Hip to Hip Theatre Company, started by two Queens-based actors, will put on free “Shakespeare in the Park” performances around the borough starting this month.
The nonprofit was founded in 2007 by actors Jason and Joy Marr and in addition to putting on free plays in the outer boroughs, the duo also provides free theater workshops for children.
This summer, the company will perform two Shakespeare plays: “Henry IV, Part 1: The Prince and The Rebel” and “Measure for Measure.” The nonprofit will also run “Kids and the Classics,” a free interactive workshop, 30 minutes before each performance that allows children ages 4 to 12 to interact with the plays’ text.
In “Henry IV,” Prince Hal must balance his need for fun with his responsibilities as heir to the throne. He must also contend with Hotspur, who is trying to destroy the kingdom.
“Measure for Measure” follows Angelo, a judge in Vienna who is instructed to take over the city when Vincentio, the Duke of Vienna, leaves on a diplomatic mission. He revives ancient laws about sex and marriage and sentences a man to death after he gets his wife pregnant. Due to legal technicalities, the couple was not officially married at the time. The dark comedy tries to examine what happens when you place power in the wrong hands.
On July 25, the group will perform “Henry IV” at Sunnyside Gardens Park at 48-21 39th Ave. The “Kids and the Classics” portion will begin while the 90-minute performance will start at 7:30 p.m.
The next day, actors will visit Flushing Meadows Corona Park to perform “Measure for Measure.” Hip to Hip Theatre Company will visit Crocheron Park in Bayside on July 27 and Aug. 3 to perform both plays and will also treat Fresh Meadows residents to the performances at Cunningham Park on Aug. 10 and Aug. 17.
Long Island City residents will get to experience the free performances at two venues — Gantry Plaza State Park on Aug. 5 and Aug. 12 and Socrates Sculpture Park on Aug. 6 and Aug. 13.
For a full list of performances and to learn more about the nonprofit, visit the Hip to Hip Theatre Company’s website.