Cape Playhouse Goes Outdoors With ‘Playhouse On The Green’

By: Jennifer Sexton-Riley

Topics: Local Theater

The Cape Playhouse’s producing artistic director Michael Rader.  COURTESY PHOTO

The Cape Playhouse stageremains empty this summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but in true theater tradition, the show must go on.

The team at The Cape Cod Center For The Arts has created an outdoor stage on their 22-acre campus for a new initiative called Playhouse on the Green. Live entertainment and music will take place under the stars every Thursday and Friday evening in August, keeping the arts alive while adhering to social distancing guidelines.

Cape Playhouse consulting producer Joe Grandy said that the playhouse staff have been working feverishly to design programming that can offer safe entertainment this year while also making the most of the 22-acre arts campus.

“With this Playhouse On The Green series, comprised of our Mass Roots speakers series on Thursdays and our Eat To The Beat music concerts on Fridays, we hope to continue providing a space for the arts even in these difficult times,” Grandy said.

The Cape Playhouse’s producing artistic director Michael Rader has chosen a lineup to showcase a range of talent. Thursday evenings will host the Mass Roots speaker series. The program premieres on Aug. 6 with The Kennedy Legacy on Cape Cod, a panel discussion featuring Pulitzer Prize winner and author Fredrik Logevall; director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Alan Price; Larry Tye, author of “Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon”; and moderator Dick Neitz, former president of the JFK Hyannis Museum. Paying homage to what would have been a summer of Olympic Games, Nancy Kerrigan will appear on Aug. 13 to speak on her Olympic Journey from childhood ice skating lessons in Boston to the Olympic world stage. On Aug. 20 Casey Sherman, New York Times bestselling author of 13 books including the recent “Hunting Whitey,”will be joined by Dave Wedge, his co-author of the film “Patriots Day,” starring Mark Wahlberg. Completing the series on Aug. 27 will be the live, interactive storytelling event The Mosquito Story Slam.

Friday evenings will be all about outdoor music. The Eat to the Beatseries starts with a double feature of Sarah Swain and the Oh Boys with special guest Bruce Maclean on Aug. 7 and 8. On Aug. 14, the Cape Cod Jazz Quintet will take the outdoor stage. Quartett Giocosa will perform with musicians from The Cape Symphony on Aug. 21, and “A Night of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins” will complete the series on Aug. 28, featuring two original cast members of the Broadway National Tour of the hit show “Million Dollar Quartet,” James Barry and Scott Moreau.

Guests are encouraged to arrive early and find a comfortable place on the lawn to enjoy a pre-show snack or meal. No seating will be provided, so guests are encouraged to bring their own blanket or lawn chair. Some nearby Dennis Village restaurants, including Encore Bistro and Bar, Scargo Cafe, The Pheasant, and Firestarter Pizza, are offering take-out menus this summer, making it easy to order a picnic and bring it along.

“Nothing can replace or replicate the experience of live entertainment,” Rader said.

“I can think of no better way to spend a summer evening on Cape Cod than relaxing outside under the stars, with our gorgeous campus as the backdrop, and extraordinary live entertainment.”

The Playhouse lawn will open at 6 p.m. every Thursday and Friday evening. Programs will begin at 7:30 p.m. and run approximately 90 minutes with no intermission. For the safety of patrons and staff, the lawn will be limited to 100 participants.

Tickets are $20 per person and must be purchased online at CapePlayhouse.com. Proof of purchase, either printed from home or shown on a mobile device, will be required to access the lawn. All attendees will be required to abide by the state health and safety COVID-19 guidelines by wearing face coverings and observing six-foot social distancing. Portable restrooms and sanitation stations will be available.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit CapePlayhouse.com.