Shakespeare in the Old Zoo

Jul 10, 2017

Yes, to experience free Shakespeare in the park means traveling west on the 134, but only just past Glendale, so 15 minutes away, give or take. And, when we’re talking free Shakespeare, we lean in.

Our thanks to Caroline Purvis (and her daughter Haley who’s volunteering) for bringing this summer series to our attention. The Independent Shakespeare Company (ISC) presents The Two Gentlemen of Verona, which runs July 29 through September 3 at the Old Zoo in Griffith Park.

Have you explored the old Zoo since it’s been abandoned? Josh at Through My Lens writes:

The old zoo in Griffith Park is one of those places I literally knew nothing about before I went to it. After going though, it has become one of my most recommended places when people ask me what to do in LA. The Old LA Zoo is what remains of the original LA Zoo that was simply left in its place when the zoo changed locations. In addition, picnic benches were added to some of the old animal areas…. The zoo is a truly unique location in the urban jungle that is Los Angeles.


Photo credit: Josh at Through My Lens.


Photo credit: Josh at Through My Lens.


ISC’s statement about The Two Gentlemen of Verona:

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.

ISC’s summer Shakespeare productions are scheduled for Wednesdays through Sundays.

No reservations are required for ISC’s summer Shakespeare productions. Ample free parking is available; look for the hot pink signs directing drivers toward the Merry-Go-Round parking lots. Lot 2 is the closest to the stage, though be prepared for an uphill walk.

For more details, visit or call 1.818.710.6306.


Evan Lewis Smith (Proteus) and Erika Soto (Julia) in rehearsal for The Two Gentlemen of Verona; photo by Mike Ditz.


Event suggestions, thanks to ISC…

Plan your evening

•All summer performances and special events are FREE! Donations are gratefully accepted.

•No reservations for performances are required.

•We encourage your consideration of those around you! Low seat beach chairs (legs lower than 3″) are welcome behind our chair line. The lower area closest to the stage is reserved for those with picnic blankets.


Photo credit: ISC Los Angeles.


•As a courtesy to those around you, we ask you to leave your four-legged friends at home.

•We welcome children at our performances! However, these are not Shakespeare performances 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. Email us at and we’ll be happy to answer any specific questions you may have about particular performances. And please, keep your children with you at all times.

•There is an uphill walk from the parking areas to our performance site. If you have mobility challenges, please call us at 818-710-6306 to make arrangements.


Two Gentlemen of Verona / First Day of Rehearsal. With Sylvia Kwan, Lorenzo González Fontes, William Elsman, Evan Smith, Xavi Moreno, Nikhil Pai, Patrick Batiste, Erika Soto Venegas, Joseph Culliton, April Fritz, David Melville, and Melissa Chalsma.


•Don’t forget your picnic! (Note: alcohol is prohibited in Los Angeles City parks.)

•Dress in layers as it gets chilly in the evening.

•We have a concessions tent with hot and cold beverages, sweets treats from The Village Bakery & Café (a local Atwater Village small business), kettle corn, light snacks and Habey’s Shakes (“The Bard of Shortbread” cookies baked in NYC especially for Independent Shakespeare Co.) Cash and credit cards accepted.

•You may find that bug spray and sunscreen are also helpful to bring with you.

•For disabled access, please call us at 1.818.710.6306 for information and to make arrangements.


(L-to-R): Todd Pate, David Melville, and Lorenzo González Fontes; photo via Independent Shakespeare Company’s Facebook page.


Building the set for ISC’s first summer Shakespeare production, Measure for Measure; photo via ISC’s Facebook page.


ISC’s Measure for Measure production; photo via ISC’s Facebook page.


Thank You Seats
Make a donation of $150 and as a thank you, you will receive up to 4 reserved seats at one performance of your choice!* You can roll up at 6:55pm and know that your seats are waiting for you! Donate here, then email Sarah at to make your donation and to choose your date!

*Seating is limited, let us know your preferred date as soon as you can!


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