Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, Boulder, CO 80302

Tucked inside the Hellems Arts and Sciences is the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre, named after the first female professor at the University of Colorado and the first woman in the U.S. to teach at a state university. 

The Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre was officially completed in 1939, but no plays were staged there until 1944, when Shakespeare teacher and bibliographer James Sandoe was asked to direct a play for the coming summer. Because the Department of the Navy occupied the indoor University Theatre during World War II, Sandoe decided to try out the new Mary Rippon complex with a production of Romeo and Juliet, thereby starting the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.

Relax in comfort with complimentary seatbacks at all outdoor Colorado Shakespeare Festival shows

Improved security at the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre

The Hellems Building will now open one hour prior to all performances for ticketed patrons, with seating in the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre to begin approximately 30 minutes prior to the show. Please have your tickets easily accessible for scanning at the exterior doors. Prior to the building opening, restrooms can be found near the box office in the University Theatre building.

Parking Alert

Access to the Euclid Avenue Autopark has changed. The path from Colorado Avenue is permanently closed to vehicles. Please access the Euclid Avenue Autopark from Euclid Avenue and Broadway. Or, from South Broadway, turn right on 18th Street.

Printable map of venues

Facilities open 1 hour before performances. Performance doors open approximately 30 minutes before start time.

See Inside

Getting Here

Printable map of venues

Public Transportation

Boulder residents can catch a number of local buses to campus, including the Skip, Dash, 204, 225, Hop and Stampede. Single rides are $2.60.

Denver metro residents can catch the Flatiron Flyer, serving the Highway 36 corridor between Denver Union Station and the CU Boulder Campus. Single rides are $4.50.

Longmont residents can catch the Bolt into Downtown Boulder and transfer to any of the local bus routes mentioned above to reach the CU Boulder campus. Single rides are $4.50.

Visit the RTD Trip Planner


You can ride right up to the show, as all CU Presents venues have banks of outdoor bike racks nearby. Using Google Maps for directions is easy: just type in your starting point and destination and select the bicycle symbol.

Don't have your own wheels? Boulder B-cycle's easy, affordable bike-sharing system boasts 41 bike stations located around town and on the CU Boulder campus. Single rides start at $2, and monthly passes start at $11.


Skateboards are not allowed inside our venues, but it's easy and free to store your board nearby. A skateboard rack is located on the east side of CU Boulder's courtyard fountain, just outside the Cristol Chemistry and Biochemistry lecture hall. From there, it's a quick walk west to the Rippon. Don't forget to bring your own lock!

Ride Service

Ride services such as Lyft, Uber or Boulder Yellow Cab can drop you off near the venue.


Whether you're coming from down the street or from out of town, CU Boulder Parking and Transportation has various parking options for you. Pay for parking at the pay stations, or download the Parkmobile smartphone app for quick, easy parking reservation and payment.

Printable map of venues

  • 0.2 miles
  • Euclid Avenue Autopark
  • 354 spaces, 8 accessible
  • Open in maps


Printable map of venues

Wheelchair and companion seating available Wheelchair companion seating

Wheelchair seating is available. Please call the Box Office at 303-492-8008 to purchase tickets and to make arrangements should you need assistance into the theatre on the day of the performance. When purchasing tickets, please be sure to identify whether you need wheelchair accommodations.

Ramps and wheelchair access provided Wheelchair access

As of the 2015 season, the Mary Rippon Outdoor Theatre has a ramp providing direct access from Hellems building into the seating area from the west entrance. Three new ADA-compliant seats have been added, bringing the theatre’s total to 15. Paving repairs aimed at improving accessibility have also been completed.

Assisted Listening Devices available upon request Assisted listening devices

Assistive listening devices are available on a first-come, first-served basis at the University Theatre Box Office beginning one hour before every performance. Quantities are limited. We'll ask for a credit card or driver's license as a deposit, which will be returned to you after the performance. The University Theatre Box Office is located on the lower level of the CU Theatre and Dance building, directly below the indoor performance venue. To access it, use the main building entrance and take the stairs on the left down one flight, or enter on the building's east side and ride the elevator down to the bottom floor. Please be sure to ask for an assistive listening device before the show begins since the box office is closed for the duration of each performance.

ASL interpretation available upon request American Sign Language interpretation

CSF offers American Sign Language interpretation for our productions. Please email the Box Office at at least two (2) weeks in advance of the performance date, location, and number of people needing the service to make arrangements. Typically, ASL interpretation is scheduled for the duration of the show only. If you would like continued services through any scheduled talkbacks, please communicate this clearly to the Box Office.

Service dogs allowed Service dogs

Service dogs are welcome at all performances. Please request an aisle seat when purchasing tickets.


75 minutes before showtime, our grounds come alive with picnickers. Whether you take advantage of our convenient preshow dining options or just grab a glass of wine in the theater, food and drink make an evening at CSF complete. The Hellems Lawn and Shakespeare Gardens are open for picnicking with friends and family.

Savory Cuisines Catering is delighted to serve you this season with a variety of fresh dining options.

Please note that pre-orders must be placed at least 48 hours before the performance. 

Learn more or pre-order a meal now


The Colorado Shakespeare Festival does not permit children under 5 at any performance.


Performances will proceed in the rain, unless weather conditions become threatening to performers or the audience. Decisions on whether to cancel for inclement weather usually are not made until curtain time. In the event that the CU Boulder campus is closed due to weather, CSF will notify patrons via the website and Box Office telephone and will provide instructions for ticket exchanges. 

Outside food and drink

No glass containers are permitted in the theatre. The University of Colorado prohibits outside alocholic beverages from being brought onto campus, so please leave all alcohol at home. Alcoholic beverages may be purchased from CSF concessions up to one hour before curtain and during intermission for consumption within the designated licensed area. Alcohol from any other source is not permitted in CSF venues, as per Colorado State law.

Smoking or vaping

Smoking or vaping is not permitted anywhere on the CU Boulder campus.


Large baskets and bags are not permitted inside of any CSF venue, so please leave those items at home or in your car. Open umbrellas are not permitted during outdoor performances in any part of the seating area, including the back row; in case of rain, consider bringing a poncho or other wearable raingear.

Late Seating

Latecomers will be seated during a suitable break or during intermission. No exceptions. Please arrive well before the event start time.

Electronic Devices

Any light or sound (including vibration) emitting from cell phones or other electronic devices is disruptive and disrespectful to performers and other audience members. All personal devices—cell phones, pagers, tablets, watch alarms, etc.—should be turned off or silenced and put away before the performance begins.

Recording Devices

By contractual agreement with the artists, photographs and audio or video recordings are strictly prohibited.


To ensure your safety in case of fire or any other emergency, please note the exit route nearest to your seat when you arrive. Do not walk on top of the stone benches in the theatre.