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No tickets. No lines. No crowded lobby. No seats, either, so bring a blanket!

Over the upcoming weeks, the Hip to Hip Theatre Company will present family-friendly versions of two Shakespeare plays – “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Richard III” – at various parks around Queens, starting on Wednesday, July 24.

All performances are free and open to the public. Plus, children can meet the actors and check out their costumes and props during the Kids & the Classics workshops 30 minutes before each show.

Each play lasts about 90 minutes. Picnics are allowed, but some venues prohibit alcoholic beverages and glass bottles.

Though both are attributed to Shakespeare, the two selected plays are very different. Published in 1600, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” is a five-act comedy that manages to intertwine mistaken identity, young lovers in the woods, and royal fairies.

It begins with the news that Theseus, the duke of Athens, will marry Hippolyta, the Amazon queen. Some performers head to a forest to rehearse the show they want to present at the wedding.

Then, a few more characters forge a romantic mess involving love, unrequited love, misplaced love, family love, and a love potion.

After some crazy scenes, the drama ends in a triple wedding (of course).

Meanwhile, “Richard III,” which was written in 1593, is historic fiction about a ruthless, power-crazed, deformed Englishman who rises to power via manipulation, deceit, and even intra-family murder. His reign is very short, though, as he who lives by the sword, also dies by the sword.

The play begins at the end of the Wars of the Roses, a series of bloody battles for the throne that pitted the House of Lancaster (represented by a red rose) against the House of York (a white rose). Edward IV is the new king, and England looks forward to peace. However, Edward’s younger brother, Richard, is already planning to steal the throne. He plots with prisoners. He marries a well-connected widow. He kills a brother. He spreads lies. He frames innocent people for his crimes. Then he gets really nasty.

Toward the end, the common people turn against him, and Richard dies in battle. Henry VII rises to monarch, and peace is finally on hand.

Artistic Director Jason Marr, who lives in Woodside, discussed the play selection: “If you’re going to produce something as dark and bloody as ‘Richard III,’ you need something as light and fluffy as ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ to balance the season.”

Here’s the Queens schedule:

  • Midsummer, Wednesday, July 24, 7 p.m., the Unisphere, Flushing Meadows Corona Park;
  • Richard, Thursday, July 25, 7:30 p.m., Cunningham Park, Union Turnpike and 196th Street, Fresh Meadows (Rain Date: July 30);
  • Midsummer, Thursday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m., Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Corbett Road, Bayside;
  • Richard, Sunday, Aug. 4, 4:30 p.m., Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd., LIC;
  • Midsummer, Thursday, Aug. 8, 6:30 p.m., LeFrak City, 59-17 Junction Blvd., Corona (Rain Date: Aug. 13);
  • Richard, Friday, Aug. 9, 7 p.m., Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing;
  • Richard, Saturday, Aug. 10, 7 p.m., Gantry Plaza State Park, 04-09 47th Rd., LIC;
  • Midsummer, Sunday, Aug. 11, 4:30 p.m., Socrates Sculpture Park, 32-01 Vernon Blvd., LIC;
  • Richard, Wednesday, Aug. 14, 7 p.m., Sunnyside Gardens Park, 48-21 39th Ave.;
  • Midsummer, Thursday, Aug. 15, 7:30 p.m., Cunningham Park, Union Turnpike and 196th Street, Fresh Meadows (Rain Date: Aug. 15);
  • Midsummer, Friday, Aug. 16, 7 p.m., Voelker Orth Museum, 149-19 38th Ave., Flushing;
  • Midsummer, Saturday, Aug. 17, 7 p.m., Gantry Plaza State Park, 04-09 47th Rd., LIC;
  • Midsummer, Wednesday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m., Sunnyside Gardens Park, 48-21 39th Ave.; and
  • Richard, Thursday, Aug. 22, 7 p.m., Crocheron Park, 35th Avenue and Corbett Road, Bayside.

There are also productions in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, New Jersey, and Staten Island.

Founded in 2007 by Marr and his wife, Joy, Hip to Hip offers annual outdoor productions in public spaces with the goal of making top-notch theater available to all. The term “Hip to Hip” is a phrase from Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors.”

In past summers, the troupe has produced such Shakespearean works as “Romeo and Juliet,” “Macbeth,” “Othello,” “The Merchant of Venice,” “King Lear,” and “All’s Well That Ends Well.”

Images: Hip to Hip Theatre Company

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