Shakespeare in the summer

With the Public’s Shakespeare in the Park underway, we present a rundown of the many companies taking on the Bard this season.

The Comedy of Errors

The Comedy of Errors Photograph: Joan Marcus

Like the man says, “Summer’s lease hath all too short a date”—which makes now the perfect time to take advantage of the host of works written and inspired by Shakespeare that NYC has to offer in the coming months. From combat workshops and original musicals to classical drama and slapstick parodies, here’s where to find Stratford-upon-Avon’s favorite son while the sun shines.

RECOMMENDED: Our guide to alfresco classic theater

Shakespeare in the Park

  • Free

New York’s preeminent free Bard series celebrates its 51st anniversary. As in years past, the Public Theater will present two shows: the farcical The Comedy of Errors, featuring Modern Family’s Jesse Tyler Ferguson and The Future’s Hamish Linklater (through June 30), and Love’s Labour’s Lost (July 23–Aug 18), a new musical adaptation penned by Obie winner Michael Friedman and Tony nominee Alex Timbers (who last collaborated on Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson). The Public will also present a free forum with readings from Shakespeare’s plays by Vanessa Redgrave, Alan Alda and Linklater, among others (June 17 at 8pm). Visit website for schedule.

  1. Central Park at 81st St
More info


Alan Cumming’s schizophrenic near-solo Macbeth has added two weeks to its run, extending through July 14 (Ethel Barrymore Theatre, 243 W 47th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave;; $69.50–$199.50). In August, Orlando Bloom will make his debut on the Great White Way alongside Tony nominee Condola Rashad in the David Leveaux–directed Romeo and Juliet, the first Broadway production of the tragedy in 36 years (Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W 46th St between Broadway and Eighth Ave;; Aug 24–Nov 24; $95–$155).

Hudson Warehouse

  • Free

“The Other Free Shakespeare in the Park” kicks off the summer with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), a frantically hilarious satire that pinballs through the Bard’s canon (June 6–30). Other Will-related offerings include July’s production of King Lear (July 4–28) and “The Shakespeare Workout,” a two-hour workshop covering stage combat and movement (June 29 3–5pm). Visit website for schedule.

  1. Riverside Dr at 89th St
More info

New York Classical Theatre

  • Free

Battery Park hosts New York Classical Theatre’s production of The Tempest, the Bard’s stormy late-career romance, which will be performed in the company’s signature roving-theater style—so bring your walking shoes.

  1. Battery Pl at State St
More info

New York Shakespeare Exchange

This company committed to serving up theater in creative, contemporary forms has just launched the yearlong Sonnet Project, a multi-part video series featuring performances of every Shakespearean sonnet (all 154 of ’em!) in a variety of NYC locations. Theatrical nonconformists can also look forward to the Exchange’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre (Gene Frankel Theatre, 24 Bond St between Bowery and Lafayette St; June 26–30; visit website for schedule; $18) and the biannual ShakesBEER Pub Crawl in August (details TBA).

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

  • Free

Though the recent discovery of King Richard III’s skeletal remains beneath a parking lot in Leicester, England, paved the way for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’s humorously apropos production of Richard III, there’s nothing funny about the bloody swath that the title villain cuts across the royal court. Visit website for schedule.

  1. Broome St at Ludlow St
  2. Aug 1 - 17