Shakespeare Royal Oak


Shakespeare Royal Oak is proud to announce auditions for our 2022 Season in Royal Oak’s Starr Jaycee Park. Now in our 22nd year, Michigan’s largest annual outdoor professional theatre festival will feature Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet July 28 – August 7 alongside outdoor Youth Education Programs for elementary through high school students. Registration for youth programs will be available on April 1.

In this professional outdoor production, Romeo and Juliet are survivors of climate crisis and war. Where there once was government, warring factions fight for control of Verona. Yet in this bleak world Juliet discovers love, and dreams of a better life with Romeo. Together they defy the stars; daring to love – and creating beauty in a world where none was promised.

This timely take and professional production will be directed by Stephanie Buck with combat design by Michael Brian Ogden. Auditions are March 26 & 27 at St. John Episcopal Church in Royal Oak located at 26998 Woodward, Royal Oak MI 48067. Registration is required. Actors interested in auditioning should PLEASE CLICK HERE TO REGISTER and learn more about what is required for the audition.

Questions? Reach out to us at

Shakespeare Royal Oak began with a commitment to equality, diversity, inclusion, access, and anti-racism. We always hoped a fully diverse community would join us along the way and will now commit to proactively engaging it.

Shakespeare Royal Oak commits to actively involve people of all races, backgrounds, and cultures in our organization, whether staff, artists, or audience. We will expand our relationships with the BIPOC community by furthering outreach beyond Royal Oak. We will listen to the BIPOC community in an ongoing effort to build our future together.

Shakespeare Royal Oak will provide opportunities for diverse individuals and organizations to join us. We will continue to create a safe space where all artists can bring their unique perspectives and experiences to our work.

Shakespeare Royal Oak is committed to equality and diversity in our casting and hiring. We invite and encourage artists of all races, backgrounds, and cultures to audition and work with us. We support non-traditional casting and remain committed to consideration of all roles for all artists.

Happy 20th Anniversary Shakespeare Royal Oak!

Shakespeare Royal Oak turned 20 in 2020. Though we could not gather In The Park to celebrate together, our SRO Team collaborated with performers, crew, production staff, and audience members to create special premier messaging and performances to entertain you. Together, we made a Toast to our 20th Anniversary.

Tune in to our YouTube channel. Enjoy the performances and messages where we shared stories, snapshots, memories and moments from seasons past.

Thank you for helping us reach this milestone year. We look forward to returning to Starr Jaycee Park and sharing the beautiful words of the Bard with you on many more summer nights. Until that time …

Ed and the SRO Team

Please support SRO!


Don’t forget: visit our special Toast 20 Celebration YouTube channel.

See videos, photos and more from our past seasons >


There are many ways to support Water Works Theatre Company. You can advertise in our program, volunteer your time or expertise, become a sponsor or make a financial donation. It all ensures that this community jewel continues. Find out how you can help >



Learn more about Water Works Theatre Company: our beginnings, our passion and our future. Tell me the story >



Have questions about your Shakespeare Royal Oak experience? We have the answers. Get the FAQs >

Ways to Support Water Works Theatre

Support Shakespeare Royal Oak as we prepare to return to the park

We invite you to enjoy eight amazing video memories, covering all of our 19 years as Michigan’s premiere outdoor Shakespeare festival. Tune in to our YouTube playlist.

As you watch and share these special performances, memories and messages, we invite you to support Shakespeare Royal Oak’s return by donating a small sum. Your support is more valuable than ever during this unprecedented time.

Give now to support SRO’s return To The Park in 2022


Best Kept Secret

Some say Water Works is the area’s best kept cultural secret. But the truth is that since 2001 Water Works has presented the biggest and best outdoor professional Shakespeare festival in Michigan. We’re proud to say that we have inspired many other groups to pop up around the state, and we encourage their legacy.  Yet we still offer your family the highest quality, affordable cultural experience anywhere.  From our friendly atmosphere and first rate performances, to our top-notch education programs, we guarantee you will love your time in the park with us.

Help Us This Year

It’s all close to home in a beautiful park in two perfect midsummer weeks. But we need YOU to help keep the dream alive. Think about it: when you go to Stratford, see a Broadway play or even a touring show downtown, you will easily spend more than double Water Works’ ticket prices. Not to mention all the travel, dining and parking.

We’re asking you to help us make up the difference between what we charge our audience, and what it really takes to do it right.

Spread the Word!

  • Recommend us to your company for sponsorship
  • Bring a group to the show. Call 248.399.3727 if your group is ten (10) or more!
  • Make a tax deductible donation.
  • Promote us on Facebook and other social media.
  • Please help this wonderful local jewel of the arts. Together we can make this our biggest and best year ever! Thank you!


Reach over 3,000 sophisticated patrons by advertising with us.  Full, half and quarter page ads are available now. Click here to email us a request for more information and rates.


Caught the bug? Water Works puts interns and community-minded volunteers to work and they enjoy the fun too. From marketing, signage, hospitality to ushering and even backstage jobs, we have it all. Let us know what area interests you, and we’ll find a fit! Just send us an e-mail and we’ll get back to you!

Sponsorship Opportunities

For two weeks in the park, Water Works expects to impact 3500+ patrons to our ticketed theatre events. Over 50 professional artists and teachers are employed, and 80 to 100 local families enjoy the excitement of our outdoor education programs. Each year we also offer growth opportunities for 6 interns beyond high school.

While Water Works collects audience feedback to measure satisfaction and assist us in our future programming decisions, we do not directly solicit age and address information from our patrons. Our experience since 2001 has shown us, however, that our audience is culturally diverse, generally with (or pursuing) higher education, geographically central to Royal Oak, with high awareness of the arts and appreciation for community quality of life issues.  We see significant long term loyalty in our audiences, and in families in our education programs.  For most of those who come to be entertained, to be educated, or to work at their craft here, Shakespeare in the Park in Royal Oak has become a valued annual tradition.

Share Water Works’ commitment to keeping professional Shakespeare in this community by financially sponsoring our production. Please contact Water Works Theatre Company at 248.399.3727 or email us for sponsorships of $500.00 or more. We want to make the most of your support. Thank you!


Online donations are gratefully accepted. Please also contact Water Works Theatre Company at 248.399.3727 or email us for donation information.

About Shakespeare Royal Oak

A slow summer sunset glows across a stage, tucked among tall trees. You’re sitting comfortably on the grass with special friends, as the area’s best professional actors open up the magic of Shakespeare’s genius just for you, under the open sky. By the final bow you’ll be on your feet applauding this unique, affordable and amazing experience that the people of Water Works Theatre Company have shared with you under the summer stars.

And as you stroll out of the park by candlelight, your heart will feel the sweetness of the fleeting season, and wish it would never end. I’m not exaggerating. Each one of Water Works shows has been as special as a jewel.

Then there are the kids. When you see their excited smiles and hear them speak a soliloquy for the first time, or stage a sword fight, or improv a scene, you’ll swear they shine brighter than they ever have.

Bring your family and friends to enjoy this year’s performances as we continue making jewels in the park.

Thank you,

Ed Nahhat
Founder and Chair
Water Works Theatre Company






Our History

Since 2001, Water Works Theatre Company has offered the wonderful work of the Bard with Michigan’s best professional and emerging professional artists, in a one-of-a-kind outdoor summer setting. It began as a mid-winter dream and emerged that first August as a moonlit magical moment destined to fill a cultural niche so important to the quality of life in the community. In 2002, Water Works also began to fill an educational niche by offering professional Shakespeare performance training to K through 8th grade students that is not available anywhere else, at the reasonable price and convenient location offered here. In 2009, we began presenting a second “daylight family show” in rotation with our main Shakespeare play. In 2010 we began Water Works Academy that offered high school students the chance to create their own Shakespeare-based show on our stage.

Through the years, Water Works has entertained thousands, and employed hundreds of local artists, many of whom have gone on to succeed in theater, television and film. Also, many of our hundreds of students have gone on to study the craft in college. Some have even returned to us as adults.

Water Works has received many accolades from community and state leaders, and has garnered its fair share of artistic awards, too. Most importantly, Water Works continues to create a sustaining movement of artistic and community excellence, thanks to our patrons and sponsors.