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Shakespeare On The Peninsula Is In The Woods

In the sixth installment of Cheap Thrills, Patch contributor Austin Walsh takes a look at what it might be like to watch one of Shakespeare's plays while hiking in the forest.

Right when it seems possible that Shakespeare's plays have been presented in every conceivable fashion, Theatre in the Woods comes along and offers up the classic works in a setting that both lovers of nature and drama will appreciate.

This weekend, actors from Theatre in the Woods will perform Shakespeare's Twelfth Night as part of a guided hiking tour through the Redwood forest in Woodside.

The three hour event, which includes the hike, show and a 20 minute intermission, will begin at 1 in the afternoon both Saturday and Sunday, and is slated to wrap up around 4 p.m.

"It's a guided hike through a beautiful woods as the players move around you and tell their tale," said Claire Rice, the company's spokeswoman.

"I can't think of any better place to put Twelfth Night," said Rice.

The event offers two stages, and various performance spots along the hiking trail which follows the scenic Harrington Creek.  The seats are carved from from the stumps of Redwood trees.

The hike, which is less than a mile long, follows a moderately inclined trail throughout the woods. The walking pace is leisurely, includes frequent breaks for seating and watching the show, and can be completed by people of all ages, according to the theatre company's Web site.

The event also allows time before the show for a picnic, which opens at noon. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch, and the company will provide blankets and chairs with which to lounge.

So those interested in catching this weekend's performance should wear clothes comfortable to hike in, and be prepared for the cooler climate that is often present under the shady canopy provided by California's most awesome trees.

If planning to attend, it should be noted that the event is as rustic and natural as can be imagined. That means there are no formal bathrooms on the trail; just two portable toilets are provided during the performance.

The performances put on by Theatre in the Woods have grown increasingly popular over the course of the near decade the company has been offering plays to the Peninsula community.

So unfortunately, the show is technically sold out, as many of the $25 general admission tickets and $20 tickets for students and seniors are snapped up early in the summer.

But, all hope is not lost!

The company's and show's Facebook pages serve as a marketplace for those interested to buy, sell and trade tickets.

And should it prove impossible to catch this weekend's showing, fear not, for the season's production of Twelfth Night carries on throughout the rest of the month and will wrap up during the first weekend of September.

Theatre in the Woods offers one play both Saturday and Sunday each weekend over the course of the summer, spanning from July to September.

This year they are offering Shakespeare's comedy which tells the tale of Viola and the hilarity that ensues when she assumes the identity of Cesario, and goes to work for Duke Orsino. It is a story of love, relationships, family and mistaken identities.

Twelfth Night is directed by Stuart Bousel and features Reuben Alvear II, Ashley Cowan, Aoife Davis, Dimas Guardado Jr., William Leschber, Charles Lewis III, Carl Lucania, Karen Offereins, Chris Quintos, Shane Rhoades, Jessica Rudholm, Ross Travis, and Nicholas Trengove, according to the show's Web site.

"Come and take a walk with the lovers of Twelfth Night as they experience terrible heartbreak, serendipitous coincidences, and the all-healing force of a true love story," said Rice.

Theatre in the Woods is located at 2170 Bear Gulch Road (West) in Woodside, near the King's Mountain area.

Austin Walsh August 22, 2011 at 10:25 PM
Author's notes: Three pictures of the Twelfth Night have been added. Theatre In The Woods is presented by AtmosTheatre. And the hike site is located near Kings Mountain.

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