Shakespeare in the Park returns to NYC this summer



Parting was such sweet sorrow — but now Shakespeare in the Park is back!

The Big Apple institution is planning to reopen post-pandemic on July 6, kicking off the season with a reimagined “The Merry Wives of Windsor” set in Harlem.

“We are SO READY,” the Public Theater — which produces the free Shakespeare plays in Central Park — tweeted Tuesday.

Posting a photo of its empty outdoor Manhattan stage at the Delacorte Theater, the group added, “The Delacorte isn’t empty, it’s full of hope that we will be together again this summer.”

The theater group — which has featured everyone from Meryl Streep and Morgan Freeman in versions of “The Taming of the Shrew” to Al Pacino in “The Merchant of Venice” — had to cancel the program last summer amid the coronavirus.

“We’ve grieved, Zoomed, innovated, supported our communities, and connected our city,’’ the group wrote on its Web site, referring to its work over the past months.

“We’ve gathered brilliant artists to imagine summer under the stars in Central Park and are planning a return of Free Shakespeare in the Park beginning July 6 through August 29, with MERRY WIVES, a fresh and joyous adaptation, by Jocelyn Bioh, of Shakespeare’s MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR directed by our Associate Artistic Director and Resident Director Saheem Ali.”

The state is set to allow up to 500 people at outdoor events starting next month if attendees can provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test. Without the proof, capacity at outdoor events is limited to 200. The Delacorte seats nearly 2,000.

People sit in the grass next to a path in Central Park.
Shakespeare in the Park is looking forward to welcoming an audience back to the outdoor theater.
AFP via Getty Images

Another Manhattan theater also announced Tuesday that it will reopen an off-Broadway show post-COVID-19 shutdown.

“The Office! A Musical Parody” had debuted in the fall of 2018 and ran till it was halted as per state health orders March 15, 2020.

The show’s producers said Tuesday they plan to reopen the show at the Jerry Orbach Theater on West 50th Street on April 9.

Under the state guidelines starting April 2, indoor venues can reopen at 33 percent capacity, or allow 100 people at a time, without testing and up to 150 with testing.


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