception in July 2004, SSM has
presented Shakespeare in a multitude of environments around the city including
tennis courts, the beach, Miles Playhouse, and Clover Park. According to their
mission statement, the company believes that, “Shakespeare is most successful
when it becomes a part of the fabric of our community.” The company believes Santa Monica is an
ideal city for this project. “Santa Monica’s natural beauty and cultural savvy
make it the perfect locale amongst its neighboring communities for being a
center of cultural dynamism.”
Founding Artistic Director, John Farmanesh-Bocca, is a
graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He is the founder of SSM as well as
its sister company, Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Company. At the seventh
season opening, Farmanesh-Bocca explained to his audience that, “It’s not
really complicated big words, it’s just complicated construction of thoughts.
So listen for the thoughts”¦ We are going to express the poetics thought by
thought. This is Shakespeare’s meditation on love.”
One of the main functions of Shakespeare Santa Monica is a
summer intensive workshop to train graduate level students in classical theater
acting. The elite program only accepts between 20 and 22 applicants per season.
These men and women work together to create an alive theater experience for a
variety of audiences.
CSULB graduate and current SSM performer, Ashley Bonzell,
told Canyon News, “As a young actor, SSM is awesome not only because we get the
chance to work with more experienced actors, but because the tennis court is
hugely challenging in terms of playing a show with all the nuances of a
smaller, indoor stage. Shakespeare is already a workout, and doing it on the
court feels like a marathon.”
Farmanesh-Bocca’s approach to Shakespeare inspires his
performers each season. “I am so grateful for John’s direction because he is
wonderfully able to communicate to a broad range of actors. He teaches as he
directs, sharing his own experience, which enriches ours,” said Bonzell.
Guillermo Parga, Company Manager and Stage Manager for
Shakespeare Santa Monica, proudly explained to Canyon News, “This is our ninth
season. We’re bringing in kids from the Boys and Girls Club’s in Santa Monica
and Venice, and a few other groups to come see the show.” SSM offers free
tickets to under-served children in the surrounding areas through the Young
Audiences Development Program.
This season looks to be their most successful so far. The company will
present summer evening performances of “All’s Well That Ends Well” on August
10, 11, 12, 18, 19 and 25, and “The Taming of the Shrew” on August 16, 17, 23,
and 24. All performances begin at 8:00p.m.
In the spirit of their unique company, this season’s
productions will be held outdoors at Reed Park in Tournament Tennis Court #1,
located at 7th St. and Wilshire in Santa Monica. The show is pay what you can,
with a suggested donation of $20. If you would like to reserve seats, tickets
can be purchased at http://www.jfbnyla.com/shakespearesantamonica/purchasetickets.html
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