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The City Shakespeare CompanyOver the last month or so, the cast of As You Like It has been pouring over Shakespeare’s 500-year-old text, experimenting with new ideas for the show, and getting used to our outdoor space at Rustic Canyon Rec Center.

Two trees created a natural stage for us: on one side, a thick, white-barked grandpa who serves as a great hiding place for characters when they want to watch the stage action undetected. On the other, a gnarled, fun-to-sit-in guardian. These two trees marked out our stage… until Saturday morning.

Imagine The City Shakespeare Companyour surprise when we arrived at the park and Fun-To-Sit-In Guardian has toppled over and is covered in bright yellow caution tape! First, we were shocked. Was there a wind storm? Is the tree sick? What happened? Then, we were sad to see one of our friends go. And finally, we started getting inspired.

What can you do with a felled tree on your stage? It was too heavy for us to move on our own. Our only choice was to integrate it into the show… which is exactly what we did.

At 2 The City Shakespeare Companypm, our audience was ready: eagerly opening up their picnic baskets and bottles of wine and slathering on sunscreen. The front row was lined with children who loved Nik Roybal as Touchstone and laughed at almost every joke. Passersby wandered over to see what was going on and ended up staying for the whole 80-minute show.

In the end, Brooke and I were very pleased to see that we had accomplished our goal: to perform Shakespeare in a way that would create a community event and bring people together to share in the joy of telling human stories. Our adept actors integrated the fallen tree into the show gracefully, and I’m not sure the audience could tell either way.

If you haven’t caught the show yet, there are only three more performances: June 15, June 19, and July 6 at 2 pm. The address for Rustic Canyon Rec Center is approximately 601 Latimer Road, Santa Monica, CA. Be sure to bring lots of yums and a hat! Admission is ticketless and free, and donations will be most gratefully accepted.

Allison SignatureSee ya there!

photos credit Ariel Miick



  1. Hi, I went to rustic canyon park today to see you, I invited 3 people. But you were not there!. signs outside the park said you were there. I went to the park office, they said you were supposed to be there, you weren’t. so they went online to find you were not there till next week. but the signs you put up were there. as if you were there. please be more accurate as to when you are some place. No fun inviting people to something that isn’;t there. I would love to see your performance, and would love to support your group, but how can I when I don’t know when or where you will be. Yes, it is all for free, but I think you would like to have people there to see you and support you, so it is very simple to state when and where you will be.

    • Hi Polly,

      I’m so sorry that you had that unfortunate experience this afternoon. The park must not have taken down our signs last week after the show.

      In all our marketing we have noted the specific dates of our shows because we were dark this weekend. I’m sorry that you were disappointed today; we would still love to have you on June 29th or July 6th at 2pm!


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