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All the arboretum's a stage, it seems

6.25.2013

By Dateline staff

Photo: Steph Hankinson and Cody Granger rehearse the play "The Importance of Being Earnest"

The Importance of Being Earnest rehearsal: Steph Hankinson, left, plays Lady Bracknell and Cody Granger plays Cecily. The arboretum trees play themselves.

One play wraps up this weekend (in the arboretum gazebo) and two more open next week (on the arboretum's Wyatt Deck).

The Davis Shakespeare Ensemble’s As You Like It has generated good press since it opened June 13. “Another enjoyable production by the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble, which always seems to prove that you can put on first-rate productions on a shoestring budget,” Bev Sykes wrote in The Davis Enterprise.

You have four more opportunities to see it, Thursday through Sunday (June 27-30). See details below.

As You Like It is the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble’s fourth annual summer show, in association with the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum. Rob Salas directs this telling of one of the Bard's most celebrated comedies, in a production that ventures not into the forest of Arden but into the hills of Appalachia (as played by the arboretum!). The ensemble draws on the region's culture and music for a new take on an old classic, complete with laughs and romance and Richard Chowenhill's music.

Summer Theater Festival

Next week comes the Summer Theater Festival, presented by Common House Productions and co-sponsored by the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum. The festival comprises two comedies having to do with the battle of the sexes: The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde, opening Friday, July 5, and Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost, opening Saturday, July 6.

Eleven performances are planned altogether, through July 21. See details below.

• The Importance of Being Earnest — Wilde’s three-act comedy satirizes social conventions and obligations in its depiction of two young couples trying to navigate the rules of the marriage market in Victorian London. Through the course of the play, Jack, Algernon, Gwendolyn and Cecily learn the importance of having cucumber sandwiches on hand, of keeping one's handbags in plain sight, and, above all else, the importance of being earnest! 

• Love's Labour's Lost — In this early Shakespeare comedy, we are transported to Navarre where a king and his lords vow to swear off women to concentrate on their studies. The men's fortitude is tested when a princess and three beautiful women come to Navarre and make sport of this male pact. 

AT A GLANCE

WHAT: As You Like It, presented by the Davis Shakespeare Ensemble

WHEN:

  • Thursday, June 27 — 8 p.m.
  • Friday, June 28 — 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, June 29 — 8 p.m.
  • Sunday, June 30 — 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Gazebo

TICKETS are available online; by email; or by telephone, (530) 802-0998.

•••

WHAT: Summer Theater Festival, presented by Common House Productions

  • The Importance of Being Earnest, by Oscar Wilde
  • Love’s Labour’s Lost, by William Shakespeare

WHEN (all performances 8 p.m.):

  • Friday, July 5 — The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Saturday, July 6 — Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Sunday, July 7 — The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Thursday, July 11 — The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Friday, July 12 — Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Saturday, July 13 — The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Sunday, July 14 — Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Thursday, July 18 — Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Friday, July 19 — The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Saturday, July 20 — Love’s Labour’s Lost
  • Sunday, July 21 — The Importance of Being Earnest

WHERE: Wyatt Deck

TICKETS are available online (click on the “box office” tab) or by email (for reservations).

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