It’s Now the 20th and Final Season of ‘Shakespeare in the Parking Lot’ at Ludlow and Broome, Thanks to Essex Crossing Development

Posted on: June 16th, 2014 at 6:07 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has been an offbeat annual arts tradition since 1995. For twenty consecutive summers, the Municipal Lot at the corner of Ludlow and Broome Streets transformed into an open-air theater, complete with putrid smells and the soothing sounds of late-night traffic. The twentieth season of programming kicks off July 10 with a production of Twelfth Night, presented by longtime collaborators the Drilling Company.

Yet, the two-decade anniversary milestone is bittersweet, for the end of the road is nigh. As with stalwarts Olympic Diner and Jade Fountain across the street, Shakespeare in the Parking Lot was also gobbled up by the Essex Crossing mega-development. And it’s happening much quicker than previously anticipated. The Drilling Company confirmed to us via email that summer 2014 is in fact the final season of free plays at this “venue.” Not all hope is lost, though. Apparently the troupe is “exploring other ways” to keep the tradition alive on the Lower a East Side.

The news obviously isn’t surprising. We knew that the troupe would need to find a new home ever since Essex Crossing renderings were first released. This plot, after all, is earmarked as home to the New York annex of the Andy Warhol Museum.

But the writing was already on the walls last summer when the DOT, seemingly out of the blue, began charging rental fees to use the one-acre Municipal Lot.

Everything is ending.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot began in 1995 by Expanded Arts under the artistic direction of Jennifer Spahr. Upon her retirement five years later, the torch was passed to an organization called the Ludlow Ten. By 2001 The Drilling Company was on board as co-producer and would take sole ownership of the tradition in 2005.

Schedule for Shakespeare in the Parking Lot 2014:

Twelfth Night: July 10 – July 26
Othello: July 31 – August 16

Recent Stories

New Condos Teased at 15-Story ‘One Essex Crossing’

Each month brings more significant updates for Essex Crossing. On the heels of the International Center of Photography launching its new flagship, the billion-dollar Lower East Side development this week rolled out more info about the CetraRuddy-designed condo tower at 202 Broome Street (aka Site 3). Dubbed One Essex Crossing, the fifteen-story newcomer features 83 […]

Broome Street Gets an Exclusive Nightclub by Omar Hernandez

Where Happy Ending once tormented this Broome Street block, and Better Days was anything but, something uber-upscale is now replacement. Perhaps even too upscale for its own good. By now you’ve probably seen the well-placed hype pieces about the newest nightclub at 302 Broome Street, led by nightlife impresario Omar Hernandez. He converted the space […]

Ten Injured, Including Firefighters, in Massive Mulberry Street Blaze Last Night [Updated]

The three-alarm blaze that engulfed 70 Mulberry Street last night spread quickly, destroying the upper levels of the historic Public School 23. The fire started shortly after 8:45pm on the fourth floor. Firefighters from Ladder 20 and police from the 5th Precinct were the first responders. More than two hundred fire personnel ultimately arrived to […]

3-Alarm Fire Engulfs PS 23 Building on Mulberry Street

Shortly before 9pm this evening, a three-alarm fire was sparked at 70 Mulberry Street (at Bayard). Within minutes, the historic building – erected in the nineteen century as Public School 23 – was in flames. More than one hundred firefighters were called to the scene to battle the blaze which is apparently confined to the […]

The Year of the Rat Scurries In

It’s the Year of the Rat! This week marks the 21st year of New York City’s Lunar New Year celebration, and no doubt the organizers are scurrying around in preparation for a veritable smorgasbord of festivities. As in years past, the festivities will kick off with the explosive Firecracker Ceremony Saturday morning at 11:00am (January 25) […]