For nearly a decade now, I’ve been enraptured by Shakespeare by the Sea, a San Pedro-based group that performs outdoors during the summer. Its home outdoor stage is at Pt. Fermin Park, on a bluff above the ocean, but the bulk of the company’s performances—27 of the 31 performances this month and next—are on the road.
Last weekend it was Manhattan Beach, and that’s the venue my wife and I like the most. We invite friends, enjoy the late afternoon and evening in Polliwog Park, have a big picnic dinner, and generally soak in the culture with the cool ocean breezes.
Many things amaze me about the Shakespeare by the Sea company—the quality of the productions, the innovative and fun-loving approach to material that’s more than 400 years old, and the relaxing nature of outdoor theater—but there’s nothing quite like the way the production gets put together. In just over an hour, a stage, lighting, and a sound system are erected on a spot that was bare cement. (It comes down even faster!) This year, I captured this minor miracle—about 2,100 digital images snapped over a period of roughly 90 minutes, and then compressed to under a minute.