Shakespeare in the Park
The Public Theater has announced the complete casting for this summer's production of Merry Wives, a comedy adaptation of Shakespeare's Merry Wives of Windsor, written Jocelyn Bioh. They also announced new dates for the staging at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Performances will begin Tuesday, July 6 (instead of the previously announced July 5) and continue through Saturday, September 18 (an extension of three weeks from the previously announced run). The official opening night is Tuesday, July 27.
The production will feature an all-Black cast including Jacob Ming-Trent (HBO’s Watchmen), Gbenga Akinnagbe (Broadway’s To Kill A Mockingbird), Shola Adewusi (CBS’ Bob Hearts Abishola) and Susan Kelechi Watson (NBC’s This Is Us).
Due to current Health and Safety protocols, there will not be any day-of-performance, free ticket distribution lines in Central Park, in the boroughs, or at The Public's flagship on Lafayette Street. Instead, this summer, free tickets will be distributed entirely via an advanced digital lottery. Find out more at PublicTheater.org.
History of Shakespeare in the Park
Conceived and founded by Joseph Papp, The Public Theater has been a summer tradition in Central Park for almost 60 years. The Public Theater stages these productions every year in iconic Delacorte Theater – for free. Over the years over five million visitors have witnessed these performances, making it one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions.
- OTHELLO with James Earl Jones (1964)
- ELECTRA with Olympia Dukakis (1964)
- HAMLET with Sam Waterston (1975)
- THE TAMING OF THE SHREW with Raul Julia and Meryl Streep (1978)
- THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE with Kevin Kline and Linda Ronstadt (1980)
- HENRY V with Kevin Kline (1984)
- MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING with Kevin Kline and Blythe Danner (1988)
- RICHARD III with Denzel Washington (1990)
- OTHELLO with Raul Julia and Christopher Walken (1991)
- THE TEMPEST with Patrick Stewart (1995)
- THE SEAGULL with Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Philip Seymour Hoffman (2001)
- MOTHER COURAGE with Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline (2006)
- MACBETH with Liev Schreiber (2006)
- HAIR with Jonathan Groff and Will Swenson (2008)
- TWELFTH NIGHT in 2009 with Anne Hathaway (2009)
- THE MERCHANT OF VENICE with Al Pacino and Lily Rabe (2010)
- AS YOU LIKE IT with Lily Rabe (2012)
- Stephen Sondheim’s INTO THE WOODS with Amy Adams, Denis O’Hare, and Donna Murphy (2012)
- LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, a world premiere musical adaptation by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman (2013)
- KING LEAR with John Lithgow (2014)
- THE TEMPEST with Sam Waterston (2015)
- THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, with Phyllida Lloyd directing an all-female cast (2016)
Free Shakespeare in the Park is made possible by the contributions of people like you. Learn more about how you can make a donation and support this New York City tradition!
The Delacorte Theater in Central Park
Free tickets to Shakespeare in the Park will be distributed on each performance day by waiting on line at select distribution points in the five boroughs as well as in Central Park. An in person lottery is held in the lobby of The Public Theater at 425 Lafayette St and a digital lottery is hosted through Today Tix, all summer long. Check back later in the spring for a detailed schedule on the Public Theater Website.