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Othello Gets Theatricum Off to Fast Start:

The summer festival at the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Topanga Canyon, which includes professional repertory theater, poetry, music, readings of new plays, and performances and concerts for children, will get off to a very fast start on Sunday, June 5, with a new production of Othello, Shakespeare’s powerful story of passion and betrayal, starring James Avery in the title role.

Back by popular demand is Theatricum’s award-winning version of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, appropriately set in an enchanted forest backdrop, which will run from June 11 to 25, and September 5 to 24.

On July 2, Theatricum will present Fashion, a comedy written in 1845 by Anna Cora Mowatt, one of America’s first female playwrights, performed with songs of the era. It will run through October 2.

Arthur Miller’s comic drama, The Ride Down Mt. Morgan opens July 30 and runs through October 8.

All performances take place in the Theatricum’s scenic, outdoor 300-seat amphitheater. Tickets are $25 for the lower tier and $15 for the upper tier, with discounts for children, students and seniors.

Botanicum Seedlings, a development series for playwrights which furthers new works and new voices, will present readings of new plays on three Sunday mornings: June 5, 12, and 19 at 11a.m. Readings take place in the S. Mark Taper Youth Pavilion, an intimate, 99-seat outdoor performance space. Admission is free to the public.

Thursdays at Theatricum will showcase poetry, comedy, music and more on August 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 7:30 pm. All tickets are $10.

“These Friday Nights: Songwriters’ Series” will take place on August 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 8:00 p.m. With a different guest host and program each Friday, scheduled artists include Holly Near, Inara George, Gary Jules, and Alexi Murdoch who will share their stories, creative influences, and music with KCRW’s Nic Harcourt and KPFK’s Sonali Kolhatkar. Tickets range from $25 to $35.

Throughout the summer and early fall, plays and concerts for children are scheduled every Sunday. All tickets are $8.

Since 1973, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum has been presenting Shakespeare and the classics in repertory in its scenic, outdoor amphitheater in rustic Topanga Canyon. Unlike most theaters in the Los Angeles area which stage continuous runs of a single play, the Theatricum, using a company of actors, performs four plays each season on a rotating basis. It is located at 1419 North Topanga Boulevard, midway between Malibu and the Valley.For tickets, group discounts, and a full schedule of theater, music, poetry and family entertainment, the public should call (310) 455-3723 or visit online at www.theatricum.com.

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