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 closest and most direct entrance to the theater is at 81st Street and Central Park West. The Delacorte Theater can also be reached from 79th Street and Fifth Avenue.


The Delacorte Theater is easily accessible from the 81st Street stop on the B, C and the 77th Street stop on the 6 subway line. Once in the Park, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater.   


The Delacorte Theater is also accessible from the M2, M3, M4, M10 and M79 bus lines. Once in the Park, follow the footpath to the Delacorte Theater. 


For those driving to the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, please note that there are no parking facilities in the Park. We have partnered with Parking Panda, the nationwide leader in online parking reservations, to allow visitors to purchase guaranteed parking at several convenient locations near the Delacorte Theater.

Once purchased, parking passes are emailed instantly and guarantee you access to your selected location. Parking is very limited and locations fill up, so we recommend that you reserve your spot early.

Click to Reserve Your Parking

NYC Parking powered by Parking Panda






What is Free Shakespeare in the Park?

Free Shakespeare in the Park is The Public Theater's annual season of free plays at the Delacorte Theater in New York City's Central Park.

How do I get tickets?

Free tickets are available in the following ways:

In Central Park
Free tickets are distributed via the free lines at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park at 12pm (noon) each day there is a public performance.

At The Public Theater
On each performance date, a limited number of vouchers for that night’s performance are distributed via an in-person lottery at The Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street at Astor Place. Sign-up begins at 11:30am, and the lottery will be drawn at 12pm (noon).

In the Five Boroughs

On specific dates, a limited number of vouchers for that night’s performance are distributed at a location in one of New York’s five borough to make it easier for all New Yorkers to enjoy Free Shakespeare in the Park.

TodayTix Digital Lottery
On each performance date, a limited number of free tickets are distributed via mobile lottery on the TodayTix app. Download the app to enter.


You can also support Free Shakespeare in the Park by making a fully tax-deductible contribution of $500 or more and as thanks for your gift you’ll enjoy reserved seats.

Are there any separate ticket policies for senior citizens or people with disabilities?

The Public Theater strives to make its performances and facilities accessible to all our patrons.  In caring for our patrons with disabilities, the ADA Accessibility ticket distribution is handled on a rolling basis starting at 10am until all available accessible tickets have been distributed. (Attestation to the need for accessible seating will be required.) Seating is limited for our Open Caption, Audio Described, and American Sign Language Interpreted performances so please join the ADA line for assistance in acquiring tickets for these special performances. To confirm accessible performance dates, please visit our Free Shakespeare in the Park accessibility calendars

For additional information or if you have questions, need assistance, or an accommodation not mentioned below, please contact us at 212.967.7555 (voice) or

ADA Accessible Distribution in Central Park Information

ADA Accessible Distribution through the Lottery Downtown at The Public Information

ADA Accessible Distribution in the Boroughs Information

ADA Accessible Distribution through the Digital Lottery Information

Can I reserve seats to Shakespeare in the Park in advance?

Yes - as a thank you for helping to keep Shakespeare in the Park free for all, we are able to offer reserved seats to our Public Supporters and Partners who support our work through their generous donations. Click here for more information or to donate today.

Are there group tickets to Shakespeare in the Park?

Tickets are not available for group reservations. If you would like to attend a performance as a group, the group can wait in the line at the Delacorte Theater, or you can consider the Corporate Partners program.

Why can't I be in the Park before 6am?

Central Park is closed between the hours of 1:00AM and 6:00AM. NYPD will patrol the Delacorte area and issue summons to anyone in the Park before its official open time. If you choose to line up before 6:00AM, please do so along the east side of Central Park West starting at 81st Street. A Public Theater line monitor will escort the line in at 6:00AM. The Public Theater neither suggests nor condones lining up before the park opens at 6:00AM.

Why are the lines for Shakespeare in the Park so long?

Tens of thousands of free tickets are made available each summer. While we do our best to accommodate everyone who would like to attend a performance, the demand for tickets is always greater than the number of seats we have available. We appreciate your patience and our hard work to ensure that the process remains as smooth and equitable as possible for all.

What if it rains?

We will never cancel a performance before it is scheduled to begin so it is best to always assume the show will perform as scheduled. In the event of rain or severe weather, the start of the performance may be delayed; however, the performance will begin as soon as it is possible to do so. Performances may also pause for sudden weather changes, but will resume as soon as weather permits. It is always best to plan ahead for any of our performances so raincoats, ponchos, which can also be purchased at our store, and comfortable clothes are always encouraged, but as a reminder umbrellas may not be opened in the theater during a performance.

Get the latest seven-day forecast from the National Weather Service.

If a performance is cancelled due to rain, or for any other reason, free tickets are not valid for re-issue or exchange and will not count towards the 2 (two) tickets to 2 (two) performances of each production during the Free Shakespeare in the Park Season. However, Partners and Public Supporters may rebook for an alternate date by contacting The Partners Desk or the Member Hotline, respectively. 

Can I bring food or drinks?

Yes - Ticket holders are allowed to bring food/beverages into the theater as long as everything fits under the seat. However, no glass containers are allowed inside the theater.

Are children welcome at Free Shakespeare in the Park?

Each person (age 5+) may receive up to 2 (two) tickets, while supplies last. Children under the age 5 (five) are eligible to receive a lap voucher that grants them access to the theater to sit on a guardians lap during the performance. Due to the limited storage space at the Delacorte strollers, prams, and plastic carry car seats are prohibited from entering the theater and cannot be stored during the performance.

Parents/guardians are asked to be conscious of the behavior of their children while attending performances at the Delacorte Theater.  We appreciate parents/guardians who excuse themselves from the performance with children who become disruptive to others. We have a live sound feed of the performance outside of the theater and will gladly welcome you back at the next late seating opportunity once the child can return to the performance without causing further disruption. Parents/guardians who do not address disruptive behavior will be asked to leave the venue by a member of the staff and will not be permitted to return.

Is there a coat check at the Delacorte?

No, due to the limited amount of storage space and the lack of a proper lobby there is no coat check at the Delacorte Theater.  Staff will not be able to store bags or other personal belongings and patrons are encouraged to make other arrangements before arriving at the theater.

Why are tickets not picked up at the box office released at 7:30PM?

To allow as many different people as possible to attend performances throughout the summer, each person will be limited to receiving 2 (two) free tickets to a total of 2 (two) performances of each production during the Free Shakespeare in the Park season. The Public also releases any unclaimed tickets and vouchers beginning at 7:30PM to the standby line at the Delacorte Theater to ensure that as many different people as possible are able to attend the performance.

What if I arrive late or need to leave my seat during the performance?

Late seating is solely at the discretion of management and performances begin promptly. There are no refunds and exchanges for latecomers to the performance. A live sound feed of the performance can be heard outside of the gates of the venue until we can seat you for the performance.

Patrons who need to leave their seats during the performance may not be able to be reseated until the intermission.




By Phone

  • General Info: 212.539.8500

  • Tickets By Phone: 212.967.7555 (10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Mon. - Sat., 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Sun.)
  • *The Taub Box Office window opens for in-person business daily at 2pm.

By Email