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Shakespeare’s "As You Like It" goes Old West
by: Alicia Erlinger

Photo Gallery of 2005 Performance

How do you make Shakespeare fresh and fun for today’s Dana Point community? Stage the action in a rip roaring Western setting and then perform the play in a beautiful ocean view park – for free.

That’s Dana Point Theater Company’s new production of “As You Like It,” playing at the city’s Heritage Park July 21-24. This delightful comedy has some of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and wonderful characters. It’s a tale of family feuds, romantic entanglements, mistaken identities and spiritual revelations. And this story is given an interesting new look by setting it in a Ponderosa-style American Old West.

It’s all part of the Dana Point Theater Company’s mission to provide top quality, family friendly theater to our community. Theater gives a city vitality, identity and an artistic vision. And it’s good for business. Thousands of people attended our produc tion of “A Comedy of Errors” in Heritage Park last year. They not only enjoyed Shakespeare – some for the first time – but they patronized our beautiful city’s marina and surrounding businesses.

This year, we have the kind support from the city of Dana Point and some generous local merchants. With an improved sound system – so every golden Shakespearean word will be heard – we are building on the success of last year. Beach Cities Pizza has already sponsored a fundraiser for us and is sharing the profits from its sale of pizza and sodas at the park. Other merchants, including Coffee Importers, Indigo Coastal Grill, El Torito, UPS Store, Harbor Deli, and Wassmann Fine Arts are among those donating prizes for our fabulous raffle. Play attendees can support our production by purchasing a raffle ticket for just a dollar. Prizes include free dinners, theater tickets, theme park tickets and other wonderful prizes.

We suggest you enjoy a picnic before the show and arrive early. The show starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (July 21-23) and 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 24. The beautiful, ocean view Heritage Park is at 34400 Old Golden Lantern in Dana Point. Bring a low-backed chair or blanket and your picnic. Or buy delicious food at the park provided by Beach Cities Pizza and Coffee Importers. Pizza and sandwiches will be available for sale or, if you want to order a meal in advance, call Coffee Importers at (949) 493-7773 and ask for Jill.

The show is free with the donation of canned food to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank. Last year we were able to collect 2,700 pounds of canned food. Second Harvest feeds approximately 220,000 people per month in and around Orange County who are in need of their services due to lost jobs or other dire financial situations. Items needed are high-protein foods such as canned meat, tuna and beef stew as well as baby food and personal items. We are proud to join forces with Second Harvest, making our show an event that feeds the community’s body and soul.

Dana Point Theater Company draws on local talent, sponsorships and energy to make its vision of vibrant, live theater possible. Our many supporters give their time and skill because they believe, as we do, that theater is a shared community experience where everyone wins. The public is enriched by the experience. Even people who thought they didn’t enjoy Shakespeare understood and loved our last show. The city gains a sense of identity. And businesses gain the exposure to new, enthusiastic visitors.

We hope you will be part of this experience. Bring your neighbors, friends and kids. Bring your enthusiasm and sense of wonder and fun. Join us for “As You Like It.”

For more information on the play, call (949) 291-5083 or visit www.dptheaterco.org .
Alicia Erlinger is the producer of "As You Like It."

Photo Gallery of 2005 Performance


- ©2005 Dana Point Coastal Arts -