Shakespeare in the Park Archives - Page 2 of 6 - Central Park

Shakespeare in the Park 2014 – Much Ado About Nothing

A brilliant new production of “Much Ado About Nothing” opened at the Delcorte Theater in Central Park this week starring Hamish Linklater and Beatrice Rabe.  Along with  John Glover, Paco Lozano,  David Manis, Kathryn Meisle, Ismenia Mendes, Brian Stokes Mitchell, John Pankow and Pedro Pascal they light up the summer night as Beatrice and Benedick treat each other with mocking disdain that transforms into true love by plays end.

Central Park becomes sun-drenched Sicily at the turn of the last century, where the heat of summer ignites the fevered passions of lovesick ladies in corsets and pining gentlemen spying from the verandah. Three-time Tony winner Jack O’Brien directs this delightful skirmish of wit between two self-declared bachelors tricked by their mischief-making friends into falling in love against their will and in spite of their own hearts.  John Lee Beatty’s orchard-estate set frames Belvedere Castle as a skyline for the Italian city, while Jeff Croiter’s lighting takes us from day to dreamy night.

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Annette Bening cast in ‘King Lear’ in New York’s Shaespeare in the Park

ad51597ed91a41e2bfdccbac7130140c-ec89d08ebb58bc13540f6a7067004233Having recently completed one stage production in Los Angeles, Annette Bening has already set her next theatrical outing: a role in Shakespeare’s “King Lear” that New York’s Public Theater will produce this summer in Central Park. Bening will play the role of Goneril, one of Lear’s three daughters, in the Shakespearean tragedy. The production, directed by Daniel Sullivan, will star John Lithgow in the title role. The outdoor staging at the Delacorte Theatre is scheduled to run July 22 to Aug. 17 “King Lear” will also feature actresses Jessica Hecht as Regan and Jessica Collins as Cordelia.

Bening last appeared in a New York stage production of the play “Coastal Disturbances,” which had a Broadway run in 1988. The actress received a Tony Award nomination for her performance in the play. This summer’s Shakespeare in the Park lineup also includes “Much Ado About Nothing,” featuring Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe. The comedy, directed by Jack O’Brien, is set to run June 3 to July 6 at the Delacorte. King Lear has not been performed at Shakespeare in the Park since 1973. Established by Joseph Papp, the founder of Manhattan’s Public theatre, the annual outdoor theatre season provides free productions of Shakespeare and other theatre classics, with more than 150 plays performed at Central Park’s Delacorte amphitheatre since 1962.

Shakespeare in Central Park 2014

The Delacorte Theater

The Delacorte Theater

The Public Theater will kick off its 52nd year next month at the Delacorte Theater featuring two of Shakespeare’s classic productions – “Much Ado About Nothing” and “King Lear”.

“Much Ado About Nothing” will play a five-week run at the Park’s Delacorte Theater, from June 3 through July 6. Leading that production will be Lily Rabe (“American Horror Story”) as Beatrice and Hamish Linklater (“The Cray Ones”) as Benedick. Rabe and Linklater both have a long history with The Public. Rabe was in the 2012 Shakespeare in the Park production of “As You Like It,” while Linklater headlined last summer’s production of “The Comedy of Errors.” Both actors appeared in 2010’s acclaimed “The Merchant of Venice” with Al Pacino. Tony Award-winner Jack O’Brien (“Hairspray”) will direct.

Two favorites return with Shakespeare in the Park’s second show of the season: “King Lear,” with John Lithgow in the title role. “Lear” hasn’t been seen in the Park since 1973 — and Lithgow hasn’t been seen on the Park’s stage since 1975 (as Laertes in “Hamlet”). “King Lear” will run at the Delacorte July 22 through Aug. 17, under the direction of Tony winner Daniel Sullivan (“The Merchant of Venice”).

As always, tickets to The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park productions are free and distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park on the day of the show. Once again, The Public Theater will offer free tickets through a Virtual Ticketing lottery on the day of the show. Those wishing to participate can register at

FAQ (Courtesy of the Public Theater)

What is Free Shakespeare in the Park?
Free Shakespeare in the Park is The Public Theater’s annual season of free plays at the Delacorte Theater in New York City’s Central Park.

What plays are being performed at Free Shakespeare in the Park this year?
This year, Free Shakespeare in the Park will feature MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING (June 3 – July 6), by William Shakespeare and directed by Jack O’Brien, and KING LEAR (July 22 – August 17), also by Shakespeare and directed by Daniel Sullivan. For a full schedule, click on the show title.
What time do performances begin?
All performances of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING and KING LEAR begin at 8:00pm. For start times for special events, please visit each event’s individual page.
How do I get tickets?
There are a number of ways to get free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park, including the Free Ticket Lines at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, distribution in the five boroughs, and on this website via our Virtual Ticketing lottery. For more information, see the Tickets page.
How many tickets can I get by waiting in line?
Each person waiting in line can receive up to two tickets to that night’s performance, subject to availability. To allow as many different people as possible to attend performances throughout the summer, each person will be limited to receiving free tickets to two total performances of each production. Click here for more information.
Are there any separate ticket policies for senior citizens or people with disabilities?
Each person waiting in line can receive up to two tickets to that night’s performance, subject to availability. To allow as many different people as possible to attend performances throughout the summer, each person will be limited to receiving free tickets to two total performances of each production. Click here for more information.
Can I reserve seats to Shakespeare in the Park in advance?
As a thank you for helping to keep Shakespeare in the Park free for all New Yorkers, we are able to offer reserved seats to our Summer Supporters and Partners who support our work through their generous donations. Click here for more information or to donate today.
What if it rains?
No performance will be canceled before 8:00PM, even if it’s raining. We may delay the beginning of the performance, but will perform if and when possible and safe for the actors. Click here for more information.
Why can’t I be in the Park before 6am?
Central Park is closed between the hours of 1:00AM and 6:00AM. NYPD will patrol the Delacorte area and issue summons to anyone in the Park before its official open time. If you choose to line up before 6:00AM, please do so along the east side of Central Park West starting at 81st Street. A Public Theater line monitor will escort the line in at 6:00AM. The Public Theater neither suggests nor condones lining up before the park opens at 6:00AM.
Why are the lines for Shakespeare in the Park so long?
Tens of thousands of free tickets are made available to Free Shakespeare in the Park each summer. While we do our best to accommodate everyone who would like to attend a performance, the demand for tickets is always greater than the number of seats we have available. We appreciate your patience and are working very hard to ensure that the process remains as smooth and equitable as possible.
Are there group tickets to Shakespeare in the Park?
Free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are not available for group reservations. If you would like to attend a performance as a group, the group can wait in the line at the Delacorte Theater, or you can consider the Delacorte Investors program.

Central Park New York – Shakespeare In The Park

Into The Woods

Join us for this beloved New York summertime tradition at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park.


EXTENDED! Now – September 1
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim
Book by James Lapine
Directed by Timothy Sheader
Co-Directed by Liam Steel

Featuring Amy Adams, Jack Broderick, Glenn Close, Victoria Cook, Gideon Glick, Cooper Grodin, Ellen Harvey, Ivan Hernandez, Tina Johnson, Josh Lamon, Bethany Moore, Jessie Mueller, Donna Murphy, Johnny Newcomb, Denis O’Hare, Noah Radcliffe, Jennifer Rias, Laura Shoop, Tess Soltau, Sarah Stiles, Eric R. Williams, Kristine Zbornik, and Chip Zien

Scenic Design by John Lee Beatty and Soutra Gilmour
Costume Design by Emily Rebholz
Sound Design by Acme Sound Partners
Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine
This production is based on the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre London Production produced by Timothy Sheader and William Village for Regent’s Park Theatre Ltd

In Into the Woods, a witch’s curse condemns the Baker and his Wife to a life without children. They embark on a quest to find the four items required to break the spell: the cow as white as milk, the cape as red as blood, the hair as yellow as corn, and the slipper as pure as gold. Will they succeed?  And what happens after “happily ever after?” A Tony Award-winning masterpiece by musical theater giants Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine, Into the Woods is a witty and irreverent reimagining of beloved classic fairytales: Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel, and Cinderella.

Please note that Into the Woods starts promptly at 8pm and there is a 20-minute hold for late seating.  Into the Woods runs approximately 3 hours, including one 15-minute intermission.