Free Summer Theater in NYC (2017 Edition)


Catch Shakespeare plays and much more outdoors without spending a penny.

Ends Jul 16

The Rivals

Members say: Delightful, Clever, Great acting, Excellent direction, Great "set" (central park)
1 review
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New York Classical Theatre presents a free, outdoor staging of Richard Brinsley Sheridan's 1775 comedy of manners.

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Lydia Languish can imagine nothing more romantic than eloping with the impoverished Captain Beverly. Little does she know that Beverly is really Jack Absolute, a wealthy aristocrat who fears the truth of his identity isn't nearly romantic enough for Miss Languish's taste. How will he win her from himself? The audience follows the actors from place to place as the play moves from scene to scene. The show covers approximately three city blocks over two hours, so wear comfy shoes and clothes that can get dirty. 'The Rivals' plays Central Park (June 6- July 2), Nelson A. Rockefeller Park (July 5 and July 7-9), and Carl Schurz Park (July 12-16).


The Delacorte Theater transforms into an enchanted forest for Shakespeare’s beloved comedy, in a production starring Tony winners Phylicia Rashad, Annaleigh Ashford, and Danny Burstein.

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When the merry sprite Puck meddles with a magical love potion, young lovers lost in the woods mysteriously find themselves infatuated with the wrong person in this hilarious, fairytale fantasia that proves the course of true love never did run smooth. Lear deBessonet, Founder of The Public Theater’s Public Works program and Resident Director, brings her electric theatrical vision to the classic romance about the supernatural nature of love. Presented by the Public Theater for free outdoors in Central Park.


The New York Classical Theatre presents a free, outdoor production of Shakespeare's dark tragedy about a Scottish lord's lust for power.

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Ambition goes unchecked by moral restraint and destruction befalls all but a lucky few. This classic story of the perils of ultimate power is fueled by the supernatural forces that haunt the castles and forests of early Scotland.

In the New York Classical Theatre production, the audience follows the actors from place to place as the play moves from scene to scene. The show covers approximately three city blocks over two hours, so wear comfy shoes and clothes you can sit on the ground in.


The Drilling Company presents a free, outdoor production of Shakespeare's late romance, a darkly comic story of magic, romance, revenge, and forgiveness.

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Experience love and revenge on Prospero's magical island in the Bard's last play. Songs from Natalie Smith and Andrew Gombas help lead the comical journey through dazzling spells and devious plots.


CityParks PuppetMobile presents a contemporary take on the classic fairy tale set in the lush landscape of Brazil. Presented outdoors in various NYC parks for free.

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With the help of her magical fairy godmother, Cinderella attends Rio de Janeiro’s biggest Carnaval gala and dances the samba with Prince Paulo. But Cinderella is forced to flee just before midnight, so the prince sets out to find the mystery woman who stole his heart. This lively production features an original salsa soundtrack, handcrafted festival floats, and one-of-a-kind marionettes donning vibrant Carnaval costumes. For a complete list of locations and performance times, visit PuppetMobile's official site


The Classical Theater of Harlem presents their take on Alexander Dumas' chivalric swashbucklers in a free, outdoor production.

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It’s all for one and one for all as D’Artagnan and the Musketeers fight to protect the ones they love from the revolting exploits of Cardinal Richelieu. A story of double crossings, kidnappings, and carefully guarded secrets, complete with lavish fights and sweeping romance, 'The Three Musketeers' reminds us that through strength, courage, and unity, you can always defend what you believe in.


Theater for the New City presents this free, outdoor musical about a young girl who is galvanized into a community activist.

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The girl begins the story a naive Catholic School student in New York, but after being deemed a white elitist by her friends, she begins her journey towards becoming a feminist activist. With newly-opened eyes she witnesses forces of tyranny, prejudice, and hatred and learns how to struggle against them.

'Checks and Balances, Or Bottoms Up's' free performances will tour City streets, parks, and playgrounds throughout the five boroughs.


The Drilling Company mounts a free, outdoor production of the Bard's dark comedy reset in the South of France just before the fascist invasion of WWII. Part of the troupe's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot season.

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Helena is the only daughter of a famous French physician. Although a gentlewoman, she is not nobility, and for that the man she loves, a count named Bertram, her rank is not enough. He rejects her but she follows him to the court of the King of France, who is ailing. Bearing her father's potions, she offers to cure the monarch on a gamble: if he dies, she will submit to execution, but if he lives, she can choose a husband from anyone in his court. She chooses Bertram, who is forced to marry her and does, but he flees immediately after the ceremony to Italy...The play offers side-splitting comedy in the self-serving machinations of Parolles, a disloyal associate of Bertram, and by a clown of Bertram's household. But its moments of levity are interlaced with gut-wrenching pathos, causing it to be labeled one of Shakespeare's "problem plays." 


Hudson Warehouse presents the first installment of Susane Lee's four-play adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' classic swashbuckling adventure.

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All performances are pay what you can, with a basket being passed at the end of each show.


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