Summer brings a more relaxed vibe to the theater experience by taking it outdoors. Most theater companies and venues listed below encourage patrons to arrive early, and to bring food and refreshments. And remember to pack a few layers of clothing because whether you're seeing Shakespeare up in Ashland, Ore., Lake Tahoe or even in Land Park, shows can cool off when the sun goes down.
CALIFORNIA SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
What: Artistic director Jonathan Moscone leads this nationally recognized theater in its four-show season with Richard Montoya's "American Night" (Wednesday-June 23), "Romeo and Juliet" (July 3-28), "Lady Windermere's Fan" (Aug. 14-Sept. 8) and "A Winter's Tale" (Sept. 25-Oct. 20).
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; select Saturdays at 2 p.m.; and 4 p.m. Sundays.
Grounds open for picnicking two hours before curtain.
Where: Bruns Amphitheater, 100 California Shakespeare Theater Way (formerly 100 Gateway Blvd.), Orinda
Tickets: $35-$71, with discounts available for seniors, students, theatergoers age 30 and under, and groups.
Information: (510) 548-9666 or www.calshakes.org
OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
What: The world-class repertory theater in Ashland, Ore., opens the Elizabethan Stage/ Allen Pavilion its outdoor venue in June with three productions that run through mid-October: "Cymbeline" (June 4-Oct. 11); "The Heart of Robin Hood" (June 5-Oct. 12); and "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (June 6-Oct. 13).
When: Schedules vary as the three plays rotate in repertory.
Where: 15 S. Pioneer St., Ashland, Ore.
Information: (541) 482-4331 or www.osfashland.org
FAIR OAKS THEATRE FESTIVAL
What: The summer theater festival in Old Fair Oaks produces shows in a charming community amphitheater. This season includes "The Pajama Game" (June 21-July 21); the children's show "Cinder-Ella," (July 6, 13, 20, 27) and "The Drowsy Chaperone" (Aug. 9-Sept. 8).
When: 8:30 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for "Pajama Game" and "The Drowsy Chaperone," and 10 a.m. and noon for "Cinder- Ella."
Where: Veterans Memorial Amphitheatre, 7991 California Ave., Old Fair Oaks Village. "Cinder-Ella" at Fair Oaks Clubhouse, 7997 California Ave.
Tickets: $8-$15. All Sunday tickets $10
Information: (916) 966-3683 or go to www. fairoakstheatrefestival.com
MAIN STREET THEATRE WORKS
What: This Gold Country stage welcomes two familiar literary figures. Susan McCandless directs "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" by Mark Twain, adapted by Laura Eason (June 21-July 20); and Julie Anchor directs "Sherlock's Last Case" (Aug. 9-Sept. 7) by Charles Marowitz.
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Where: Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre, Jackson.
Tickets: $17.50 general; $12 students 18 and under;
$49 family package (two general, two students)
Information: Gates open at 6:30 p.m. for picnicking. Evenings cool off, so bring blankets, sweaters or jackets, as well as low-back chairs and mosquito repellant. Call (209) 295-4499 or go to www.mstw.org
SACRAMENTO SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
What: The Sacramento Shakespeare Festival, produced by City Theatre at Sacramento City College, presents "Twelfth Night" and "Julius Caesar" (June 28-July 28).
When: The schedule of alternating performances has not yet been announced. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., pre-show at 7 and curtain at 8.
Where: The William A. Carroll Amphitheatre, 3901 Land Park Drive in William Land Park (behind Fairytale Town and across from the Sacramento Zoo).
Information: (916) 558-2228 or go to www. sacramentoshakespeare.net
LAKE TAHOE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL
What: Charles Fee directs "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the gorgeous lakeshore theater (July 12-Aug. 25).
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays- Sundays.
Where: Sand Harbor State Park, Incline Village, Nev.
Information: www.LakeTahoeShakespeare. com or (800) 747-4697.
Call The Bee's Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. On Twitter, @marcuscrowder.