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Shakespeare Free for All

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New ticket policy for Shakespeare Free for All

After last year's big change of moving the annual Shakespeare Free for All from the al fresco Carter Barron Amphitheater to the indoors Harman Hall, Shakespeare Theatre Company is mixing it up again with a new ticketing policy.

Rather than waiting in line for hours in the heat (with the very real possibility of not scoring a ticket), there will be an online lottery system this year for up to two tickets to "Twelfth Night." Here's how it works: For evening shows, visit the STC Web site between midnight and 1 p.m. on the day of the performance and submit information for the lottery; hopeful theater-goers will be notified of their luck via email. For matinees, the lottery is open between midnight and 1 p.m. the day before the performance. Tickets can be retrieved at will call starting at 4 p.m. for evening performances and 11:30 a.m. for matinees and must be picked up by 30 minutes before showtime. What happens with the tickets that aren't picked up by then? They'll be released on a first-come, first-served basis to last-minute planners and those unlucky in lotto.

-- Stephanie Merry