Delacorte Theater

Last updated
Delacorte Theater
Delacorte Theater stage viewed from aisle M-N.jpg
The theater
Address Central Park
New York, New York
United States
Coordinates 40°46′48.36″N73°58′7.56″W / 40.7801000°N 73.9687667°W / 40.7801000; -73.9687667 Coordinates: 40°46′48.36″N73°58′7.56″W / 40.7801000°N 73.9687667°W / 40.7801000; -73.9687667
Owner City of New York
Operator Public Theater
Capacity 1,800
Opened1962
Tenants
Shakespeare in the Park

The Delacorte Theater is a 1,800-seat open-air theater located in Central Park, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is home to the Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park productions.

Central Park Large public park in Manhattan, New York, United States

Central Park is an urban park in Manhattan, New York City. It is located between the Upper West Side and Upper East Side, roughly bounded by Fifth Avenue on the east, Central Park West on the west, Central Park South on the south, and Central Park North on the north. Central Park is the most visited urban park in the United States, with an estimated 37–38 million visitors annually, and one of the most filmed locations in the world. In terms of area, Central Park is the fifth largest park in New York City, covering 843 acres (341 ha).

Manhattan Borough in New York City and county in New York, United States

Manhattan, often referred to locally as the City, is the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City and its economic and administrative center, cultural identifier, and historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, one of the original counties of the U.S. state of New York. The borough consists mostly of Manhattan Island, bounded by the Hudson, East, and Harlem rivers; several small adjacent islands; and Marble Hill, a small neighborhood now on the U.S. mainland, physically connected to the Bronx and separated from the rest of Manhattan by the Harlem River. Manhattan Island is divided into three informally bounded components, each aligned with the borough's long axis: Lower, Midtown, and Upper Manhattan.

New York City Largest city in the United States

The City of New York, usually called either New York City (NYC) or simply New York (NY), is the most populous city in the United States. With an estimated 2018 population of 8,398,748 distributed over a land area of about 302.6 square miles (784 km2), New York is also the most densely populated major city in the United States. Located at the southern tip of the state of New York, the city is the center of the New York metropolitan area, the largest metropolitan area in the world by urban landmass and one of the world's most populous megacities, with an estimated 19,979,477 people in its 2018 Metropolitan Statistical Area and 22,679,948 residents in its Combined Statistical Area. A global power city, New York City has been described as the cultural, financial, and media capital of the world, and exerts a significant impact upon commerce, entertainment, research, technology, education, politics, tourism, art, fashion, and sports. The city's fast pace has inspired the term New York minute. Home to the headquarters of the United Nations, New York is an important center for international diplomacy.

Contents

Over five million people have attended more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte Theater since its opening in 1962. [1]

History

The theater is named in honor of Valerie and George T. Delacorte, Jr., who donated money for its establishment, after several seasons presented by Joseph Papp's Shakespeare Workshop (founded in 1954) had been touring New York's boroughs on temporary staging and had proved the venture worthwhile. Papp had started seeking funds in 1958 for a permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Park, under the aegis of Helen Hayes. 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.

Valerie Delacorte Hungarian actress

Valéria Hidvéghy or Valerie Pascal Delacorte was a Hungarian actress, philanthropist and writer.

Joseph Papp American theatre director and playwright

Joseph Papp was an American theatrical producer and director. He established The Public Theater in what had been the Astor Library Building in lower Manhattan. There, Papp created a year-round producing home to focus on new plays and musicals. Among numerous examples of these were the works of David Rabe, Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Charles Gordone's No Place to Be Somebody, and Papp's production of Michael Bennett's Pulitzer Prize–winning musical, A Chorus Line. Papp also founded Shakespeare in the Park, helped to develop other off-Broadway theatres and worked to preserve the historic Broadway Theatre District.

Aegis shield, buckler, or breastplate of Athena and Zeus bearing the head of Medusa

The aegis, as stated in the Iliad, is carried by Athena and Zeus, but its nature is uncertain. It had been interpreted as an animal skin or a shield, sometimes bearing the head of a Gorgon. There may be a connection with a deity named Aex or Aix, a daughter of Helios and a nurse of Zeus or alternatively a mistress of Zeus. The aegis of Athena is referred to in several places in the Iliad. "It produced a sound as from a myriad roaring dragons and was borne by Athena in battle ... and among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis which is ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, and each the worth of a hundred oxen."

The first production, in 1962, was The Merchant of Venice starring George C. Scott and James Earl Jones. [2]

<i>The Merchant of Venice</i> play by Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock. It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. Though classified as a comedy in the First Folio and sharing certain aspects with Shakespeare's other romantic comedies, the play is most remembered for its dramatic scenes, and it is best known for Shylock and his famous "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech on humanity. Also notable is Portia's speech about "the quality of mercy". Critic Harold Bloom listed it among Shakespeare's great comedies.

George C. Scott American actor, film director and producer

George Campbell Scott was an American stage and film actor, director and producer. He was best known for his stage work, as well as his portrayal of General George S. Patton in the film Patton, as General Buck Turgidson in Stanley Kubrick's Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Ebenezer Scrooge in Clive Donner's 1984 film A Christmas Carol and Lieutenant Bill Kinderman in William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist III.

James Earl Jones American actor

James Earl Jones is an American actor. His career has spanned more than six decades, and he has been described as "one of America's most distinguished and versatile" actors and "one of the greatest actors in American history". Since his Broadway debut in 1957, Jones has won many awards, including a Tony Award for his role in The Great White Hope, which also earned him a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role for the film version of the play. Jones has won three Emmy Awards, including two in the same year in 1990. He is also known for his voice roles as Darth Vader in the Star Wars film series and Mufasa in Disney's The Lion King, as well as many other film, stage and television roles.

Notable recent productions include Amy Adams, Denis O'Hare and Donna Murphy in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods, Lily Rabe in As You Like It, Al Pacino in The Merchant of Venice, Anne Hathaway and Audra McDonald in Twelfth Night, and the 2008 revival of HAIR.

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.

Billy Crudup American actor

William Gaither Crudup is an American actor. He is a four-time Tony Award nominee, winning once for his performance in Tom Stoppard's The Coast of Utopia in 2007. He has starred in numerous high-profile films, including Without Limits, Almost Famous, Big Fish, Mission: Impossible III, Watchmen, Public Enemies, Spotlight, Jackie, The Stanford Prison Experiment, Justice League, and Alien: Covenant, in both lead and supporting roles. He also starred in the Netflix original series Gypsy opposite Naomi Watts. He has been nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Morgan Freeman American actor, film director and narrator

Morgan Freeman is an American actor, film director, and film narrator. Freeman won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Supporting Actor with Million Dollar Baby (2004), and he has received Oscar nominations for his performances in Street Smart (1987), Driving Miss Daisy (1989), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), and Invictus (2009). He has also won a Golden Globe Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Marcia Gay Harden American actress

Marcia Gay Harden is an American actress. Her film breakthrough was in the 1990 Coen brothers-directed Miller's Crossing. She followed this with roles in films including Used People (1992), The First Wives Club (1996), and Flubber (1997). For her performance as artist Lee Krasner in the 2000 film Pollock, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She earned another Academy Award nomination for her performance as Celeste Boyle in Mystic River (2003). Other notable film roles include American Gun (2005), and 2007's The Mist and Into the Wild.

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.

<i>The Winters Tale</i> play by Shakespeare

The Winter's Tale is a play by William Shakespeare originally published in the First Folio of 1623. Although it was grouped among the comedies, some modern editors have relabelled the play as one of Shakespeare's late romances. Some critics consider it to be one of Shakespeare's "problem plays" because the first three acts are filled with intense psychological drama, while the last two acts are comedic and supply a happy ending.

The 2011 season, featured All's Well That Ends Well, directed by Daniel Sullivan, and Measure for Measure, directed by David Esbjornson, running in repertory on alternate evenings. [3] The repertory cast featured John Cullum, Danai Gurira, Michael Hayden, Annie Parisse, Tonya Pinkins, Lorenzo Pisoni and Reg Rogers.

The 2012 season celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Delacorte Theater, featuring Lily Rabe and Oliver Platt in Shakespeare's As You Like It directed by Daniel Sullivan and Amy Adams and Donna Murphy in Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's Into the Woods , a transfer of an outdoor production done in Regent's Park in London in 2010.

The season also featured a one-night only reading of Romeo and Juliet starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Kline in the two lead roles, supported by Phylicia Rashad, Sam Waterston, Sandra Oh, Bill Irwin, Christine Baranski, John Cullum, Raúl Esparza, Jesse L. Martin, Jerry Stiller, Christopher Walken and others.

The Public's 2013 season began with The Comedy of Errors , directed by Dan Sullivan and featuring Shakespeare in the Park alumni Jesse Tyler Ferguson as Dromio and Hamish Linklater as Antipholus. Ferguson and Linklater last performed together in The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice in 2010 for The Public's Shakespeare in the Park.

The second show of the 2013 season is a new musical adaptation of Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost , directed by Alex Timbers with songs by Michael Friedman, and book adaptation by Alex Timbers. Timbers and Friedman last collaborated on the award-winning musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at The Public and Timbers will direct the new David Byrne musical Here Lies Love this spring at The Public's downtown home at Astor Place. [4]

2014 featured Hamish Linklater, Lily Rabe and John Lithgow all in starring roles. Linklater and Rabe took on the witty love-match of Beatrice and Benedick in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing while Lithgow tackled the title role in Shakespeare's King Lear . [5]

Ticketing

Tickets to Shakespeare in the Park are free and can only be obtained the day of a performance. At 12 noon tickets are distributed, two per person, at the Delacorte to the line of people that usually springs up early in the morning when the park opens at 6AM. People have been known to camp out at the park entrance closest to the theater, 81st & Central Park West, to get tickets for that day's performance. Anyone 5 years old and older can obtain and are required to have a ticket should they wish to see the show. The 2013 Season features a new policy that one person can only obtain two tickets for two performances of one production.

In addition to the main line which snakes through the park the Public also offers a few other options to get tickets. One being the line for Seniors which begins at the benches closest to the theater's box office. The tickets provided to that line have easy access inside the theater and are only available to persons 65 and above. ID is required to obtain the tickets.

The ADA Accessible line is intended for patrons with disabilities and can by joined by checking in with staff at the box office the morning of a performance who will provide, as availability dictates, tickets in locations suited to various individual needs. In addition to the line Shakespeare in the Park also offers specific performances throughout the summer for patrons with hearing and/or vision loss including Sign Language interpreted performances, audio-described performances, and open-captioned performances.

In 2009 the Public introduced the Virtual Ticketing system which is an online drawing to win tickets to that days performance without waiting in line in person. On the day of a show, users can log on to shakespeareinthepark.org anytime between midnight and 11:59 a.m. to register for that evening's performance. After 12:00 p.m. that same day, users will receive an e-mail stating that they have received tickets to the show. Tickets can be claimed at the Delacorte box office between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. under the name and address used for registration. A valid photo ID is required for all pick-ups at the box office. Any tickets not claimed by 7:00 p.m. will be given away to the stand-by line. Within the Virtual Ticketing system Seniors can register for the Senior Virtual Ticketing as long as they are 65 or older and have valid photo ID with proof of age. And any patron requiring Accessible (ADA) seating can also make that clear when registering and specific tickets will be provided according to their specific needs.

In addition to the ticket line at the Delacorte Theater and Virtual Ticketing online, a limited number of vouchers for specific performances are distributed at locations throughout New York City's five boroughs on certain days during the run of a production. 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 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Tickets cannot be exchanged in the event the performance is rained-out, which is a possibility. A performance will never be cancelled before the scheduled start time and may continue in the rain if it is deemed safe by the production staff. Late seating is at the discretion of management and may not be granted until 30-40 minutes into the show.

See also

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References

  1. "Public Theater - Home". www.publictheater.org. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  2. Central Park Conservancy. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
  3. Healy, Patrick (March 28, 2011). "Repertory Casting Returns for Shakespeare in the Park". Arts Beat (blog of The New York Times ). Retrieved October 8, 2012.
  4. Itzkoff, Dave. "'Comedy of Errors' and Musical 'Love's Labour's Lost' on Shakespeare in the Park's Bill". nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.
  5. Kozinn, Allan. "Shakespeare in the Park Lineup: 'Much Ado About Nothing' and 'King Lear'". nytimes.com. Retrieved 18 March 2018.