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The mid-Michigan tradition is back for its 62nd season of FREE theatre. We are so excited to see you back at the Summer Circle Courtyard!


Written by Laura Schellhardt
Directed by Dionne O’Dell
June 6, 7, 8 at 7PM & June 9 at 4PM

Dessa is a 21st-century girl with no shortage of struggles, secrets and mysteries to solve. From dinosaur bones to hidden memories, the world is filled with buried treasures just waiting to be uncovered. Luckily, thanks to the mysterious appearance of a remarkable friend—the pioneering 19th-century English paleontologist Mary Anning—young Dessa knows just how to excavate them! After a field trip to a museum reveals that Mary Anning’s legacy has been buried by history because of her gender and lack of formal education, Dessa decides that she’s going to fight to earn her friend the credit she deserves. With help from her once-rival, Nilo, Dessa sets to work unearthing the secrets hidden beneath the surface of the past and present—for Mary’s history and her own future. For All Ages. Please Note: This production contains themes related to the death of a parent.  

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois.

[title of show] (clean version)

Music & Lyrics by Jeff Bowen
Book by Hunter Bell
Directed by Adam Yankowy
Music Directed by Dave Wendelberger
June 13, 14, 15 at 7PM & June 16 at 4PM 

Jeff and Hunter, two struggling writers, hear about a new musical theatre festival. However, the deadline for submissions is a mere three weeks away. With nothing to lose, the pair decides to try to create something new with the help of their friends Susan, Heidi and Larry on the eighty-eights. With the cast in place, Jeff and Hunter begin a conversation about what to write about. In the span of 90 minutes they write and perform their show at the festival and learn lessons about themselves as people, friends and artists. For All Ages.

[title of show] (clean version) is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) [revised] [again]

Written by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield 
Directed by Alexis Black
June 20, 21, 22 at 7PM & June 23 at 4PM 

A cultural touchstone was born when three inspired, charismatic comics, having honed their pass-the-hat act at Renaissance faires, premiered their preposterous masterwork at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1987. It quickly became a worldwide phenomenon, earning the title of London’s longest-running comedy after a decade at the Criterion Theatre. Featured are all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays, meant to be performed in 97 minutes, by three actors. Fast paced, witty, and physical, it’s full of laughter for Shakespeare lovers and haters alike. This latest “Revised Again” version includes changes that celebrate and encourage greater diversity and inclusivity in today’s theater!

THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED) [REVISED] [AGAIN] is produced by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC
Originally produced by Reduced Shakespeare Company.


SCT Cabaret: An Evening of Broadway
Post Show June 6, 20, 22

Join us for an enchanting evening of musical revue, featuring members of the Summer Circle Theatre company performing beloved songs from Broadway. Stick around after the show for an extra helping of musical fun to extend your evening of entertainment!

After School Special Improv
Post-Show June 7, 8 & Pre-Show June 14

After School Special began in 2017 led by Second City alumni and Department of Theatre faculty, Sarah Hendrickson. After School Special’s mission is to provide a place for performers to practice the craft of improvisation and elevate their performance to a professional level.

Buck’s Funhouse!
Post-Show June 13 & 14

A live filmed podcast that combines the thrill and fun of a gameshow, with the intimacy of a podcast. Join Buck and the Funhouse band for a night of good ol’ fashioned FUN! Put your name in the bucket for your chance to come on stage, be interviewed, and play simple yet challenging games for prizes!

Staged Reading
Post Show June 16

On the Other Side of the Sea by Jorgelina Cerritos, winner of the Casa de las Americas award for Drama, by Salvadoran playwright Jorgelina Cerritos. This lyrical, humorous play explored the pressing issue of “documentation” from a thought-provoking perspective.

Image of a bearded person in a black sweatshirt holding a microphone

Stand-Up Comedian Louis D. Michael
Post-Show June 15

Recently featured at the Limestone Comedy Festival, Haslett, MI resident Louis D. Michael has performed with Williamston Theatre and also tours nationally. (for mature audiences)

Greater Lansing Ballet Company
Pre-Show June 9, 16, and 23 from 3:30-4:00pm

The Greater Lansing Ballet Company offers youth, pre-professional, and professional dancers a vehicle for performance opportunities of full length ballet, as well as contemporary ballet, dance art education, and practical experiences in an atmosphere of professional standards.

All Summer Circle Theatre productions are FREE and open to the general public.

All of the MAINSTAGE shows are at 7:00 p.m. except for Sundays which start at 4:00 p.m. 

The Summer Circle Theatre Courtyard is between the Auditorium Building and the Kresge Building on MSU’s campus. 542 Auditorium Road, East Lansing, MI 48824.

Parking is FREE and available in Lot 9, across the street from the Auditorium Building (542 Auditorium Rd) start at 6PM on weekdays and all day on weekends.

There is tiered, amphitheater-style seating but we suggest bringing your own blanket and/or lawn chairs for maximum comfort. 

Concessions will be available. Feel free to bring your own picnic as well!

Oh but that we could control the weather! In the event of heavy rain, the performance will be moved into the Auditorium Building.

Thank You To Our Generous Sponsors

A Michigan State University Tradition: 1960 - 2024

For sixty years the MSU Department of Theatre has been producing free performances of a wide variety of shows outdoors on the MSU campus. Presenting a blend of old favorites, musicals, and provocative new plays, Summer Circle Theatre (SCT) provides a professional venue for MSU students that offers free theatre to Mid-Michigan audiences. SCT presents shows of varying styles using the talents of community members and professional artists.

FREE Summer Circle Theatre remains dependent on donations from loyal patrons to maintain the quantity and quality of its town and gown productions. Please consider becoming a Friend of Theatre at MSU. Interested in setting up a gift: Please contact Christine Radtke, Sr. Director of Development in the College of Arts & Letters at or (517) 353-4725