Aug. 4, 2016 By Hannah Wulkan
The Hip to Hip Theater Company is bringing Shakespeare to Queens for the tenth year running.
With free shows in parks throughout the area, the company will stage Julius Caesar and As You Like It, two of Shakespeare’s best-known works.
Beginning this Friday, Hip to Hip will put on shows for free in public parks in Sunnyside, Long Island City and Astoria.
The company will perform Julius Caesar at Sunnyside Gardens Park this Friday at 7:30 p.m., As You Like It in Gantry Plaza State Park on Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Julius Caesar again in the Socrates Sculpture Park on Sunday at 5 p.m, with kids workshops beginning an hour before each of these start times.
Next week on August 12, 13 and 14 the showtimes and locations will be the same, though As You Like It will show on Friday and Sunday, and Julius Caesar will show on Saturday.
The events are free and open to the public. Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket or lawn chairs.
Hip to Hip was founded in 2007 by two Queens-based actors, Jason and Joy Marr. According to the organization’s website, the company was formed with the goal “to share with the community their enthusiasm for great plays, the works of Shakespeare in particular.”
This year the company comes full circle with the performance of As You Like It, the first play it ever put on. Ten years ago, the company performed in the Courtyard of Sunnyside’s All-Saints Church and at Woodside’s Windmuller Park for about 500 people in total.
This year, the company will perform in 11 different parks throughout Queens, the Bronx, Jersey City, and Southampton for an audience of 7,000. The group also performed at the New York International Fringe Festival last year.
In addition to presenting free theater performances throughout the area, the company offers a workshop for children called “Kids and the Classics,” which is a free program presented an hour before every show.
“It gives children a chance to interact with the text by previewing the characters and situations, creating links between the text and their own lives through theatre games, and close reading of text,” explains Hip to Hip’s website.