Genre: Classical, Comedy, Kids
William Shakespeare

Shipwrecked in Central Park!  


This May, Spontaneous Shakespeare Players (“SSP”) is back to bring the Bard's Twelfth Night to New York City—the way Shakespeare’s own players performed it.


Twelfth Nightmarks the third annual FREE Shakespeare production that SSP has shared with New York audiences at Central Park's Summit Rock.  Dedicated to bringing the Shakespeare of olden times to modern audiences, SSP uses original Elizabethan performance techniques—involving audience interaction, cue scripts-in-hand and LOTS of spontaneity—to bring Shakespeare's words to life in a thrilling and hilarious way.  This is seriously entertaining Shakespeare, the like of which you have never seen before, performed by actors trained in Original Practice rehearsal techniques.  Twelfth Night is performed outdoors for FREE so pack your picnic blankets and Central Park friendly lunches.  It’s fun for the whole family!


William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night follows the journey of the clever and beautiful Viola who wakes up one fateful day in Illyria—shipwrecked and alone.  A stranger in a strange land, Viola dons the garb of a young man, calls herself “Cesario” and quickly begins working for the handsome Duke Orsino.  Orsino is hopelessly in love with the town beauty Olivia, but she won't give him the time of day.  While "Cesario" attempts to gain Olivia's love for "his" master Orsino, love is indeed gotten—but incredibly misplaced.  A love triangle blown way out of proportion (truly “too hard a knot ... to untie”!) involving mistaken identities, a set of twins, secret schemes and fun-loving insanity, Twelfth Night sheds a light on that ever-changing and always inspiring theme of life: Love.


DETAILSFree admission; no tickets required.


We strongly encourage you to bring blankets, cushions or chairs for picnic style seating.

About the Company: Spontaneous Shakespeare Players


Spontaneous Shakespeare Players is a group of professional independent theatre artists who bring the spontaneity and fun of Shakespeare's plays to modern audiences.  By using Elizabethan performance techniques, which involve limited to no rehearsal and the ability to instantly bring the Bard's words to physical and entertaining heights, we give our audiences a historical taste of how Shakespeare's plays would have originally been performed.
In Shakespeare's day, the theatre was the premier venue in entertainment--much like today's IMAX, Wiis, and reality television--and his plays possessed a competitive edge that made them popular among yesteryear's audiences.  That electricity is sadly often lost in modern performance.  The Spontaneous Shakespeare Players, however, strive to not only present these great works of art with historical authenticity but also to entertain audiences with the same moment-to-moment vivacity that wowed Elizabethan and Jacobean groundlings and monarchs alike, so long ago.  
Shakespeare's plays were called plays because they were about playing not acting, and our performances bring Shakespeare's plays alive in a way that connects people of all age groups and walks of life.  Shakespeare plays are timeless for a reason and we, Spontaneous Shakespeare Players, focus on the text, play only the text, and play hard to make what was new in olden times new again.
Open:   05/14/11
Close:   05/29/11

Saturday, May 14th @ 3:00pm
Sunday, May 15th @ 3:00pm
Saturday May 21st @ 3:00pm
Saturday, May 28th @ 3:00pm
Sunday, May 29th @ 3:00pm
Theater:   Central Park's Summit Rock
Address:   West 83rd Street & CPW
New York, NY
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Cost:FREE or Call: at
Company: Spontaneous Shakespeare Players         Official Web Site: