How to get free Shakespeare in the Park tickets in Harlem, the South Bronx and beyond

Updated: Mar 17, 2020

The Public Theater's free, open-air productions of Shakespeare in the Park are back for another summer, and kicking off the season is an inclusive "Much Ado About Nothing" that features an all-black cast (Danielle Brooks from "Orange Is the New Black" plays Beatrice).

To make it easier for all New Yorkers to get their hands on the free tickets, the Public Theater now has voucher distribution points across the five boroughs each day there is a performance. (As in years past, you can also wait in line at the Delacorte Theater and the Public, or try the online lottery.)

The various distribution points for "Much Ado About Nothing" have been listed online, and include two locations in Harlem (May 30, June 21), plus many more in the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island.

Here's how it works: On the day of each performance, vouchers (two per person) are distributed from noon to 2 at a designated spot. Those are then redeemed for actual tickets at the Delacorte Theater Box Office between 5pm and 7:30pm.

On a recent trip to a distribution point at the Mott Haven Library in the Bronx, a small line (about 15-20 people) had formed by 11:15am. By noon, there were about 30 people in all. The line started moving promptly, and all had vouchers in hand soon after. Compared to the notoriously long lines in Central Park, it was a cakewalk.

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