Zounds! Outdoor Shakespeare Abounds Near Puget Sound!
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).
This article contains some affiliate links. That means if you click on a link that is an affiliate link, and then make a subsequent purchase, I get a small commission which helps me support this blog (and justify it to the powers-that-be).
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.
Put 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Not Free, But Affordable and Worth It:
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.
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.
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.
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.
Upcoming Events › Shakespeare In The Park
List of Events
Annual Outdoor Shakespeare performances in Langley on Whidbey Island.
Greenstage presents some of their annual Shakespeare in the Park performances at Lower Woodland playfield in Seattle.
Shakespeare Northwest presents A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Rexville-Blackrock Amphitheatre in Mount Vernon, WA.
Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.
Outdoor Shakespeare performances at Webster Woods in Port Angeles Friday-Sun evenings in July and August.
Shakespeare Northwest presents Shakespeare in the Park outdoor performances in Mount Vernon, WA at the Rexville Blackrock amphitheatre.
This isn't a triathlon! Or maybe it is! A triathlon of Shakespeare performances presented by Shakespeare Northwest at the Rexville Blackrock Amphitheatre in Mount Vernon.
Last Leaf Production's Annual Shakespeare in the Park performances. Held at multiple locations: check the event post for the venue locations.
Greenstage presents its annual free Shakespeare in the Park productions at Lynndale Park. The schedule is Taming of the Shrew on July 31 and Henry IV on August 1 and 7.