The Scranton Shakespeare Festival offers free professional theatre to the public. SSF is a nonprofit, government-recognized 501(c)3 organization founded by Michael Bradshaw Flynn alongside a board of local community members and theatre professionals hailing from the Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) region.
It all started back in 2011, when Scranton native, Michael Bradshaw Flynn conceived the idea to organise a free public performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream in Scranton's historic Nay Aug Park.
Nearly 1,000 people made their way to the park to enjoy an afternoon of theatre. The production team was thrilled with the response and determined to continue, thus, the festival was born.
Since then the festival has grown year by year. The programming has an emphasis on Shakespeare as well as a variety of contemporary plays, musicals and even immersive productions like Damn Yankees at PNC Field and How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying at The Marketplace at Steamtown and Cabaret at Madame Jenny's Speakeasy.
Scranton Shakes proudly provides a space in which artists and company members can develop original work. Offering a supportive community for its artists as well as unique opportunities for audiences to see developing work.
Many productions were conceived, developed and programmed at Scranton Shakes before enjoying further development and performances elsewhere.
Michael Bradshaw Flynn has served as a co-founder and the artistic director of the Scranton Shakespeare Festival since it’s premier season in 2011. Michael is a Scranton native who is based out of New York City. Michael served as the associate director for the Broadway productions of It’s Only a Play and The Front Page. Most recently Michael worked on the National Tour of Roger’s and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Michael also served as the associate director at the prestigious Lincoln Center Theatre and their production of Dada Woof Papa Hot and as the assistant to the playwright for LCT on TONY nominated production of The Nance.
Michael has directed a number of new off Broadway productions:
Camel, the new play by Charly Clive and The First Man. Michael has also directed at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
At SSF Michael directed a number of productions: The Pirates of Penzance, Romeo and Juliet, The Tavern, Much Ado About Nothing, Damn Yankees, Footloose, Troilus and Cressida. Michael is currently directing and adapting a Shakespearean comedy for this upcoming season’s production of The Real Merry Wives of Windsor.
WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING
"I had the privilege of enjoying How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying this evening at the Steamtown Mall. Many of the cast are from New York and they were so very talented in acting, singing, and dancing. The audience loved every minute of it. What a creative idea seeing a show in the mall! Thank you to the entire cast...Thank you everyone for the most memorable evening and the show was a smashing hit!"