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Temecula's Shakespeare in the Vines

Updated on June 17, 2013

Temecula, California offers a break from the same old boring Friday routine.

It is a warm summer evening in Temecula, California, and you might be wondering just what there is to do for fun…after all, it’s finally Friday! Or, perhaps you need a fresh new idea for a fun dating experience, one that will really impress. Maybe you are simply tired of the same old "dinner and a movie" routine that a typical Friday night might offer.

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then keep reading.

Frangipani Winery equals Shakespeare in the Vines

Temecula, California is known for its beautiful wine country. The breathtaking Temecula valley is within an hour’s drive from San Diego, Orange County, or the Palm Springs area, making it a local scenic get-away, and perfect for an evening under the stars. With over 30 different wineries to choose from, the Frangipani Estate Winery offers something just a little bit different from all the rest. The Frangipani Winery is the home to a local Shakespeare theater group called, Shakespeare in the Vines.

Temecula, California wine country.

The beauty of the vineyards are the perfect backdrop for the Shakespeare performances.
The beauty of the vineyards are the perfect backdrop for the Shakespeare performances.

Experience Shakespeare in the Vines

The non-prophet theater group, Shakespeare in the Vines was the brainchild of Sheila Havens Ryle, who established the group in 2006 after visiting the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Now five seasons strong, Shakespeare in the Vines performs three plays a season under the stars. I was lucky enough to attend all three of their productions this year which included, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Macbeth.

Scared of Shakespeare?

Now, some of you might be thinking…Shakespeare, really?  My answer to you is…YES absolutely!  Truthfully, I must confess, that in the past Shakespeare has frightened me.  I felt intimidated by the writing style of the old Bard, Shakespeare, somewhat unsure if I would actually understand what the plays were all about.  Believe me when I say, I was pleasantly surprised.  While I find Shakespeare’s comedies actually funny, the tragedies like Macbeth are moving and thought provoking.  I guess that is why Shakespeare is considered a classic, because the subject matter is timeless. 

Wining, Dining, and Shakespeare, a winning combination!

Let me tell you how to do up the experience right… At the theater location itself, the Frangipani Estate Winery, the stage is set on a hill overlooking the entire Temecula Valley.  The plays usually start around dusk, which is 7:00 or so, but arrive early so that you can watch the amazing sunsets that happen every night there.  I would plan on being there at about 6:00… but the cool thing about getting there early is that the seating for the production includes several tables and chairs. 

Yes, you guessed it; you can bring a picnic dinner and eat it in the fresh air of the vineyard itself.  Although the tables have cloths on them already, I have seen people bring candles and flowers to add ambiance to the occasion, or maybe simply impress their date!  (Believe me, it works!)

The Frangipani Winery sells wine during the production but that is it, so if you would like to enhance your experience by bringing bread and cheese feel free to do so.  I don’t drink, so when I go I always bring Mexican food from one of the local Mexican restaurants… I guess it is just a tradition for me now!

Shakespeare in the Vines

"The Compleate Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" kicked off the 2010 season.
"The Compleate Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)" kicked off the 2010 season.

Shakespeare after dark is so romantic!

If you are wondering what to wear to such an event, rest at ease, you can wear just about anything your heart desires. I like the California casual attire, but remember to bring a sweater, blanket, or someone to keep you warm; sometimes it gets chilly after the sun goes down.

Shakespeare in the Vines rocked the house with their production of A Midsummer Night's Dream

Elisa Richter who played  the mischievous Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream.                 Picture taken by the Press Enterprise.
Elisa Richter who played the mischievous Puck in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Picture taken by the Press Enterprise.
Rebecca Stier Reber, and John Edward Clark together in a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream.
Rebecca Stier Reber, and John Edward Clark together in a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Ticket Prices are reasonable.

As far as the actual production itself goes, the Shakespeare in the Vines Company does an outstanding job of bringing Shakespeare to life. I have come to love characters like Puck and Bottom from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, to shudder at the thought of Macbeth and his dastardly deeds, and chuckle at the antics of trying to combine all of Shakespeare’s plays into a one night show. I have seen the tragedy that happens because of jealousy in the lives of those during the time of Othello, and the comedy that occurs when twins get mistaken for each other in The Comedy of Errors. I think I am beginning to catch the Shakespeare frenzy, don’t you?

The tickets for the show run about $20 each, with a discount for seniors at $15 each. For the entertainment, the atmosphere, and the culture it is a real steal!

Macbeth by Shakespeare in the Vines

Hannah Jost, Ethan Tapley and Andrea Justice Lee star as the three witches in Macbeth
Hannah Jost, Ethan Tapley and Andrea Justice Lee star as the three witches in Macbeth

Share Shakespeare with someone you love.

Schedule an evening of Shakespeare at the Frangipani Estate Winery, put on by the local theater company, Shakespeare in the Vines, for next season. 

It will be an evening to remember, in fact, you might find that you want to see ALL three productions of the season.  It just might surprise you how much you will actually enjoy Shakespeare!

So break free from the same place, same thing, routine and take a walk outside the box… step into the vineyard!

Directions to the Frangipani Estate Winery

Frangipani Estate Winery:
39750 De Portola Rd, Temecula, CA 92592, USA

get directions

Home of the Shakespeare in the Vines production company. Come and experience Shakespeare in the beautiful Temecula Valley.


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    • In The Doghouse profile imageAUTHOR

      In The Doghouse 

      8 years ago from California

      @Hello, hello- Shakespeare in the Vines is extremely entertaining. I am always pleased every time I have been to see a show there.

      @SimoneSmith- If you are a Shakespeare fan than Shakespeare in the Vines is the perfect place to go! It is a beautiful venue, over looking the Temecula wine country.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 

      8 years ago from San Francisco

      Wow, I HAVE to check this out someday! It sound heavenly!!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      8 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful idea and I am sure very entertaining.


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