Seattle Shakespeare Cancels Their Outdoor Summer Program, Wooden O

Alan Alabastro

Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Wooden O was scheduled to run July 9–August 9, and present The Comedy of Errors and Othello.

A day after Washington Governor Inslee announced the extension of the stay-at-home order and the multi-staged plan for the summer months, Seattle Shakespeare has announced that their free Shakespeare in the park program, Wooden O, is canceled. Although expected, it is just one more disappointment of our current reality.

Seattle Shakespeare Artistic Director George Mount sited the health and wellbeing of patrons, artists and staff to be paramount, even if it means canceling their entire summer of performances.

However, Mount hinted that audiences should still expect some form of entertainment from Seattle Shakespeare, stating, “We do hold out hope that some make-shift, impromptu, pop-up events or online surprises could happen, if safe conditions and guidelines allow. Stay tuned for any and everything. As we’ve all experienced in the last several weeks, things change rapidly and often unexpectedly.”

Twenty-six years ago, Wooden O had its inaugural season with three performances of Much Ado About Nothing at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island. Since then it has grown, now touring 14 different parks around the region from Everett to Tacoma. Last summer, Wooden O performed to more than 12,000 patrons over two months—all free of charge.

As daunting as current circumstances may be, for audiences and the theatre, Seattle Shakespeare is looking forward to the summer of 2021, when they will perform the plays they planned for this year, The Comedy of Errors and Othello. So let’s look forward with them, to a time when we can pack a picnic basket, spread out a blanket, and enjoy a performance of Shakespeare in our beautiful parks.

During this difficult time, theatres are being hit especially hard. Seattle Shakespeare Company is currently throwing their annual fundraiser, Bill’s Bash. Now through May 4, you can make a donation, host a mini-bash with your friends, and register for the silent auction. The live auction and celebration will take place on May 3 at 5:30 p.m.