Forest Theatre

The Forest Theatre is in Battle Park, where outdoor drama was first performed in 1916 to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. W.C. Coker, faculty botanist who had developed the Arboretum nearby, chose the location. Several years later, when “Proff” Frederick Koch came to campus after having built a unique outdoor theatre at the University of North Dakota, the Battle Park location was developed into a permanent theatre. The theatre was rebuilt with WPA funds in about 1940 according to a plan of Albert Q. Bell, who designed outdoor theatres at Manteo, Cherokee and Williamsburg, Virginia. Improvements in 1948 followed a plan by architect Paul Beidler. The theatre is frequently used for weddings, drama series and other events.