MSU’s Summer Circle Theatre Returns After Two-Year Hiatus

After a two-year hiatus, Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) at Michigan State University is back for its 60th anniversary celebration of FREE outdoor theatre for mid-Michigan audiences and a free week-long theatre camp for kids. This season will include four full productions and runs from June 9 through June 26.

The season opens on June 9 with the classic musical, Pippin, by Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson. In this “acoustic” production, the storytelling is the “magic to do” in Stephen Schwartz’s masterpiece about a prince searching for his purpose. Directed by Rob Roznowski, with music direction by Dave Wendelberger, this show is appropriate for all ages. Performances are June 9, 10, and 11 at 8 p.m. and June 12 at 6:30 p.m.

A full body shot of four actors with newspapers while another stands in front on them stage in front of a backdrop of a ship.
The 2019 Summer Circle Theatre performance of Dames at Sea.

Distracted by Lisa Loomer is the second show of the summer. In this funny and poignant play, 9-year-old Jesse’s mama is in search of answers as to why her high-energy, creative kid is unable to concentrate at school. Directed by Ryan Welsh, this show is appropriate for ages 13 and up for profanity and adult themes. Performances are June 16, 17, and 18 at 8 p.m. and June 19 at 6:30 p.m.

The evening of June 17 kicks off the four performances of the SCT 2022 Late Night production of White Rabbit Red Rabbit. An actor will be given the script at the time of the performance with no rehearsal and no preparation, as Iranian playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour, examines his status as a censored writer. This show has adult themes. Performances are June 17, 18, 24, and 25 at 10 p.m.

SCT 2022 closes its run with the comedy The Play That Goes Wrong by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. This 1920s whodunit has accident-prone thespians battling against all odds to make it through to their final curtain call. Part Monty Python, part Sherlock Holmes, it is guaranteed to leave you aching with laughter. Directed by Brad Willcuts, this show is appropriate for all ages. Performances are June 23, 24, and 25 at 8 p.m. and June 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Five actors perform a scene in old-fashioned clothing on a set outdoors.
The 2019 Summer Circle Theatre performance of The Importance of Being Earnest.

The SCT Kids Camp also will return this summer with support from a City of East Lansing Cultural Arts Grant. Using the theme of “Together with Friends” campers will perform stories, scenes, and songs that focus on how differences enhance friendships, culminating with a performance on Friday, June 24, at 6:30 p.m. This week-long, free kids camp is dedicated to increasing access to theatre arts education for 1st – 6th graders, particularly those who identify as financially or otherwise disadvantaged.

As the Department of Theatre’s longest running and largest outreach endeavor, Summer Circle Theatre performances are free and open to the public. It is a professional theatre that pays its company by depending on the generosity of individual and corporate donors, in addition to some university funding. Community members and businesses can help keep Summer Circle Theatre free for everyone by visiting to give.

This 60-year community tradition continues in 2022 thanks to the generous financial contributions of Michigan State University Federal Credit Union, the Rotary Club of East Lansing, Hude Legal Services PLLC, the Michigan State University College of Arts & Letters, and individual donors.

A courtyard of a circular stage framed by plants is shown on the left with a tiered seating area on the right.
The Summer Circle Courtyard

The Summer Circle Courtyard has a tiered, amphitheater-style seating area, but patrons are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets for personal comfort. Free parking is available just across the street from the Auditorium building. Audiences can bring their own picnic or visit our concessions stand. In the event of rain, performances will be moved to the Auditorium.

For complete and up-to-date event details, visit the Summer Circle Theatre web page.

2022 Summer Circle Theatre Schedule


  • Thursday, June 9, 8 p.m. 
  • Friday, June 10, 8 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 11, 8 p.m.           
  • Sunday, June 12, 6:30 p.m.


  • Thursday, June 16, 8 p.m. 
  • Friday, June 17, 8 p.m.  
  • Saturday, June 18, 8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, June 19, 6:30 p.m. 

White Rabbit Red Rabbit  

  • Friday, June 17, 10 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 18, 10 p.m.  
  • Friday, June 24, 10 p.m. 
  • Saturday, June 25, 10 p.m. 

The Play That Goes Wrong  

  • Thursday, June 23, 8 p.m. 
  • Friday, June 24, 8 p.m.  
  • Saturday, June 25, 8 p.m. 
  • Sunday, June 26, 6:30 p.m.

Kids Camp Performance 

  • Friday, June 24, 6:30 p.m.