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Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

· Topanga, Los Angeles, California
9 acres hosted by Peter A.
1 tent site
Hike-in to this Hipcamp.
Long before he founded Theatricum Botanicum, Indiana native Will Geer was well-known for his work on the New York stage, in film, and on radio. By the mid-1950’s, he had relocated permanently to California and had established a successful Hollywood career. His future looked bright. But after being called to testify before the U.S. Congress’ Committee on Un-American Activities, he suddenly found himself blacklisted by the major studios with no viable means of income. For Geer and his young family, the McCarthy Era had arrived. Relocating to an acreage in Topanga, California, Mr. Geer established a theatre for similarly blacklisted actors and folk singers on the property. Because he held a degree in botany (one of his life long interests) the theater was named for a landmark botany text book, Theatricum Botanicum, which means, quite literally, “a garden theatre.” In the years to come, Geer cultivated not only theater, but a bountiful garden that enabled him and his wife, actress Herta Ware, to earn a living from the sale of vegetables, fruit, and herbs. With the success of television’s “The Waltons” in 1973, Geer discovered renewed popularity with his portrayal of Walton family patriarch, Zebulon Walton. Now he re-gathered his family (many of whom were working actors in regional theatres across the country) and together they formed a non-profit organization, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum. In those heady days, audiences flocked to free workshop performances of Shakespeare, folk plays, and concerts featuring such well-known artists as Pete Seeger, Arlo Guthrie, Della Reese, Burl Ives, and many more. After his death in 1978, the family (led by their mother, Herta Ware) and a small troupe of dedicated actors tirelessly dedicated their energies to transform Theatricum into a professional repertory theatre, with educational programs and musical events incorporated into its programming. Since 2016, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum has been a member of The Folger Shakespeare Library Theatre Partnership Program. Today, under the creative supervision of Artistic Director Ellen Geer (Will’s daughter), Theatricum has blossomed into a vital creative force that has been recognized internationally for its interpretation of Shakespeare’s work. In addition to an annual summer season of 5 repertory plays, Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum offers year-round classes to actors of all ages, hosts live music concerts, nurtures budding playwrights, and successfully reaches schools and students across the Greater Los Angeles County with the aim of making live theater bloom for generations to come. Our 2023 theatrical season opens to the public with Wm. Shakespeare's "MacBeth" in June, along with "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and "Queen Margaret’s Version of Shakespeare’s War of the Roses". In July we open "A Perfect Ganesh" written by Terrence McNally, and we run all 4 plays through early October. It's also our 50th Year Anniversary so we have a number of special events happening ~ check our web site for more information. We close the Theatricum in early November. . You can find play descriptions, dates, times and prices at the Theatricum's web site, www.theatricum.com.This hike-in tentsite is located uphill from the world renowned Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum.  After a day of playing at the beach (7:min away) come back into Topanga and hike up to your private Tentsite get-away overlooking Topanga Canyon. This is a great way to surprise a loved one or take a solo trip to experience  the beauty of this pristine area.   The Theatricum is closed from mid-October thru March.  Please note that the hike up to the Tentsite Over Topanga is 300 steps so please plan accordingly!  The Theatricum has just recently changed our CoVid Safety requirements to require that all adult staff, actors and audiences are vaccinated, ... so that rule will also affect the campers who come onto the property.  Please only book this site if you and the adults in your party have been vaccinated.  Thanks!
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53 ratings · 38 reviews
Lucy R.recommends
July 2, 2023
Tentsite Over Topanga!
Peter is a great host! He was communicative and very welcoming. He greeted us and even helped carry our gear up all the stairs. The site itself is nice and has a great view. The hike up the stairs is tough but manageable— pack lightly. You can hear some noise from the nearby road at the site but it’s negligible compared to the great bird songs and nature around. We had a great time and would recommend.
Greg R.recommends
June 25, 2023
Tentsite Over Topanga!
Shakespeare in the Oaks
This is one of the most unique places in the US to camp. It is such an incredible experience to enjoy a Shakespearian style play in a splendid outdoor theater and then retire to a secluded campsite above Topanga Canyon. Peter is a wonderful host and really makes this an immersive cultural experience.
Mk C.recommends
June 16, 2023
Tentsite Over Topanga!
The history of the property is amazing. The views are tremendous. You do need to be in shape to walk vertical stairs, and then some. But well worth the walk. Very interesting history, a part of the T he’s just something he’s just something he’s just something his or something Topanga Canyon culture.
Donna B.recommends
September 17, 2022
Tentsite Over Topanga!
Peter is very helpful and easy to reach.
Kendra J.recommends
August 8, 2022
Tentsite Over Topanga!
We really enjoyed our stay at the top of the stairs with a view over the canyon. It was beautiful and everyone was so kind. What a wonderful Hipcamp experience.
Jaime H.recommends
July 18, 2022
Tentsite Over Topanga!
Funn Family Campout
Staying at the Theatricum in Topanga was a delight and adventure. Even with the LA lights glowing over the Malibu hills there was great stargazing. Peter was a great host to us and our kids. Will Greer Theatre was a great discovery and we hope to get back for a performance. Staying one night was a teaser.
Topanga, Los Angeles, California, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of Chumash, Tongva (Gabrieleno), and Fernandeño Tataviam First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Peter A.Joined in August 2018
Response rate: 100%Response time: Within 6 hours
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