Introducing the New Air Products Open Air Theatre

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival receives naming grant award from Air Products Foundation


Contact: Tina Slak

May 12, 2021

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is pleased to announce it will be the recipient of a $25,000 grant award from the Air Products Foundation to support the Festival’s new outdoor stage for the upcoming 30th anniversary season, and its annual Luminosity Gala. In honor of this grant, the Festival has named its new outdoor stage the Air Products Open Air Theatre, which will make its debut with William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream on July 7, 2021 on the mall adjacent to the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts at DeSales University, in Center Valley, PA.

“The Festival’s commitment and dedication to our community means so much to all involved, and we are honored to continue our partnership,” says Laurie Hackett, Air Products Director of Community Relations and Philanthropy.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival (PSF) has been the beneficiary of Air Products’ support throughout its 30-year history through financial contributions and event and season sponsorships, as well as through the volunteer efforts of their employees. In recognition of its long-term partnership, PSF presented Air Products with the 2017 Will Shakespeare Award—an award bestowed upon individuals and organizations whose contributions to the community create an indelible and beautiful impression.

“The Festival is so grateful for the consistent and meaningful support of Air Products,” said Patrick Mulcahy, PSF’s producing artistic director. “They improve the quality of life for so many people in the Lehigh Valley and beyond who are the true beneficiaries of their generosity.”

The Air Products Foundation grant will also benefit PSF’s Luminosity Gala, its largest annual fundraising event which supports PSF’s education and artistic programs and its underlying commitment to producing great plays, introducing a new generation to Shakespeare, and cultivating the next generation of artists, audiences, and supporters. The outdoor tented event will take place on Saturday, June 19 at 6:00pm on the campus of DeSales University and will feature live entertainment by members of the Festival’s artistic company, including Broadway headliners and actors with significant film and television credits who offer a prelude to the upcoming 30th Anniversary season.

As previously announced, the season will open June 25 and run through August 1, with an exciting variety of outdoor, indoor and virtual performances. Productions include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned, An Iliad, Native Gardens, Charlotte’s Web, and a one night only concert with Broadway actress Phoenix Best.

Tickets for all summer productions will go on sale May 24 and will be available to purchase online at or by calling the box office at 610.282.WILL [9455] at that time. Look for more info in the coming weeks about Festival outdoor dining options and other events.

Tickets for the Luminosity Gala are available by calling 610-282- WILL (9455), ext. 6, or online at

The Festival’s 2021 Season Sponsor is Douglas Dykhouse. The Associate Season Sponsors are Linda Lapos & Paul Wirth, Kathleen Kund Nolan & Timothy E. Nolan, the Szarko Family, and Harry C. Trexler Trust.

Summer 2021 Season:

Outdoor Stage: Charlotte’s Web (10:00am): Opens June 25 through July 31; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (6:30pm): Previews, July 7 & July 8; Opens, July 9 through Aug 1; and In Concert with Phoenix Best (6:30pm): One-Night-Only, July 12.

 Main Stage: How I Learned What I Learned (6:30pm): Previews, June 29 & June 30; Opens, July 1 through July 11; and An Iliad (6:30pm): Previews, July 20 and July 21; Opens, July 22 through Aug 1.

 Virtual to Stream (dates/times TBD): Charlotte’s Web, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Native Gardens, and An Iliad.

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival features acclaimed actors from Broadway, television, and film, and is traditionally the summer home to more than 200 artists from around the country, including winners and nominees of the Tony, Obie, Emmy, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Jefferson, and Barrymore awards. 

About Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy, is the only professional Equity theatre of its scope and scale within a 50-mile radius. PSF is one of only a handful of theatres on the continent producing Shakespeare, musicals, classics, and contemporary plays, all of which can normally be seen in rep and in multiple spaces within a few visits in a single summer season. Similarly, PSF was among just a handful of theatres on the continent in recent summers to produce three Shakespeare plays in a single summer season.  A patron would have to travel seven to nine hours from PSF to find a comparable range of offerings at a single theatre within a few weeks’ time.

The Festival’s award-winning company of many world-class artists includes Broadway, film, and television veterans, and winners and nominees of the Tony, Emmy, Obie, Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Jefferson, Hayes, Lortel, and Barrymore awards. A leading Shakespeare theatre with a national reputation for excellence, PSF has received coverage in The Washington Post, NPR, American Theatre Magazine,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and in recent seasons The New York Times has identified PSF as one of the leading summer theatre festivals in the nation. “A world-class theater experience on a par with the top Bard fests,” is how one New York Drama Desk reviewer characterized PSF.

Founded in 1992 and the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, PSF’s mission is to enrich, inspire, engage, and entertain the widest possible audience through first-rate productions of classical and contemporary plays, with a core commitment to Shakespeare and other master dramatists, and through an array of education and mentorship programs. A not-for-profit theatre, PSF receives significant support from its host, DeSales University, from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. With 150 performances of seven productions, the Festival attracts patrons each summer from 30+ states. In 29 years, PSF has offered 175 total productions (74 Shakespeare), and entertained 1,000,000+ patrons from 50 states, now averaging 34,000-40,000 in attendance each summer season, plus another 13,000 students each year through its WillPower Tour to schools. PSF is a multi-year recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Arts: Shakespeare in American Communities, and is a constituent of Theatre Communications Group, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association. In 2013, leaders of the world’s premier Shakespeare theatres gathered at PSF as the Festival hosted the international STA Conference.

The Festival’s vision is for world-class theatre.