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The company of the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Photo by Joan Marcus.


The Delacorte Theater


We are excited to announce that the 61st Free Shakespeare in the Park season will feature the classic drama HAMLET, directed by Tony Award winner Kenny Leon and featuring Tony Award nominee Ato Blankson-Wood (Slave Play, Public Works’ As You Like It) in the title role. HAMLET will have an extended run of nine weeks, beginning at The Delacorte Theater on Thursday, June 8, and running through Sunday, August 6.

Read The New York Times article





Directed by Kenny Leon
Featuring Ato Blankson-Wood as Hamlet

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. 

Hamlet is arguably the greatest play in the Western canon, and I am thrilled that Kenny Leon will be helming this summer's production. As he demonstrated with his brilliant production of Much Ado About Nothing, Kenny has an expert way of making Shakespeare come alive in a contemporary American context, illuminating these great works while also reimagining them for our times and our country,” said Public Theater Artistic Director Oskar Eustis. “Hamlet will be a beautiful salute to the city as we head into a season where we will be renewing and renovating our beautiful home, The Delacorte Theater.”

“I’m so happy to be at The Delacorte once again and to share something that binds us to one another,” said director Kenny Leon. “A 400-year-old play exploring the need for a strong foundation of family, with music and words, Shakespeare’s Hamlet has much to say about humanity and the importance of our connectedness to each other. We set this production in 2021, filled with all of the challenges we face as Americans as we explore our need to love more profoundly both nature and its people.”

Partners & Supporters Plus, reserve your tickets now.


Want to reserve your seat to New York’s favorite summer tradition? Become a Supporter Plus with a gift of $300 or more, and you’ll have access to reserved seating at The Delacorte Theater in Central Park. You’ll also be contributing to a 61-year legacy of providing millions of free tickets to New Yorkers.

Public Theater Supporter and Partner tickets are now available to reserve.

*Please note, reserved seating for a donation is limited in order to continue to keep the majority of tickets to Free Shakespeare in the Park accessible to all.


Free tickets will be distributed in a variety of ways across all five boroughs with distribution details and locations announced by May 2023. TodayTix returns as a partner for the free virtual ticket lottery distribution. 

COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be made available by April 2023


Make a gift today to celebrate Free Shakespeare in the Park and sustain New York's favorite tradition.



Delacorte Theater Revitalization

Delacorte Theater Revitalization



Image of Kenny Leon

Kenny Leon


KENNY LEON (Director) is a Tony Award-winning director who has been honored with The Actors Fund Medal of Honor, an Obie Award, and an NAACP Image Award. Leon is also a proud honoree of the George Abbott Lifetime Achievement for American Theatre. Leon is on the producing team of Some Like It Hot, the musical directed by Casey Nicholaw. This season, Leon directed Topdog/Underdog and Ohio State Murders on Broadway. Other Broadway credits include A Soldier's Play; American Son; Children of a Lesser God; Holler If Ya Hear Me; A Raisin in the Sun; The Mountaintop; Stick Fly; and August Wilson’s Fences, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf. Off-Broadway work includes The Underlying Chris, Everybody's Ruby, Emergence-SEE! (The Public); and Smart People (Second Stage). Television and film credits include Robin Roberts Presents: Mahalia, “Colin in Black & White,” “4400,” “Amend: The Fight for America,” American Son (adapted for Netflix), “Hairspray Live!,” “The Wiz Live!,” Steel Magnolias, “Dynasty,” and In My Dreams. Leon is the author of Take You Wherever You Go. He is the artistic director emeritus of Kenny Leon's True Colors Theatre Company, as well as senior resident director at Roundabout Theatre Company.

Image of Ato Blankson-Wood

Ato Blankson-Wood


ATO BLANKSON-WOOD (Hamlet) starred on Broadway in Jeremy O. Harris’ critically acclaimed Slave Play, for which he was nominated for a 2021 Tony Award. He also earned nominations for the Drama League Awards and the inaugural Antonyo Awards for playing "Gary,” a role he originated for the New York Theatre Workshop production, where his performance earned him a Lortel nomination. Blankson-Wood followed this by starring opposite Bill Camp and Elizabeth Marvel in Long Day's Journey Into Night for Audible, which reunited him with Slave Play director Robert O’Hara, and led the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of Public Works’ As You Like It for The Public Theater. Blankson-Wood had his breakout performance in The Public Theater musical The Total Bent (Drama League and Lucille Lortel Award nomination), which explored the life of a Black musical prodigy in a nation on the verge of social upheaval. Blankson-Wood has also been seen on Broadway in Hair and Lysistrata Jones, as well as in The Rolling Stone for Lincoln Center (Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance nomination). Films include Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman, Worth opposite Michael Keaton, and in Peter Hedges’ The Same Same Storm. TV includes “The Good Fight,” “She’s Gotta Have It,” Ava DuVernay’s “When They See Us,” and Ryan Murphy’s “Dahmer.”

Beowulf Boritt
Scenic Design
Jessica Jahn
Costume Design
Allen Lee Hughes
Lighting Design
Justin Ellington
Sound Design
Jeff Sugg
Video Design
Jason Michael Webb
Music Composition
Earon Chew Nealey
Hair, Wig, and Makeup Design
Karyn Meek
Production Stage Manager


Jerome L. Greene Foundation is the proud season sponsor of Free Shakespeare in the Park.

Pictured Above: The company of the Free Shakespeare in the Park production of MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING. Photo by Joan Marcus.