Scranton Shakespeare Festival to stage many great shows in July and August

SCRANTON — This non-profit theater group draws patrons from near and far, not only with a mixture of the Bard’s tales and modern-day musicals, but because all performances are free.

Currently underway, this summer’s Scranton Shakespeare Festival professes that “everyone should have access to the theatre, no matter your age, passion, (or what you can afford to spend on a ticket).”

Offering a diverse season of professional theatre, the Festival this summer offers, as a bonus, the premiere of a new play.

The 2019 lineup from the Scranton Shakespeare Festival includes:

“Cabaret” (tonight-Sunday; Aug. 4) — This titillating, tantalizing musical set in Berlin’s Kit Kat Club will be presented in Scranton’s new speakeasy, Madam Jenny’s At the Bittenbender, 126 Franklin Ave. For mature audiences.

“The Behavior of Light” (July 31; Aug. 1-2) — This brand new play is set in Reading, Pennsylvania in the 1970’s. Teddy is in his room painting. Alone as usual, Teddy doesn’t respond to his mother calling from downstairs. He is “a million miles away, in a world of lovers, he’s lost in the majesty of colors, the enchantment of brush strokes, and the behavior of light”. To be staged at the University of Scranton’s Royal Theatre.

“Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (Aug. 3) — This family fare musical is drawn from the biblical account of young Joseph and his brothers. “Joseph” will be presented at the Scranton Prep School’s Bellarmine Theatre.

“Troilus & Cressida” (Aug. 3) — Shakespeare’s epic drama of love and sex during the Trojan War is transported to the time of legends, who experience the beauty of Helen of Troy, and the strength of Achilles. This production is staged at the Bellarmine Theatre at the Scranton Prep School, 100 Wyoming Ave., and is directed by Bradshaw Flynn, the Festival’s artistic director.

“Richard III (Aug. 4) — Murder, betrayal and treason are all in a day’s work in Shakespeare’s harrowing political thriller. The University of Scranton’s Royal Theatre, 800 Linden St., is the site of Richard’s ambitious and bloodthirsty campaign to sit on England’s throne.

The Scranton Shakespeare Festival’s professional productions draw fans from not only Northeastern Pennsylvania, but also from Central Pennsylvania. The fact that the SSF shows are free for all attendees certainly is an additional drawing card. Tickets are available for all productions.