Where to find Shakespeare in the Park Seattle and Puget Sound.

Updated for 2019!

Summer offers many free outdoor events in the Pacific Northwest. My favorites are Shakespeare in the Park productions. Here’s more information about where to find Shakespeare in the Park in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Grab your festival blanket, pack a picnic and get ready for some Bard!

The featured image for this post is from the Folger Shakespeare Library Did you know that they released a ton of images with a share-alike license? The collection is fascinating to browse and a way to lose yourself online (if you’re a lover of image archives).

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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 Shakespeare performances. In 2018, I saw 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 Productions:

Seattle Shakespeare Groundling ButtonPut money in thy purse (but if you enjoy the show, consider a donation to the theater company). If you donate at the Outdoor Theater Festival, Seattle Shakespeare might make you an official groundling.

Outdoor Theater Festival

GreenStage, Wooden O and other local theater groups sponsor The Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival at Volunteer Park in July. Performances are from various theater groups from the very small to the professional Seattle Shakespeare Company.

It’s a great free event — even people who don’t generally like Shakespeare (like my spouse) may enjoy this event — pack a picnic and bring your (low) festival chairs or blankets as seating is on the lawn.  In 2018, David Pichette’s performance as King Lear was stunning and made my husband conjecture that The Bard must have been a bit crazy himself.

Pre-show music before Edmonds City Park production of Much Ado About Nothing back in 2010.

GreenStage

Greenstage is Seattle’s Shakespeare in the Park company.  Productions are mostly held around the Seattle area — they used to hold a production or two at Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island in the past but I’d guess that either productions weren’t well attended or coming over to our side of the pond on the ferry was too problematic.

View Upcoming Greenstage Performances on Our Calendar

Wooden O

Wooden O is the summer outdoor Shakespeare branch of Seattle Shakespeare Company.   Productions are in parks ranging from Seattle north to Lynnwood and Edmonds, on the Eastside and south to Tacoma. As one would expect from Seattle Shakespeare, productions are very professional.

View Upcoming Wooden O Productions on Our Calendar

Island Shakespeare Festival

The Island Shakespeare Festival is held in Langley on Whidbey Island; performances are pay what you will.  In 2019, they’ll be putting on A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Winter’s Tale as well as an adaptation of Dante’s Inferno.

View Upcoming Island Shakespeare Festival productions on our calendar.

Last Leaf

Last Leaf puts on one hour versions of two plays every year; perfect for kids or those of us adults with attention spans to short to sit through full length productions. In 2019 their productions will be As You Like it and Henry VIII.  Productions are usually in Woodinville, Lake Stevens, Monroe, Arlington, and Bellevue.

View Last Leaf Productions Dates on Our Calendar

Shakespeare in the Woods

If you want to take a trip to the Olympic Peninsula, you can visit Shakespeare in the Woods at Webster Woods Sculpture Park in Port Angeles Friday through Sunday nights in July and August.

This year’s performance? Taming of the Shrew.

View Upcoming Shakespeare in the Woods Performances on Our Calendar

Not Free, But Affordable and Worth It:

 

Outdoor Theater at Chetzemoka Park in Port Townsend

The Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend puts on an indoor Shakespeare play in August and then does outdoor performances of it in Chetzemoka Park. In 2019, the play will be The Merry Wives of Windsor.  The cost is “as you like it” (by suggested donation) at the gate, while you can purchase tickets on the website for their indoor productions.

View all Key City Theatre Shakespeare in the Park Performances on Our Calendar

Bloedel Reserve

Methinks I am vexed that we do not have more outdoor Shakespeare options here in Kitsap County. (But if you just want outdoor theater in Kitsap, not necessarily Shakespeare, I highly recommend the Kitsap Forest Theater’s musical productions)

However, every year in July, Bainbridge Performing Arts puts on an outdoor Shakespeare production at beautiful Bloedel Reserve. This year’s production is As You Like it and runs from July 11-28.

Shakespeare Northwest in Mount Vernon/Skagit Shakespeare Festival

In 2019, Shakespeare Northwest presents A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night, as well as an “Ironman triathon” of three Shakespeare events (that one’s on July 27). Plays are held at the Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheatre in Mount Vernon.

View upcoming Shakespeare Northwest performances on our calendar.

Upcoming Events for Shakespeare in the Park Seattle and Puget Sound:

The following are some near-future events that we know of so far. But we can only show so many on this page.

For paginated Shakespeare in the Park events (to see all the events) click here.

. If you know of an event that should be here that’s not on our calendar, you can add it here.

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