Free Shakespeare Productions All Week in Pottsville

POTTSVILLE, Pa. -- If you're looking for something to do this week without having to pay a dime, Pottsville could be the place to go.

A nonprofit production company is performing Shakespeare plays for free.

"When you go see a Broadway show or something, you could pay like $500, thousands of dollars for a Hamilton ticket, and the show is incredible," Leanne Rooney, who's playing Hamlet, said.Β  "But to be able to put on a quality production here, for free, it's really awesome."

For the fourth year, Schuylkill Free Shakespeare, a nonprofit company, is producing free Shakespeare plays this week at the Yuengling Mansion in Pottsville.

"I think it's important to break down economic barriers so that people can see great theater," Emily Ehlinger, artistic director, said. "When I first wanted to do this, people would roll their eyes at me and say, 'Ah, Schuylkill County, good luck.' I'm like, 'Why not here?' Great theater's for everybody, especially here. It's our hometown, our home area. It's gorgeous."

Also gorgeous is where the plays will take place, outside in the mansion's garden along the 1400 block of Mahantango Street. Productions will include Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

"I want to be an actor as a job growing up," Cole Demcher, who's starring as Rosencrantz, said. "So this is wonderful because when I'm not at school, I'm kind of stuck without opportunities. But having this, I'm able to work on my craft and get better at what I want to do."

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity that we have to give a show for free outdoors in the summer when people might not have many things on their plate or when the summer is winding down, they might need a reprieve or a rest," P.J. Moran, who will be playing Guildenstern, said.

The crew will be doing seven total shows this week, with the last one happening on Sunday. For more information, click here.Β 

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