Box Office: 610.282.WILL

At Home with PSF

Until We Can Gather Together Again in the Theater, We Invite You to Engage with Us Here

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

At Home with PSF

Each week we will spotlight conversations with artists, showcase PSF behind the scenes, feature performance highlights, resources, and more. This is a test.

We very much look forward to the day where we can gather together again and share in the beauty and inspiration of live theatre. We hope you will continue to support PSF as much as you are able as we move into the future together.

Until we meet again, please join us at home.

Happenings & Highlights

July 6 – July 12

Artist In Conversation

Artists in Conversation: "Extreme Shakespeare" Roundtable

Ever wonder how our “Extreme Shakespeare” process works behind the scenes? Akin to the way Shakespeare’s company would have rehearsed, actors arrive with their lines learned, rehearse on their own, wear what they can find, no director or designers, and open in a matter of days. We sat down with actors Eric Hissom, Brandon J. Pierce, Lindsay Smiling, Susan Riley Stevens, and Kathryn Tkel to chat about the joys and challenges of this intense process, and the exciting and innovative ways it brings Shakespeare to life. Video will be available on 7/11/2020 at 10:00am.

Watch Now

Father Schubert

Give Beauty Back: A Founder's Perspective

In 2015, PSF founder Father Jerry Schubert composed a great opus entitled Give Beauty Back. Compiling years of memories, Fr. Schubert recounted the early days of founding both Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and the DeSales University Performing Arts Department. We’re excited to share an excerpt from his book here, and to reflect on the many decades of growth encouraged by Fr. Schubert, DeSales University, and our wonderful loyal patrons.

Read Excerpt

PSF Luminosity Gala

July 12th, 2020 7:00pm

PSF Past to Present: Luminosity Gala

As we prepare to celebrate our annual Luminosity Gala virtually on Sunday, July 12, we recall the many moments of brilliance we’ve witnessed over the years at our Gala. Each year PSF’s closest friends and donors come together with our artists and staff to kick off our season. While we may not be able to gather in person this year, we look forward to a chance to gather our PSF family virtually for some equally brilliant performances and an opportunity to support the future of the Festival.

PSF Scorecard

At Home Resources: Shakespeare Scorecard

Have you been updating your Shakespeare Scorecard as you stream productions from home? Click here for a PDF of PSF’s scorecard where you can track what Shakespeare plays in the canon that you’ve seen over the years, both at PSF and elsewhere. Looking for a new Shakespeare experience? Check out the Folger Shakespeare Library‘s complete online library of Shakespeare’s plays and read up on something you’ve never seen on stage. Maybe your new favorite will appear on a PSF stage soon!

Download Scorecard

PSF: Past to Present

PSF: Past to Present

In 2011, PSF began the tradition of “Extreme Shakespeare” productions, rehearsed akin to the way Shakespeare’s company would have—actors arrive with their lines learned, rehearse on their own, wear what they can find, no director or designers, and open in a matter of days. The practice not only requires brilliant actor ingenuity, but allows audiences to experience some of Shakespeare’s less-produced works in an exciting and inventive atmosphere.

(Pictured: Brandon J. Pierce and Mairin Lee in the 2017 Extreme Shakespeare production of Troilus and Cressida, photo by Lee A. Butz.)

Happenings & Highlights

June 29 – July 5

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Virtual Gala

July 12, 2020, 7PM

PSF Virtual Gala

Enjoy performances from Broadway headliners and award-winning artists. Support PSF’s education and artistic programs and support the Festival’s operations during this intermission season.

“We’re excited to share a one-of-a-kind and one-night-only experience this summer with all who love PSF,” say Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy. “This virtual event (just click the link that night) will include special performances and programming unavailable anywhere else! You can support the Festival and have an enchanted evening at the same time.

Learn More

Jim Helsinger and Suzanne O'Donnell

VIDEO FEATURE

Artists in Conversation: Jim Helsinger and Suzanne O'Donnell

Multi-talented PSF veteran couple Jim Helsinger (The Importance of Being EarnestTwelfth NightMerry Wives of Windsor) and Suzanne O’Donnell (Twelfth NightLend Me a TenorPericles) share their deep history with the Festival and why they return each summer. Jim and Suzanne recall the many years of laughter on PSF stages, the company of friends built over many seasons, and the great work they’ve created along the way.

Watch Here

Christopher Patrick Mullen

FEATURED ARTICLE

Gigless in the Valley: Christopher Patrick Mullen

Kathy Lauer-Williams of the Bethlehem Press checks in with PSF veteran Christopher Patrick Mullen about the effects of the global pandemic on theater artists. Chris shares about losing gigs for the foreseeable future, spending extra time with family, and the meaning of returning to “Shakespeare Camp” each summer.

Read Here

Stratford Film Festival

The Stratford Film Festival

Each summer, PSF founder Fr. Jerry Schubert would travel to the Stratford Festival in Canada and dream of a destination theatre, right here in Center Valley. As theatres continue to be shuttered for the pandemic, you can catch many of Stratford’s historic Shakespeare productions, right in your own home! Check out Stratford Festival’s website for a schedule of what’s showing this summer and enriching resources to support each of these memorable productions.

Watch Here

Best

PSF: Past to Present

We share a meaningful memory from Tina Slak, PSF’s Director of Marketing and PR: “I’ll never forget watching Phoenix Best take the stage as the understudy for Éponine in our 2015 production of Les Misérables. Although she was just a student at that time, Phoenix was full of grace, talent, and professionalism. Her performance was especially meaningful after watching her grow up as a DeSales student, a PSF work study, and a Young Company member. It was no surprise to anyone who was there that night that just a few months later Phoenix launched her Broadway career in The Color Purple. Now a seasoned professional, she continues to grace the stage on Broadway and beyond.”

Previous Happenings & Highlights

June 22 – June 28

Coucill

VIDEO FEATURE

Artists in Conversation: Christopher Coucill

We talk with multi-faceted actor Christopher Coucill (King Lear, Man of La Mancha, King Richard II, Hamlet, Crazy for You) about being a part of PSF’s first musical, switching gears between musicals and Shakespeare, and his Broadway musical history. Chris shares his long history with the Festival and why he loves being a PSF actor and audience member.

Watch Here

Angela Larose

FEATURED ARTICLE

The Young Company: Summers to Remember

We share a reflection from Young Company member Angela LaRose about her years as a part of PSF’s cornerstone mentorship program and the memories she holds dear, despite the loss of this year’s season. Get a behind the scenes look at how an understudy prepares and takes the stage in one of PSF’s major musicals.

Read Here

Now Streaming

Now Streaming

Looking for a way to get your musical theatre fix at home while theatres are taking an intermission? Audiences all over the world are turning to streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Broadway HD and more to provide the magic of theatre with live recordings of exciting productions from Broadway and beyond. Check out this guide to learn what’s playing and get ready for the overture to begin!

Learn More

PSF Past

PSF: Past to Present

In 2000, PSF introduced The Linny Fowler WillPower Tour, bringing Shakespeare productions and other resources directly to students and teachers. The inaugural tour of Romeo and Juliet reached 7,500 students in the Tri-State area. Decades later, the tour’s impact has grown exponentially, reaching 10,000-15,000 students each fall, in recent years. This 2017 production of Romeo and Juliet was one of the tour’s popular hits with students and celebrates the growth PSF’s cornerstone educational programming.

Previous Happenings & Highlights

June 15 – June 21

Akeem Davis

VIDEO FEATURE

Behind the Artistry: Akeem Davis

We sit down for a chat with actor Akeem Davis (Love’s Labours Lost, Henry V, Twelfth Night) about playing one of Shakespeare’s famous poets, becoming part of the PSF family, and what brought him to acting as a young man. Revisit scenes from PSF’s 2018 production of Twelfth Night and hear more about adding a touch of the unexpected to Shakespeare’s greatest works.

Watch Here

1619 Podcast

PODCAST

1619 Podcast

As we commemorated Juneteenth this week and remembered the liberation of those held as slaves in the United States, we take time to listen, learn, and reflect. We often seek to connect history to the practice of how we tell stories today. In the early 17th century as the era of Shakespeare ended in England, American history was just beginning across the Atlantic. The podcast “1619” from The New York Times examines “the long shadow of American slavery” and connects the past to the present in meaningful and impactful ways.

Listen Here

WillPower Tour

20 YEARS

Celebrating The WillPower Tour

Each year, PSF’s Linny Fowler WillPower Tour brings a live Shakespeare production to middle schools and high schools throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. As we commemorate the 20th anniversary tour from the fall of 2019, we look back at the tour’s history over two decades of bringing Shakespeare directly to schools and impacting more than 200,000 students.

Learn More

PSF Past to Present

PSF: Past to Present

In 1992, Fr. Gerard J. Schubert introduced the first season of Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. The inaugural season included productions of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet. See if you can find any familiar PSF faces in this photo from The Taming of the Shrew.

 

Previous Happenings & Highlights

June 8 – June 14

Eleanor Handley

VIDEO FEATURE

Behind the Artistry: Eleanor Handley

We talk with actress Eleanor Handley (Twelfth Night, Private Lives, Blithe Spirit, and Much Ado About Nothing) about one of Shakespeare’s great leading ladies. Revisit scenes from PSF’s 2016 production of The Taming of the Shrew and peek behind the curtain at the process of putting together one of Shakespeare’s most famous comedies.

Watch Here

PSF Competition

PSF's 11th Annual High School Shakespeare Competition

Each year, PSF’s Shakespeare Competition provides multiple performance opportunities for students, direct feedback from actors and teaching artists from New York and Philadelphia, and opportunities to engage in workshops and panel discussions with professional artists. Read more about this year’s winners here.

Read More

Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast

At Home Resources

Shakespeare Unlimited Podcast

Hear from PSF board member Ian Smith, Ph.D in this episode of Folger Shakespeare Library’s “Shakespeare Unlimited” podcast, originally broadcast in 2016. As a scholar on Shakespeare and Race, Ian shares insight into Othello and the Elizabethan modes of blackface used in performance.

Learn More

Sustaining Sponsors

We thank all of our sponsors – corporations, individuals and foundations – for their enduring partnership with Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. In this time of crisis, the generosity of our 2020 Sustaining Sponsors is now more meaningful than ever.