In 1910, the renown Forest Theater opened its outdoor gates for the first time to the public and became, this way, one of the first outdoor theaters to over open up in the west of Colorado. As mentioned before, Mary Hunter Austin, acclaimed American poet, in association with American director Herbert Heron were the ones taking on this ambitious project.
Theater and aesthetic art related movements such as the Forest Theater Society, the Carmel Arts & Crafts Club and the Western Drama Society were deeply involved with the Forest Theater and were responsible for staging numerous plays and various events. Shakespeare’s original works and theater plays were the main concern for the directors and organizers that staged the first performances.
The city of Carmel-by-the-Sea, together with councilmen and townspeople applied for federal funding so, during the 30s decade, the Forest Theater was a part of a federal project that would see to the development and expansion of its infrastructure. However, this took quite many years, until the project finally saw the light of day and reopened its doors, becoming The Carmel Shakespeare Festival. However, there was a brief hiatus during the World War II. After such hiatus, the festival continued as normal throughout the 40s decade.
In the year 1931, the Carmel Sunset School built an impressive Gothic auditorium. It served for many years as a venue for the whole community, where countless of performances, music shows as well as theater plays took place. About 30 years later, the Gothic auditorium was sold to the municipal authorities and the venue acquired a new name, namely Sunset Theatre.
A few years ago, artists of the likes of Wynston Marsalis, the Vienna Boys’ Choir and Lyle Lovett performed at the venue, which was successfully reopened to the public for a third time in 80 years, after a several million dollar refurbishment. It was for the number 66 of the annual Carmel Bach Festival.