CULVER CITY — The 19th season of free theater in Carlson Park begins July 15 with Our Children’s Popcorn Theatre presentation of “To Oz and Back,” a collection of short plays written by Daniel Hurewitz, Christopher Gough, Morna M. Martell and Jen Huszcza, and directed by Eve Weston.
All involve characters from MGM’s beloved classic, “The Wizard of Oz,” based on the book by L. Frank Baum. The movie was filmed in 1939, just a block away from Carlson Park at MGM, now Sony Pictures Studios.
The plays imagine what might have happened before, after and behind the scenes.
Performances are at noon on Saturdays and Sundays from July 15 to Aug. 20. All performances are free.
In a nod to Culver City’s early motion picture roots, this season’s main stage show is a comedic adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic “Romeo and Juliet,” titled “Romeo and Juliet in Screenland.” It was written by Nakisa Aschtiani and directed by Karyn Morton.
It is set in 1917 in Culver City, where two rival movie studios, Montague and Capulet, are vying to make the next great picture. Montague’s dramatic star, Romeo, wants to make a comedy and by chance he meets Capulet’s star, Juliet. True to Shakespeare, schemes are devised, but this version definitely does not end in tragedy.
The main stage performance is at 2 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday immediately following the children’s production.
Those attending the plays may bring a blanket or a chair.
Carlson Park is located at 10400 Braddock Drive, at the intersection of Motor Avenue. Parking is free, but to respect neighbors, attendees are asked to park on the park side of the street only.
The performances are made possible in part by a Culver City Performing Arts Grant with support from Sony Pictures Entertainment.