Our mission is to reinvigorate and create audiences for the theatre by presenting all-free productions of popular classics and forgotten masterpieces in accessible public spaces throughout New York City.
New York Classical Theatre firmly believes that everyone—regardless of social, economic, or educational level—should have the opportunity to experience live professional theatre. Through the lens of classical theatre, we come to better understand human nature and our role in contemporary life. As a result, our all-free performances build new and future audiences for live theatre by attracting many underserved and non-traditional spectators.
Over 18 years, we have presented more than 600 free performances for nearly a quarter-million New Yorkers. We produce both outdoors in Central Park, Prospect Park, The Battery, Governors Island, Rockefeller Park (Battery Park City), Carl Schurz Park, and Brooklyn Bridge Park and indoors in Brookfield Place, One Liberty Plaza, One New York Plaza—and more.
By removing plays from traditional performing venues and adapting them for public spaces, we reach a broad demographic of our urban community. We have emerged as an invaluable addition to New York City's theatrical landscape and important artistic and educational resource to our community.
New York Classical Theatre also plays an important role in revitalizing neighborhoods through our productions. In 2006, we presented Schiller's Mary Stuart, in Castle Clinton, the first play to be performed there in 100 years, and our production of Shakespeare’s The Tempest (2013) re-opened Castle Clinton after the flooding of Hurricane Sandy.
To date, we have staged 40 all-free productions by classical playwrights including William Shakespeare, Molière, Anton Chekhov, Aphra Behn, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Brinsley Sheridan, George Farquhar, Friedrich Schiller, Pierre de Marivaux, and Alfred Jarry.
New York Classical has received much critical acclaim in the media. The New York Times called us "a movable feast! All the park's a stage!" And The Village Voice remarked that "Going to a performance of New York Classical Theatre should be on everyone's annual to-do list." WABC Eyewitness News (Sandy Kenyon), Fox 5 News, WNBC, CW11 Morning News, NY1 News and Good Day New York (Channel 5) have run wonderful features on our productions. We have also been seen in The New Yorker, New York Magazine, Time Out-New York, The Village Voice, New York Daily News, The New York Observer, The New York Sun, New York Post, New York Family Magazine and many more.
For information on our budget and demographics, click here.
For a list of our generous supporters, click here.