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.
Starting on May 24, Tony nominated director Phyllida Lloyd turns Shakespeare’s zany comedy of the sexes The Taming the Shrew on its head, with an all-female cast and a bold new take. In this well-known comedy, the lovely Bianca is the prize to be won by all the men looking to land themselves a wealthy wife. But the competitors will first have to marry off Bianca’s clever, fiery older sister, Katherina, played by Olivier Nominee Cush Jumbo (Josephine and I, The River), who may just outsmart them all. Tony and Olivier winner Janet McTeer (A Doll’s House, Mary Stuart) plays Petruchio, the wild outsider Katherina must outwit, in Shakespeare’s original screwball comedy showing the lengths men will go to for their legacy, what women will do to break free and the outrageous things we all do for the human heart.
Free tickets are available for every public performance, with seating locations in every section of the theater. Free tickets are available in the following ways: in person at the Delacorte; downtown at Astor Place; viaMobile Ticket Lottery Powered by TodayTix; and through borough distributions. You can also support Free Shakespeare in the Park by making a fully tax-deductible contribution of $200 or more and as thanks for your gift you’ll enjoy reserved seats.
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. There are separate in-person and virtual lines for accessible tickets for senior citizens (65+) and for patrons with disabilities. However, to allow as many different people as possible to attend performances throughout the summer, the policies are the same as the regular line as indicated above.
Continuing the work of its visionary founder, Joseph Papp, The Public Theater is dedicated to developing an American theater that is accessible and relevant to all people. Creating theater for one of the largest and most diverse audience bases in New York City for nearly 60 years, today The Public engages audiences in a variety of venues – beginning with Free Shakespeare in the Park.
More than five million people have visited the Delacorte Theater for free performances, making it one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions. At its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, housing five theaters and Joe’s Pub, The Public advocates for the theater as an essential cultural force through productions of new plays, musicals, and Shakespeare that lead and frame dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. The Public’s programming also includes a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions, and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.