Traveling Back in Time to Hear Shakespeare
“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances.”
You may not be able to hear those famous Shakespearean words shouted inside ancient amphitheaters, but you can get pretty close to it with Shakespeare in the Park.
Every summer, the Public Theater sponsors several Shakespeare plays performed inside the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. Everything is like the original act right down to the shouting under the stars and the actors’ elaborate costumes. This summer, Shakespeare in the Park will be performing “All’s Well that Ends Well” and “Measure for Measure.”
As expected, demand for tickets is fierce yet every year, tens of thousands of New Yorkers wake up before dawn, in hopes of being one of the lucky few to nab two free tickets. Here are a few tips that might increase your chances for obtaining the coveted seats.
How to obtain tickets in person
On the day of each performance, ticket distribution begins at 1 p.m. at the Delacorte Theater. Remember that Central Park is closed from 1 am until 6 am, and the NYPD officers may issue summons to those in the park before it’s open. If you are so just too excited to wait, you can get in line before 6 am by lining up along the east side of Central Park West starting at 81st Street. At 6am, a line monitor will escort the line. Also remember that each person is only allowed two tickets. There are separate ticket lines for those with disabilities and senior citizens who are 65 or older.
How to obtain tickets in the boroughs
On selected dates, people may obtain two vouchers, each good for one ticket, from 1-3 pm. Then the vouchers need to be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office between 4 pm and 7:30 pm. Tickets to “Measure for Measure” will be available June 7, 13, 15, 18 and 27, and tickets for “All’s Well that Ends Well” will be available June 11, 16, 17, 23 and July 5. Addresses for the ticket locations in the boroughs can be found on shakespeareinthepark.org.
How to obtain tickets online
Tech savvy patrons can register for virtual ticketing online whenever they wish. Once registered, requests for tickets can be submitted between midnight and 1 p.m. on performance days by logging in online. After 1 pm, log-on to see if you’ve been selected to receive tickets. If selected, an email will be sent to your inbox by 5 pm on the day of the performance. Then, the tickets must be picked up from the Delacorte Theater Box Office between 5 pm and 7 pm.
How to obtain tickets without waiting in line
You can become a partner of The Public Theater by contributing money, and you will receive tickets to Shakespeare in the Park. The more you can contribute, the more benefits you will receive.
Directions to Delacorte Theater
To park entrances closest to the theater are at 81st Street and Central Park West and 79th Street and Fifth Avenue. If traveling by subway, you may take the B, C and 6 lines. If traveling by bus, you may take the M2, M3, M4, M10 and M79 lines. After arriving at the park, follow the path to the theater. If you are driving yourself, remember that the park has no parking areas.
Dates for plays
“All’s Well that Ends Well” plays June 11-12, 16-17, 19-21, and 23-25 and July 2-3, 5-7, 13-15, 20 and 25-27.
“Measure for Measure” plays June 6-7, 13, 15, 18 and 26-30 and July 8-9, 11-12, 16, 18-19, 22-23 and 28-30.
Now that you have all of the information you need, try your best to obtain tickets and enjoy Shakespeare’s fine work. Who knows—I may even see you there in line!
For any additional information, visit shakespeareinthepark.org.