Pay-What-You-Will on the Hill, for the First Time Ever

A favorite moment from Will on the Hill 2005. Image courtesy Shakespeare Theatre Company

One of D.C.’s iconic bi-partisan events is going online — and thus accessible to the entire nation for the first time ever. (Thanks for the COVID silver lining STC!)

On Monday, September 14, 2020 Members of Congress and distinguished Washington influencers from both sides of the aisle will present Will on the Hill… or Won’t They? This year’s Will on the Hill is sure to be as witty as ever, a playful take on power and policymaking that will include cast members from both the U.S. Congress and the United Kingdom Parliament!

Each year has an original script. This year’s is written by playwright, director, and actor Nat Cassidy (Any Day Now, Old Familiar Faces).

Audiences will laugh out loud over two congressional aides (of opposing parties) in the midst of a clandestine bipartisan romance — star-crossed lovers like Romeo and Juliet to be sure. But add in  contemporary politics to the Shakespearean verse, turbulent times, and well… 2020, and it’s a celebration of the Bard that somehow just makes sense.

And for the first time ever, audiences can pay any price they choose — aka Pay What You Will — though you should know that all proceeds benefit STC’s education and community engagement programs.

“Our Congressional cast is volunteering their time and talent because they know that the arts can change lives,” states Senior Director of Engagement and Education Samantha Wyer Bello, who will direct this year’s play. “This unique show couldn’t happen without a team of imaginative professionals doing what they do best, be it in performance, in fundraising, or education. My hope is that we build a joyous experience that allows us to laugh and also remember why the arts matter.”

The illustrious cast* will include Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a Will on the Hill regular, Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Sen. Angus King (I-ME). Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA), Rep. Andy Biggs (R-AZ), Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-PA), Rep. André Carson (D-IN), Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Rep. Carol Miller (R-WV), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX), Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN), Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME), Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Rep. Donna Shalala (D-FL), Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV), Rep. Filemon Vela (D-TX), and Rep. Peter Welch (D-VT) are all confirmed to perform. Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the United States Dame Karen Pierce and Ian Lidell-Granger, a Member of Parliament in the UK, are both slated to join the performance. *All cast members are subject to change.

The event begins at 6 p.m. with a VIP Virtual Pre-Show Reception to be followed at 7 p.m. by a Virtual Performance. The evening’s broadcast will also feature students from STC’s Virtual Camp Shakespeare, the company’s popular summer-long program that brings Shakespeare’s plays to life for children ages 7 to 18—a key demonstration of the educational programs supported by Will on the Hill’s fundraising efforts.

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