What’s in Your Wooden O Picnic Basket?


Part of the fun for many Wooden O theater-goers is spreading out a feast on a picnic blanket to dine on the lawn before the show. We’ve seen everything from elaborate set ups with wine glasses and cloth napkins to buckets of fried chicken and a can of soda. After a mishap last summer, we can definitely tell you that fondue is not picnic food.

With our Wooden O productions of “Julius Caesar” and “The Two Gentlemen of Verona” starting performances on July 10, it got us thinking, “What’s in your picnic basket?”  Do you have a tradition of bringing the same foods to the park each summer?  Are you ambitious and try to create show-themed meals? (Julius Caesar Salad, anyone?) Or do you make a quick run through the grocery store on the way to the show, grabbing any item that looks portable and tasty? (Guilty as charged!)

Tell us about your Wooden O picnic traditions (or ambitions) and give us a peek at what’s planned for your picnic basket this summer. Let us know in the comments section.

A Shakespeare Picnic


  • Blanket
  • Picnic basket or cooler
  • Plates, glasses, cups, cutlery, napkins (handi-wipes are helpful)
  • Serving spoons, forks and knives.
  • Bottle opener
  • Wooden cutting board  – totally useful even if you’re not cutting items
  • Small plastic bag for trash
  • Jackets and blankets (it is the Pacific Northwest, after all)
  • Your best behavior … remember you are dining with others in close proximity.


Here are some ideas to get you started on creating your own perfect picnic

  • Cheese.  Make it your favorites!  Brie is always a safe choice, but try some of the great local cheeses being created. It’s the perfect time to splurge a little and be adventurous.
  • You gotta have something for that cheese to sit on. Grab a baguette or some crackers.
  • Dips. Hummus is a favorite, or try spinach dip or smoked salmon spread. Good with cut up veggies
  • Sandwiches or sandwich rolls make things easy. Make them up at home with what you like.
  •  Salads. Caprese salad is an easy favorite. Potato salad, coleslaw, mixed green salad; just make sure it’s not too complicated to eat, since you want to enjoy the show and your food at the same time.
  • Fruit. We’ve got a bounty of it at this time of year. Strawberries, melon, cherries, apricots, blueberries.


  • Bring your favorite cookies and enough to share
  • Brownies or cupcakes can be fun
  • Pre-sliced banana bread or zucchini bread

Have we got you hungry yet?  Pick a play and park and load up your basket.  We can’t wait to see what you bring.


  1. says

    For tonight’s performance of Julius Caesar at Pine Lake, we went with Mediterranean Orzo:

    1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
    3 tbsp red wine vinegar
    3 tsp canola oil
    3/4 tsp dried oregano
    8 ounces (about 1.5C) orzo
    8 ounces (about 2C) green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
    1 12 oz pkg crumbled feta cheese
    1 tbsp fresh chopped parsley

    Combine vinegar, oil, oregano, and parsley in bowl, set aside
    Place halved tomatoes in bottom of a large salad bowl
    Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Add orzo, then add green beans for last 5 minutes of cooking time.
    Drain and rinse cooked pasta and beans under cold water.
    Add pasta, beans, dressing, and feta to tomatoes in salad bowl and mix well to combine flavors.

    Dessert was a chocolate cherry cake (since cherries are in peak season).

    Chocolate Cherry Loaf
    2 C pitted,sliced bing cherries
    1 C sugar
    1 C flour (white, wheat, or half and half)
    1 tsp powder
    1/2 tsp soda
    1/2 C (1 stick) softened butter
    2 eggs
    1/2 C cocoa powder
    3 T oil
    1 tsp vanilla
    3/4 C milk

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease & flour 9″ tube pan.
    Cream butter & sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in oil and vanilla. Remove bowl from kitchen aid and stir the rest up with a spatula.
    In separate bowl, whisk together remaining dry ingredients.
    Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture a bit at a time, alternating with milk. Fold in cherries.
    Move to prepared pan, bake 50 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.