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 www.shakespeareinthepark.org.
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?
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
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.