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A beloved New York City tradition for more than 60 years, Free Shakespeare in the Park has provided free performances of world class theater to more than five million people. Located at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park, Free Shakespeare in the Park is the manifestation of founder Joe Papp's vision of a theater that is of, by, and for all people. 

Conceived as a way to make great theater accessible to all, the Delacorte Theater officially opened in Central Park on June 18, 1962, with THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, directed by Papp and Gladys Vaughan and featuring George C. Scott as Shylock, followed by THE TEMPEST with James Earl Jones as Caliban.

Learn more about the history of the Delacorte and Free Shakespeare in the Park. 

Learn More



Make A Contribution

Make A Contribution

Make a contribution to support Free Shakespeare in the Park and as thanks, we'll save you a seat.You'll join a group of people that helps provide FREE ACCESS to hundreds of thousands of others across all of New York City. It's the best theater. In the middle of Central Park. For free. And it's all because of people like you.

Daily Distribution

Daily Distribution

Tickets will once again be available via an in-person line in Central Park,a s well as daily lotteries in our lobby, through TodayTix, and at distributions in the boroughs. More details to come. 


The Delacorte Theater

The Delacorte Theater

Central Park - New York, NY 
Enter at 81st St & Central Park West or 79th Street & Fifth Avenue

Free Shakespeare in the Park is performed at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. The Central Park entrances closest to the theater are at 81st Street and Central Park West or 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.

The Delacorte Theater is easily accessible from the B, C and 6 subway lines, as well as from the M2, M3, M4, M10 and M79 bus lines. Once in the Park, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater. For those traveling by car, please note that there are no parking facilities in the Park.