Outdoor Shakespeare (and other outdoor performances) Near Puget Sound

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Written by: Cheryl

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Just updated for 2024, and we're still adding plays! We love Shakespeare in the Park and other outdoor theater performances! Pack a picnic and a blanket and sit in the sun (or in some cases under the stars). Here's a brief guide to some PNW (mostly Seattle area) Shakespeare in the Park productions.
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Sigh no more!  Summer is coming.  I love being outdoors, and I love theater, so one of the many things I’m looking forward to this summer is attending some outdoor Seattle Shakespeare in the Park performances.

We’ve just updated this post for 2024 and are still adding more productions as we know about them — so it will be automatically updated as we add new plays.

Recently (or recently when I first wrote this post), I had seen Seattle Shakespeare‘s (indoor) performance of Shakespeare in Love at the Cornish playhouse.  Sadly, “Romeo and Ethel the Pirate’s Daughter” shall remain one of Shakespeare’s um…lost…plays, but outdoor performances of his published plays abound in our area, including that of Ethel’s lesser cousin, “Romeo and Juliet”And many of them are, blessedly, free.

Seeing Shakespeare performed outdoors seems, somehow,  right. Performances for most troupes are during July and August to catch the good weather — though, around here, we never quite know what to expect.  Remember to pack your own seating and some extra layers for evening performances.  I especially love the mid-afternoon performances on a sunny day — a perfect time to pack your festival blanket and a picnic.

Free Seattle Shakespeare in the Park Productions

Put money in thy purse (but if you enjoy the show, consider a donation to the theater company).

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

The two-day Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival (mostly Shakespeare but with some other plays as well) festival is held annually in July in Volunteer Park.

GreenStage

GreenStage puts on several Seattle Shakespeare in the park productions — usually two full length productions and two abbreviated “Backyard Bard” productions — at parks around the Seattle area each Summer.

Wooden O

Wooden O is the summer outdoor Shakespeare branch of Seattle Shakespeare Company. They generally put on a couple of Seattle Shakespeare in the park productions each Summer.

Island Shakespeare Festival

The Island Shakespeare Festival is an annual event in Langley on Whidbey Island; performances are pay what you will.

Last Leaf

Last Leaf used to put on two one-hour versions of Shakespeare plays — but for 2023 they put on six productions of one play: The Taming of the Shrew…set in the 1950s. We’ll see what they have in store this year for their Seattle Shakespeare in the park productions!

Not free, but affordable and worth it

Outdoor Theater at Chetzemoka Park in Port Townsend

The Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend has put on several plays, not all Shakespeare, at Chetzemoka Park in years past.

Bainbridge Performing Arts performance at Bloedel Reserve

BPA puts on an annual Summer Shakespeare in the Park production at lovely Bloedel Park.

Shakespeare Northwest in Mount Vernon/Skagit Shakespeare Festival

Shakespeare Northwest in Mount Vernon annually alternates two Shakespeare plays each Summer.

If you can: Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Not in the Puget Sound area, but wonderful if you can attend: The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. This annual festival is HUGE. Many of the plays are indoors but be sure to catch an evening outdoor Shakespeare production at the Allen Elizabethan Theater. This theater was designed to be like a “Wooden O” type theater. It’s been modernized and improved in recent years. It doesn’t really look/feel like, for instance, the replica of the Globe in London, but it’s great to see a play there, the productions are wonderful, and in Ashland, the too-hot Summer days turn into just-right evenings.

While you’re there, take in the backstage tour, be sure to catch some of the street performances, and go to Lithia Park (but I’d avoid the “Lithia Water). Stay a while, stroll in town, and visit some of the restaurants. There’s also camping — about six miles up the road, if I recall.

Outdoor Theater List: Seattle Shakespeare in the Park, PNW Outdoor Shakespeare, and Outdoor Theater in General

The map followed by the events list is for future events inclusive not only of Shakespeare in the Park events but other outdoor theater events as well — in Seattle and in the PNW in general (but we tend to focus on NW Washington). It will fill up as we add events for this year, and then empty as the events complete. Recurring events will be shown more than once. That’s just the way it is.

Loading Map....
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

May 26, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 1, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 2, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 8, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 9, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 15, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Matilda, the Musical

Matilda, the Musical

June 16, 2024
2:00 pm - 4:30 pm
Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

July 13, 2024 - July 14, 2024
All Day

Do you know of any other events? Add your feedback.

Do you know of any other outdoor Shakespeare performances that should be in this post?
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If we missed anything (and likely we did) we’d love to add it. Or, if you know something that should be here, you can add an event.

Shakespeare Trivia Quiz

Just for fun, we added a Shakespeare trivia quiz here. You can also find it on its own post where you can find a leaderboard for the quiz.

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Books and Literature

Shakespeare Trivia Quiz

How much do you know about Shakespeare?

This is a 15-question quiz with random answers from our question bank of questions about Shakespeare, his life, his plays, etc. The questions are mostly multiple choice with possibly a few fill-in-the blanks. We may add questions to the bank as time goes on, so the quiz may vary if you retake it.

A “passing” score is 75%.

Think we made a mistake? The questions have a “report” button in the lower right hand corner if you disagree with our identification.

We’ve started awarding profile badges for quizzes again. If you pass the quiz, you’ll see a link to add the badge in the success message. You can only add a badge if you are a logged in user, however.

1 / 15

Cordelia is a character in which Shakespeare play?

2 / 15

Shakespeare coined the word “bedazzled.”

3 / 15

“Some Cupid kills with arrows, some with traps.” Name the play.

4 / 15

Who asked the question “If you prick us, do we not bleed?”

5 / 15

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” Name the play

6 / 15

Where did Shakespeare die?

7 / 15

Methought I was enamoured of an

8 / 15

What was Shakespeare’s first play?

9 / 15

Which play is the quote “The first thing we do is, let’s kill all the lawyers.” from?

10 / 15

“Hell is empty and all the devils are here.” Name the play.

11 / 15

Where was Shakespeare born?

12 / 15

What are the names of King Lear’s Daughters?

13 / 15

“I am a man
More sinned against than sinning.”

Name the play.

14 / 15

What were the names of Shakespeare’s children?

15 / 15

Petruchio is a character in which Shakespeare play?

If you would like to add your name to your quiz answers or receive an email with your quiz answers, you can fill in the fields below. This is NOT required. If you’d like to register and log in, you can keep track of your quizzes in your user account and earn badges if you take quizzes as a logged-in user.

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The average score is 43%

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