Record-breaking summer 2014 at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival
A new record in overall ticket income and the highest attendance capacity for a Shakespeare play on the Main Stage in the past 20 years were hallmarks of the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s 23rd summer season.
Corporate and individual sponsorships and annual fund donations increased and the annual fundraising Gala set records for net revenue, gross revenue, and attendance.
The Festival’s 140+ performances of seven productions featured 25 professional Equity actors as part of a seasonal company staff of more than 185 artists and artisans from 22 states, including award-winning directors and designers who are members of United Scenic Artists and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
Macbeth won accolades from theatre critics and audience members alike. “Shakespeare’s Macbeth arrived in stark, stylish form in Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival’s newly minted production,” wrote the Philadelphia Inquirer.
And the Reading Eagle claimed: “PSF’s Macbeth stuns with its power and ambition… a triumph for the Festival.”
“Shakespeare’s plays are perhaps the world’s most exquisite vehicles for expressing the depth and complexity of human experience, and we are grateful this production was so well received,” says Patrick Mulcahy, producing artistic director, who directed Macbeth. “You couldn’t get a ticket the last weekend, which is remarkable for a tragedy in the middle of the summer. That says a lot and was encouraging.”
Since introducing a musical into its programming in 2004, PSF has produced eight, all directed by Associate Artistic Director Dennis Razze. This season’s Fiddler on the Roof set an attendance record for a musical and was also the second highest attended production in the company’s history. Razze’s 1998 production of The Taming of the Shrew still holds the record of nearly 9,000 – but it had five more performances than Fiddler, which was attended by 8,759.
Overall attendance of 33,530 was the second highest since the Festival was founded in 1992, and the two productions in repertory – Macbeth and Lend Me a Tenor – also set a combined rep attendance record.
“An engaged and expanding audience is as essential to our mission and vision as producing world-class theatre,” says Mulcahy.
Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is a professional company in residence on the idyllic Center Valley campus of DeSales University, featuring acclaimed actors from New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, with Broadway, television, and film credits. The best of the DeSales theatre majors have the chance to intern at the Festival, filling in as ensemble members and learning from a cast of seasoned, working professionals.
The 23rd season also featured Lend Me a Tenor (in repertory with Macbeth), Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Tina Packer’s Women of Will. Children’s programming featured Cinderella and Shakespeare for Kids. The Festival also offered two one-night-only performances: The Great Divorce and The Baltimore Consort.
The 2014 Season Sponsor was Breslin Ridyard Fadero Architects. Associate Season Sponsors were Linda Lapos and Paul Wirth, the Szarko Family, and The Harry C. Trexler Trust. Media sponsors are The Morning Call and Service Electric Cable TV & Communications.
The 2015 season will be announced soon.
The Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival is the Official Shakespeare Festival of the Commonwealth and a professional, not-for-profit theatre company. An independent 501 c 3 organization, PSF receives generous 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 Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, the Shakespeare Theatre Association, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council, and Discover Lehigh Valley.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Lisa Higgins, 610.282.WILL , ext. 4
September 18, 2014 gro.eraepsekahsapnull@sniggiH.asiL