Pleb Summer: Free Shakespeare

by on July 27th, 2017
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It’s summertime, which means it’s time for trips to the beach house, a cross-country road trip, or travel to exotic vacation destinations.

But for those of us who can’t spare the time or the money to make a getaway, it’s PlebSummer! We’re posting this summer about summer for the rest of us.

One of the best things about spending the hotter months in New York City is the opportunity to see free Shakespeare. An institution for over 60 years, Shakespeare in the Park, produced by The Public Theater and preformed in Central Park, is perhaps the best-known production. This annual summer series is not only free, it often features universally acclaimed actors. Past productions have included Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, James Earl Jones, and Denzel Washington.

However, Shakespeare in the Park is not the only company to preform the Bard for free in this fair city – Hudson Warehouse and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot also offers the public a chance to experience Shakespeare at no cost. A longer list of some of these free productions is available here:

Free Shakespeare extends beyond the five boroughs. Odds are if you Google your hometown and “free Shakespeare” you will come across a production nearby. You can also visit where they offer a large list of productions (some free, some not) across the world, sorted by play! You can view that list here:

So get out there and go watch a man talk to his ghost dad, or some teenagers who hang out with a monk. It won’t cost you a dime.

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  • Carol C. Reiman

    My mother brought me to see Shakespeare in the Park starting in 1959 with a production of Julius Caesar. We watched James Earl Jones, Roscoe Lee Browne, Stacy Keach, Colleen Dewhurst, Kathleen Widdoes, and later Sam Waterston, among others, including during rehearsals and going in and out of the public bathroom building, where they did costume changes at the beginning. I grew up with the summer plays and also enjoyed the post-Shakespeare performances of wonderful dance companies from 1959-1970. A terrific way to survive the NYC summer heat without air conditioning, after having a picnic and waiting in line for tickets during the late afternoon/evening while the local teams played baseball.

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