Cheshire West & Chester Council has unveiled plans for a 350-seat Grosvenor Park open air theatre in Chester.
The council is backing the project with £100,000 of investment and believes it will be the first stage towards the authority's goal of seeing Chester created City of Culture in 2017.
Work on the feasibility study for the proposed theatre is well underway and members of the council said they will have a much better idea of the proposed design and costs involved by the end of June.
The design of has been described as simple but unique, with a "horseshoe shaped" theatre that will have terrace seats surrounding the stage and a picnic area in the front for audiences.
Martin Bocking, from Chester-based architects Lovelock Mitchell, which designed the theatre, said: "We wanted to ensure the design was part of the park, inspired by the backdrop of the ruins of St John's church and the beauty of Grosvenor Park, we have created a sympathetic, natural setting."
Cllr Mike Jones, leader of Cheshire West & Chester Council, added: "We also see this as a significant step towards delivering our ambition to create a permanent theatre for Chester."
The council hopes the open air arena will host up to 10,000 theatregoers and it is scheduled to stage its first season from 15 July until 8 August.