One of my favorite yearly family traditions involves going out with friends and cousins, having a big picnic in Los Angeles's Griffith Park, and watching some free Shakespeare courtesy of the Independent Shakespeare Co. We arrive early, stake out our blankets on the grass, roam the old zoo cages near the stage, eat spam musubi and chicken salad sandwiches, and hang out until the show time. The play is always awesome, and it's a good way for us to bond as a family.
(Shakespeare by the Sea also puts on good free shows, too, but my family tends to prefer the less traditional interpretations that the Griffith Park players act out.)
This year, we saw Twelfth Night, a cross-dressing comedy with one of the most bizarre love triangles (squares? pentagons? shapes?) put to pen. We rolled with laughter. My 3-year old niece, Leilani, got a crush on one of the actors, and even my 1-year old nephew swayed to the songs and dance.
I never thought that this would turn into a tradition. When this started, I was just a Shakespeare geek with no car, grabbing along whoever I could find to give me a ride. But little by little, it started to become an event. I'm glad.
I think that supporting and even just going out and enjoying the arts is important. It creates a connection, a shared experience, a memory. For me, personally, it lets me share one of my passions with my family. Above all else, it just makes me really happy. And who doesn't like to be happy?
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Writer. Critic. Dreamer.