Outdoor theatre is a summer tradition in Vancouver and a chance to experience plays and concerts at some of the city's most beautiful natural venues. While Bard on the Beach uses open-backed stage tents to incorporate the mountain-and-water vistas of Vanier Park, Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) creates magical musical theatre at Vancouver's most famous landmark: Stanley Park.
Every summer, in July and August, TUTS offers two musical theatre productions at Stanley Park's Malkin Bowl.
The venue is entirely outdoors, and plays run rain or shine. (If it is raining, TUTS hands out free plastic ponchos to wear during the performance.) Audiences can choose traditional seating--chairs placed in front of the stage--or "picnic-style" seating (Bring a blanket to sit on!) on the raised, grassy hill to the right of the stage.
When: July 6 – August 20, 2016
Where: Malkin Bowl, Stanley Park, Vancouver
Getting to Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS): The Malkin Bowl (like the Stanley Park Miniature Train) is located off Pipeline Road in Stanley Park. Drivers enter the park off W Georgia St. in downtown Vancouver and follow signs for TUTS / the Miniature Train. Paid parking is available in short walking distance of the Malkin Bowl. To get there by bus, take the #19 Bus to the Stanley Park Loop.
Theatre Under the Stars 2016 Season features productions of Disney's Beauty and the Beast and West Side Story.
What to Expect at Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS)
In many ways, TUTS is the summer theatre opposite of Bard on the Beach, Vancouver's famous summer Shakespeare festival. Where Bard is sophisticated, international, and (in some ways) adult, TUTS is unpretentious, local, and very family-friendly. TUTS chooses musicals that appeal to a wide audience, features local theatre talent, and has a truly communal atmosphere that comes from being a local favourite that probably doesn't register on most tourists' radars.
Don't misunderstand: TUTS does a fantastic job with its sets and music, but this isn't--and shouldn't be--high-end theatre. (Don't expect high-grade dancing and choreography.) Instead, a night at TUTS feels like a night shared with friends; there's a warmth to its simple pleasures that make it singular in Vancouver's theatre scene. Expect to enjoy yourself and feel "very Vancouver" at TUTS (especially when you sit there in the rain).
How to Dress for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS)
Bring warm clothes and coats. Even hotter summer days can produce cold nights, so dress warmly! Wear boots or rain-proof shoes; definitely wear shoes that you won't mind getting muddy. The venue is grass, after all.
Food at Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS)
You can dine out before TUTS, dine out at TUTS (their Garden Cafe offers hot dogs and salmon burgers, and you can purchase beer and wine on-site), or bring your own snacks/picnic.
Tickets & Schedule for Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS): Theatre Under the Stars Official Site