1916Hollywood’s first outdoor community theater production, Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, is performed in Beachwood Canyon in the Hollywood Hills by the Theosophical Society as a tercentennial commemoration of Shakespeare’s death for the benefit of the Actors Fund of America. The one-night-only performance involves 5,000 play-actors, dancers, gladiators, and the student bodies of Hollywood and Fairfax High Schools. The enthusiasm for this event leads to the search for a permanent amphitheater for large-scale performances.
1918The production of The Light of Asia, a pageant based on Edwin Arnold’s epic poem on the life of Buddha, is a direct result of the success of the 1916 production of Julius Caesar. The Light of Asia is performed at the Krotona Colony in the Hollywood Hills. The organizer, Christine Weatherill Stevenson, heiress to the Pittsburgh Paint Company, is also a pioneer in the creation of the Hollywood Bowl.