Monday, June 27, 2011

Free Fun: Shakespeare In The Park

I am always looking for fun things to do, and there is a plethora of them in NY. They just usually cost a lot of money. But there are also many great free events, especially in the summer. For three years in a row my family has been enjoying the free performances of Shakespeare plays at central park. Last night we enjoyed "Measure for Measure" amid a crowd of about 1,000 other NYers on a balmy summer evening. And it was and has always been completely free of charge.

Shakespeare in the Park has been a NY summer tradition since 1954. Every year for 8 weeks, thousands of NYers get to enjoy two of Shakespeare's plays free of charge. This year "Measure for Measure" and "Alls Well That Ends Well" are playing in repetoire, which means that the same company of actors alternates between perforimng the plays on different nights of the week.

To obtain tickets you have two options: The first is to get on the first come first serve line. Tickets are distributed starting at 1 pm at the Delacorte Theater but the line begins to form much earlier. Some years people line up before sunrise! Other years you can get tickets when you arrive at 8 or 9 am. Each person waiting on the line can receive two tickets and you are not allowed to hold places or trade off waiting with another person. If you chose to line up before 6 am you have to do so at Central park West at 81st street. A line monitor form the theater will escort the line over to the theater at 6 to complete the waiting there.

Your second option is to take your chances on the virtual line. People interested in this process first create an online account with The Public. Then they log on anytime between midnight and 1pm on the day they want to see the show to enter themsleves in the ticket drawing. At 1 pm there is a random drawing from among the entrants and you can log on to see if you have won the tickets. If you were one of the lucky ones you pick up your tickets at the theater between 5pm-7pm. The show starts at 8. There are fewer tickets given out this way but it sure is convenient.

For more on obtaining tickets check out the official website.

I would recommend leaving the kiddos at home. Shakespeare is probably a little over their heads and some of the scenes are not child appropriate. In addition, a screaming child will not be appreciated at one of NY's most famous cultural events. Plus showtime is way past their bedtime.


Post a Comment