More than five million people have visited the Delacorte Theater for free performances, making it one of New York City’s most beloved summer traditions. At its landmark downtown home at Astor Place, housing five theaters and Joe’s Pub, The Public advocates for the theater as an essential cultural force through productions of new plays, musicals, and Shakespeare that lead and frame dialogue on some of the most important issues of our day. The Public’s programming also includes a range of artist and audience development initiatives including its Public Forum series, which brings together theater artists and professionals from a variety of disciplines for discussions that shed light on social issues explored in Public productions, and the Mobile Unit, which tours Shakespearean productions for underserved audiences throughout New York City’s five boroughs.
Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night In celebration of five extraordinary years of Public Works, a Public Theater initiative that invites diverse communities across New York to create ambitious works of participatory theater, Free Shakespeare in the Park presents a re-imagining of Public Works’ 2016 musical adaptation of Twelfth Night for a full five-week run in Central Park. Professional artists and two rotating ensembles of community members from all five boroughs will perform together on the Delacorte stage in this enchanting comedy about Viola (Nikki M. James), a young heroine who washes up on the shores of Illyria, disguises herself as a man, is sent to court a countess, and falls in love with a Duke.
Featuring music and lyrics by critically-acclaimed songwriter Shaina Taub, this very special Twelfth Night is a unique partnership between two Public Theater programs that exemplify The Public’s commitment to radical inclusion. Oskar Eustis, The Public’s Artistic Director, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, incoming Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic, helm this unforgettable musical about love in all its many disguises.
A musical adaptation of William Shakespeare’s, Twelfth Night
Conceived by Kwame Kwei-Armah and Shaina Taub Music and Lyrics by Shaina Taub Choreography by Lorin Latarro Directed by Oskar Eustis and Kwame Kwei-Armah
Featuring Ato Blankson-Wood (Orsino), Nikki M. James (Viola), Andrew Kober (Malvolio), Jacob Ming-Trent (Sir Toby Belch), and Shaina Taub (Feste)
Scene Design by Rachel Hauck Costume Design by Andrea Hood Lighting Design by John Torres Sound Design by Jessica Paz Music Contractor: Dean Sharenow
Free Tickets for Shakespeare in the Park: Twelfth Night Free tickets are distributed at 12 p.m. (noon) on each performance day via the free lines at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. People waiting for free tickets must line up along the path designated by The Public Theater staff and The Parks Department. There are separate lines for Senior Accessibility for senior citizens (65+) who require accessible seating and ADA Accessibility for patrons with disabilities (attestation to the need for accessible seating will be required).
Each person (age 5+) may receive up to two (2) tickets, while supplies last. All those who wish to acquire tickets must have a Public Theater Patron ID. Follow this link to register or access your account before you arrive.
Performance days will vary from week to week, so be sure to check the performance calendar, and please remember that Central Park does not officially open until 6 a.m.