Theater looks good in Los Angeles this summer. From Shakespeare to contemporary writers and from relaxed, outdoor settings to the best of the stages in town, Angelenos have much to choose from when in search of a good play. Most importantly, many of the theater activities are affordable and family oriented.


“6 Characters Looking For an Author”
The Promenade Playhouse
1404 3rd St Promenade
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 656-8070

Dates: Now through July 21

This play is a new version by David Harrower of Luigi Pirandello’s masterpiece “Six Characters Looking for an Author,” a play within a play that follows six characters as they seek out an author to tell their story. When Pirandello wrote the play in 1921, audiences first had a difficult time understanding the concept. Yet the uniqueness of the work turned it into standard material for literature and creative-writing students. Everyone can use it as an entertaining way to imagine what would happen if the characters inside a story could speak with a mind of their own.

(credit: Brinkhoff/Mogenburg)

“War Horse”
Ahmanson Theatre
135 N Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(213) 628-2772

Dates: Now through July 29

“War Horse” at the Ahmanson Theatre is based on the novel by Michael Morpurgo and adapted for stage by Nick Stafford. It is set in England in 1914 and tells the story of Joey, a beloved horse that is sold to the cavalry and shipped from England to France. Its young prior owner Albert cannot forget Joey, so he sets out on a difficult mission to find the horse and bring him home. The play has a cast of over 30 actors, one of the largest assembled on the Ahmanson stage, creating an impressive show that will continue through July.


“D is for Dog”
Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd
Hollywood, CA 90038
(323) 856-4249

Dates: Now through August 4

If looking for a night out to leave the youngsters at home, check out “D is for Dog.” This play contains adult material and is recommended for audiences 12 years old and above. “D is for Dog” discusses family loyalty and domestic issues using imagery from 1950 television shows mixed with startling elements of horror and science fiction. It includes actors, puppets, video projection and original music. It promises to take its audience from laughter to fear and every other emotion in between.

Related: Best Summer Time Theater Activities for Kids in Los Angeles


Downtown Repertory Theater Company
424 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Dates: July 27 through August 12

Under the sponsorship of El Pueblo Historical Monument and the City of Los Angeles, the Downtown Repertory Theater Company presents William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” to round out the summer. Come see this classic tale directed by Kate Motzenbacker. Being one of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed works, this free show is a phenomenal deal. Admission is free but donations are accepted after the show. Reservations are recommended by emailing your name and number of tickets desired to Dress appropriately because the performance is outdoors.

(credit: Independent Shakespeare Co./Facebook)

Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival
At the Old Zoo site in Griffith Park
(818) 710-6306

Dates: Now through September 2

From Thursday through Sunday until September 2nd, the Independent Shakespeare Company presents free Shakespeare plays in a relaxed, outdoor setting. Bring a blanket, food and the family to enjoy one of the three plays chosen for this season: “The Winter’s Tale,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “The Comedy of Errors.” This is one of the best summer events in Los Angeles that also includes children workshops and discussions with the actors on selected dates.

(credit: Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum/Facebook)

“Heartbreak House”
Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum
1419 N Topanga Canyon Blvd
Topanga, CA 90290
(310) 455-3723

Dates: Now through September 30

George Bernard Shaw’s comedy “Heartbreak House” is not often performed due to its complexity, so it is a treat that the Theatricum will showcase it until September 30th. The play is a discussion of the indifference of the upper and upper-middle classes in England during World War I. It is historical fiction, so in between laughs and a story of the imagination, it is also educational. Although about a 40-minute drive from downtown LA, this performance makes for a perfect outing.

Related: Best Book Clubs To Join In Los Angeles

Dena Burroughs is a freelance writer living in Azusa, CA. She is a CSULA graduate with specialties in Creative Writing and Communications. Her work can be found at