Delacorte Theater

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The Delacorte Theater is a 1,800-seat open-air theater located in Central Park, in the borough of Manhattan in New York City. It is home to the Public Theater's free Shakespeare in the Park productions.Over five million people have attended more than 150 free productions of Shakespeare and other classical works and musicals at the Delacorte Theater since its opening in 1962.HistoryThe theater is named in honor of Valerie and George T. Delacorte, Jr., who donated money for its establishment, after several seasons presented by Joseph Papp's Shakespeare Workshop (founded in 1954) had been touring New York's boroughs on temporary staging and had proved the venture worthwhile. Papp had started seeking funds in 1958 for a permanent outdoor amphitheater in Central Park, under the aegis of Helen Hayes. Papp believed theater was essential for all to experience, and that it should be free for all. These conceits, and Papp's personal drive and determination, are what propelled Shakespeare in the Park into becoming one of New York City's most treasured and beloved traditions.The first production, in 1962, was The Merchant of Venice starring George C. Scott and James Earl Jones.

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