The initiative launches with the currently-running production of As You Like It, which continues through Dec. 14, and it will continue through the season, excluding presentations and the limited engagement of Dunsinane; it will build up to summer 2015 and the celebration of the 25th annual Free For All performance.
STC will provide as many free tickets to As You Like It as possible, and an average 150-200 tickets will be given away per week, on as many show days as possible, beginning with The Tempest.
"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," artistic director Michael Kahn said in a statement. "I am thrilled that with this new program we will be making it even more accessible throughout the year."
"We are proud of the artistically minded community in Washington, and want to encourage this community to grow," managing director Chris Jennings added. "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."
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. The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall Ticket Window is located at 610 F Street NW in Washington, DC. The Lansburgh Theatre Ticket Window is located at 450 7th Street NW in Washington, DC.
For more information, call the Box Office at (202) 547-1122 or visit shakespearetheatre.org.