We do shows.  Here are some of them.
Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

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Shakespeare's Sonnets

at Descanso Gardens

Feb 10th, 11th, 17th & 18th at 11am & 1pm

The Ensemble returns to Descanso Gardens for the two weekends around Valentine's Day (*hint, hint*) for Shakespeare's Sonnets! Two shows each day in a clearing in the middle of the camellia forest, accompanied by the incredible Tina Lenert on harp!

Directed by Ensemble favorite Brian White, and featuring some familiar EST faces along with some new friends.

Perfect for all ages, and free with entry to the gardens! (no tickets or reservations needed)

PIFF awards
PIFF awards

Fred Cross in Lear's Shadow
Fred Cross in Lear's Shadow

David Blue in Lear's Shadow
David Blue in Lear's Shadow

PIFF awards
PIFF awards

1/4

LEAR'S SHADOW

April-May, 2017

Lineage Performing Arts Center

"A sensitive exploration of theatre's transformative ability to heal, even under the most devastating of circumstances."

-Ellen Dostal, Broadway World

When tragedy strikes two old friends, they find an unlikely path to recovery through Shakespeare's King Lear.

Starring: David Blue, Fred Cross and Katie Peabody. Written and directed by Brian Elerding

Lear's Shadow is now a feature film! Click here for details

HAMLET

September 2017

The Lineage Performing Arts Center

Horatio stands at a bar and begins to speak directly to the audience. He is our narrator, and he is finally ready to tell his story to "the yet-unknowing world". We follow his journey as he watches his friend, Hamlet, deal with grief, madness, family, revenge, and sometimes even a battle with substance abuse.

Starring: Jay Blair, Michael Fitzpatrick, Danielle Rayne, Jeremy Roberts, Heather Schmidt, Gregory Ivan Smith, Brian White

Adapted by Brian White

Directed by Brian Elerding

Fight Choreography by Laura Napoli

Brian White, Jay Blair
Brian White, Jay Blair

Danielle Rayne, Michael Fitzpatrick
Danielle Rayne, Michael Fitzpatrick

Heather Schmidt, Jeremy Roberts
Heather Schmidt, Jeremy Roberts

Brian White, Jay Blair
Brian White, Jay Blair

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SONNETS IN THE GARDEN

April 1-9, 2017

Descanso Gardens

A charming, interactive show in Descanso Gardens' camellia forest, bringing Shakespeare's love sonnets to life, set in the round with live harp accompaniment. 

Starring: Benjamin Boucvalt, Deverau Chumrau, Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Megan Lee Pyle, and Eduardo Vona. Harpist: Tina Lenert.

Written and directed by Brian White. Produced by Brian Elerding and Fred Cross.

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

Sonnets in the Garden
Sonnets in the Garden

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Katie, Shahaub, Fred & Brian
Katie, Shahaub, Fred & Brian

Fred & Aaron in Monster Tour
Fred & Aaron in Monster Tour

Ryan Self in Monster Tour
Ryan Self in Monster Tour

Katie, Shahaub, Fred & Brian
Katie, Shahaub, Fred & Brian

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THE DESCANSO MONSTER TOUR

October, 2016

Descanso Gardens

Ensemble co-founders Fred Cross and Brian Elerding created a holiday performance that toured the gardens for several weekends in October, celebrating the spirit of Halloween.

Starring: Fred Cross, Brian Elerding, Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, John McCormick, Shahaub Roudbari, Katie Self, Ryan Self, and Michael Yavnieli. Written and directed by Brian Elerding and Fred Cross

SHAKESPEARE'S

ROSE QUEEN

February - March, 2016

Lineage Performing Arts Center

Shakespeare’s Rose Queen takes Margaret’s story out of the plays she’s in (Henry VI parts 1-3 and Richard III), and creates an entirely new Shakespeare play that focuses on the history from Margaret’s point of view. Margaret is thrust into a male-dominated world of royal backstabbing and strategy only to become the most powerful person in England through her cunning and charm. 

Cast: Jay Blair, Sonny Calvano, JR Davidson, Natalie Fryman, John McCormick, Katie Peabody, Megan Rippey, Daniel Rivera, Brian White

Adapted and directed by Brian Elerding

Shakespeare's Rose Queen is made possible in part by the City of Pasadena Arts & Culture Commission and the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Division.

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Rose Queen Poster

SHAKESPEARE'S 

NIGHT OF TERROR

October - November, 2015

Lineage Performing Arts Center

Some of Shakespeare's weirdest, darkest, and funniest pieces, all tied together by a strangely familiar devilish narrator.

Cast: Fred Cross, Natalie Fryman, Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Shahaub Roudbari, Dustin Stern-Garcia, Alex Weed

Anastasia, Shahaub, Aaron
Anastasia, Shahaub, Aaron

The Gang
The Gang

Anastasia, Shahaub, Aaron
Anastasia, Shahaub, Aaron

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Big Bad Wolf 2015

May - Descanso Gardnes

Written by Jeremy Radin, directed by Brian Elerding and Jeremy Radin

CAST: Natalie Fryman, Dustin Stern-Garcia, Aaron Leddic, Anastasia Leddick, Jeremy Radin, Shahaub Roudbari, Ashley Thaxton

Duane, Old Eugene, Young Eugene
Duane, Old Eugene, Young Eugene

Cast bows
Cast bows

The Three Little Pigs taunt Eugene
The Three Little Pigs taunt Eugene

Duane, Old Eugene, Young Eugene
Duane, Old Eugene, Young Eugene

1/3

Shakespeare's LOVERS 2.0

Descanso Gardens commissioned a version of Shakespeare's Lovers that took place throughout the gardens on Valentine's Day, 2015. This edition of Lovers featured scenes from Two Gentlemen of Verona, The Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It, and Romeo and Juliet.


Directed by Brian Elerding

Starring: Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Fred Cross, Natalie Fryman, Brandon Skelnar, Ashley Thaxton, Kathreen Khavari, Shahaub Roudbari

Lovers 2.0 at Descanso
Lovers 2.0 at Descanso

Lovers 2.0 at Descanso
Lovers 2.0 at Descanso

Lovers 2.0 at Descanso
Lovers 2.0 at Descanso

Lovers 2.0 at Descanso
Lovers 2.0 at Descanso

1/3

VILLAINS goes to Edinburgh Fringe!

AUGUST 2014

 

The Ensemble took Shakespeare's Villains to the world's largest theater festival in Edinburgh Scotland and wowed audiences for two and a half weeks at The Space On The Mile. 

 

CAST: Fred Cross, Brian Elerding, Natalie Fryman, Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Jeremy Radin, Shahaub Roudbari, Samantha Sloyan

Rehearsing in the park
Rehearsing in the park

A day off in Loch Lomond, Scotland
A day off in Loch Lomond, Scotland

Cast/Band photo in Greyfriar's Kirk
Cast/Band photo in Greyfriar's Kirk

Rehearsing in the park
Rehearsing in the park

1/5

The BIG BAD WOLF

SUMMER 2014

Written by Jeremy Radin

Directed by Brian Elerding

Descanso Gardens commissioned this original piece to be performed in various venues throughout the gardens. Writer/actor/company member Jeremy Radin created a world where all the wolves from our favorite fairy tales are all the same guy: Eugene. And he's actually a pretty decent guy.

 

Starring: Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Brian Elerding, Jeremy Radin, Luke Cook, Roddy Jessup, Kate Siegel

The Big Bad Wolf
The Big Bad Wolf

Beauty and the Big Bad Wolf
Beauty and the Big Bad Wolf

The Three Little Pigs
The Three Little Pigs

The Big Bad Wolf
The Big Bad Wolf

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Shakespeare's VILLAINS

Shakespeare's VILLAINS premiered at the Lineage Performing Arts Center in Old Town Pasadena in October and November, 2013. 

Starring:

Russ Bain, Fred Cross, Aaron Leddick, Neil Lewis, Jeremy Radin, Shahaub Roudbari, Rob Salerno, Samantha Sloyan, Morgan Thomas, Alex Weed, Samantha Whittaker

Adapted and Directed by: Brian Elerding

 

The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains

Alex Weed, Rob Salerno, Fred Cross

A Wayward Sister from Macbeth
A Wayward Sister from Macbeth

Alex Weed as a Wayward Sister

Lady M and Macbeth
Lady M and Macbeth

Samantha Whittaker and Russ Bain

The Vaudevillains
The Vaudevillains

Alex Weed, Rob Salerno, Fred Cross

1/5

Shakespeare's LOVERS

Performed first at Descanso Gardens, then moved to Altadena's Farnsworth Park, SUMMER 2013.

 

 

"By turns poignant, moving, merry, and unafraid to try hysterically funny slapstick"

- ALTADENABLOG

 

"An opportunity to share some laughs and delight in the works of a master." 

-BROADWAY WORLD

 

 

Starring: Aviva Baumann, Jess Borden, Fred Cross, Ashli Dowling, Brian Elerding, Roddy Jessup, Ursula Mills, Jeremy Radin, Shahaub Roudbari, Kate Siegel, Samantha Sloyan

 

Aviva Baumann
Aviva Baumann

Bianca, Juliet

Samantha Sloyan
Samantha Sloyan

Olivia, Katherina, Portia, Helena

Roddy Jessup
Roddy Jessup

Proteus, Petruchio, Hortensio

Aviva Baumann
Aviva Baumann

Bianca, Juliet

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Kate and Brian
Kate and Brian

Kate Siegel and Brian Elerding in Henry VI pt. 2, part of Shakespeare's Lovers at Descanso Gardens, 2013.

Aviva and Fred
Aviva and Fred

Aviva Baumann and Fred Cross in Taming of the Shrew, part of Shakespeare's LOVERS at Descanso Gardens, 2013.

Brian, Fred, Kate and Sam in Midsumm
Brian, Fred, Kate and Sam in Midsumm

Brian Elerding, Fred Cross, Kate Siegel, Samantha Sloyan in A Midsummer Night's Dream, part of Shakespeare's LOVERS at Descanso Gardens, 2013.

Kate and Brian
Kate and Brian

Kate Siegel and Brian Elerding in Henry VI pt. 2, part of Shakespeare's Lovers at Descanso Gardens, 2013.

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Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Kate Siegel and Shahaub Roudbari

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

A princess from the audience meets Belle after the show

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Kate Siegel and Shahaub Roudbari

Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast

Kate Siegel and Shahaub Roudbari

1/3

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Performed at Descanso Gardens' beautiful Under the Oaks outdoor amphitheater through the entire month of May 2013.
Starring: Brian Elerding, Dominik Krzanowski, Jeremy Radin, Shahaub Roudbari, Kate Siegel, Samantha Sloyan, Alex Weed, Rebecca Zahler
And a live, improvised instrumental accompaniment on the harp by: Tina Lenert

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

 

Performed at Descanso Gardens' historic Boddy House to sold-out houses in December 2012. 
Starring:
Fred Cross, Brian Elerding, Jeremy Radin, Courtney Bell, Aaron Leddick, Anastasia Leddick, Becky Birdsall, Kurt Peterson, Brian Hennigan and introducing Ava Elliott as "Tiny Tim"
 
Christmas Carol Cast Photo California Shakespeare Ensemble

TWELFTH NIGHT

Performed at Descanso Gardens' beautiful Under The Oaks theater, Twelfth Night was the CSE's premiere public performance.  With only one reading, it was a very special and very exclusive event.  

Cast: Ken Baumann, David Blue, Fred Cross, Brian Elerding, Aviva Farber, Aaron Leddick, Shahaub Roudbari, Ellie Schwartz, Kate Siegel, James Sloyan, Samantha Sloyan, Elad Ziv