Forsooth: Free Shakespeare in Griffith Park

Leaves, dappled sunlight, stars, and the words of Will shine, summer-style.

Summer 2016 may only be a few days old, but one of the surest signs of its arrival comes in the form of something that's free, something that's old, something that's spritely, and something that's a warm-weather tradition at green spaces around the country.

It's the words of one William Shakespeare — perhaps you've heard of him? — performed, for free, in a park. Like dribbly ice cream cones, and sand in your trunks, watching a play that was penned centuries ago while sitting atop a picnic blanket is about as rites-of-summer-ish as one can get.

And one only need to look to the Independent Shakespeare Company, which is set to launch its light-hearted, pay-nothing summer season at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park on Saturday, June 25.

Well, not exactly "light-hearted"; "Richard III" opens things up, with intensity and anti-hero-ness. But ready yourself for an "electrified retelling" of the tale (one intriguing hint: The photo has the kingly figure swinging an electric guitar.)

"The Tempest" follows in late July. Magic and family reign in what was the Bard's last play through early September.

Yes, both are free, though donations are "gratefully accepted." For sure, picnics are welcome, but leave the wine at home (not allowed in the park). And layering? It gets cool, even after a toasty July day.

For the full schedule, and how to wend your way to the Old Zoo for some riveting dramatics, pack your wicker hamper and hike in this direction.

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