Free Performances All Summer
Every year throughout the summer the San Pedro community gathers at Point Fermin Park before sunset. They set out picnic blankets, play board games, or read while watching the sun drop into the ocean and waiting for the performance to begin.
Shakespeare by the Sea is a nonprofit organization that performs two different Shakespeare plays throughout the summer, every year for free. They perform in parks all throughout the South Bay bringing Shakespeare’s plays to life. The members of the organization including the actors work extremely hard volunteering their time to rehearsals, stagecraft, and fundraising all year long, to bring professionally presented plays to our local parks. The plays are so well done that even without an understanding of Shakespearean language, one can understand the story line. In addition, there is enough slapstick comedy and jesting to keep everyone entertained.
What the Players Will Play
This year they will be playing All’s Well that Ends Well. A physician’s daughter saves a king and is granted the ability to marry the bachelor of her choosing. She pick Bertram who is less than enthused and runs away sending word that Helena can call him husband when she has the ring off his finger and his baby in her belly. Things get interesting from there, as Shakespeare masterfully manipulates his character until All’s Well. Does Helena get her husband?
They will also be performing King Jon, one of Shakespeare’s famous tragedies. King Jon is a bit more tragic, but irony and wordplay makes it enjoyable to watch. Jon is King of England but France demands that he steps down for his nephew Arthur. Shakespeare asks his characters and audience, what makes a King fit to rule? Chaos ensues as various family members attempt to settle disputes, which mostly leads toward tragic ends. As with most of Shakespeare’s tragedies the question is not who will die, but who will make it out alive?
Sweets and Seats
There are rows of benches available for seating and a few picnic tables in the back. Many people bring their blankets and sit in the grass. I recommend pillows and blankets because it can be a bit chilly. The snack bar is open every night. They serve candy, hot chocolate and other goodies. There is almost always another vendor there selling yummy dinner items as well. If you want to make the night special you can get the Decadent Dinning Package that includes cushioned reserved seating, a picnic basket filled with gourmet food including dessert, and a signed program.
Love Shakespeare by the Sea?
Shakespeare by the Sea is a nonprofit organization and not only do they present free plays during the summer but they perform all year round at the Little Fish Theater in San Pedro. Show them support by donating or through buying tickets to see the other plays they perform. You can also buy ticket packages that include dinner or wine at some of the best downtown San Pedro restaurants including Off the Vine and the Whale and Ale. Help bring culture and entertainment to the South Bay.
Have you been before? What was your favorite play? First time? Come back and let us know what you thought!