The Oregon Shakespeare Festival joins with more than 400 theaters throughout the United States by launching its second annual "Free Night of Theatre" program Thursday and Friday. There is one condition, however: theatergoers must never have attended an Oregon Shakespeare Festival play before.

"The spirit in which the 'Free Night' program was created is to reach out to those people who may never have been to a theatrical performance or at the very least have never attended a performance at OSF before," said OSF Executive Director Paul Nicholson. "We have only a limited number of tickets available to offer, and we sincerely hope to have brand new audiences experience the excitement of a live performance at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival."

The event will be held in conjunction with the Theatre Communications Group , the national theater service organization.

OSF will be making tickets available, with a limit of two tickets per household, to two performances on Thursday and Friday:

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162; Thursday, Oct. 18 &

Gem of the Ocean, 1:30 p.m., Angus Bowmer Theatre.

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162; Friday, Oct. 19 &

Distracted, 1:30 p.m., New Theatre.

In 2006, building on the success of the 2005 pilot program, Free Night expanded to include 13 additional communities: the cities of Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Lexington, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.; and the states of Connecticut, Oregon, New Jersey, North Carolina and Wisconsin. Launched nationally on Oct. 19, the 2006 campaign offered 35,627 free tickets to 522 performances presented by 387 participating theatre companies from coast to coast.

To obtain tickets, either call the OSF Box Office at 482-4331 or stop by the Box Office at 15 S. Pioneer St. Patrons will be limited to two tickets per household, and asked to verify that they have never attended an OSF play. Previously purchased tickets for these performances will not be refunded. The "Free Night of Theater" ticket offer is subject to availability of tickets. The offer expires when tickets for designated shows are gone.