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The Ultimate Guide

During the summer, the expression “go out and play” takes on a whole new meaning, thanks to these annual theatrical events. Read more

Shakespeare in Delaware Park / Delaware Park

The most popular and egalitarian of Buffalo’s independent local theater companies, Shakespeare in Delaware Park features two productions each season. For many theatergoers, the event is at least as much about the play as the atmosphere, so bring a blanket, a bottle or two of wine and something to eat to go along with the iambic pentameter. And get there early, as the primo spots fill up fast.

Shaw Festival / Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont.

With ten shows running in repertory throughout the summer and into the fall, a trip to picturesque Niagara-on-the-Lake’s Shaw Festival is a must for any avid theater fan. The festival, spread across four theaters, tries to strike a balance between classics by its namesake George Bernard Shaw, with important dramas and comedies by his contemporaries, musicals and contemporary Canadian and American drama.

Infringement Festival / various locations

For the adventurous in spirit, the annual Buffalo Infringement Festival offers dozens of theater pieces from companies and actors both new and established. You could watch a play in someone’s driveway, or follow a troupe of actors around Allentown. However you participate in the festival’s many theater offerings, you’re not likely to forget it any time soon.

Chautauqua Theater Company / Chautauqua Institution

Under the direction of Vivienne Benesch, the Chautauqua Institution’s resident theater company produces three plays on its main stage per summer, usually a classic piece, a contemporary piece and always a play by Shakespeare. The company is made up of young conservatory members from across the U.S. who act alongside professionals. The quality of the productions is generally excellent. The company also hosts staged readings of fresh work by up-and-coming playwrights.

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