Shakespeare in the Park Tickets


Delacorte Theater, Central Park

Every year, stars such as Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and James Earl Jones perform modern interpretations of various Shakespeare plays in Central Park at the 1,800 seat open-air theater and they are attended by over 80,000 people.

The 2023 Shakespeare in the Park play is Hamlet (June 8 – August 6, 2023).

Shakespeare in the Park

NYC Insider Tip – Guaranteed Shakespeare in the Park Tickets

Shakespeare in the Park tickets are FREE, but very difficult to get! Shakespeare in the Park tickets are available only on the day of the show in one of four ways: in person at Central Park, in person in one of the Boroughs, in person at Astor Place or by online lottery.

2023 Update – it appears Mike is no longer offering line sittting services. We are working on finding our next sitters, however, in the meantime, we hear good things about, who can help with Shakespeare, Broadway, concerts, sample sales and much more.

NYC Insider Guide to the rescue…my buddy, Mike, NYC’s ticket expert, will go in person for you and secure your tickets!  Mike provides a line-sitting service for Shakespeare in the Park – he waits on the endless line, gets your tickets and will even deliver them right to you on the day of the performance anywhere in Manhattan. If you provide Mike at least one-day’s notice, the service fee is as low as $75 per ticket (but can be higher), whether you want just a pair or a group of seats together.

Contact Mike at NewYorkTickets (at) or (917) 773-8587 and tell him NYC Insider referred you!

Another way to secure guaranteed, no-hassle Shakespeare in the Park tickets and great seats? Make a $300+ tax-deductible donation to the Public Theater, so you not only get a reserved seat, but support all future performances.

Learn more about getting Shakespeare in the Park tickets.

Directions to Delacorte Theater:

  • West Side: Enter at 81st St & Central Park West
  • East Side: Enter at 79th Street & Fifth Avenue

The Theater is north of 79th Street, around 81st St, slightly more towards the west side.

Shakespeare in the Park 2023

June 8 – August 6, 2023

Returning once again to Free Shakespeare in the Park, director Kenny Leon commands The Delacorte stage with a nine-week, tour-de-force production of the Bard’s masterpiece, HAMLET, a riveting, contemporary present-day take on Shakespeare’s classic tale of family and betrayal, as enduring as the stars above Central Park.


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Central Park NY Hotels

These are NYC Insider hand picked hotels that are not just “near” Central Park, as most NYC hotels claim to be…but on the Park itself, either Central Park South, Central Park West or Fifth Ave. Many other hotels are nearby, or within a few blocks, but these are the closest, and all offer Park views from select rooms.

Central Park NY Hotels

Some of our top value picks near Central Park include:

See the Insider Guide for dozens more Central Park NY Hotels and download our free Central Park map at Central Park NY Guide

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10 Things We Love About Free Shakespeare in the Park

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Shakespeare in the Park 2022

Richard III
June 17 – July 17, 2022

Tony Award nominee Robert O’Hara (Slave Play, The Public’s Barbecue) brings his sharp wit and story-telling genius to The Delacorte with a bold new production of RICHARD III. One of Shakespeare’s most indelible villains, Richard is determined to be King. Following his lust for power and the throne, he manipulates, kidnaps, and kills all who stand between him and his throne, using brilliant words and dark charm to conceal his dismantling of government and justice.

As You Like It
August 10 – September 11, 2022

Adapted by Shaina Taub and Director of Public Works Laurie Woolery, featuring music and lyrics by Taub, this ambitious work of participatory theater has been hailed as “thrilling & terrifically vital” by The New York Times. Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and niece Celia are banished to the Forest of Arden. There, they discover a community of acceptance and transformational love, where all are welcomed and embraced. Laurie Woolery directs this magical adaptation of a beloved classic.

Shakespeare in the Park 2021

Merry Wives
July 5 – August 29, 2021

We’ve gathered brilliant artists to imagine summer under the stars in Central Park and are planning a return of Free Shakespeare in the Park beginning July 5 through August 29, with MERRY WIVES, a fresh and joyous adaptation by Jocelyn Bioh, of Shakespeare’s MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, directed by our Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director Saheem Ali.

Set in South Harlem amidst a vibrant and eclectic community of West African immigrants, MERRY WIVES will be a celebration of Black joy, laughter, and vitality. A New York story about the tricks of the heart, performed in the heart of the City.

In partnership with City officials, health and safety experts, and with our theatrical unions, the performance schedule, safety protocols, and free ticket distribution details will be forthcoming over the next several weeks.

Shakespeare in the Park 2020 – Cancelled

Richard II
May 19 – June 21, 2020

The last of the divinely anointed monarchs ascends to the throne in Shakespeare’s RICHARD II. When King Richard banishes his cousin Henry Bolingbroke and deprives him of his inheritance, he unwittingly creates an enemy who will ultimately force him from the throne. One of the Bard’s only dramas entirely in verse, this epic and intimate play presents the end of the Medieval Age and the rise of the house of Lancaster through a riveting tale of lost sovereignty, political intrigue, and psychological complexity.

As You Like It
July 14 – August 8, 2020

Forced from their homes, Orlando, Duke Senior, his daughter Rosalind, and niece Celia escape to the Forest of Arden, a fantastical place of transformation, where all are welcomed and embraced. Banished into the forest, they find community and acceptance under the stars.

Featuring Darius de Haas (Duke Senior), Joél Pérez (Touchstone), and Shaina Taub (Jaques), who are reprising their roles from the original Public Works production.
They will be joined by two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs to perform together on The Delacorte stage in this enchanting comedy. 

Shakespeare in the Park 2019

Much Ado About Nothing
May 21 – June 23, 2019

In this modern production, we find the community of Messina celebrating a break from an ongoing war. But not all is peaceful amid the revelry, as old rivals engage in a battle of wits, unexpected foes plot revenge, and young lovers are caught in a tumultuous courtship – until love proves the ultimate trickster, and undoes them all.

Tony Award winner Kenny Leon (American Son, A Raisin in the Sun) directs a bold new take on Shakespeare’s cherished comedy of romantic retribution and miscommunication, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING.

July 16 – August 11, 2019

For the first time since 1979, Free Shakespeare in the Park presents CORIOLANUS, the Bard’s blistering drama about a general voted into power by a populace hungry for change, and the unraveling that follows. Tony Award winner Daniel Sullivan (Proof, Shakespeare In The Park’s Troilus and Cressida) directs a modern-day version of this riveting epic of democracy and demagoguery.

Shakespeare in the Park 2018

May 29 – June 24, 2018

Set amid war and palace intrigue in the 17th-century Mediterranean, this classic drama about a noble Black Venetian general whose marriage is sabotaged by theater’s most infamous villain, Iago, remains Shakespeare’s most urgent and relevant tragedy today. A lush, romantic vision gives way to the violent tangle of love and jealousy, race and revenge in this must-see production of Shakespeare’s great tragedy, OTHELLO.

Twelfth Night
July 17 – August 19, 2018

Twelfth Night returns to Central Park to build upon its original Labor Day production in an all-new staging for a full five-week run. Professional artists and two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs will perform together on the Delacorte stage in this enchanting comedy about Viola, a young heroine who washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is sent to court a countess, and falls in love with a Duke.

Shakespeare in the Park 2017

Julius Caesar
May 23 – June 18, 2017

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
July 11 – August 13, 2017

Shakespeare in the Park 2016

The Taming of the Shrew
May 24 – June 26, 2016

Troilus and Cressida
July 19 – August 14, 2016

Shakespeare in the Park 2015

May 27 – August 23, 2015

The Tempest
Featuring Sam Waterston and Jesse Tyler Ferguson
May 27-July 5

“Shakespeare’s classic about young love, old enemies and the eternal magic of storytelling. Exiled to a fantastical island, Prospero unleashes a churning storm to shipwreck the traitor brother who stole his throne and settle the score once and for all. But bitter revenge is upended by newfound love in this sublime masterpiece that proves we are all “such stuff as dreams are made on.”

Featuring Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater
July 23-August 23

“In the Shakespearean fairytale Cymbeline, Princess Imogen’s fidelity is put to the royal test when her disapproving father banishes her soul mate. Cross-dressing girls and cross-dressing boys, poisons and swordfights and dastardly villains all take the stage in this enchanting romp about the conquering power of love.”

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Shakespeare in the Park 2014

June 3 through August 17, 2014

Much Ado About Nothing
Featuring Hamish Linklater and Lily Rabe
June 3 – July 6

Hamish Linklater and Tony® nominee Lily Rabe return to the Park this summer as the wise-cracking, would-be lovers Beatrice and Benedick in the beloved romantic comedy MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. 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.”

King Lear – Featuring John Lithgow and Annette Bening
July 22 – August 17

“Revenge, rage, grief and delusion thunder upon the Delacorte as Tony® and Emmy® Award winner John Lithgow takes the stage as one of theater’s great tragic heroes, KING LEAR. Tony winner Daniel Sullivan directs Shakespeare’s classic drama about a King who loses everything—including his mind—when he disowns his favorite daughter, and finds himself betrayed in return.”

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