And Now For Something Completely Different: Shakespeare in L.A

Sheryn Morris, Librarian, Literature & Fiction,
Shakespeare in LA graphic

In 2017 William Shakespeare was in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Public Library and The Library Foundation of Los Angeles hosted a special exhibit from the Folger Shakespeare Library: America’s Shakespeare - The Bard Goes West. The exhibit may be over, but Shakespeare’s plays are performed year-round.

The original Globe Theatre in London was a major place for the performance of Shakespeare’s plays. It was a partially open-air theatre with the main floor exposed to the elements, where ordinary folks would be able to stand and watch the plays. In the back of the theatre were two to three floors of comfortable, covered seating—for those who could afford the price.

Olivia greeting Cesario in the garden

Olivia Greeting Cesario in the Garden, oil on panel, Thomas Stothard, [1755-1834]

Following the open-air tradition, and in a more egalitarian way, summer is a time for performances of William Shakespeare’s plays in parks and amphitheaters. In Los Angeles, there are many companies and venues where Shakespeare's plays are presented. So pack a picnic and grab a beach towel or blanket, and soak up the festive atmosphere while enjoying the poetry and plots of the great Bard. His works have been translated and performed all over the world. Here are some interesting facts from the British Council. For summer and year-round performances of Shakespeare’s plays look at Shakespeare in LA. Here are some highlights:

If you cannot make it to a live performance, then check out what the library has available: William Shakespeare - Folger Shakespeare Library; William Shakespeare - the plays - DVDs.

Also our excellent e-Media resources like Kanopy, Hoopla, RB Digital and Aloud Podcasts have myriad ways to explore the Bard.

Your library card makes it possible to check out hundreds of books and other materials for free. It is up to you, dear reader, to decide if you like any of them. If you don’t like something, then drop it—in the book drop, or remove from your e-reader. Los Angeles Public Library has many more books that will make you want to read on and on.