Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Photo Credit: ThinkStock

Outdoor theatre is a great way to experience performances in a natural setting this summer. As warm weather sets in, take in a local theatrical event portrayed by actors within the local community. Many performances are directed by seasoned professionals and are produced by professional theatre companies. Whether in the mood for a musical or a classic Shakespeare production, these outdoor theatres offer the best options in the Metro Detroit area.

Nichols Arboretum
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 647-7600

Date: June 6 through 9, 13 through 16, 20 through 23

Experience nature and live performance together at the Nichols Arboretum. These well-attended outdoor performances are held on the grounds of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum on the University of Michigan campus. An enchanting setting to watch classic live performance, this endless landscape of regional trees and flowers creates an unparalleled venue. University of Michigan students, professors and community members put on the plays and pride themselves on the interactive nature of the shows. This summer, the actors will perform Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” with direction from Kate Mendeloff. Tickets are available only on the day of the performance.

Related: Best Outdoor Concerts To Look Forward To This Summer Near Detroit

Starr Jaycee Park
Royal Oak, MI 48067
(248) 246-3000

Just 20 minutes outside Detroit, Starr Jaycee Park, the largest park in Royal Oak, will feature three weeks of live theatre entertainment this summer during its Shakespeare in the Park event. In past years, the park has shown everything from comedic performances to dramatic plays; this year’s performances include “The Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Much Ado about Nothing.” All plays include actors from Water Works Theatre Company, which creates the stages specifically for these events. The company also offers workshops for kids of all ages to learn acting skills. Bonus: adult beverages are available for purchase at the performances for the first time this year, although you still can’t bring your own. Plus, before the performances, hang out in the park and play volleyball or frisbee golf or relax while the kids hang out on the play structure.

Genesee County Parks
6140 Bray Road
Flint, MI 48505
(800) 648-7275

Theatre in our Parks is slated for its 10th year and provides a variety of live performance in local parks. From fairy tales and musicals to classic Shakespeare, the Kearsley Park Players will be performing live shows during the summer . Performances are under the direction of Kay Kelley and include “Sleeping Beauty,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Fiddler on the Roof.” These wonderful shows in serene settings can be enjoyed by all age ranges. Plus, if the kids see these performances and get inspired to try acting, they can head to the Acting OUT with Flint Youth Theatre workshops, also hosted in the Genesee County Parks. Whatever the event, the everyone is guaranteed to enjoy their time in the parks.

Related: Best Directors In The Local Theater Scene In Detroit

After receiving a BA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design, Nicole Wrona began working with a diverse range of musicians. In addition, she is a freelance writer for numerous publications. Her work can be found at and