The Vortex theatre and the City of Albuquerque present the New Mexico Shakespeare Festival. This annual production of free shows takes place at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial. The festival will feature “King Lear” and “As You Like It” this year. Directors Debi Kierst and Julia Thudium stopped by this morning to talk about this event.

According to Kierst, “it’s a cultural treasure” to have free Shakespeare presentations available to the public for a full month. Although “The King Lear” is more of a serious play, “As You Like It” is more relaxed: “we call ourselves the party show,” says Thudium.

The festival kicks off on Aug. 5 with a presentation of “King Lear.” The first showtime for “As You Like It” will be the following weekend. For more information, click here.