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Yes. I said it. After every performance of As You Like It in Rustic Canyon Park, I am exhausted. Like go home and conk out on the bed pooped and sleep for 10 hours.

Participating in the ritual of summer outdoor Shakespeare was something I’d always wanted to do as an actress.  This summer I finally got to fulfill that dream, and let me tell you: I learned a few things along the way.

I knew that outdoor Shakespeare requires a certain amount of endurance – which I thought I probably had because I exercise and eat healthy  – but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with As You Like It. I learned that a strong physical foundation is absolutely critical to surviving a 2-hour long performance outdoors. Every movement has to be bigger, more deliberate, because you need to match the subtle intensity of Mother Nature (she never does anything half-assedly, and neither should an actor working outdoors… or ever, really). Every sound needs to have intention and momentum or it will be lost in the leaves. Every expression must be clear because otherwise it will be lost in the hum of an airplane engine passing overhead.

photo credit Jenna Spawick.

photo credit Jenna Spawick.

Working outdoors invited me to grow bigger and interact with the audience in a new way. By the end of a performance, I’m sweaty, out of breath, and mentally tired from being so focused for that long. But my soul is recharged and energized with the deep satisfaction of having just shared myself wholly.

At CityShakes, we believe in the power of community, and Shakespeare’s work has an undeniable power to create community. What else could bring people together like the promise of classic storytelling with a light summer breeze on your face? Not many things.

Join us this Saturday for the final performance of As You Like It.

601 Latimer Rd. Pacific Palisades, CA. 2pm.

Admission is free and ticketless – bring sunscreen, a hat, and a picnic blanket. Food and drink are welcome.

Allison Signature

p.s. Happy 4th of July :)

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