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Exhibitions and Events

Shakespeare in the Arb continues a natural summer campus tradition

By Joe Mooney

Lord Berowne (Michael Shapiro) matches wits with Lady Rosaline (Amy Robbins) in "Love's Labour's Lost."

Directed by Kate Mendeloff of the University of Michigan Residential College and performed by students and local actors, the al fresco production draws thousands of Shakespeare fans each June to the U-M’s Nichols Arboretum. This summer tradition is a moveable feast of theater that travels through the Arb—literally. As the scenes change, performers and audience move to various locations in Nichols Arboretum, using the natural landscape as a backdrop to the production.

"Shakespeare in the Arb" poster design by artist and U-M alumnus David Zinn.

Shakespeare in the Arb posters are designed by David Zinn.

It’s been 10 years since Mendeloff took up “Love’s Labour’s Lost” and fell in love with it during rehearsal.


“I chose ‘Love’ initially because I thought it would work well in the Arb,” she said. “Ten years on, I wanted to revisit this lesser-known gem and rediscover it with a new group of actors and a new creative team.”


The natural setting creates the special experience of Shakespeare in the Arb. There is no fixed stage; instead, Mendeloff leads audience and actors through different Arboretum locations, taking advantage of its vistas, valleys and other natural features.


The 16th season of Shakespeare in the Arb presents weekly performances of “Love’s Labour’s Lost” at Nichols Arboretum, 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor.  Tickets go on sale at 5:30 p.m. the day of each performance and can be purchased at the Visitor Center at Nichols Arboretum (also referred to as the Reader Center).


Performance Dates

There are four performances per week Thursdays through Sundays:

  • June 9 – June 12
  • June 16 – June 19
  • June 23 – June 26

Ticket Prices

Members: $15
Students with ID: $10
Adults 19 and over: $20
Seniors 62 and over: $17
Children / youth 5-17: $10
5 and under free

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