Loyola Marymount University presented free outdoor performances of “Othello” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at its inaugural Shakespeare on the Bluff, a summer festival the occurred on six nights in June and July.
Presented by the College of Communication and Fine Arts’ Theatre Arts Program, the festival featured professional actors as well as LMU alumni, faculty members and current students performing on LMU’s Westchester campus and in Playa Vista’s Concert Park and Central Park Bandshell near the new LMU Playa Vista Campus in Silicon Beach. Nearly 3,000 people attended the six total performances.
“Our mission is to enrich the Westside communities by presenting accessible, interesting and innovative theatre experiences that educate, inspire and entertain,” said Kevin Wetmore, professor and chair of theatre arts at LMU, and the festival’s artistic director. Wetmore, who specializes in Shakespeare as well as Japanese and African theatre, and Asian cinema, was also the founding artistic director of the Unseam’d Shakespeare Company in Pittsburgh.
“We’re doing this in an accessible style – free to the public in an outdoor setting – while also providing a training ground for the next generation of artists by allowing them to experience and perform classical theatre with working professionals,” he said of the inaugural LMU event.
The 90-minute performances were free and open to the community. “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” played June 29 and 30 in LMU’s Lawton Plaza and July 1 in Playa Vista’s Concert Park; “Othello” was July 27 and 28 in Lawton Plaza and July 29 in the Playa Vista Central Park Bandshell.
“This new performance series is an important commitment by the college to bleeding the borders between campus and community,” said Bryant Keith Alexander, dean of LMU’s College of Communication and Fine Arts. “Whether in Lawton Plaza on the LMU campus or in the outdoor performance spaces in Playa Vista, audiences will be able to engage and witness the power of performance that addresses and explores the human condition.”
Families were encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and low chairs and enjoy Shakespeare in natural, outdoor settings.
More information about Shakespeare on the Bluff can be found here.
This article was originally published by LMU Newsroom and can be found here.