- Delacorte Theater
Delacorte Theater City New York, New York Country United States Owned by City of New York Operated by Public Theater Opened 1962
The Delacorte Theater, established in 1962, is an open-air theater located in Manhattan's Central Park and has a seating capacity of 1,800. The Delacorte is owned by the City of New York and operated by The Public Theater. It is an open-air amphitheater, with the Turtle Pond and Belvedere Castle as its backdrop. It primarily serves as the venue for The Public Theater’s annual Shakespeare in the Park summer series.
The theater is named in honor of George T. Delacorte Jr., who donated money for its establishment, after several seasons presented by Papp's Shakespeare Workshop (founded in 1954) had been touring New York's boroughs on temporary staging and had proved the venture worthwhile. Joseph Papp had started seeking funds in 1958 for a permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Park, under the aegis of Helen Hayes, but was opposed from the outset by Robert Moses. Papp believed theater was essential for all to experience, and that it should be free for all. These conceits, and Papp’s personal drive and determination, are what propelled Shakespeare in the Park into becoming one of New York City’s most treasured and beloved traditions.
Notable recent productions include Anton Chekhov's The Seagull in 2001 which featured Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Natalie Portman, and John Goodman; Twelfth Night in 2009 with Anne Hathaway, Raul Esparza and Audra McDonald.
In recent years, two productions from Shakespeare in the Park moved from the Delacorte to Broadway within a season: the 2008 revival of HAIR and the acclaimed production of The Merchant of Venice , featuring acclaimed performances from Al Pacino as Shylock and Lily Rabe as Portia. Each production garnered numerous Tony Award nominations, and HAIR received the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical in 2009.
The Public is known for casting both seasoned talent and for providing exposure for up and coming actors in Park productions, including Billy Crudup, Morgan Freeman, Marcia Gay Harden, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeff Goldblum, Liev Schreiber, Patrick Stewart, Christopher Walken and Denzel Washington, not to mention dozens of directors and designers.
In 2010, Shakespeare in the Park featured repertory casting for the first time in decades. Two shows, The Merchant of Venice and The Winter’s Tale, ran on an alternating basis over the course of the series and featured largely the same cast. The trend continued in the 2011 season.
The 2011 season, running from June 6 through July 30, presents All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Daniel Sullivan, and Measure for Measure, directed by David Esbjornson, running in repertory on alternate evenings. The repertory cast features John Cullum, Danai Gurira, Michael Hayden, Annie Parisse, Tonya Pinkins, Lorenzo Pisoni, and Reg Rogers.
Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 1:00 p.m. the day of the show. Since 2007, The Public Theater has offered free tickets through Virtual Ticketing, available at www.shakespeareinthepark.org.
Virtual Ticketing is an online lottery system in which users can win tickets to Shakespeare in the Park without waiting in line in person. On the day of a show, users can log on to www.shakespeareinthepark.org anytime between midnight and 1:00 p.m. to register for that evening’s performance. After 1:00 p.m. that same day, users can log on to see if they have received tickets through Virtual Ticketing; recipients will also be sent a confirmation email by 5:00 p.m. if they have received tickets for that evening’s performance. Virtual Ticketing recipients are chosen at random to receive tickets, not in the order requests are received.
Participants with a Virtual Ticketing confirmation can claim their tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. that evening. Any tickets not picked up by 7:00 p.m. will be released to the standby line. A valid photo ID is required for all Virtual Ticketing pick-ups at the box office.
Another ticket option is Senior Virtual Ticketing; it functions the same way as the regular Virtual Ticketing but registrants must be 65 or older to be eligible and must present valid photo ID with proof of age.
Borough Distribution: In addition to the ticket line at the Delacorte Theater and Virtual Ticketing online, a limited number of vouchers for specific performances will be distributed at locations throughout New York’s five boroughs (remaining performances listed below). Each person in line is allowed two vouchers and each voucher is good for one ticket for that evening’s performance. Vouchers must be exchanged for tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office that same day from 4:00-7:30 p.m.
- Shakespeare in the Park Official Website
- Public Theater Official Website
- Central Park Website
- (The Villager) Jerry Tallmer, "People’s exhibit: Papp, the Public and the taming of the Moses" 13-20 July2005
- Shakespeare In Central Park
- Central Park/Shakespeare
Features of Central Park FeaturesThe Arsenal • Belvedere Castle • Bethesda Terrace • The Blockhouse • Bridges • Central Park Mall • Cleopatra's Needle • Conservatory Garden • Conservatory Water • Delacorte Theater • Diana Ross Playground • Dipway Arch • Gapstow Bridge • Great Lawn • Harlem Meer • Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir • King Jagiello Monument • The Lake • Lasker Rink • Marionette Theatre • Medical Unit • The Pond and Hallett Nature Sanctuary • The Ramble • Rat Rock • Sculptures • Seneca Village • Strawberry Fields • SummerStage • Tavern on the Green • Wollman Rink • Zoo • Zoo York Wall Events Streets People and animals
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