A new initiative by the Shakespeare Theatre Company will make available 1,000 free tickets to every mainstage production of its 2014-15 season.
STC launched its FREE WILL program this week, expanding on its annual Free For All, which helps make theatre accessible to all residents of the D.C. Metro area.
Currently, STC is staging As You Like It, and although it’s already started its production run, it will be the first play to take advantage of the FREE WILL program and it will provide as many tickets as it can through its December 14 closing.
The generous program will then continue throughout the season, building up to the celebration of the 25th annual Free For All performance this summer.
“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,” Michael Kahn, STC’s artistic director, said in a press release. “I am thrilled that with this new program we will be making it even more accessible throughout the year.”
How it works:
A full 1,000 tickets will be given out for free to The Tempest, being staged Dec. 2 to Jan. 11, and every mainstage STC production that follows (excluding presentations and the limited engagement of Dunsinane). It’s estimated that on average, 150-200 tickets will be given out per week on as many show days as possible.
How to get them:
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. Once the free tickets are gone, 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.
“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.”
You’re probably asking, and STC answers:
Is it really free?
Can I take advantage of FREE WILL more than once?
Will there be FREE WILL tickets for every performance?
-Not necessarily. We guarantees that 1,000 tickets will be reserved for FREE WILL for every production. We will make them available on as many show days as possible, depending on availability.
Can I exchange my tickets, or get different seats?
-No. These tickets are non-transferable, non-refundable and hold no monetary value. All seat assignments will be final.
FREE WILL ticket distribution will be released every Monday from now until the end date of each show. For more information, call 202-547-1122 or visit ShakespeareTheatre.org/FREEWILL.