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This image has been archived or removed.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

Woman Dies Month After Being Hit by School Bus in Chinatown

A pedestrian struck by a school bus in Chinatown last month has succumbed to her injuries. On December 16, at approximately 1:45pm, 67-year-old Ahhon Lau was struck in the intersection of Monroe and Catherine Streets. When officers arrived at the scene, Lau was found unconscious and unresponsive, with trauma about the body. EMS transported her […]

Brooklyn Fare Market Makes it Official at One Manhattan Square

Brooklyn Fare Kitchen & Market officially announced its Lower East Side entrance with banner advertising at One Manhattan Square. The vinyl skins are now in the windows along Cherry Street, advertising free delivery and fresh produce. As previously reported, the upscale grocer signed a lease to occupy 25,500 square-feet across two floors in the base […]

Crab du Jour Goes Down After a Year on Grand Street

Crab du Jour, the ubiquitous franchise selling Cajun-style seafood, closed its Lower East Side location earlier this month. The shutter comes exactly one year after the fast-food spot first opened at 384 Grand Street. Several readers alerted us to the closure, noting that the restaurant hasn’t been open the last several days. Moreover, customers can […]

Former Red Square Retail Demolished for New Development

Nearly six years ago, the Dermot Company purchased the former Red Square for $100 million from Michael Rosen. The residential complex was further upscaled in the interim, and whitewashed into submission. The $100 million deal included space in the adjacent one-story retail. What largely went unnoticed at the time, though, is that the Rosen family […]

Man Shot Dead After Opening Door to Gunman at Lillian Wald Houses

A man was shot dead inside his apartment in the Lillian Wald Houses Friday night after the suspected killer knocked on his door, police said. The perp entered 691 FDR Drive just before 10:00pm and went to the fourth floor apartment of thirty-year-old Davon Venable. Reports noted that Venable and his father heard a knock […]