The long answer is, because alcohol adds an element of unpredictability to an extremely well known play, creating a challenge for the actors and excitement for the audience.
Besides, Shakespeare and the actors of his time were pretty routinely drunk themselves so one could argue that we're simply respecting tradition.
Q. You're not really getting drunk, though, right?
A. Actually, we are. Or more accurately, one of us is. We choose small casts to allow the greatest number of actors possible to have a "drunk night." On their drunk night, that one
actor will drink several shots of 80 proof whiskey in front of the audience. From that point on, the show will proceed as rehearsed
and memorized with drunk and sober actors working together to keep the show on the rails.
Q. Can I drink too?
A. Yes, though depending on the venue, drinks may be restricted to the bar/lobby area.
PLEASE DRINK RESPONSIBLY AND ALWAYS HAVE A DESIGNATED DRIVER.
Q. Is there an age restriction?
A. While there is no age restriction for the show as patrons purchasing drinks are carded at the bar, please understand that witnessing alcohol consumption and its effects is central to the
experience. We can make no guarantees about the language or behavior of the drunk actor. Parental discretion is advised.