Free Shakespeare in the Park Lottery

TodayTix is the exclusive lottery provider for Free Shakespeare in the Park. Have questions? Read up on our FAQs below.


What is the Free Shakespeare in the Park lottery?

Shakespeare in the Park is a program sponsored by the Public Theater for free performances at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park. On each public performance date, a limited number of tickets for that night's performance will be distributed via the TodayTix mobile lottery.

How does it work?

  1. Open the TodayTix app and search for Hamlet - Users can enter in-app only
  2. The Lottery is open from 12:00 AM (midnight) to 12:00 PM (noon) on the day of each public performance.
  3. Each winner will receive two (2) tickets to that night’s performance.
  4. Customers may double or triple their odds by sharing via Facebook and/or Twitter.
  5. Customers will be notified if they have won between 12:00 PM (noon) and 3:00 PM via push notification and/or email.
  6. Winners must claim in the app within 30 minutes of being notified.
  7. Winners may pick up their tickets between 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM at The Delacorte Theater Box Office.
  8. Tickets that are not claimed by 7:30 PM will be forfeited to the standby line. A photo ID will be required. This is strictly enforced.

When can I enter?

You can enter the lottery between 12:00 AM and 12:00 PM (noon) on the day of each public performance. Each winner will get two (2) tickets to that night’s performance.

How should I pick up my tickets?

You will be picking up your free Lottery tickets from the Delacorte Theatre box office which is located in Central Park at 81 Central Park West New York, NY 10023. You can refer to your confirmation email for more details on this location.

Entrants must provide a photo ID matching the pick-up name at the Delacorte Theatre box office. Tickets can be picked up between 5:30 PM and 7:30 PM. If tickets are not picked up by 7:30 PM, they will be released to the standby line to ensure that no seat is left empty. The box office upholds a strict no late pick up policy. 

I missed my time to claim, can I still have my tickets?

If your time to claim has expired, our lottery system will automatically choose another winner. However, this will not affect your chances of winning in the future, so we encourage you to keep entering for future performances!

Can I change the name on my tickets?

Name changes cannot be accommodated after Lottery tickets have been claimed. Pick-up name information can be changed in the app or on the website until the tickets are claimed. Winners must show photo ID at the box office matching their pickup name.

My Pick Up Name does not match the name on my photo ID.

As their policy clearly states matching Photo ID must be provided at pickup, it is entirely at the discretion of the box office to release tickets to guests who do not meet this requirement. We recommend arriving early and bringing any additional proof that may assist in proving your identity.

Since the theatre is outdoors, what is the weather policy for lottery tickets?

No performance will be canceled before 8:00 PM, even if it is raining. The performance may be delayed but will go on if and when it seems possible. If a performance does ultimately get canceled, there are no reschedules on free tickets (The Public Theater policy). 

I didn't get lottery tickets, what are my other options to see the show?

If you do not receive tickets through the TodayTix lottery, you may join the standby line in Central Park. The Public Theater staff will begin to monitor the line starting at 6:00 PM. Free standby tickets will be distributed if and when they become available, with a limit of one (1) ticket per person.

I don't have the TodayTix app - how else can I enter the lottery?

You can mail your entry to TodayTix, 1501 Broadway, Suite 1313, New York, NY, 10036. All mailed entries must be received 24 hours in advance of your desired performance.

Health & Safety

Proof of vaccination against COVID-19 is no longer required for access to The Delacorte Theater. A face mask is encouraged but is also not required.

Special Lotteries

Audio Description - July 29, 2023

ASL Interpretation - July 28, 2023

Open Caption - July 14, 2023

Different Lottery Types

General Entry

Main standard Lottery for entries.

Senior 65+

This Lottery is for Seniors 65+, who require access to seating with limited stairs, ramps, and close proximity to the stage to improve access for hearing and sight-related disabilities or aging deficits. Alternative digital Lotteries are also available. Duplicate entries and entries across multiple lotteries will be voided.

Accessible Seating for the Disabled Entry

Seat locations offered for this lottery provide flexible seating options that allow for wheelchair access, both to transfer to a theater seat or remain in your mobility device, ramp access, no stairs required to access the seats, and close proximity to the stage for those who are blind or have low vision or Deaf or hard of hearing. The Public Theater staff will confirm your needs upon arrival at The Delacorte to claim your tickets and there is no need to contact us prior to your show.

By entering this Lottery, entrants represent they require tickets from the accessibility lottery allotment because they have a specific need that is defined by the ADA. Entrants may only participate in one Free Shakespeare in the Park Lottery and may not join this lottery in conjunction with the General lottery. Duplicate entries and entries across multiple lotteries will be voided.

ASL Interpretation

For patrons who are Deaf and use American Sign Language as their primary means of communication, select performances will have an experienced team of theatre interpreters who stand to the side of the stage and translate what the actors are saying or singing into American Sign Language (ASL). 

Audio Description

For patrons who are blind, or have moderate to severe vision loss, audio description services are provided at select performances. Audio described performances provide a specially trained describer who verbalizes what's happening on stage during pauses in dialogue. The describer uses a headset microphone, while individuals using the service listen through a receiver with a single earpiece.

Open Caption Description

For patrons with slight to profound hearing loss, TDF provides open caption services at select performances. During open captioned performances, an electronic text display is positioned to the side of the stage, which shows what the actors are saying or singing and describes sound effects on stage. 

Where can I find more information?

More information can be found on the Public Theater's website.

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