TOPANGA CANYON — This summer, despite Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum repertory season being cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, summer classes will be offered for all ages and interests.

The Theatricum’s Distance Learning Academy of the Classics for 2020 seeks “to encourage collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking in a positive, nurturing environment,” according to their website. Interested individuals can take single classes or create a “camp day” for their children.

Classes are divided among 5 age groups: young people (ages 5-8), youth classes (ages 9-11), youth/teen classes (ages 12-14), teen classes (ages 15-18), and adult classes (ages 19 and up).

For younger children, classes are half an hour long with options including theater games, comedy characters, and silly songs. Teen classes are mainly an hour long with focuses including monologues, poetry, and costumes. Adult classes are over one hour with classes including “Dig Into the Play: Examining Cymbeline w/ Frank Weidner and Special Guests,” “Breath in Action w/ Michael Nehring,” and “Modern Monologues w/ Cindy Kania-Guastaferro.”

Interested individuals can find more information and sign up for classes at

The Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum was founded in 1973 by Will Geer, an actor blacklisted during the McCarthy era. Using his botanical skills and acting passion, Geer made sure that every plant mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays was grown there.

Since its founding, the Theatricum has been the home of many Shakespeare performances, folk plays, and concerts. Some artists who performed on its stage include Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Della Reese and Burl Ives.

The Theatricum remains a home for the performing arts today.