Friday, November 21, 2014

Shakespeare Theatre Company Announces FREE WILL Free Ticket Program

From our friends at the Shakespeare Theatre Company...

STC's Free Will Program to Extend Free For All Through the Year, Distributing 1,000 Free Tickets Per Production

The Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) launched today FREE WILL, a new initiative that will distribute 1,000 free tickets to every mainstage production of its 2014-15 Season. This program expands the mission of the annual Free For All to make theatre completely accessible for all residents of D.C. Metro area. FREE WILL launches with As You Like It, and will continue through the season, building up to summer 2015 and the celebration of the 25th annual Free For All performance.

“Since beginning Free For All in 1991, our goal has been to offer free Shakespeare productions to as wide of an audience as possible, and to make it accessible to diverse audiences - people who have never been to the theatre, people who are unable to pay for tickets, young people, students, people on fixed incomes,” says STC Artistic Director Michael Kahn. “I am thrilled that with this new program we will be making it even more accessible throughout the year.”

With As You Like It already partially through its run, STC will provide as many free tickets to the production as possible, through its December 14 closing. Beginning with The Tempest, 1,000 total tickets will be given away free of charge to every mainstage Shakespeare Theatre Company production (excluding presentations and the limited engagement of Dunsinane), on average 150-200 tickets per week, on as many show days as possible. Tickets will be made available in person, online and over the phone every Monday at noon for the performances that week, and distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis completely free of charge until they run out. After they run out, STC will continue to offer its other low-cost ticket options including Under 35 discounts, $25 rush tickets and the $20 tickets already available for all performances. For each production, a portion of the FREE WILL tickets will also be distributed via community partners to their constituents and members, such as through Ward Offices, schools or other non-profits. The FREE WILL community partner for As You Like It is The Community Club.

“We are proud of the artistically minded community in Washington, and want to encourage this community to grow,” says STC Managing Director Chris Jennings. “We know that when a city has active participation in the arts, there is a ‘ripple effect’ throughout the community. With FREE WILL, we strive to open our doors to those who do not, or feel they cannot, see theatre and therefore grow the number of people who habitually attend performances in the future.”

FREE WILL ticket distribution begins on Monday, November 17, and a new batch of tickets will be released each Monday during the run of each show, throughout the 2014-2015 Season. For more information, patrons can call the Box Office at (202) 547-1122 or visit

Recipient of the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC) has become one of the nation’s leading theatre companies. Today, STC is synonymous with artistic excellence and making classical theatre more accessible.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Kahn and Managing Director Chris Jennings, STC’s innovative approach to Shakespeare and other classic playwrights has earned it the reputation as the nation’s premier classical theatre company. By focusing on works with profound themes, complex characters and poetic language written by Shakespeare, his contemporaries and the playwrights he influenced, the Company’s artistic mission is unique among theatre companies: to present theatre of scope and size in an imaginative, skillful and accessible American style that honors the playwrights’ language and intentions while viewing their work through a 21st-century lens.

A leader in arts education, STC has a stable of initiatives that teach and excite learners of all ages, from school programs and acting classes to discussion series as well as accessible programs like the annual Free For All, one of STC’s most beloved annual traditions, allowing audiences to experience Shakespeare at no charge.

Located in our nation’s capital, STC performs in two theatres, the Lansburgh Theatre and Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C., creating a dynamic, cultural hub of activity that showcases STC as well as outstanding local performing arts groups and nationally renowned organizations. STC moved into the 451-seat Lansburgh Theatre in March 1992, after six years in residency in the Folger Library’s Elizabethan theatre. At that time the Penn Quarter neighborhood was not considered desirable by many; since then, STC has helped drive its revitalization. The 774-seat Sidney Harman Hall opened in October 2007.