In the summer months thousands of locals and visitors come here to see a variety of Shakespeare's plays. Since it was opened in 1962 until today, a million people have seen the performances here, more than 150 Shakespeare plays, classical shows, and musicals.
The theater is named after Valerie and George T. Delacorte, who donated the funds for the establishment of the theater. Back then, the well-known theater producer, Joseph Pap, showed a few Shakespeare plays to his class. He believed that the theater experience is relevant to everyone, and it needs to be free and available. After he proved that there was a large audience for meaningful shows, it was proven that a theater should be built in Central Park, and that the idea was worth the investment. He began raising money and created one of the most popular traditions in the city.
The first play showed here was Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in 1962.
Tickets to the plays in the theater are free, but are only released that same day of the show. They are given out starting at 12:00 pm, with a limit of 2 tickets per person. Usually you will see a long line of people who come to the park at around 6:00 am, to try and get the tickets. We think this is worth every minute, to try and be a part of this long-standing tradition.