Take advantage of the gorgeous weather this summer and fall by taking in a performance at one of the Pittsburgh Area’s outdoor theaters. Performances of everything from serious Shakespeare plays to fun and goofy children’s shows are available in parks and neighborhoods all over the city. All of the shows offer free or very budget-friendly ticket prices. Pack a picnic, grab some lawn chairs and blankets and spend a relaxing hour or two being entertained. Expand your theatre interests further and participate in one of the featured summer theatre camps.
Sweetwater Center For The Arts
200 Broad St.
Sewickley, PA 15143
Head just a few minutes outside of the city to Sewickley for the Sweetwater Center for the Arts, located in the old, stately Sewickley Post Office Building. This organization works to bring children and adults in the community a wide variety of art through classes, performances and community activism. The Summer Music Series takes the performances outdoors to Wilcott Park. In addition to the performances, food vendors will be located throughout the town center and local businesses stay open to encourage patronage. Organizers suggest bringing a chair and sitting back at the center of town for these free performances on Fridays throughout the month of June. In the case of rain, performances will be moved to the Sweetwater Center for the Arts.
Pittsburgh Shakespeare In The Parks
Various city park locations
Celebrating its eighth year, Pittsburgh Shakespeare in the Parks brings the bard to the masses in city parks like Frick Park, Mellon Park and Kennard Park each fall. Past performances have included “The Tempest,” “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Twelfth Night.” The performances are free to the public. In addition to the regular performances, this year the group is also offering a theatre fencing class hosted by the En Garde Fencing Club for children aged 8 to 16 from June 24-28. Students will learn the art of theatrical fencing and will perform a staged sword fight scene from “Romeo and Juliet” that is abridged to keep the subject matter appropriate for the age group. Visit steelonstage.blogspot.com for more information and to download the form required to register.
South Park Theatre
P.O. Box 133
South Park, PA 15129
Boasting eight main stages and four children’s theatre stages, South Park Theatre prides itself on bringing fun, affordable theatrical performances to the community. Fans of the theatre are encouraged to audition for performances at the beginning of each season in an effort to foster a deep actor base and also to attract new directors and set designers. Children’s theatre tickets are just $2, non-musical adult theatre tickets are $12 and musicals are $15. Visit the website for a full schedule of musical and non-musical performances for adults and shows for kids. The season kicks off with the classic “Rumplestiltskin,” which runs June 17 through 26. South Park Theatre also hosts a children’s summer theatre camp June 24-28 and again July 1-3. Call the theatre’s main office number to get more information and to register.
Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at twodaymag.com. Her work can be found at Twodaymag.com.