Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays Through August 13th: Free Performances of ‘Hamlet’

Municipal Parking Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets, Manhattan

Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot, presented by The Drilling Company (Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director), is a summer New York institution that performs free Shakespeare productions in a municipal parking lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets in Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Over its 20 years, there have been over 50 productions of Shakespeare’s plays for over 40,000 patrons. This year, “The Comedy of Errors, directed by Kathy Curtiss, and “Hamlet,” directed by Hamilton Clancy will be offered.

The plays are presented in a working parking lot, so you can drive there but you should expect to pay the Muni-meter.

Why a parking lot? “It is a tremendously accessible gathering place in the heart of the city. Like most companies that do Shakespeare we are following the spirit of Joseph Papp. But putting our own spin on it by placing it in a parking lot, making an urban wrinkle,” says founding artistic director Hamilton Clancy. Shows are offered while the lot is in use. (Performances this season are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 PM for both shows.) The action sometimes happens around a parked car which drives away during a performance. At such times, the players stop and the audience moves its chairs, pausing the performance the same way a show would stop for rain uptown in Central Park. It’s all part of the fun.

Seats are available on a first come first serve basis, with audience members often arriving as early as 7:00 PM to secure a place. You are encouraged and welcome to bring your own chair. Once seats are gone, blankets are spread out. “We’ve never turned anyone away and there’s never a wait for tickets!” brags Clancy.