Theater: 5 Ways to Get Free Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park
You could fill one of those seats at this year’s Shakespeare in the Park.
Credit: Joseph Moran

The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park kicked off its 2014 season on Tuesday with “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by Jack O’Brien with park veterans Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater. It will be followed later this summer with Daniel Sullivan’s “King Lear,” featuring John Lithgow and Annette Benning.

Thousands will flock to Central Park for each performance. That’s because even the least patient of Shakespeare viewers can’t go wrong with a night under the stars watching top actors in some of the world’s finest works while sipping a glass of wine (and you can even bring your own — just remember, the bathroom lines get pretty long at intermission).

The best part, of course, is that the entire affair is free — as it always has been, since the festival’s first iteration in 1954 (which was eight years before it moved to its current home). The only downside is that it makes getting tickets a little trickier than your usual Telecharge routine. But don’t despair! Here are five ways you can get Shakespeare in the Park tickets:

1. Box Office.

Every day, beginning at noon, tickets will be distributed at the Delacorte Theater (81st Street and Central Park West). While supplies last, each patron in line can pick up two tickets. The park itself opens at 6 a.m., and enthusiastic theatergoers traditionally arrive as early as sunrise to stake out their places. Those 65 years old and up, along with disabled patrons, can wait in a separate, designated line.

2. Virtual Ticketing.

You can snag your spot while chilling out in your cubicle at work by registering at PublicTheater.org. You can enter the online lottery for two tickets every day between midnight and noon, at which time you’ll be notified if you’ve won a seat at that night’s performance. Pick up your ticket at the box office between 5 and 7 p.m. If you’re late, your tickets will be released.

3. Standby Line.

If you happen to be hanging around the park after work without any plans, you can jump onto the standby line. Any remaining seats are filled starting at 6 p.m. Fair warning: Many people hop straight from the box office line to the standby line if they’re unlucky, so the queue will be long by mid-afternoon. (Unclaimed tickets are also given out to standby at 7:30 — so if you have them, don’t be late!)

4. Outer Boroughs.

Can’t make it uptown? You can still get a fair shot by visiting one of the following locations throughout all five boroughs, where limited tickets will be available on certain dates (two per person, only for that night’s show).

‘MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING’
June 4 in the Bronx at The Point (940 Garrison Ave.); June 5 in Brooklyn at the New York City College of Technology (300 Jay St.); June 6 in Manhattan at Harlem Stage at The Gatehouse (150 Convent Avenue at W. 135th St.); June 7 in Queens at the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th St.); June 10 in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Ter.); June 18 in the Bronx at The DreamYard Project (1085 Washington Ave.)

‘KING LEAR’
July 23 in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center (1000 Richmond Ter.); July 24 in the Bronx at Lehman Stages at Lehman College (250 Bedford Park Blvd. West); July 25 in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum (145 Brooklyn Ave.); July 26 in Queens at the Queens Museum (New York City Building); July 29 in Manhattan at The Public Theater (425 Lafayette St.)

5. Reserved Seats.

There is one other way you might have a seat held for you without jumping through any other hoops, and that’s by making a donation of at least $200. Summer Sponsors help keep the show running and free for all each year. Learn more at www.publictheater.org/support.

Shakespeare in the Park: What if it rains?

Worried about getting rained out after you spent all morning waiting in line? In fact, it’s easier to get in on overcast days. Shows are almost never cancelled due to weather; when they are, it won’t happen until 8 p.m. So plan to arrive on time and take your seat. Just bring a poncho and a sense of adventure. The storm might pass over by 8:15, but the show must go on!



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…