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Theatricum Botanicum Launches its 50th Season
ArtBeat

Theatricum Botanicum Launches its 50th Season 

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum continues its 50th Anniversary Summer Season with Queen Margaret’s Version of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses, a new edit of Shakespeare’s best-known history plays — Henry VI Parts I, II and III and Richard III — compiled by artistic director Ellen Geer. Performances begin Saturday, June 24 at the one-of-a-kind outdoor amphitheater in Topanga, where they will continue through October 1.

Dubbed the “British Game of Thrones” and Shakespeare’s “First Boxed Set” by British director Trevor Nunn, the Bard’s War of the Roses follows 30 years of bitter infighting between the rival Lancaster and Plantagenet dynasties as they battle for power and the crown of England. 

Geer puts the focus on the women in court as they watch the bloody wars (battle scenes courtesy of fight choreographer Cavin (CR) Mohrhardt) take the lives of their fathers, husbands and sons.

“It’s so like today,” says Geer. “The intrigue of the court is just like what happens in Congress and the fight for the White House. It’s all about who deserves what and who did what to whom. All done for political rise and wealth. No one really cares about the people, or about good government. 

“Why do this play, you ask? Because watching as history repeats itself might someday bring folks to their senses.”

Other events taking place at Theatricum during this 50th anniversary season include comedy improv with Theatricum’s resident troupe, Off the Grid, at the end of each month (June 30, July 27, Aug. 31, Sept. 28); a 50th Anniversary Gala (Aug. 5); the annual Under the Oaks salon series on Fridays in September (Sept. 8 through Sept. 29); an Americana Harvest Festival that includes a special performance of The Woody Guthrie Story (Oct. 8); and the company’s annual Holiday Family Faire (Dec. 9).

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