Each year, I write a post about all the outdoor theatre productions that will happen that summer. It was heartbreaking in 2020 when all the theaters were dark, and it’s sad that even in 2021, many have not yet returned. But, I am thrilled to say that there WILL BE OUTDOOR THEATER IN SUMMER 2021!!!
So… here’s this year’s update of my almost-always-annual post.
Outdoor productions of Shakespeare and other plays are a fun way to experience the arts in the summer time. Bring a picnic, spread a blanket out on the grass, and enjoy! (If you prefer sitting in a chair to on the ground, be sure it’s a low profile chair so you don’t block anyone’s view.) In 2021, productions will have COVID precautions in place, such as masking and distancing. Check their websites for the most current info.
Outdoor theater is a good venue for kids because it gives more leeway for squirming and wiggling than an indoor performance with theater rules. However, you should still endeavor to keep kids quiet and well-behaved. Other than Storybook Theater, most of the shows listed here are good for ages 8 and up. We have brought preschoolers to shows, but we don’t expect them to pay full attention – bring snacks, toys, and sticker books to entertain them quietly. Also understand that during outdoor productions, at times your experience may be interrupted by Frisbee players in the far distance, dogs sniffing by, and airplanes flying overhead.
NEW THIS YEAR: Storybook Theater in the Park. Studio East in Kirkland has been doing fabulous productions perfect for 3 – 7 year old children for many years. This August, they will perform The Boy Who Cried Wolf for free at various sites on the Eastside. Studio East is also doing Twelfth Night – Shakespeare in the Park featuring teen actors, on June 18 – 20 at Juanita Beach Park in Kirkland. Free.
Greenstage Shakespeare in the Park is presenting A Midsummer Night’s Dream. They also have smaller 4-actor adaptations of plays, called Backyard Bard that are an hour long. They’re doing Twelfth Night and the Tempest. (All three of these shows are some of the more accessible Shakespeare plays for older children.) Fridays – Sundays from July 9 – August 14 in Seattle, Burien, and Fall City. Free, but please donate lots!
Wooden O, from Seattle Shakespeare. Presenting Comedy of Errors. Thursdays thru Sundays, July 23 – August 8. By donation. Seattle, Tacoma, Des Moines, Federal Way.
Snoqualmie Falls Forest Theatre. Presenting “The Leisure Time Radio Show” on Saturdays and Sundays, August 7 – 21, as a dinner theater. Food and show for $40 – 44.
Outdoor Trek from Hello Earth Productions. In 2022, plan for Return (at last!) of the Jedi.
The Seattle Outdoor Theatre Festival will return in 2022.
Day Trips or Overnights
Island Shakespeare Festival – Langley. Will present As You Like It, Thurs – Sun at 6 pm, from August 6 – September 12. In the past, they were free, with donations encouraged – I assume it’s the same this year. (If you go, donate lots!) Their postponed 2020 Summer Season, with Love’s Labor’s Lost, Titus Andronicus, and Cyrano de Bergerac, will be presented in 2022.
Kitsap Forest Theatre – near Bremerton. Will present Little Women – the Broadway Musical. (My kids liked this show a lot when they saw it at age 9 or 10.) Shows are on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00. June 12/13, 19/20, 26/27; July 10/11, 17/18, 24/25; August 7/8, 14/15, 21/22. $34 adults, $18 youth, 6 and under free. Their shows that weren’t presented in 2020 (Beauty & the Beast and Bend in the Road, the Anne of Green Gables Musical) are moved to 2022.
Leavenworth Summer Theatre is presenting Sound of Music most Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays from July 9 – Aug 21. Tickets go on sale in June. In previous years, they were $14 – 35. They will perform their planned 2020 shows of the Music Man and The Secret Garden in 2022.
Other Summer Arts Opportunities
Library Summer Reading Programs
Library programs for ages 3 – 12 happen all summer long, and include reading logs with completion prizes, story times and other events. In 2021, for KCLS, all events will be held online. King County library: This year’s theme is space themed so the shows are about space, the stars, and science. Go to this page https://kcls.bibliocommons.com/events/search/index, and you can filter for events that work for you, or type the name of a show you want to see into the search bar at the top of the page. The Seattle Public Library summer reading info is here.
Other Activities for Kids in the Seattle area:
If you’re looking for other fun ideas for the summer, check out my series on “Cheap Dates with Toddlers and Young Kids”, or reviews of Eastside Parks or find hands-on STEM enrichment activities for kids age 3 – 7 at www.InventorsOfTomorrow.com.
For school year activities, if you have kids age birth to 7, check out info about info about fabulous classes at local community colleges that are great for kids AND include parent education for you,- register now before they fill up!!