Shakespeare in the Park
Sitting beneath the stars in the round of the Delacorte Theater while absorbing Shakespearean stories of love, loss, betrayal and faith is one of those truly magical moments that will stay with you long after you leave the City.
Citizens of the city, even for a moment, have embarked on this theatrical pilgrimage every summer since 1962. In the spirit of making Shakespeare accessible to everyone, the famous Delacorte Theatre in Central Park has been offering free tickets on a first-come-first-serve basis since its inception.
The birth of Shakespeare in the park dates back to the 1950’s when Joseph Papp, an American theatrical producer/director, was putting on Shakespearean workshops in Central Park. In the heat of performance, these classes were taking their toll on the park lawn. The Delacorte Theatre was built so that there would be a permanent, less taxing, home for the now yearly performances.
As the way in which audiences consume information has evolved, so too have the works been adapted year-over-year. Plots have been given modern twists, and tickets are now available via a virtual raffle. The presence of celebrities has always been a draw for Shakespeare in the Park theatre-goers. Denzel Washington, Meryl Streep and Al Pacino are just a few famous faces who have graced the Delacorte stage.
For your planning pleasure, the 2017 calendar features two of Shakespeare’s more popular plays: Julius Caesar runs through June 18th before switching to A Midsummer Night’s Dream through August 13th. The Delacorte Theatre is a brief subway or taxi ride from Archer New York to the Central Park West and 81st Street entrance to the park.
Central Park opens at 6:00am and free tickets are distributed at the Delacorte Box Office at 12:00pm on each performance day. Performances vary by week so be sure to check the calendar and remember the Bard’s words of wisdom: “Better three hours too soon, than a minute too late.”