Step Away from the Screen: Three Great Theater Companies in Encinitas

theater companies in encinitas

Live Theater

Encinitas has beaches, restaurants, nail salons, yoga dens, and car shops in abundance.  But did you know that there is a dynamic professional repertory company specializing in none other than the Bard himself, Will Shakespeare?  Intrepid Shakespeare Company puts on top-flight professional theater for about the cost of a movie, and is one of three great theater companies in Encinitas and the nearby region.  

Intrepid Shakespeare Company

William Shakespeare has weathered the trials of decades–indeed centuries–of shifting taste and public sentiment about what should be taught in our schools and colleges.  But his material stays fresh through many amateur and professional theater companies, and his plays continue to be reinterpreted and presented in modern formats, both as live theater and in film.

Founded by the husband and wife team of Sean Cox and Christy Yael, the Intrepid Shakespeare Company is based in Encinitas, although it lacks its own dedicated base of operations.  Splitting time between the new San Dieguito Perfoming Arts Center and venues like the Encinitas Public Library and the Encinitas Community Center, the ISC produces a full season of productions that vary between traditional Shakespeare presentations, modern adaptations of his plays, and other notable authors such as Arthur Miller.  ISC makes a point of sustaining professional theater by paying its actors and is part of a burgeoning theater scene in San Diego that is seeing competition becoming increasingly keen for top talent.  

ISC offers full and partial subscription plans, including a full season (5-play) for $91, down to a two-play pack for $46.

North County Repertory Theater

Heading into its 33rd season, North County Repertory is the most established live theater company in North County, boasting its own 194-seat stage in Solana Beach.  NCR maintains a schedule of seven MainStage productions per season, and augments its schedule with readings, holiday shows, and other special events.  Through its Education and Outreach program, NCR runs its Theatre School for burgeoning talent. Upcoming performances include local talent Richard Dreyfuss of “Jaws” fame, and has a full slate of holiday programming coming up for the 2014 season.  Tickets for performances begin at $42.

Other options for NCRT include unscripted series like Twilight Zone unscripted and the comics series, with discount ticket prices and other neat little perks and bennies like $2 happy hour sponsored by the Stone Brewing Company.

La Jolla Playhouse

Founded by Gary Cooper in 1947 along with Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer. the La Jolla playhouse is a legendary professional, non-profit theater company based on the campus of UCSD, with several large performing spaces endowed by the Weiss and Jacobs families.  LJP presents a mix of new plays, musicals, and classics, and its productions have led to 35 Tony Awards through the years, with many of its original productions moving to Broadway.  Its mission is to advance theater as an art form and as a social, moral, and political platform.

As a large and established company, LP has the luxury of indulging in post-production audience engagement, including the following:

 Talkback Tuesdays:

Audiences have the opportunity to speak with the actors about their roles and the topics

Insiders View:

Audiences can join with LP staff 45 minutes prior to the play to get insights into the upcoming show and details about how the production is staged

Discovery Sunday:

Audiences can joins guest speakers post-performance, and participate in a moderated discussion exploring the issues and themes in the play.

LP also provides audience engagement guides as companion pieces to the plays, making for a fully immersive theater experience.

>> Please CLICK HERE to check out all theater companies in Encinitas 



Daniel Lilie writes and blogs on diverse topics, including sports, culture, design, and architecture, and has written a book, “Soccer in the Weeds, Bad Hair, Jews, and Chasing the Beautiful Game,” that chronicles the (mis) adventures of a youth growing up in suburban Connecticut who choses the at-the-time wholly unpopular sport of soccer. Dan consults to the real estate and energy industries and lives with his wife Melissa and three children in Leucadia.He is working on a novel, Dark Roast, which is not due to be published by anyone soon.

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