Heading to the Festival
Where is PSF located?
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) is located in Eastern Pennsylvania on the campus of DeSales University in Center Valley, between routes 309 and 378, about 15 minutes from Allentown and Bethlehem. PSF is about 50 miles north of Philadelphia and 80 miles west of New York City, easily accessible from the Pennsylvania Turnpike and I-78.
Where are performances held?
All performances take place in the Labuda Center of the Performing Arts indoor theatres. Our Main Stage (proscenium theatre) seats 473 and the Schubert Theatre (thrust stage) seats 187. Before all performances, patrons can enjoy fresh air and music On the Green. Bring a picnic and a bottle of cheer and enjoy the sounds of a lute or harp, as you sit at a table on the lawn of Labuda.
Where can I park? Is parking free?
We have spacious parking lots in front of, and adjacent to, the theatre. Parking is FREE! Handicapped parking spaces are conveniently located in the front of the lot, with easy wheelchair access to the theatre.
When does PSF perform?
PSF’s season runs from the end of May to the first week in August. The PSF administrative staff works year round.
How can I order and buy tickets?
Season subscribers have first opportunity to purchase tickets for the upcoming summer season in November. Single tickets are available for sale in early spring.
Patrons can call the Box Office at 610.282.WILL (9455) during normal business hours, with extended hours added at the beginning of the season. Weekend hours vary, but you may always leave a voice mail for a prompt response from our staff when they return. Beginning in spring, tickets can also be purchased online with a Visa, Discover, American Express or MasterCard. Once the order is automatically processed by our system, patrons will receive confirmation e-mail. Our online ticketing system will offer you the best available seats and give you the option to purchase those seats, pick your own seats, or to keep looking if the seats aren’t satisfactory. Your tickets will either be mailed to you or made available for pick-up at our Will Call depending on when you make your purchase.
If you are calling the Box Office from a rotary dial phone or having touch tone phone issues when calling the Box Office, please use the following alternate Box Office phone number: (610) 282-3192.
What happens if I buy a ticket, then I can't go to the theatre on that date?
PSF has an easy exchange policy. Season subscribers never pay a fee to exchange [upcharges only apply if exchanging into a more expensive performance]. Single ticket holders pay a $5 fee per ticket; plus any upcharges if moving to a more expensive performance or seating location.
Does PSF offer any gift certificates?
Yes. Please contact our box office for more information on gift certificates at 610-282-9455, or order online.
Are there any local restaurants nearby?
For recommendations on a wide variety of dining options, check out DiscoverLehighValley.com
What hotels does PSF recommend?
The Preferred Partner Hotel of Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is the Candlewood Suites located in Bethlehem, only a short drive to Center Valley. And many area B&B’s offer unique accommodations.
Can I bring my children?
We always welcome audience members of all ages to our children’s shows which are performed most mornings, Tuesday through Saturday, late May through early August. Out of consideration for other patrons, children under the age of 6 are not permitted to attend other performances. Patrons are encouraged to use discretion when selecting productions for very young audience members.
At the Theatre
Do you only present plays by William Shakespeare?
PSF is dedicated to producing the works of William Shakespeare and master dramatists from world literature. The company also produces musical theatre, children’s theatre, and some contemporary plays, providing patrons of every age and experience a diverse range of theatre experiences in a festival environment.
Is your theatre accessible?
Yes. Please inform the Box Office when purchasing your tickets if you need seating for a wheelchair, or a headset for the infrared listening system. Large print programs are available for all performances at Will Call. For information about Sign-Interpreted, Audio Described, and Relaxed Performances, please visit our accessibility page.
Will I be able to understand Shakespeare's language?
Before every performance of our Shakespeare plays, audience members can gain insight in to the play by attending “Prologues.” Forty-five minutes prior to the start of the performance, a member of the artistic staff offers an informal discussion which includes insights into the play, a plot summary, and background on notable productions of the play through history.
Simply reading the plot summary in the program before the show and listening carefully, especially in the first few minutes of the play, will allow any patron to tune their ear to this magnificent language and reap the benefits of one of the greatest plays ever written.
What educational opportunities does PSF offer?
In 2000, PSF created The Linny Fowler WillPower Tour. WillPower is comprised of a group of experienced actors and teachers that travel to schools in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. PSF is one of 40 professional theatre companies selected to participate in Shakespeare for a New Generation, bringing the finest productions of Shakespeare to thousands of middle and high school students in communities across the United States.
Where are the actors and technicians from?
All over! Every summer PSF attracts professional actors, designers, and theatre technicians from all over the country including New York, Philadelphia, and L.A. In a typical season, more than 20 states are represented. The Festival’s company of exceptional artists and craftspeople has included winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Drama Desk, and Barrymore Awards.
Students in the DeSales Theatre department have the great fortune of getting to work alongside these gifted professionals each summer through internships in acting, technical theatre, management, and patron services.
Can audience members meet the actors after the show?
After every Thursday evening performance (excluding previews) audience members are welcome to Meet the Actors for an informal talk.
Kids of all ages can meet the cast of the children’s show after every performance. Pictures and autographs are welcome.
When should I arrive for a performance?
We suggest that you arrive at least 15 minutes prior to the start of any performance to allow you time to settle in and prepare for the experience. And about 45 minutes prior to every performance you can enjoy music On the Green. Bring a picnic and a bottle of cheer and enjoy the sounds of a lute or harp, as you sit at a table on the lawn of Labuda.
Also, 45 minutes prior to curtain for every performance of a Shakespeare play, you can participate in Prologues, an informal talk about the play.
What happens if I arrive late to a performance?
Late seating is handled at the discretion of House Management. We understand that traffic conditions, public transportation, or weather can unexpectedly impact your travel time, and you will be seated at an appropriate time during the performance.
What should I wear to the Festival?
Be comfortable so that you can relax and enjoy the performance. The majority of our patrons wear “dress casual” attire, similar to what one would wear for casual dining. You can expect a wide range of formality, however, since PSF is an ideal place for a special night out for everyone!
Are snacks allowed during the show?
We have multiple concession stands in and outside Labuda for patrons to enjoy prior to the performances, or during intermission in the lobby. Patrons are also welcome to bring food and drink and enjoy a summer picnic before one of our performances. No food or drink is allowed in the theatre.
May I take pictures or video during the performance?
Photography, video, and sound recordings are prohibited. Following the performances of the children’s show, however, patrons are welcome to take photos in the lobby with the cast.
Is there a smoking policy at the Labuda Center or on the DeSales University campus?
Smoking is not permitted in any university buildings (including the Labuda Center). Smoking outside the all buildings must be a minimum of 15 feet away from the entrance. Special receptacles are available for cigarettes.
Can my school group, church, or business hold a special event, get a backstage tour, or hold a talkback session with some of the actors or employees of PSF?
Yes. If interested in planning a group outing please contact Group Services.
How do I get involved with PSF?
Love being a part of the audience? Looking for how to be even more involved? There are lots of ways you can become part of PSF.
Working On or Off Stage
PSF employs around 200 artists and artisans each summer. See job opportunities here.
Become a member of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Volunteer Guild! The Guild is dedicated to the promotion and support of PSF and are the welcoming team that greets and serves PSF patrons. Members of the Guild serve as ushers, ticket takers, work the concession and souvenir counters, and more.
Become a Donor
The support of our donors helps bring each season to life, as we rely on donations from individuals, foundations, and corporations for almost half of our total income. Ticket sales cover less than 50% of our total production costs. Your gift will sustain PSF’s status as one of the leading Shakespeare Festivals in the country and all donations are tax-deductible. For more information on the benefits of becoming a donor, contact Melissa Kerr, Director of Development.
Spread the Word!
“We are advertis’d by our loving friends” – Henry VI Part III
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