Free Ticket Distribution in the Park

​Free tickets are distributed on each performance day via the Free Lines at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. We recognize that free ticket lines can sometimes be long and we appreciate the time and dedication of everyone. These ticket policies are designed to maximize fairness for visitors and to make everyone’s experience as smooth and pleasant as possible.​ ​

Free tickets are distributed at 12pm (noon) every day there is a public performance.​
Performance days will vary from week to week, so be sure to check the performance calendar. People often line up several hours ahead of the distribution time, so plan ahead.

Each person (age 5+) may receive up to 2 tickets, until we run out.​
Seat locations are distributed randomly; not based on a person’s position in the line. There are separate lines for accessible tickets for senior citizens (65+) and for patrons with disabilities.​

Things to know once you receive your tickets:

1. You may bring food and drink inside the theater, but please no glass containers.

2. The theater will open approximately 30 minutes prior to the start of the show. Arriving late may disrupt a quiet moment in the show, so latecomers will be seated at the discretion of theater management.

3. Children under 5 should sit on the lap of a parent or other adult. When entering the theater through your assigned gate, please ask for a lap voucher from the staff member who takes your ticket. Strollers of any kind are not allowed in the theater. ​

4. No performance will be canceled before 8:00PM, even if it’s raining. We may delay the beginning of the performance, but will perform if and when it is possible and safe for the actors. Click here for more information. 

If you do not receive tickets, you may join the stand-by line after the final ticket is distributed for that day's performance.
The Public Theater staff will begin to monitor this line starting at 6pm. Free stand-by tickets will be distributed if and when they become available, 1 per person.

To allow as many different people as possible to enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, each person is limited to receiving free tickets to 2 performances of each production.
This limit applies not just to the particular performance for which you are currently in line, but for the entire run of that production at the Delacorte Theater. ​

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People waiting for free tickets must line up along the path designated by The Public Theater staff and The Parks Department. ​ ​​​​​​​​​​

The Public Theater reserves the right to deny or revoke tickets and to refuse admission to anyone for any reason including, but not limited to, establishing a separate line inside the park before 6am, line cutting, jumping ahead, saving spots, adding additional people, using a replacement person, leaving the line for an extended period of time (except to use the restroom or visit the Public Fare food stand), smoking, drunken, disorderly or suspicious conduct, harassment of any kind towards The Public Theater staff and/or other persons, or exceeding the two (2) performances per production ticket limit.

The Public Theater reserves the right to deny tickets, including tickets to future performances this season and in future seasons, to anyone participating on a secondary market in the selling or obtaining of tickets that The Public Theater offers for free, and to revoke such tickets or to deny admission to anyone found in possession of such obtained tickets. Any known activity regarding the misuse of free tickets should be reported to The Public Theater staff. The Public Theater does not condone ticket scalping. It undermines the spirit of Free Shakespeare in the Park and is unfair to those who wait in line. ​

​Only tickets obtained from the Delacorte Theater Box Office or The Public Theater will be accepted as forms of entry into the theater. Tickets obtained from unauthorized sources may have been lost or stolen, obtained improperly, or may be counterfeit. The Public Theater reserves the right to deny admission to the holder of any such ticket. Any such tickets obtained are at your own risk.

By accepting or using a ticket from the Delacorte Theater or The Public Theater, you agree to comply with the Free Ticket Distribution and Line Policy and, if applicable, any additional terms and conditions set forth on the back of the ticket, and acknowledge that such policies are reasonable to preserve the enjoyment of the event for all. ​

Any disagreement relating to ticket distribution or line policy will be settled by The Public Theater in its sole discretion. The Public Theater reserves the right to create additional rules as needed.

The ticket distribution lines and area surrounding the Delacorte Theater are monitored by video surveillance. By waiting in line, you consent to being recorded and to comply with The Public Theater's Free Ticket Distribution and Line Policy.

WAITING FOR TICKETS IS AT YOUR OWN RISK. The Public Theater assumes no responsibility for the safety of persons waiting for tickets or for their property. The Public Theater staff and employees are responsible solely for the enforcement of the Free Ticket Distribution and Line Policy. In case of emergency, please notify a police officer or call 911.