Theatricum’s summer season at its spectacular outdoor venue in the heart of Topanga kicks off on June 3 with William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Also on the mainstage: Theatricum’s signature production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (opening June 4); Sir Peter Hall’s adaption of George Orwell’s Animal Farm, with music by Richard Peaslee and lyrics by Adrian Mitchell (opening June 17); Other Desert Cities, the Pulitzer Prize finalist by Jon Robin Baitz about unruly family politics (opening July 8); and Trouble in Mind by pioneering African American playwright, author and actress Alice Childress (opening July 29). Unlike most theaters in the L.A. area that stage continuous runs of a single play, Theatricum will perform each of the plays in repertory through October 1 using a single company of actors — making it possible to see all five plays in a single summer weekend. Patrons are welcome to arrive early and picnic before a performance. Other summer programming at Theatricum includes new play readings from Botanicum Seedlings; comedy improv from Off the Grid; family programming such as Creative PlayGround, Peter Alsop’s Kids Koncerts and a family Barn Dance on the 4th of July; and much more. Check online or call for a performance schedule. Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum, 1419 N. Topanga Canyon Blvd., Topanga, CA 90290; $10-$38.50; (310) 455-3723; www.theatricum.com
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