In 1954, Public Theater founder Joseph Papp began producing a series of traveling Shakespeare productions. Papp's Shakespeare Workshop found a permanent home in the 1960s on the lawn in front of Belvedere Lake (now Turtle Pond). Philanthropist George T. Delacorte, Jr. donated funds to replace the theater's folding chairs and portable stage with a permanent amphitheater. In 1962, the Delacorte Theater officially opened with a production of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, starring George C. Scott and James Earl Jones.
Today, New Yorkers and visitors looking for a free ticket head to the Park early and often spend hours camped out in a line that snakes along the Park’s path.
Things you can do here
Journey through the center of Central Park.