This is a post I update every year. But, of course, 2020 is different. COVID-19 is upon us and, at this point, we’re not sure which events will be cancelled and which will go on.

We’ve received notice that Wooden O’s outdoor Summer Shakespeare events have been cancelled. We haven’t, at the time of this writing, heard anything about the status of the Seattle Outdoor Shakespeare Festival or other events.

In ANY event, please:

  • Check the status of any event you still see in this post. It may get rescheduled without us initially being aware and it’s very time consuming to keep rechecking, so we do from time to time.
  • Do what makes sense, and what health officials are advising at the time of the event. COVID-19 is not going away by Summer — though, hopefully we’ll see cases and hospitalizations in our area and worldwide decrease. But keep in mind this is due to the measures we’ve done well implementing here. Taking a lid off those measures in the form of large events will likely have a negative impact again.
  • If you are among those fortunate to have enough to consider giving and you miss things like outdoor Shakespeare productions and want to keep them going, consider donating to those organizations that put them on. Local companies like Seattle Shakespeare and Greenstage, as well as others, are in need of support. Hopefully, we can get back to big outdoor productions safely by the Summer of 2021 — I’ll be the first one out on the lawn with my picnic basket!

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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. Recently, 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:

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

Outdoor Theater Festival

This two-day outdoor theatre (mostly Shakespeare but with some other plays as well) festival is held annually in July in Volunteer Park. Though the dates for 2020 haven’t been “officially” announced yet, I’m sure that it will be on the weekend of July 11-12 as that’s when I see the Wooden O productions are being held there.

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

GreenStage

For 2020, GreenStage has announced that A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Henry V will be their main productions with Twelfth Night and The Tempest as abbreviated “Backyard Bard” productions. Stay tuned for dates from them soon!

Wooden O

Wooden O is the summer outdoor Shakespeare branch of Seattle Shakespeare Company.  2020s plays include Othello and The Comedy of Errors.

Island Shakespeare Festival

This one is in Langley on Whidbey Island; performances are pay what you will.  I’m not yet sure what the 2020 plays will be. The festival generally runs mid July through August.

Last Leaf

They put on one hour versions of two plays every year. As of yet, we’re not sure of the 2020 plays.

Not Free, But Affordable and Worth It:

Outdoor Theater at Chetzemoka Park in Port Townsend

The Key City Public Theatre in Port Townsend keeps it to one play. Tickets usually run somewhere around $29. The play for 2020 has, at the time of this writing, not yet been announced.

Bloedel Reserve

Methinks I am vexed that we do not have more outdoor Shakespeare options in Kitsap County where I live But if you just want outdoor theater in Kitsap, I highly recommend the Kitsap Forest Theater.  They put on two musicals every summer in their wonderful outdoor theater.

However, Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge is host to one annual Shakespeare production. And this year, it’s Macbeth!

Jewel Box Theater

Poulsbo’s Jewel Box Theater often puts on a production in Raab Park — we’ll keep watching for it.

Shakespeare Northwest in Mount Vernon/Skagit Shakespeare Festival

The festival in Mount Vernon is an annual happening. Stay tuned for dates and events!

Where’s the Map?

There used to be a map of all of the venues in this post — but if you go to an event, it comes with a map — and on our calendar page, there’s also a map view option.

Upcoming events are listed below — and there will be many more as Summer approacheth!

Macbeth at Bloedel Reserve

Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.

Find out more »
$29
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 United States
+ Google Map

Macbeth at Bloedel Reserve

Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.

Find out more »
$29
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 United States
+ Google Map

Othello

July 9

Seattle Shakespeare is presenting Othello as part of their Summer Shakespeare in the Park lineup. This one is at Issaquah Community Center.

Find out more »
Free
Issaquah Community Center Open Space, 301 Rainier Blvd S.
Issaquah, WA 98027 United States
+ Google Map

Macbeth at Bloedel Reserve

Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.

Find out more »
$29
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 United States
+ Google Map

Macbeth at Bloedel Reserve

Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.

Find out more »
$29
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 United States
+ Google Map

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

Free theater festival (of course, donations are always appreciated) held annually at Volunteer Park. Shakespeare and more.

Find out more »
Free
Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112 United States
+ Google Map

Macbeth at Bloedel Reserve

Every July Bainbridge Performing arts presents outdoor Shakespeare at Bloedel Reserve. This year's production is As You Like It.

Find out more »
$29
Bloedel Reserve, 7571 NE Dolphin Dr.
Bainbridge Island, WA 98110 United States
+ Google Map

Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival

Free theater festival (of course, donations are always appreciated) held annually at Volunteer Park. Shakespeare and more.

Find out more »
Free
Volunteer Park, 1247 15th Ave E
Seattle, WA 98112 United States
+ Google Map

Othello

July 12-August 9, various dates

Seattle Shakespeare is presenting Othello as part of their Summer Shakespeare in the Park lineup. This one is at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.

Find out more »
Free
Luther Burbank Park, 2040 84th Avenue SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040 United States
+ Google Map

Othello

July 12-August 9, various dates

Seattle Shakespeare is presenting Othello as part of their Summer Shakespeare in the Park lineup. This one is at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island.

Find out more »
Free
Luther Burbank Park, 2040 84th Avenue SE
Mercer Island, WA 98040 United States
+ Google Map
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