View Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook PageView Our Facebook Page
Your Guide to Cultural
Arts in America
Art Museums, Theater, Dance
& Music Happenings in 90+ Cities!
or go to

SummerArts: Theater

SummerArts: Theater

“Summer Stock” was for many years the universal term defining all American theater performed during the summer – and until the 1960s, most summer theater fell under the same heading. The commercially operated theater was located in a rural setting, usually in a converted barn (or under a tent), the fare was primarily well-worn comedies and musicals featuring a well-known Broadway, television or movie star surrounded by lots of young hopefuls (or even local residents). Shows usually ran one or two weeks, and quality varied tremendously.

Most of the for-profit theaters of the “Straw Hat Circuit” folded in the 1970s, replaced by non-profit “festivals” stressing quality productions, a greater use of equity actors and the opportunity to see at least two shows in a short weekend visit (as well as many additional talkbacks and tours also offered). Star casting is underplayed, with no one actor billed above the title, and production values are first-rate.

While some may mourn the loss of seeing their favorite TV western beefcake star do Neil Simon, Summer Theater in America is the best it has ever been.

Pacific

idashaks

Idaho Shakespeare Festival (Boise, ID)

(June 1 – September 29, 2012) Despite its title, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is not devoted exclusively to plays by the Bard; its repertory includes works from various dramatic periods and genres, and it also serves as an artistic home for emerging regional and national playwrights. Performances are given in a 760-seat, state-of-the-art amphitheater on the site of a habitat reserve that is home to a wide variety of plants and animals including deer, heron, ducks, geese, and the occasional fox. The William Shakespeare Park offers picnicking and river viewing areas; food and beverages are available at Café Shakespeare. ...more...

Marin Shakespeare Festival

Marin Shakespeare Festival (San Rafael, CA)

(July 6 – September 30, 2012) The Marin Shakespeare Festival was established in 1989 by Lesley and Robert Currier as a long-awaited replacement for the original Marin Shakespeare Festival, which ceased operations in 1973. Launched in 1990 with a production of As You Like It, the MSF has grown enough to now offer three productions per season – two by Shakespeare and one that usually has nothing at all to do with Shakespeare (Stoppard’s Travesties, Shaffer’s Amadeus, and Moliere’s Don Juan being three recent examples). All of these are played at the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San Raphael, an intimate, 500-seat sunken venue nestled in a copse on the campus of Dominican University. ...more...

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)

(February 17 – November 4, 2012) Theater lovers by the thousands descend on the little mountain town of Ashland every year to take in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the longest-running and most respected of the nation’s many tributes to the Bard. Winner of the 1983 Regional Tony Award, the OSF has dedicated itself to presenting the finest productions of Shakespeare’s work (the entire canon has already been produced three times since OSF’s birth in 1935), plus productions of new plays, revivals, classics of the Western world, and works that reflect the theatrical traditions of other parts of the globe. ...more...

Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

(July 24 – August 26, 2012) The activities of Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) are centered around a summer festival, lasting from July through August each year. It has been held since 1981 on the campus of the University of California Santa Cruz. Professional actors, directors and designers are brought from around the world to interpret Shakespeare’s work with a modern perspective. SSC is a true repertory company, with a core group of actors each appearing in a number of productions throughout the festival season. ...more...

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (Topanga, CA)

(June 4 – October 2, 2012) Named for the veteran actor best known for his role of Grandpa on TV’s The Waltons, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum offers classic works, socially relevant plays, and education programs in a beautiful, natural outdoor sanctuary for the arts. Its main stage amphitheater was renovated in 1997, and in 2001 the company inaugurated a second educational and performance space, The S. Mark Taper Foundation Youth Pavilion. ...more...

Mountain

CSF Logo

Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder, CO)

(June 8 – August 18, 2012) Summer nights are rarely more perfect than those underneath the Colorado skies, so its perhaps only natural that the state should give rise to what Time Magazine has hailed as “One of the top Shakespeare Festivals in the U.S.” Spawned from the 100 year old tradition of ‘commencement time dramas’ held on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the CSF has evolved into a fully operation professional theatre employing over 180 artists each summer, and pulling in as many as 40,000 audience members each season at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. ...more...

Creede Repertory Theatre

Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO)

(June 1 – September 21, 2012) In 1966, Creede Repertory Theatre mounted its first season in an old opera/movie house in this former mining town. The company was founded by 19-year-old Steve Grossman and a dozen of his fellow students from the University of Kansas; their first show, Mr. Roberts, was received with wild enthusiasm by an audience consisting largely of people who had never before seen a live theatrical performance. ...more...

Utah Shakespearean Festival

Utah Shakespearean Festival (Cedar City, UT)

(June 25 – October 20, 2012) In addition to providing wonderful productions of plays by the Bard in the Tudor-inspired Adams Shakespearean Theatre, dramas by other greats at the Randall L. Jones Theatre and readings of new work, the Utah Shakespearean Festival has a host of other activities. There are seminars on theatrical subjects ranging from props to acting, pre-show play talks, scholarly symposia, backstage tours, free access to the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery–and, of course, all of Utah’s breathtaking natural wonders on view in the local resorts and state parks. ...more...

Central

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Alabama Shakespeare Festival (Montgomery, AL)

(Year-round; repertory April 13 – May 20, 2012) From humble beginnings as a summer festival of classical theater held in a stuffy high-school auditorium, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival has become a year-round feast of new plays and musicals, revues, revivals, and, yes, Shakespeare, performed in a two-theater complex situated in the English-style Blount Cultural Park, overlooking a beautiful lake. ...more...

American Players Theatre

American Players Theatre (Spring Green, WI)

(June 9 – October 21, 2012) The American Players Theatre was founded in 1978 by Charles Bright, Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso, a trio of theatrical types on a mission to bring Shakespeare and other theater classics to life in the verdant Wisconsin woods. Situated on a former family farm, the APT is one of those rustic seasonal theater marvels, an experience as much about the location as about the production. ...more...

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Bloomington, IL)

(June 26 – August 10, 2012) Every summer, theatre professionals and interns unite in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois to perform the plays of William Shakespeare and other classics for the entertainment and education of local audiences. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1978 as a partnership between the Illinois State University School of Theatre and the College of Fine Arts; the first season offered 21 performances on the tennis courts of Ewing Manor. ...more...

Texas Shakespeare Festival, June-July

Texas Shakespeare Festival (Kilgore, TX)

(June 28 – July 29, 2012) For over 25 years, the Texas Shakespeare Festival has been a major theatrical outlet for East Coast Texas audiences and artists. Housed on the campus of Kilgore College, TSF presents a summer repertory season of Shakespeare, Moliere, and musical theatre, as well as a yearly children’s production, all performed by a talented resident company of local actors. Recent productions have included 30 plays in the Shakespeare canon, as well as ambitious stagings of works as diverse as Amadeus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Guys and Dolls. The festival also offers summer training programs in performance and stage combat, making it a popular destination for area students. ...more...

Eastern

Adirondack Theatre Festival

Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY)

(June 26 – July 28, 2012) A professional, not-for-profit summer theater located in Glens Falls, NY, the Adirondack Theatre Festival annually presents a six-week season of shows for an audience of more than 6,000, employing professional artists from New York City and across the country. A typical summer season includes three mainstage productions and a new play/musical workshop, as well as a late-night slot for cabaret shows and more adventurous productions. The festival prides itself on producing shows that are never more than five years old, thereby offering upstate audiences recent hits from NYC as well as the latest works of established and emerging writers. ...more...

American Shakespeare Center

American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA)

(Year Round) ‘Tis not London, or even the UK that houses the world’s sole re-creation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre, but the town of Staunton in Virginia’s gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, where the Blackfriars Playhouse has emerged as one of the globe’s most important purveyors (and preservers) of the good Bard’s works. Presenting a year-round season of Shakespeare’s plays in the ‘original environment’ in which they were first presented, theatrical productions at the Blackfriars are a totally unique event. ...more...

appfest

Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (Abingdon, VA)

(July 6 – August 11, 2012) Presented by the Barter Theatre, the annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights celebrates the Appalachian tradition by showcasing the stories of the region, both past and present. The Barter Theatre was founded at the height of the Great Depression by actor Robert Porterfield, who had the ingenious idea that the people of Southwest Virginia might be willing to barter produce from their farms and gardens to gain admission to see a play. When the theater opened on June 20, 1933, the price of admission was 40 cents or an equivalent amount of produce. ...more...

Barrington Stage Company

Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, MA)

(May 23 – October 21, 2012) The Barrington Stage Company has, in less than two decades, become one of the premier summer theater festivals in America. The Stage’s philosophy is three-fold: it aims to produce top-notch mainstage work while at the same time developing new plays and musicals and finding new and compelling ways to get people, especially young people, interested in the theater. ...more...

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Berkshire Theatre Festival (Pittsfield/Stockbridge, MA)

(June 21 – September 1, 2012) Founded in 1928, the Berkshire Theatre Festival is one of the longest running theatrical entities in the country. Now encompassing two full seasons (a mainstage and secondary Unicorn stage for more experimental works), the BTF presents a fully realized offering of world premieres, new and classic plays, and musicals each year between the months of June and October. ...more...

Contemporary American Theater Festival

Contemporary American Theater Festival (Shepherdstown, WV)

(July 4 –July 29, 2012) Proudly proclaiming themselves as ‘the summer home for the American playwright,’ CATF eschews the tradition of outdoor Shakespeare for a bold lineup of daring and fearlessly produced new works. For twenty years, the Festival’s five show repertory season has included an impressive list of area and world premiere stagings by a diverse group of contemporary writers, from Sam Shepard to Lee Blessing and Joyce Carol Oates. ...more...

Goodspeed Musicals

Goodspeed Musicals (East Haddam, CT)

(April 20 – December 9, 2012) More than 130 years after its debut performance, the Victorian landmark that spawned the original productions of Man of La ManchaAnnie andShenandoah is still a vital center for musical theatre. Bringing together classic and forgotten works from the golden age of Broadway with promising projects still in development, the Goodspeed has become a regular home-away-from-home for the best of New York’s creative talents. ...more...

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Garrison, NY)

(June 12 – September 2, 2012) From its humble beginnings on a rainy field fifty miles north of Manhattan to its current dramatic home under a theatrical tent on a gorgeous Hudson River estate, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has grown to encompass a thriving three-show summer season uniting the stories of Shakespeare with the great outdoors and big time audience draw (over 32,000 patrons in 2006 alone). ...more...

Jenny Wiley Theatre

Jenny Wiley Theatre (Prestonsburg, KY)

(June 15 – August 11, 2012) This company was born in 1965 when a small group of performers from Paintsville, Kentucky presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park amphitheater, which had been constructed as a home for historical dramas of the Big Sandy region (and, in particular, the legend of pioneer woman Jenny Wiley). ...more...

New York Musical Theatre Festival

New York Musical Theatre Festival (New York, NY)

(July 9 – July 29, 2012)

New York Musical Theatre Festival Information

Venues: 47th Street Theatre (304 West 47th Street); The Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street); TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street); McGinn/Cazale Theatre (2162 Broadway); The Theatre at Saint Clements (423 West 46th Street)
Public Transportation: All venues are easily accessible by both bus and subway
Handicapped Accessibility: Good at all venues
Performances/Programs: More than 30 new musicals, plus well over …more…

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (Center Valley, PA)

(June 1 – August 5, 2012) Founded in 1992, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is a professional theatre company in residence at DeSales University. Each summer, PSF produces a season of Shakespeare and other classics, musical theatre, and children’s shows. Located about an hour north of Philadelphia and less than two hours from Manhattan, the festival is a summer home to approximately 150 artists from around the U.S., including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards. ...more...

Powerhouse Theater Festival

Powerhouse Theater (Poughkeepsie, NY)

(June 22 – July 29, 2012) Operating as a partnership between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College, the Powerhouse Theater Festival has taken over Vassar’s campus every summer since 1985 for two months of plays and musicals in formats ranging from workshops to full-scale stage productions. No slouch when it comes to quality, over its history the Powerhouse has premiered fourteen different works by Pulitzer winner John Patrick Shanley, along with the apprentice work of dozens of other budding theatrical heavyweights – Christopher Durang, Steve Martin, Theresa Rebeck and Eric Bogosian among them. ...more...

ShakespeareAndCompany

Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA)

(May 25 – September 2, 2012) Founded in 1978 and now launching its 34th season in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts in Lenox, Shakespeare & Company has a core group of more than 150 artists who receive in-depth training in classical performance style and methods. In addition to its presentation of works by the Bard, the company develops and produces new plays of social and political significance, and its educational programs seek to inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in the modern world. ...more...

Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park (New York, NY)

(June 5 – August 25, 2012) Every summer, the Public Theater takes its act uptown, bringing theater to all of New York with its free productions at the Delacorte Theatre in gorgeous Central Park. Shakespeare in the Park (formerly called the New York Shakespeare Festival) usually consists of two productions; one is always a play by the Bard and the other is usually either something from the classical repertoire or a modern classic. ...more...

Shaw Festival

Shaw Festival (Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario)

(April 10 – October 28, 2012) There are many many Shakespeares out there, but there’s only one Shaw Festival. Located at gorgeous Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw Festival is inspired by the work of the brilliant dramatist George Bernard Shaw. His writings are the focus of this annual Ontario theater festival, which is also dedicated to producing plays by Shaw’s contemporaries, as well as modern works set during the period of his long life, which lasted from 1856 to 1950. Only at the Shaw Festival will you see authentic spare-no-expense productions of Victorian dramas, rediscovered classics, and Canadian plays that otherwise go unproduced, either because they’ve been unjustly forgotten over the years or because most theater companies don’t have the resources necessary to put them on stage. ...more...

Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Ontario)

(April 12 – October 28, 2012) While not to be confused with the place of William Shakespeare’s birth, Stratford, Ontario, has nonetheless made the most of its name by birthing Canada’s most celebrated annual festival, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Stratford presents plays by the Bard, dramas from Euripides to Beckett, classic musicals, and new plays in rep from April to November each year, with workshops, discussion groups, lectures, and concerts adding to the festive atmosphere. ...more...

Theater at Monmouth

Theater at Monmouth (Monmouth, ME)

(June 23 – September 30, 2012) The Theater at Monmouth is a year-round repertory company of professional artists. Founded in 1970, it was named The Shakespearean Theater of Maine by the state legislature in 1975. Performances are held in Cumston Hall, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings since 1976. TAM’s goal is to bring innovative approaches to Shakespearean works as well as to other classic plays ...more...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA)

(June 26 – August 19, 2012) Housed on the lush grounds of Williams College, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has become the “must-go” summer destination for savvy theatregoers seeking both excellence in theatre and the treat of experiencing some of their favorite star actors taking a turn on the stage. Winner of the 2002 regional theatre Tony Award, Williamstown has over the course of its 50 year history produced acclaimed work that has gone on to success in New York and throughout the United States. ...more...

Pacific

idashaks

Idaho Shakespeare Festival (Boise, ID)

(June 1 – September 29, 2012) Despite its title, the Idaho Shakespeare Festival is not devoted exclusively to plays by the Bard; its repertory includes works from various dramatic periods and genres, and it also serves as an artistic home for emerging regional and national playwrights. Performances are given in a 760-seat, state-of-the-art amphitheater on the site of a habitat reserve that is home to a wide variety of plants and animals including deer, heron, ducks, geese, and the occasional fox. The William Shakespeare Park offers picnicking and river viewing areas; food and beverages are available at Café Shakespeare. ...more...

Marin Shakespeare Festival

Marin Shakespeare Festival (San Rafael, CA)

(July 6 – September 30, 2012) The Marin Shakespeare Festival was established in 1989 by Lesley and Robert Currier as a long-awaited replacement for the original Marin Shakespeare Festival, which ceased operations in 1973. Launched in 1990 with a production of As You Like It, the MSF has grown enough to now offer three productions per season – two by Shakespeare and one that usually has nothing at all to do with Shakespeare (Stoppard’s Travesties, Shaffer’s Amadeus, and Moliere’s Don Juan being three recent examples). All of these are played at the Forest Meadows Amphitheatre in San Raphael, an intimate, 500-seat sunken venue nestled in a copse on the campus of Dominican University. ...more...

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR)

(February 17 – November 4, 2012) Theater lovers by the thousands descend on the little mountain town of Ashland every year to take in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, one of the longest-running and most respected of the nation’s many tributes to the Bard. Winner of the 1983 Regional Tony Award, the OSF has dedicated itself to presenting the finest productions of Shakespeare’s work (the entire canon has already been produced three times since OSF’s birth in 1935), plus productions of new plays, revivals, classics of the Western world, and works that reflect the theatrical traditions of other parts of the globe. ...more...

Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Shakespeare Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)

(July 24 – August 26, 2012) The activities of Shakespeare Santa Cruz (SSC) are centered around a summer festival, lasting from July through August each year. It has been held since 1981 on the campus of the University of California Santa Cruz. Professional actors, directors and designers are brought from around the world to interpret Shakespeare’s work with a modern perspective. SSC is a true repertory company, with a core group of actors each appearing in a number of productions throughout the festival season. ...more...

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum

Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum (Topanga, CA)

(June 4 – October 2, 2012) Named for the veteran actor best known for his role of Grandpa on TV’s The Waltons, the Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum offers classic works, socially relevant plays, and education programs in a beautiful, natural outdoor sanctuary for the arts. Its main stage amphitheater was renovated in 1997, and in 2001 the company inaugurated a second educational and performance space, The S. Mark Taper Foundation Youth Pavilion. ...more...

Mountain

CSF Logo

Colorado Shakespeare Festival (Boulder, CO)

(June 8 – August 18, 2012) Summer nights are rarely more perfect than those underneath the Colorado skies, so its perhaps only natural that the state should give rise to what Time Magazine has hailed as “One of the top Shakespeare Festivals in the U.S.” Spawned from the 100 year old tradition of ‘commencement time dramas’ held on the campus of the University of Colorado at Boulder, the CSF has evolved into a fully operation professional theatre employing over 180 artists each summer, and pulling in as many as 40,000 audience members each season at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre. ...more...

Creede Repertory Theatre

Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO)

(June 1 – September 21, 2012) In 1966, Creede Repertory Theatre mounted its first season in an old opera/movie house in this former mining town. The company was founded by 19-year-old Steve Grossman and a dozen of his fellow students from the University of Kansas; their first show, Mr. Roberts, was received with wild enthusiasm by an audience consisting largely of people who had never before seen a live theatrical performance. ...more...

Utah Shakespearean Festival

Utah Shakespearean Festival (Cedar City, UT)

(June 25 – October 20, 2012) In addition to providing wonderful productions of plays by the Bard in the Tudor-inspired Adams Shakespearean Theatre, dramas by other greats at the Randall L. Jones Theatre and readings of new work, the Utah Shakespearean Festival has a host of other activities. There are seminars on theatrical subjects ranging from props to acting, pre-show play talks, scholarly symposia, backstage tours, free access to the Braithwaite Fine Arts Gallery–and, of course, all of Utah’s breathtaking natural wonders on view in the local resorts and state parks. ...more...

Central

Alabama Shakespeare Festival

Alabama Shakespeare Festival (Montgomery, AL)

(Year-round; repertory April 13 – May 20, 2012) From humble beginnings as a summer festival of classical theater held in a stuffy high-school auditorium, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival has become a year-round feast of new plays and musicals, revues, revivals, and, yes, Shakespeare, performed in a two-theater complex situated in the English-style Blount Cultural Park, overlooking a beautiful lake. ...more...

American Players Theatre

American Players Theatre (Spring Green, WI)

(June 9 – October 21, 2012) The American Players Theatre was founded in 1978 by Charles Bright, Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso, a trio of theatrical types on a mission to bring Shakespeare and other theater classics to life in the verdant Wisconsin woods. Situated on a former family farm, the APT is one of those rustic seasonal theater marvels, an experience as much about the location as about the production. ...more...

Illinois Shakespeare Festival

Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Bloomington, IL)

(June 26 – August 10, 2012) Every summer, theatre professionals and interns unite in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois to perform the plays of William Shakespeare and other classics for the entertainment and education of local audiences. The Illinois Shakespeare Festival was founded in 1978 as a partnership between the Illinois State University School of Theatre and the College of Fine Arts; the first season offered 21 performances on the tennis courts of Ewing Manor. ...more...

Texas Shakespeare Festival, June-July

Texas Shakespeare Festival (Kilgore, TX)

(June 28 – July 29, 2012) For over 25 years, the Texas Shakespeare Festival has been a major theatrical outlet for East Coast Texas audiences and artists. Housed on the campus of Kilgore College, TSF presents a summer repertory season of Shakespeare, Moliere, and musical theatre, as well as a yearly children’s production, all performed by a talented resident company of local actors. Recent productions have included 30 plays in the Shakespeare canon, as well as ambitious stagings of works as diverse as Amadeus, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Guys and Dolls. The festival also offers summer training programs in performance and stage combat, making it a popular destination for area students. ...more...

Eastern

Adirondack Theatre Festival

Adirondack Theatre Festival (Glens Falls, NY)

(June 26 – July 28, 2012) A professional, not-for-profit summer theater located in Glens Falls, NY, the Adirondack Theatre Festival annually presents a six-week season of shows for an audience of more than 6,000, employing professional artists from New York City and across the country. A typical summer season includes three mainstage productions and a new play/musical workshop, as well as a late-night slot for cabaret shows and more adventurous productions. The festival prides itself on producing shows that are never more than five years old, thereby offering upstate audiences recent hits from NYC as well as the latest works of established and emerging writers. ...more...

American Shakespeare Center

American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA)

(Year Round) ‘Tis not London, or even the UK that houses the world’s sole re-creation of Shakespeare’s original indoor theatre, but the town of Staunton in Virginia’s gorgeous Shenandoah Valley, where the Blackfriars Playhouse has emerged as one of the globe’s most important purveyors (and preservers) of the good Bard’s works. Presenting a year-round season of Shakespeare’s plays in the ‘original environment’ in which they were first presented, theatrical productions at the Blackfriars are a totally unique event. ...more...

appfest

Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights (Abingdon, VA)

(July 6 – August 11, 2012) Presented by the Barter Theatre, the annual Appalachian Festival of Plays and Playwrights celebrates the Appalachian tradition by showcasing the stories of the region, both past and present. The Barter Theatre was founded at the height of the Great Depression by actor Robert Porterfield, who had the ingenious idea that the people of Southwest Virginia might be willing to barter produce from their farms and gardens to gain admission to see a play. When the theater opened on June 20, 1933, the price of admission was 40 cents or an equivalent amount of produce. ...more...

Barrington Stage Company

Barrington Stage Company (Pittsfield, MA)

(May 23 – October 21, 2012) The Barrington Stage Company has, in less than two decades, become one of the premier summer theater festivals in America. The Stage’s philosophy is three-fold: it aims to produce top-notch mainstage work while at the same time developing new plays and musicals and finding new and compelling ways to get people, especially young people, interested in the theater. ...more...

Berkshire Theatre Festival

Berkshire Theatre Festival (Pittsfield/Stockbridge, MA)

(June 21 – September 1, 2012) Founded in 1928, the Berkshire Theatre Festival is one of the longest running theatrical entities in the country. Now encompassing two full seasons (a mainstage and secondary Unicorn stage for more experimental works), the BTF presents a fully realized offering of world premieres, new and classic plays, and musicals each year between the months of June and October. ...more...

Contemporary American Theater Festival

Contemporary American Theater Festival (Shepherdstown, WV)

(July 4 –July 29, 2012) Proudly proclaiming themselves as ‘the summer home for the American playwright,’ CATF eschews the tradition of outdoor Shakespeare for a bold lineup of daring and fearlessly produced new works. For twenty years, the Festival’s five show repertory season has included an impressive list of area and world premiere stagings by a diverse group of contemporary writers, from Sam Shepard to Lee Blessing and Joyce Carol Oates. ...more...

Goodspeed Musicals

Goodspeed Musicals (East Haddam, CT)

(April 20 – December 9, 2012) More than 130 years after its debut performance, the Victorian landmark that spawned the original productions of Man of La ManchaAnnie andShenandoah is still a vital center for musical theatre. Bringing together classic and forgotten works from the golden age of Broadway with promising projects still in development, the Goodspeed has become a regular home-away-from-home for the best of New York’s creative talents. ...more...

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Garrison, NY)

(June 12 – September 2, 2012) From its humble beginnings on a rainy field fifty miles north of Manhattan to its current dramatic home under a theatrical tent on a gorgeous Hudson River estate, the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival has grown to encompass a thriving three-show summer season uniting the stories of Shakespeare with the great outdoors and big time audience draw (over 32,000 patrons in 2006 alone). ...more...

Jenny Wiley Theatre

Jenny Wiley Theatre (Prestonsburg, KY)

(June 15 – August 11, 2012) This company was born in 1965 when a small group of performers from Paintsville, Kentucky presented Rodgers and Hammerstein’s South Pacific in the Jenny Wiley State Resort Park amphitheater, which had been constructed as a home for historical dramas of the Big Sandy region (and, in particular, the legend of pioneer woman Jenny Wiley). ...more...

New York Musical Theatre Festival

New York Musical Theatre Festival (New York, NY)

(July 9 – July 29, 2012)

New York Musical Theatre Festival Information

Venues: 47th Street Theatre (304 West 47th Street); The Peter Norton Space (555 West 42nd Street); TBG Theater (312 West 36th Street); McGinn/Cazale Theatre (2162 Broadway); The Theatre at Saint Clements (423 West 46th Street)
Public Transportation: All venues are easily accessible by both bus and subway
Handicapped Accessibility: Good at all venues
Performances/Programs: More than 30 new musicals, plus well over …more…

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (Center Valley, PA)

(June 1 – August 5, 2012) Founded in 1992, the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is a professional theatre company in residence at DeSales University. Each summer, PSF produces a season of Shakespeare and other classics, musical theatre, and children’s shows. Located about an hour north of Philadelphia and less than two hours from Manhattan, the festival is a summer home to approximately 150 artists from around the U.S., including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards. ...more...

Powerhouse Theater Festival

Powerhouse Theater (Poughkeepsie, NY)

(June 22 – July 29, 2012) Operating as a partnership between New York Stage and Film and Vassar College, the Powerhouse Theater Festival has taken over Vassar’s campus every summer since 1985 for two months of plays and musicals in formats ranging from workshops to full-scale stage productions. No slouch when it comes to quality, over its history the Powerhouse has premiered fourteen different works by Pulitzer winner John Patrick Shanley, along with the apprentice work of dozens of other budding theatrical heavyweights – Christopher Durang, Steve Martin, Theresa Rebeck and Eric Bogosian among them. ...more...

ShakespeareAndCompany

Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA)

(May 25 – September 2, 2012) Founded in 1978 and now launching its 34th season in the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts in Lenox, Shakespeare & Company has a core group of more than 150 artists who receive in-depth training in classical performance style and methods. In addition to its presentation of works by the Bard, the company develops and produces new plays of social and political significance, and its educational programs seek to inspire a new generation of students and scholars to discover the resonance of Shakespeare’s truths in the modern world. ...more...

Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park (New York, NY)

(June 5 – August 25, 2012) Every summer, the Public Theater takes its act uptown, bringing theater to all of New York with its free productions at the Delacorte Theatre in gorgeous Central Park. Shakespeare in the Park (formerly called the New York Shakespeare Festival) usually consists of two productions; one is always a play by the Bard and the other is usually either something from the classical repertoire or a modern classic. ...more...

Shaw Festival

Shaw Festival (Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario)

(April 10 – October 28, 2012) There are many many Shakespeares out there, but there’s only one Shaw Festival. Located at gorgeous Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Shaw Festival is inspired by the work of the brilliant dramatist George Bernard Shaw. His writings are the focus of this annual Ontario theater festival, which is also dedicated to producing plays by Shaw’s contemporaries, as well as modern works set during the period of his long life, which lasted from 1856 to 1950. Only at the Shaw Festival will you see authentic spare-no-expense productions of Victorian dramas, rediscovered classics, and Canadian plays that otherwise go unproduced, either because they’ve been unjustly forgotten over the years or because most theater companies don’t have the resources necessary to put them on stage. ...more...

Stratford Shakespeare Festival

Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Stratford, Ontario)

(April 12 – October 28, 2012) While not to be confused with the place of William Shakespeare’s birth, Stratford, Ontario, has nonetheless made the most of its name by birthing Canada’s most celebrated annual festival, the Stratford Shakespeare Festival. Stratford presents plays by the Bard, dramas from Euripides to Beckett, classic musicals, and new plays in rep from April to November each year, with workshops, discussion groups, lectures, and concerts adding to the festive atmosphere. ...more...

Theater at Monmouth

Theater at Monmouth (Monmouth, ME)

(June 23 – September 30, 2012) The Theater at Monmouth is a year-round repertory company of professional artists. Founded in 1970, it was named The Shakespearean Theater of Maine by the state legislature in 1975. Performances are held in Cumston Hall, which has been listed on the National Register of Historic Buildings since 1976. TAM’s goal is to bring innovative approaches to Shakespearean works as well as to other classic plays ...more...

Williamstown Theatre Festival

Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA)

(June 26 – August 19, 2012) Housed on the lush grounds of Williams College, the Williamstown Theatre Festival has become the “must-go” summer destination for savvy theatregoers seeking both excellence in theatre and the treat of experiencing some of their favorite star actors taking a turn on the stage. Winner of the 2002 regional theatre Tony Award, Williamstown has over the course of its 50 year history produced acclaimed work that has gone on to success in New York and throughout the United States. ...more...