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Stories from our Travelers

Summer Theater Festivals


Oregon Shakespeare Festival

New York's Shakespeare in the Park

Three Sisters at Stratford Shakespeare Festival
The warm summer months in the northern hemisphere usually bring a wealth of theater productions and festivals, often staged outdoors or in appealing venues. From Shakespeare in Montana, New York and Massachusetts, to dance in Spain, to Oscar Wilde in London - a sampling of theater festivals this summer throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe.

United States and Canada

Montana Shakespeare in the Parks
Montana Shakespeare in the Parks has been touring Montana, northern Wyoming and eastern Idaho since 1973, with performances of free, professional outdoor theatre. A program of Montana State University, it is the only Shakespeare company in the country to reach extensively into rural areas, and the only company in the state that offers its performances free to the public. For the summer schedule, see Montana Shakespeare.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland
Founded in 1935, this festival is among the oldest and largest professional non-profit theatres in the nation. This year’s summer productions include MacBeth, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Music Man, and Don Quixote. Visit Oregon Shakespeare.

Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Boise
The Idaho Shakespeare Festival Amphitheater & Reserve is nestled in a unique habitat that is home to an astonishing variety of plant and animal species. The Festival operates under an agreement with the Idaho Foundation for Parks & Lands and the Idaho Department of Parks & Recreation. Beginning in early June, the summer schedule includes productions of Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors, Chekhov’s The Seagull, and a musical by Rupert Holmes, The Mystery of Edwin Drood.
See Idaho Shakespeare.

Williamstown Theater Festival, Massachusetts
The legendary Williamstown Theatre Festival is located in one of the most beautiful parts of the country-the Berkshires of western Massachusetts. This summer, the Festival presents productions of A.R. Gurney’s Children, and Sam Shepard’s True West. For more information, visit Williamstown.

Shakespeare in the Park, Public Theater, New York
Shakespeare in the Park kicks off its Central Park summer season with a production of Twelfth Night, Shakespeare’s comedy involving cross-dressing and mistaken identity. Academy Award nominee Anne Hathaway makes her Public Theater debut as Viola.
Shakespeare in the Park.

Stratford Festival of Ontario, Canada
The Stratford Shakespeare Festival is a repertory theatre festival, permanently located in Stratford, Ontario, Canada. The Festival’s mission is to produce the best works of theatre in the classical and contemporary repertoire, with special emphasis on the works of Shakespeare. This summer, see MacBeth, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest,. and Chekhov’s Three Sisters. See Stratford Festival.

Europe

Abbey Theatre, Dublin, Ireland
The Abbey Theatre remains true to its heritage, regularly staging plays from the Irish repertoire, as well as presenting engaging and innovative Irish and international theatre. This summer’s offerings include a production of Richard Sheridan’s The Rivals, a comic “account of human nature and its imperfections.” Abbey Theatre, Dublin.

Open Air Theatre, Regent's Park, London
In London’s lovely Regents’s Park, The Open Air Theatre is a much-loved tradition of London life. This summer’s program includes productions of Hello Dolly, Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest, and music and comedy performances. Visit Open Air Theatre.

Festival of D’Avignon, France
Founded in 1947, the mission of the Festival is to showcase French and foreign contemporary drama and dance. There are about twenty performance venues in Avignon and surrounding areas, including cloisters, churches, the famous Popes Palace, an old stone quarry and school halls. For summer programming, visit Festival D’Avignon.

Festival Internacional de Música y Danza de Granada, Spain
Granada’s International Festival of Music and Dance traditionally showcases classical music, ballet and Spanish dancing, but also includes flamenco, ancient and contemporary music, and art exhibitions. Granada Festival.

Image Credits (preview and top to bottom):
Tom Patterson Island, Avon River, courtesy Stratford Shakespeare Festival.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2006 set and ensemble in Cyrano de Bergerac. Photo by T. Charles Erickson.
Shakespeare in the Park, Public Theater. Photo: Michal Daniel.
Dalal Badr as Irina, Irene Poole as Olga and Lucy Peacock as Masha in the Stratford Shakespeare Festival’s 2009 production of Three Sisters. Photo: David Hou.

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