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Do Shakespeare and they will come

Adaptations of The Bard's works and original plays inspired by him are performed at LCFShakes.

June 10, 2011|By Sara Cardine and Veronica Rocha,
  • Actor David Paterson is guided by director Matthew Burgos during rehearsal for Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream at Flintridge Sacred Heart on Sunday, June 13, 2010. (Tim Berger/News-Press)
Actor David Paterson is guided by director Matthew Burgos…

Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy will morph from a school campus to a wonderland of nighttime revelry, theater, art and music as the annual La Cañada Flintridge Shakespeare Festival kicks off its second season there starting June 24.

The festival, nicknamed LCFShakes, is presented by the nonprofit theater company VanguardRep. It will feature two shows that will run through the end of July, with nighttime performances at the school’s Byrnes Amphitheater Thursdays through Sundays.

In addition to a freshly developed adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” audiences can also enjoy the world premieres of “After the Autumn” and “Tragic Women,” two original plays inspired by Shakespeare’s works and characters.

The festival also will feature local artists and musicians, and audience members are encouraged to bring blankets, picnic dinners and wine to enjoy under the stars with friends and family.

Despite the newness of the event, last year’s inaugural festival was a success that drew larger crowds each week as word spread throughout the community, according to Matthew Burgos, who serves as co-artistic director alongside Sam Ross.


“The venue is private, has great acoustics and, under the stars, you can’t go wrong with that in the summertime,” Burgos said. “The overall experience will speak for itself.”

Liz Ross, the educational director of Vanguard Rep and an English teacher at Flintridge Sacred Heart Academy, said the first shows drew audiences of just 30 to 50 people. That number swelled, however, as the festival continued until actors were entertaining crowds of hundreds in the final performances.

“For a brand new theater company to create an original adaptation in a brand new space and to have attracted such amazing artists, designers and actors was true magic,” Ross said of last year’s festival. “Every person I spoke with after the performance said that it was creative, fun and very different from anything he or she had ever seen before.”

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