Summer in the Northwest provides some unique opportunities that you cannot find other times of the year. For instance, it is during the summer months that you can enjoy the intellectual stimulation of a play or musical while still enjoying the sun. While the blackouts can be a bit tricky, there is something special about watching fine acting done in an outdoor setting. Perhaps it is because you use more of your senses this way or maybe it is because it is a change in pace. At any rate, here are some local outdoor theater productions that you will not want to miss this summer:
Leavenworth Summer Theater
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Celebrating 20 years in theater entertaining, the Leavenworth Summer Theater is offering three very different productions this year just outside of the beautiful Bavarian town up in the mountains. Leavenworth is roughly about a two-hour drive from Seattle, so it is close enough for a day trip or you could spend the night and make the event a mini-vacation. Each show is performed at 8 p.m. and matinees are scheduled for Saturdays at 2 p.m. This year’s line up includes, Rogers and Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” (at the Ski Hill Amphitheater), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (Hatchery Park Amphitheater) and “Footloose” (based on both movies) at Leavenworth FestHall Theater. Tickets range from $14-$30.
This year, Green Stage is celebrating its 25th anniversary with various projects planned throughout the summer – too numerous to display here. One portion will be presenting Shakespeare in the Park performing the plays “King Lear” and “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Another will be tailored to smaller park settings presenting shorter versions of the plays “Twelfth Night” and “The Merry Wives of Winsor” – part of the “Backyard Bard” project. Another portion, Hard Bard, will be performing “The Bacchae.” However, the biggest event is the 2013 Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival held on July 13 and 14th at Volunteer Park (1247 15th Ave.). This year’s festival will feature 14 performances by eight local companies. For full details, be sure to visit the Green Stage website.
Kitsap Forest Theater
3000 Seabeck Highway
Bremerton, WA 98312
The Mountaineers Players perform at the Forest Theater presenting two family-friendly plays this season. First up is the C.S. Lewis classic, “Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” playing from May 26 until June 16. Next up is “The Secret Garden” playing from July 27 until August 18. All performances are at 2 p.m. Tickets range from $9.99-$16
Related: Best Year Round Art Walks in Seattle
900 Jackson St.
Port Towsend, WA 98368
Another Shakespeare in the Park type of experience, geared for the whole, will be presented by the Key City Public Theatre. The troupe will be presenting the Bard’s “Much Ado About Nothing” from August 2 through August 18. Performances are at 6 p.m. Bring a blanket and a picnic dinner. The best part – it’s free!
Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.