Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival June 24 – September 3

On Sunday, my family and I attended the Independent Shakespeare Company‘s fundraiser for the 2017 Griffith Park FREE Shakespeare Festival. The Griffith Park FREE Shakespeare Festival is an annual summer event, made possible (for over 14 years) through donations. With recent government cuts to the arts, this is a wonderful way to expose children to classical theater and share the experience with them in a fun setting.

At the event, we watched the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet, performed by two actors from the Independent Shakespeare Company. Guests also played dress-up with provided costumes, colored fairies and elves at craft stations, and listened to stories told by Belle of Beauty and the Beast. We all enjoyed a kid-friendly tea.

2017 Griffith Park FREE Shakespeare Festival


Saturday & Sunday June 24 and 25
Wednesday – Sunday June 28 – July 23
All performances begin at 7:00 pm

Regime change is coming to a decadent Vienna: the Duke’s gone AWOL, and in his place sits a joyless man determined to take back the city. His first order of business? Executing a man whose only crime is love. When the pious Isabella comes to plead for her brother’s life, she soon finds that unyielding morality isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and that human appetite is not so easily controlled. This dark comedy is one of Shakespeare’s most modern plays, full of eccentric characters and wild surprises.


Saturday & Sunday July 29 – July 30
Wednesday – Sunday August 2 – September 3
All performances begin at 7:00 pm

A pair of idealistic best friends set out on a road trip. They are followed by two young women, determined to write their own destiny. Little do they all suspect they will have to overcome betrayal, broken hearts, and a band of outlaws before the journey’s end. One of Shakespeare’s brightest plays, this coming-of-age comedy features live rockabilly music, swing dancing, and a dog named Crab.


the Old Zoo in Griffith Park

Visit website for specific information (maps, directions, etc.)

Know before you go

  • Children are welcome at all performances. However, Shakespeare performances are not edited or changed for children. Shakespeare wrote about the human experience, and his plays include examples of sexuality and violence, and deal with adult themes.
  • There is an uphill walk from the parking areas to the performance site
  • You may bring a picnic, but no alcohol permitted
  • Refreshments and snacks available for purchase (they take credit cards)
  • No animals allowed
  • Special events all summer include pre-show performances, Salon discussions, special guests, and interactive workshops for families

Visit website for more information


Donations are tax-deductible. If you donate $150 or more, you receive four special “thank you” seats at a performance of your choice.

Visit website for ways to donate

Independent Shakespeare Company


We bring Los Angeles together through exuberant, surprising productions of classical plays as well as new works.
We address the inequity of access to the performing arts through free and low-cost programming.
We create theater that is dynamic, inclusive and accessible; enriching our community and reaching new theater audiences.


Halle Stanford (Executive VP of Children’s Entertainment at The Jim Henson Company) is on the Independent Shakespeare Company‘s Board of Directors and hosted this fantastic event at Jim Henson Company Lot. Thank you for having us!