Shakespeare in Detroit

Last weekend I headed over to New Center Park for an open air performance of Shakespeare’s Hamlet – and I was totally blown away by how great it was!

It was put on by Shakespeare In Detroit, a non-profit organisation that dedicates itself to making the arts accessible for everyone. The performances are totally free – which is so awesome. They want to reach the widest range of audience members possible, making donations crucial to their survival.

Their efforts seemed to have paid off. I arrived late, and the place was already packed.

Hamlet is a classic – which means most of us have read or seen Hamlet dozens of times. Combine that with the fact that it’s also Shakespeare’s longest play with runtimes sometimes exceeding three hours, it can be a tough job keeping the audience engaged until the end.

These guys pulled it off flawlessly – rumbling engines, squeaking breaks, and blasting stereos be damned!

I was also really impressed with the choice of New Center Park as a venue. During intermission the grill master had fresh barbecue choices ready to go for those of us that had worked up an appetite, and the bar had even created a special cocktail for the evening – The Ophelia. For those curious, it was a mix of white wine, grenadier, and spritzer, and it was absolutely delicious. They’ve got a whole range of free concerts and movie screenings this summer that I’ll make a point to go to.

Their season is sadly over already this summer, but if you want to catch a show there are still plenty of places this summer you can join me at!

Michigan Shakespeare Festival is running Taming of the Shrew, Julius Caesar, and Chekov’s The Seagull through August. Shakespeare Royal Oak is also running Taming of the Shrew along with their own original Shakespeare In Love & War in Jaycee Park. And, of course, Stratford is only a short drive away.

Keep your eyes peeled for next year’s performances though – I cannot wait to see what Shakespeare in Detroit comes up with!





  1. 21/07/2017 / 15:46

    Looks like a fun time. I think I heard that they did this, but I’ve never been.

    • 21/07/2017 / 16:32

      It was so much fun! You should check out the other performances around town, it’s a great way to enjoy the nice weather this summer 🙂

  2. Bailey
    21/07/2017 / 16:36

    This makes me so excited to be moving back to Michigan! I had no idea this was happening.

    • 21/07/2017 / 16:57

      Welcome back Bailey! There’s a lot of great stuff happening around. Check out some live music while you’re here 🙂

  3. 21/07/2017 / 21:29

    I’m from Ann Arbor and never attended this event. Really looks great and I just love how far the Big D has come!!

  4. Nadia
    22/07/2017 / 00:51

    Bringing theater plays and the arts to the people is such a great advocacy. Watching Shakespeare plays live for free is a treat for literature lovers.

  5. 22/07/2017 / 10:03

    How amazing to have free performances of that standard. And that it’s Shakespeare too! I would look forward to catching one of these while in the city.

  6. 22/07/2017 / 14:01

    Beautiful pictures! I haven’t spent much time in Detroit, but I do love a good Shakespeare play. It’d be fun to check this out some time.

    • 22/07/2017 / 14:17

      Thank you Hannah 🙂 Detroit has a lot of cool things going on lately, you should visit sometime!

  7. 22/07/2017 / 14:13

    Thanks for posting this Rosalie. Where would a visitor/ tourist be able to find out about these kinds of events? Thanks so much!

  8. Rachel Dean
    22/07/2017 / 18:52

    I’m not sure if this would be my thing or not, but the atmosphere would be fun! Glad you enjoyed the show!

  9. 22/07/2017 / 20:31

    Love Hamlet! It’s one of my favourites from school, thanks for sharing such a lovely experience.

    • 22/07/2017 / 20:35

      It’s one of my favourites too! I’m glad you enjoyed it Amanda 🙂

  10. 23/07/2017 / 10:15

    This event sounds like so much fun. I think Shakespeare would be stoked to see his plays being performed in the center of busy Detroit!

    • 23/07/2017 / 16:26

      Haha I’m sure he would Jane!

  11. Crystal
    23/07/2017 / 19:09

    This looks like a fabulous show. Also, a great place to see it at!

    • 23/07/2017 / 23:18

      Thanks Crystal! It was such a unique venue, I can’t wait to see where they come up with for their next productions 🙂

  12. 25/07/2017 / 08:29

    Sounds amazing and the place looks stunning!

  13. 25/07/2017 / 10:49

    Sounds like the perfect summer event! I lived in East Lansing for 5 years and would have enjoyed a trip to Detroit for something like this!

  14. 28/07/2017 / 08:52

    I love the idea of Shakespeare in Detroit. But, as a true Brit, I’d probably have giggled if the Shakespearian actors spoke with an American accent which I bet they did…

    I couldn’t even deal with Leonardo di Caprio in Romeo and Juliet;)

  15. 28/07/2017 / 19:05

    lovely photos! i take such a guilty pleasure in shakespeare, i’ve always loved the plays and have seen a lot of them in the uk. personal fave always being macbeth, possibly one of the sassiest plays i’ve read and even better in theatre!

    katie xx / lacoconoire on bloglovin

    • 04/08/2017 / 17:09

      I loooove Macbeth! It’s not Shakespeare, but if you ever get the chance to see The James Plays I think you’d enjoy them too – another super sassy Scottish drama.

  16. 29/07/2017 / 02:51

    As an English teacher who loves teaching that play, I approve of this post! 🙂 So cool that you were able to see the production. I didn’t realize Detroit had such a thriving theater scene, and am curious to hear more about their future productions!

    • 04/08/2017 / 17:06

      Detroit’s theatre scene is definitely starting to pick up pace! I’m really looking forward to the Broadway in Detroit schedule coming up this autumn too 🙂

  17. 29/07/2017 / 03:44

    This is phenomenal, and thank you so much for sharing their work and spreading the word on this 🙂 It’s amazing that they have kept it free to reach more people…kudos to them!

    • 04/08/2017 / 17:05

      It’s such a great organisation, I’m glad I could introduce you Siddartha 🙂

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