The view of the Delacorte amphitheater from Belvedere Castle in Central Park. Shutterstock.

It has been a year since theatres around the world closed their doors and canceled productions in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. While online theatre has opened up new possibilities for creators and viewers everywhere, we can’t help but long for theatre seating, the lights flashing for intermission, and collecting tickets and playbills. Luckily theatres around the world are working hard to bring at least one kind of theater back this year. We’re going outside!

First to return is Shakespeare in the Park which is coming back to New York’s Central Park starting July 5 with an adaptation of Merry Wives of Windsor. Adapted by Jocelyn Bioh, Merry Wives brings the wives from Windsor to South Harlem to tell the story of a community of West African immigrants.

New York isn’t the only city bringing the Bard back. The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival is working on a production of King Lear expected to come to Forest Park. The production will run from June 2 to 27 and stars Tony Award winner André De Shields. They are also touring public parks to bring a 90-minute adaptation of Othello to audiences for free and visiting The Ville neighborhood from September 9 to 11 for a Shakespeare in the Streets adaptation of Hamlet by writer Mariah L. Richardson and director Thomasina Clark.

We’re excited to see theatres find ways to make the summer even more fun by bringing plays (and maybe musicals?) outside! Is Shakespeare coming to a park near you? If not, you could always grab some friends and your favorite blanket to deliver monologues in the park or even your front yard.