EDMONTON -- The Freewill Shakespeare Festival may have been cancelled but a new local troupe is proving that all the world’s a stage, or at least parts of Edmonton can be.

The festival has been running for more than 30 years and has been viewed by more than one million people.

“We try to reach an audience that… some people are coming because they love Shakespeare and some people are little bit hesitant and we try to capture that big wide audience,” said Dave Horak with the Freewill Shakespeare Festival.

COVID-19 had the festival asking whether it was to be or not to be, the newly formed “Free Willies” troupe answered with a “yes.”

“If you think about the history of theatre there were a lot of travelling troupes and to do that and connect with people more to make it more of a community thing I think there is a lot of value to that,” said actor Billy Brown.

“I think some Shakespeare is better than no Shakespeare.”

Brown is part of the three-person troupe which will be performing songs, comedy sketches and reading Shakespeare as they tour. Their venues will be porches, backyards and perhaps even hamlets.

“Shakespeare was really democratic, was really trying to hit a really wide range of audience, all social classes all people and so we’re bring it back to the people,” said Horak.

The 20 minute shows are free and can be booked through the Freewill Shakespeare Festival’s website. The performances will be available until the end of the month.

With files from CTV News Edmonton’s Graham Neil