CITY LEADERS, LONGTIME FRIENDS & SUPPORTERS
Going to Shakespeare in the Park at the Delacorte Theater is one of my favorite things about being a New Yorker, and the best thing about it – the most truly New York thing about it – is that it’s free and open to all. We’re thrilled to provide funding for the renovation of the Delacorte Theater, which will improve audience access, expand the slate of annual programming, and extend the theater’s season
- Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen
The Public Theater is a cornerstone of the New York City cultural scene, beloved as much for the quality of the art it produces as for the values of equity and access to culture it promotes and embodies. The Council has been proud to support The Public Theater and Shakespeare in the Park in the past and looks forward to a bright future full of new possibilities as The Public reimagines what it could be in the years to come.
- City Council Speaker Corey Johnson
People from all walks of life see parks as essential gathering places for physical and mental well-being, as well as platforms for entertainment, discourse, and creative and cultural expressions. The Public Theater’s use of city parks as stages to present great theater works and programming, provides New Yorkers with priceless experiences. We are thrilled that they are exploring ways to expand on their decades of work by revitalizing the Delacorte Theater, its season and their city-wide programming in our parks.
- NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver
For over half a century, the Delacorte has represented free and democratic access to compelling theater for all New Yorkers. We are pleased to support the makeover of such a beloved venue – modernizing its amenities, increasing its accessibility, and creating a more welcoming experience for artists and audiences alike. The renovated Delacorte will stand as a symbol of the ideals of openness, inclusion, and equity that The Public Theater has championed since the days of Joe Papp. And it will continue to be a home for that rare combination – a cherished tradition that also remains artistically relevant – for generations of future theatergoers.
- Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl
For nearly six decades, the Delacorte Theater has provided millions of visitors from around the world with extraordinary theater productions for no cost at all. This new funding will enable the Delacorte Theater to renovate its facilities, expand its free performances, and grow its Public Works program to reach even greater audiences of all backgrounds and abilities. I’m proud to support the Delacorte project and look forward to its progress going forward.
- Chair of the Committee on Cultural Affairs Jimmy Van Bramer
I have the great privilege of representing all of Central Park in the New York City Council, including the beloved Delacorte, operated by the Public Theater. Summer after summer at the Delacorte, the Public Theater has brought Shakespeare in the Park and so many other inspiring, dramatic performances to all of New York City. And the Public makes this art form truly accessible, both by providing live theater free of charge, and by significantly opening up performances to people with disabilities. I’m so proud to be able to support the Public Theater’s endeavors to reimagine, revitalize, and expand the reach of one of the great treasures of our community and city.
- Council Member Helen Rosenthal (Co-Chair, Manhattan Delegation)
The Delacorte beautifully embodies Park designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision of Central Park as a vital democratic space. The Central Park Conservancy shares The Public Theater’s key values of access and equity. We too believe that great cultural spaces and experiences belong to everyone. Having restored Central Park as a respite from urban life, we’re especially excited to support The Public’s efforts to revitalize this beloved outdoor theater in New York’s most iconic park
- President & CEO of Central Park Conservancy Elizabeth W. Smith
The Public Theater has, for decades, been a careful steward of this City-owned landmark at 425 Lafayette Street. In 1965, it was the first significant individual designation under the City’s new landmark law. Since then, The Public has managed their facilities, places that mean so much to so many New Yorkers, with a remarkable appreciation of their historic significance. We are confident that they will undertake this important project, the revitalization of the Delacorte, with the same level of respect and concern for the structure's unique setting. It is encouraging that the leadership of the Public Theater continues to be faithfully committed to Joe Papp’s enduring mission— to partner with the people of New York City, and to make its cultural institutions, and the works they create, accessible to all.
- Chair Emerita, New York State Council on the Arts and Chair, Historic Landmarks Preservation Center / NYC Landmarks50+ Alliance
The Delacorte is New York’s heart. There is no place to match what it does. There is no audience like a Delacorte audience. It’s theater at its purest, and New York at its best. Put Shakespeare — free — together with New Yorkers (of all ages, races, sexes, religions, levels of education, wealth, and achievement). Add the night, the Park, the stars, and the one and only skyline. You don’t have to shake it or stir it, it makes magic all by itself.
- Actor and Trustee Sam Waterston
The minute I stood on the Delacorte stage for the first time, in the middle of Central Park, in front of 1800 New Yorkers ready to embark on a Shakespearean journey with me I was hooked. It was, without a doubt, one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
- Actor and Trustee Danai Gurira
The Delacorte Theater is the crown jewel of the American theater. The finest actors have graced her incredible stage. Doing the work of the finest writer that has ever lived, William Shakespeare. Under the direction of some of the finest directors, nearly 1800 of the most diverse, eager, supportive, enthusiastic audience members fill her seats nightly to celebrate the best that American theater has to offer...and all for free. So necessary, so enriching, so rewarding, so beautiful. Delacorte forever.
- Director and Actor Ruben Santiago-Hudson
There is nothing as life-affirming as singing and dancing under the stars at the Delacorte. You feel like you're deep inside the beating heart of New York, helping pump lifeblood into the entire city via every performance. Keeping the shows free and open to all helps make theater something that belongs to all of us, not just those who can afford a pricey Broadway ticket. Free Shakespeare in the Park truly walks the walk of inclusion, opening its doors to everyone. Having been a part of Public Works at the Delacorte for the past three summers, I've seen firsthand that this theater changes lives, opening hearts and bringing together communities across difference to join together in making magic together onstage.
- Actor and Composer Shaina Taub
DreamYard has been in partnership with The Public Theater for several years through its Public Works program which has deeply inspired and uplifted our community and benefited many Bronx residents. Revitalizing the Delacorte Theater so it will last for the next half century will expand The Public’s capacity to serve even more Bronx residents who will participate in the program and advance the City’s commitment to prioritizing capital projects that increase access for New Yorkers across the five boroughs.
- Jason Duchin, Co-Executive Director of DreamYard
Since 2010, The Fortune Society has had an evolving and rewarding relationship with The Public Theater’s Public Works program which includes dozens of our men and women appearing in a classical play each summer presented at the Delacorte Theater. It is difficult to measure the vast impact on our men and women participating in The Public Theater programs. From personal experience, I see, up-close, people who have been marginalized and/or overlooked gaining the excitement of participating in such a creative venture. Free Shakespeare In The Park is what NYC is all about – and a revitalized Delacorte Theater will thrill hundreds of thousands for decades to come.
- David Rothenberg, Founder of Fortune Society