Zounds! Outdoor Shakespeare Abounds Near Puget Sound!

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I’m in the process of updating this post — both because it’s now 2020 and I’m starting to find new Outdoor Shakespeare events for this Summer and because we recently re-themed our website and wanted to correct this post! Right now the post is a bit sparse as we update, but check back soon as this post will start filling up with more events the closer we come to Summer (and I can’t wait though I’ll miss some of our wonderful PNW Summer as I’m expected to be abroad.)

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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

The Comedy of Errors

July 9-August 9, multiple dates

This is an outdoor Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors by Seattle Shakespeare's "Wooden O" 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

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

The Comedy of Errors

July 9-August 9, multiple dates

This is an outdoor Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors by Seattle Shakespeare's "Wooden O" 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

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 11:

Wooden O's Production of Othello at Volunteer Park in Seattle is part of the annual Outdoor Shakespeare Festival.

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

The Comedy of Errors

July 9-August 9, multiple dates

This is an outdoor Shakespeare in the Park production of The Comedy of Errors by Seattle Shakespeare's "Wooden O" 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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Matt Terry

It’s too bad we were not able to get this in the article but this Thursday, Friday & Saturday (15th, 16th & 17th) and the following Thursday, Friday & Saturday (22nd, 23rd & 24th) there are free performances of “William Shakespeare’s Long Lost First Play (abridged).” It’s a hilarious performance of young Shakespeare’s first attempt at a very very very long play.

Tickets are FREE. Show is at the City of Shoreline City Hall. Starts at 7 p.m. Due to content, rated PG-13. Would love to have you.

Zounds! Outdoor Shakespeare Abounds Near Puget Sound!

by Jul 5, 2019King County, Pacific Northwest, PNW Events, Seattle Travel Blog, Theater, Washington State, Washington State Events2 comments

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