On The Scene: Free Shakespeare In The Park continues this summer with ‘Hamlet’
A theater tradition continues this summer in Central Park. The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare In The Park series is presenting "Hamlet."
While the production holds true to the traditional text, the play is set in 2021 Atlanta. "Hamlet" is directed by Tony Award-winner Kenny Leon, whose career includes many years as an Atlanta-based creative. It stars Ato Blankson-Wood ("Slave Play") in the title role and veteran Shakespearean actor John Douglas Thompson as Hamlet's uncle-turned-stepfather, Claudius.
"The values of the play are all the same. You're just exploring another culture," says Thompson of this production as an African American interpretation of the play. "And I think that's the strength of these plays, in that you can explore different cultures because the plays are so strong in their ideals."
This is the 61st year of Free Shakespeare In The Park. However, its home, the Delacorte Theater, will undergo renovations following this season and will not host performances next year. Alternate locations are being considered, according to The Public Theater.
There are numerous ways and locations to obtain free tickets to performances. Ticket distribution policies can be found here.