People's Light Brings SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE to the Stage

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People's Light presents Shakespeare in Love, a stage adaptation of the 1998 Academy Award-winning film. In 1593 London, Will Shakespeare has writer's block. Low on funds and out of ideas, the young playwright finds his muse in Viola de Lesseps, a wealthy merchant's daughter with dreams of the stage. Despite England's prohibition on female performers, Viola disguises herself as a man and wins the role of "Romeo" in Shakespeare's upcoming comedy, Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter. As Will discovers that his talented leading man is none other than the captivating aristocrat he admired from afar, the two begin a passionate affair that becomes inspiration for a new love story: Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare in Love runs in the Leonard C. Haas Stage February 26 - March 29. Tickets start at $35, including fees. To purchase, call 610.644.3500 or visit People's Light is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355.

Shakespeare in Love first premiered at the Noël Coward Theatre in London's West End in July 2014 under the direction of Declan Donnellan, and came to the US in 2017 at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Hailed as "warm and witty" (The Guardian), "funny," "genuinely moving" (Daily Telegraph), and "an absolute joy from beginning to end" (The Daily Express), the play continues to be produced across the country and around the world.

People's Light Producing Director Zak Berkman is thrilled to bring the Shakespeare-esque romantic comedy to Malvern. "Every year, we hear some audiences say 'Please, no Shakespeare,' while others plead for more from The Bard. The great thing about Shakespeare in Love is that everyone - the lovers and the haters - can happily unite behind this celebration of romance, rebellion, and theatre itself."

"This play is like a valentine to the joy, camaraderie, and utter chaos of bringing a play to life for the very first time," says Director Matt Pfeiffer, who has spent most of his career delving into the works of William Shakespeare.

"I've found great success by infusing any production of Shakespeare with the core theatrical principles of his time. Shakespeare's company didn't have designers or directors, they used stock costumes and sets, and had very little rehearsal time. The focus was on the actors and the action," Pfeiffer explains. "So, when the prospect of directing Shakespeare in Love came about, I was particularly excited to explore the spirit and energy of theatre-making in Shakespeare's world."

As The Bard himself says, "If music be the food of love, play on!" Highly sought-after Philadelphia artist Alex Bechtel, who has previously collaborated with People's Light and Matt Pfeiffer, composes new songs and an original score exclusive to the People's Light production of Shakespeare in Love.

Shakespeare in Love previews Wednesday, February 26; Thursday, February 27; and Friday, February 28 at 7:30pm. The play opens on Saturday, February 29 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, March 29. Standard tickets start at $45, including fees. $35 preview tickets are available February 26-28. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500 or visit

Discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call Group Sales Associate Kelly Benedict at 610.647.1900 x111 or email

Shakespeare in Love is recommended for ages 13+ due to mild sexual situations and some profanity. Approximate run time is 2 hours and 35 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission.

Flexible subscription packages are available for the remainder of the 2019/2020 Season at People's Light. Productions include Shakespeare in Love (February 26 - March 29); Hold These Truths (March 18 - April 19); Bayard Rustin: Inside Ashland (May 13 - June 7); Mary Jane (June 24 - July 19); and Songs for Nobodies (August 5 - 30). Visit or call 610.644.3500 for more information.

Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.

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