Although Gov. Jay Inslee has announced plans to fully reopen the state by June 30, many local theaters and performing arts companies won’t be opening for indoor, in-person audiences until the fall.  

But that doesn’t mean fans have to wait for live performances. As summer approaches and the weather gets warmer, several local performing arts groups are planning outdoor productions. Many are still limiting attendance and observing various COVID-19 safety protocols. 

From Shakespeare in the Park to opera recitals, here are some of the outdoor performances happening this summer. As with any event, things are subject to change, so it’s best to check websites or call ahead to confirm. 

“Songs of Summer Live” presented by Seattle Opera 

Seattle Opera’s first outdoor recital series features artists John Marzano (5 p.m. June 11), Margaret Gawrysiak (2 p.m. June 13) and Robert McPherson, aka The Drunken Tenor (8 p.m. June 11, 5 p.m. June 13).

Located on the south side of the Opera Center at 363 Mercer St., Seattle; $25 per pod (fits two chairs; bring your own chairs); 206-389-7676; Masks and social distancing required, reservations required in advance. 

“Star Play” and “Dears in Headlights” presented by Dacha Theatre

Dacha Theatre presents two original works at select parks around the Seattle area. A galactic adventure great for younger audiences, “Star Play” follows the story of Pleione, an embodiment of one of the stars of the Pleiades star cluster, as she attempts to save the giant Betelgeuse from going supernova. “Dears in Headlights” is the theater’s first drive-in play (there will be viewing options for those without cars), featuring an FM radio soundtrack.


“Star Play” opens July 23 and “Dears in Headlights” opens July 30 at selected Seattle parks to be announced; $1-$50, pay what you can; COVID-19 safety requirements to be announced. 

GreenStage’s Shakespeare in the Park

For its 33rd Shakespeare in the Park season, GreenStage performs “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and abridged versions of “Twelfth Night” and “The Tempest.”

July 9-Aug. 14; various locations; free; 206-748-1552; Masks and social distancing required.

Vashon Repertory Theatre Fest

This theater festival on Vashon Island features more than 30 staged performances outdoors, including Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” Woody Guthrie’s “American Song,” UMO Ensemble’s “Fail Better” and readings of original works. 

July 22-Aug. 1; various locations; $15-$20 per show; 206-769-6029; Attendance limited to 100 people per performance, observance of safety protocols required.

“The Comedy of Errors” presented by Seattle Shakespeare Company

Seattle Shakespeare Company describes this production of “The Comedy of Errors,” directed by George Mount, as a “lean production” with “seat-of-your-pants storytelling.” Five actors play multiple roles, sometimes in the same scene.   


July 23-Aug. 8 at select parks to be announced; ticket price to be announced; 206-733-8222; Audience members will be asked to abide by COVID-19 safety protocols outlined by Inslee’s office at the time of production.

“Caravan Chronicles” presented by theater simple 

When audience members approach the vintage trailer that serves as the stage for theater simple’s “Caravan Chronicles,” they become part of the story — that is, part of the quirky family reunion that “Caravan Chronicles” sets up. Audience members contribute their own stories and ideas as the play unfolds, and get to know a thing or two about their fellow participants along the way. 

Aug. 14-15; location, ticket price and COVID-19 safety requirements to be announced; 206-784-8647;

“Marisol” by José Rivera, presented by The Williams Project

At a time when we’re just beginning to emerge from quarantine and still battling a pandemic, José Rivera’s “Marisol” might be just the thing we need. Set in the end times in the Bronx in New York City, “Marisol” tells the story of a young Puerto Rican woman who may be the key to saving the world. “It’s just about the only play that — artistically — gets better if everyone wears a mask,” says The Williams Project’s website. 

Dates and location to be announced; pay what you can; 206-494-5364; Masks and social distancing required. 

Whim W’Him summer pop-ups

Local dance company Whim W’Him plans to present free performances at a variety of local parks and other locations in August, similar to the pop-ups it performed last year.

Dates, locations, details of performances and COVID-19 safety requirements to be announced; free;

Seattle Times arts critic Moira Macdonald contributed to this report.

This story has been updated with the correct dates for “Star Play” and “Dears in Headlights” presented by Dacha Theatre. Due to incorrect information received by The Seattle Times, a previous version of this article included incorrect dates.