“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Piedmont in Alameda County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)

Eucalyptus Amphitheater

Summer Theater in the Park

Eucalyptus Amphitheater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 7, 2014
1. Eucalyptus Amphitheater Marker
Caption: Sons of Norway, 1915 (bottom panorama).
Inscription. Click to hear the inscription.  “Loves Labor Lost,” a comedy by William Shakespeare, was the first play performed in the Eucalyptus Amphitheater in the spring of 1908. Set in a grove of trees for which it was named, the theater had a unique stage from which some of the giant trees burst through the floorboards. Miss Florence Nace, the first superintendent of the park, planned her open air venue in a rustic style. She echoed design elements from other areas of the park but included swings and hobby horses for the youngest theater patrons.

For the next decade, Shakespeare became a staple of summer theater in Piedmont although the bill of fair often included plays for those young in heart such as “Alice in Wonderland” and “Peter Pan.” When not used for theatrical performances, the facility was put to use as an outdoor auditorium. The Sons of Norway held their annual meetings in the theater and in 1915, hundred of children participated in the “Pageant of Nations.”

The theater was demolished in the 1920s when the City of Piedmont acquired the property. Today, only the level ground and a few tall eucalyptus trees remain.
Eucalyptus Amphitheater Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, March 7, 2014
2. Eucalyptus Amphitheater Marker

”With the sun rays as a spotlight, the a pantomime unfolded with the appearance of two maidens in Greek garb slowly wending their way holding braziers from which thin wreaths of incense smoke ascended heavenwards. Then followed the processional of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Monk of the middle ages, Japanese types, the later holding aloft the quaint banners of the land beyond the rising sun, Chinese lads with kites larger than themselves... and as they slowly filed across the stage, the ‘March of the Slaves’ from Aida came from the orchestra concealed in an array of vines.” - The Oakland Tribune, August 29, 1915.
Erected by Piedmont Beautification Foundation.
Location. 37° 49.26′ N, 122° 14.006′ W. Marker is in Piedmont, California, in Alameda County. Marker can be reached from Wildwood Avenue near Prospect Road, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 317 Wildwood Avenue, Oakland CA 94611, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Maze (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Sulphur Springs Grotto (about 500 feet away); The Cascade (about 700 feet away); Piedmont Art Gallery (approx. ¼ mile away); Piedmont Springs Hotel (approx. ¼ mile away); Faux Bois Benches (approx. ¼ mile away); Piedmont Springs Clubhouse & Cafe (approx. ¼ mile away); Honor Roll (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Piedmont.
More about this marker. This marker is in Piedmont Park, about 200 yards up the trail from the Wildwood entrance to the park.
Categories. Arts, Letters, MusicMan-Made Features
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on March 17, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 453 times since then and 14 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 17, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.
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