Compiled by Miryam Gordon
As most summer-theater-park-goers know, a whole weekend is devoted to “park shows” all in one lovely location to fit them all: Volunteer Park. Known as Seattle Outdoor Theater Festival, a combination of all the Shakespeare shows and some kid-specific entertainments are spread throughout the park and throughout both weekend days. Organized mostly by the folks at Greenstage, you can find the schedule here: https://greenstage.org/sotf/ Yes, they are all free. But yes, you could consider donating to all the hardworking companies getting out in the (hopefully) hot sun to entertain you with merriments!
Drum and Colors: A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Cymbeline, Seattle Shakespeare Company and Wooden O Productions, 7/7/22-8/7/22 (at various parks in the area)
Midsummer Night’s Dream
When two pairs of mixed-up lovers, along with a troupe of amateur players, stumble into the forest of two feuding fairies, it results in an enchanting mix of merriment. After a love potion plan goes awry, the fairy queen’s heart is captured by an unlikely community actor transformed into a donkey. Mischief maker Puck not only creates romantic chaos, but also has to fix things right, again. (Includes puppets.)
Follow Imogen on a magical journey. With their lover banished and family torn apart, Imogen sets out on an adventure to reclaim their love and reconcile the family. Forbidden love, mistaken identities, banishment, and a magic potion— Shakespeare combines multiple styles in this endlessly inventive fairy tale.
Mega Hero Rangers Go Go Go Supreme!!!, The 14/48 Projects, 7/9-30/22 (at various parks in the area)
We meet the Mega Hero Rangers, a group of friends and superheroes who meet their ultimate adversary and have their powers taken away! Deep-rooted tensions come to a head, splitting up the super friends… Will the Rangers discover how to navigate the world on their own, without their powers?
Black Coffee, Taproot Theatre Company, 7/13/22-8/13/22
The formula for a secret weapon has been stolen, and that isn’t the only mystery in the Amory house! When Sir Claude discovers the theft, he locks his family in the library. Moments later, there’s a dead body, a room full of suspects, and a Belgian sleuth at the door. Witness Agatha Christie’’s famous Hercule Poirot untangle a jumble of deceptions to discover whodunit.
Titanish, Marxiano Productions, 7/14/22-8/7/22 at the Bathhouse Theater
From the creators of the sell out super hit A Very Die Hard Christmas comes a comedy so colossal it can only be called “Titanish“. The Habit Comedy teams up with Seattle Public Theater to debut a new summer blockbuster that’s sure to be one hilarious disaster. Crashing onto the shores of Green Lake this summer, this new musical parody (that lampoons the epic film) will showcase the wit and creativity that The Habit is acclaimed for. Titanish features original music, rapid fire comedy, and inventive staging.
The Pirates of Penzance, Seattle Gilbert & Sullivan Society, 7/15-31/22 (at Seattle Rep theater)
Hilarious mayhem this summer as a cast of fashionable pirates, determined daughters, and bumbling bobbies collide in the pursuit of love, family, and – inevitably – duty. The most popular of Gilbert & Sullivan’s musicals includes outlandish characters and an unexpected twist or two will keep new and veteran audiences alike enthralled. The Pirates of Penzance will come to life in an enchanting new production.
Come From Away, 5th Avenue Theatre (national tour), 7/20/22-8/7/22
Broadway’s Come From Away is a Best Musical winner all across North America. This critics’ pick takes you into the heart of the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded airline passengers in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada. On 9/11, all plane fights simply stopped! Planes had to land somewhere, wherever they were and this tiny town welcomed dozens of planeloads of people, animals, and special medical situation, suddenly and with amazing care and open arms. Cultures clashed and nerves ran high, but uneasiness turned into trust, music soared into the night, and gratitude grew into enduring friendships. There’s nothing not to like about this musical!
Beowulf, Book-It Repertory Theatre, 7/22/22-8/7/22 (at Alhadeff Studio Theatre behind Cornish Playhouse)
Our hero, Beowulf, travels to King Hrothgar’s land to defeat a monster and save a kingdom, for that is what great heroes do. But Grendel, the creature condemned by God, is grim and vengeful, strong and horrible. Beowulf and a few brave folks embark on the quest to vanquish the foul fiend. Courage, cunning, and might may win the day and the laurels of battle, but once an adventurer, always an adventurer. Beowulf’s life continues with heroic and mighty deeds until a Dragon is awoken and the elder statesman must face a final test of his bravery, alone. This mythic tale, over one thousand years old, reminds us of the importance of a good story well told.
(F)unfair, Dacha Theatre with Playable Theatre Project, 7/22/22-8/7/22 (at Billing Middle School, Pinehurst Neighborhood)
Step right up to explore the surreally dysfunctional world of (F)unfair! Enjoy fair favorites like midway games, roving performers, and other attractions… not to mention the fair food! But all is not as it seems — as you get to know the carnies and the rules that govern their lives, you will start to realize just how UNFAIR this (F)unfair really is. The good news is that you have a chance to help to change the rules, but can you work together with your fellow attendees to figure out what’s broken and how to fix it? See your choices transform the world around you!
Here There Be Dragons, ArtsWest and The Hansberry Project, 7/28/22-8/28/22
Conceived and directed by the inimitable Valerie Curtis-Newton, and featuring the music and lyrics of some of Seattle’s most dynamic Black women recording artists, this brand new theatrical song cycle celebrates the joys, triumphs, and tribulations of Black women. A unique fusion of musical styles and theatrical influences, Here There Be Dragons is a bold journey into uncharted waters and new possibilities.
Want, The Shattered Glass Project, 7/28/22-8/14/22 (at Center Theatre at the Armory)
Barbara Lindsay, local playwright, pens a story about a middle-aged couple Ruby and Early who are happy in their new marriage (for starters, the sex is amazing!) Sure, they’re struggling with unemployment and numbingly dull manual labor, but they have each other and they’ve just moved into a new apartment. Then the next-door neighbor pays them a call…
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