Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival Sets Attendance Record

Sep 28th, 2011Press Release from Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Sept. 13, 2011        Contact: Lisa Higgins, 610.282.9455, ext. 4

Center Valley, PA – A 20th anniversary season with major new programming led to record attendance for the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. For the first time ever, the Festival featured:

  • A fifth major production
  • Two plays produced in repertory
  • A Shakespeare play produced using Elizabethan rehearsal methods
  • PSF’s 24th Shakespeare play out of 38 in the canon

“The season was a major step forward toward our vision and strategic goals – but more importantly, the audiences offered stirring feedback about their appreciation for it, attended in record numbers, and demonstrated their engagement in many ways,” says Producing Artistic Director Patrick Mulcahy. The season attracted an audience of 34,000, a 21% increase over the 2010 attendance of nearly 28,000, and exceeded the previous record of 33,000 set in 2009.

The Festival finished in the black for the sixth consecutive season.

The season featured Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice in rep on the Main Stage, The Comedy of Errors and The Two Noble Kinsmen, the musical South Pacific, Sleeping Beauty, and a new production of Shakespeare for Kids, along with several one-night performances.

The Two Noble Kinsmen was rehearsed as Shakespeare’s company would have – without a director. The actors arrived with their lines learned, developed their own staging in a brief rehearsal period, wore what they found in storage and in their own closets, and opened in a matter of days. In addition to enchanting audiences, the production attracted national media coverage.

“PSF is on a dynamic trajectory envisioned by a new five-year strategic plan and a broader vision aimed at the year 2030,” says Mulcahy. “This season was the launch of those efforts.”

More than 140 artists and artisans from across the country converged on the Center Valley campus of DeSales University to create seven productions for a season that ran June 3 through August 7. The acting company included 33 professional actors on Equity contracts.

“Our generous sponsors, 172 volunteers, and our lean but potent administrative staff helped create the landmark season,” says Mulcahy, “and their dedication lays the groundwork for the future.”

Kathleen Kund Nolan and Timothy E. Nolan served as the Season Sponsors. Associate Season Sponsors were the Harry C. Trexler Trust, The Morning Call, and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.

The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival at DeSales University is the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit theatre company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives support from DeSales University and relies on contributions from individuals, government agencies, corporations, and foundations. PSF is a constituent of the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, and a member of the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and the Shakespeare Theatre Association.


Lisa Higgins • Director of Marketing & Public Relations
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
2755 Station Ave. • Center Valley, PA 18034
p: 610-282-WILL, ext. 4  fax: 610-282-2084

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