inTO: Outdoor Theatre

Outdoor Theatre in Toronto is one of the best things about summer in the city

The outdoor theatre for Shakespeare in High Park is a wonderful place to pack a picnic and relax.

The outdoor theatre for Shakespeare in High Park is a wonderful place to pack a picnic and relax.

It’s summer time, and with that brings some very cool (and affordable) outdoor theatrical opportunities for all to enjoy. And, for those that are a little low in the pocket, all of the shows are pay-what-you-can.

Shakespeare in High Park
Take a trip out to the west end of Toronto, and experience Canadian Stage’s Shakespeare in High Park. This summer you can enjoy what is perhaps the bloodiest of the Bard’s works, the tragedy Titus Andronicus, or if you’re in the mood for something light-hearted, drop by for As You Like It.

There’s something very Romantic and magical about watching theatre in an open air environment,  with the warm breeze, scent of the forest and sounds of nature playing their own parts in the experience. TO make the most of the evening, pack a blanket and a nice picnic, get to the park early, spread your things out and take it all in.

The productions run on alternating nights under the stars with As You Like It running on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and Titus Andronicus running on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday at 8 p.m. through Aug. 31. Both performances run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Shakespeare in High Park. High Park Amphitheatre (1873 Bloor St. W.)

Kaeja d’Dance: Porch View Dances
Porch View Dances, on an extremely short run, is perhaps one of the coolest things you’ll experience in outdoor theatre.  Conceived by Karen Kaeja and developed with Allen Kaeja, audiences are led through a Seaton Village neighbourhood while they watch four ordinary families (with little to no theatrical or dance backgrounds) perform on porches, front lawns and gardens. It’s a wonderfully put together community initiative ending with a celebratory Flock Landing finale in Vermont Square Park.

Porch View Dances’ inaugural 2012 presentation was named Best Site Specific Work by the Globe and Mail, and was bestowed the I love dance/J’aime la danse Community Award by the Canadian Dance Assembly. The show is choreographed by Peter Chin, Lauren Cook, Allen Kaeja, Karen Kaeja, Louis Laberge-Côté and Brandy Leary.

This is one show you’ll not want to miss.

Porch View Dances. July 16-20, 2014 – Performances Wed-Sat at 7pm, Sun at 4pm

Beau Dixon is engrossing as Aaron in Titus Andronicus.

Beau Dixon is engrossing as Aaron in Titus Andronicus.

The Bard’s Bus Tour: The Tempest
Driftwood Theatre turns 20 this year, making them the longest running outdoor touring theatre company in Ontario. They bring the magical tale of Shakespeare’s The Tempest to celebrate their momentous anniversary to the city this summer.

“Driftwood has been blessed over the course of its 20-year history with an incredible family of artists, supporters and audiences who make it possible for us to bring the works of history’s greatest playwright to life in the twilight enchantment of a summer evening,” says Artistic Director D. Jeremy Smith, “and so our 20th season puts the spotlight on family as we seek to understand the bonds which hold us together, the responsibility we owe to those we love (and love to hate), and the legacies we strive to pass on to our future generations.”

Be sure to visit Driftwood’s website to find out what other fun things they have in store for audiences this summer in honour of their spectacular 20 years in the province and the Bard’s 450th birthday. This is another great event to pack your blanket and picnic basket for.

For the theatre fan, Driftwood certainly delivers “such stuff that dreams are made on.”

Driftwood Theatre’s The Tempest plays through August 17th. If you’re in Toronto, you can catch it at Todmorden Mills and Withrow Park. For other cities, locations and further details, visit www.driftwoodtheatre.com/bards-bus-tour.

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