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“Watch out for snakes!” Colin called out to the group. Then he looked at me, “this is snake country.”

All of us chose our steps more carefully from then on, and I was secretly grateful I didn’t let Brooke talk me out of my practical leather boots into her shoe choice, “Coachella meets a Sunday trip to the farmer’s market in Paris” sandals.

In this case, “snake country” is a patch of green and yellow off the side of the highway in Playa del Rey. Green is for the lush bushes that are tall enough to obscure the Los Angeles skyline behind us, and yellow is for the recent explosion of wildflowers that dot any pavement-free space in this part of the world. And we are a group of Shakespeare-loving actors executing a plan to infiltrate Rustic Canyon Park this summer with our version of As You Like It.

But first, a photo shoot. Just beyond the hedges cars fly by completely unaware of the oasis of artistry a few yards away.

The great thing about actors is how quickly they adapt and thrive in most situations. This group, more than half of our cast for As You Like It, had just met about 30 minutes before the photos were taken, and yet there was an instant sense of camaraderie. Brooke gave us a few loose guidelines (“Clump together more!”; “Be more like, ‘whoaaa’“; “Now bound away!”) and set us to our own devices.

The result was – well, you can see for yourself in the photo above! And there’s much more to come. I, for one, feel quite confident and enthused about Summer 2013.

Allison Signature

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