Forest Theater a ‘bohemian grove’ for Shakespeare fans
One of summer’s great pleasures is the migration of Shakespeare performances to outdoor stages. Carmel’s Shakespeare festival must be among the smallest going, but its productions in the 540-seat outdoor Forest Theater are as close to what audiences during Shakespeare’s time might have experienced as you can get, right down to the freedom to toss peanut shells onto the ground.
Whatever is happening on stage – drama, comedy, children’s theater or classic films – the 100-year-old amphitheater, one of the oldest west of the Rockies, invariably emerges as the star.
Passing through the rustic wooden gate and up to benches carved into a hillside shaded by mature pines brings to mind some of Julia Morgan’s Arts & Crafts creations in the state parks (perhaps more Humboldt redwoods than Asilomar).
With fires roaring on either side of the stage, the setting sun bathing the canopy of trees in a warm glow, the ocean murmuring a few blocks away while Point Lobos entices from afar, there is no place quite like it.