The Drilling Company's
SHAKESPEARE IN
THE PARKING LOT
Always free. Never a wait for tickets.



THE DRILLING COMPANY'S SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT RETURNS WITH
"TWO NOBLE KINSMEN" JULY 15-30

Three-week run will play two weeks on the Lower East Side
and one week in Bryant Park.

L-R: Brad Frost (as Palemon) and John Caliendo (as Arsite). Photo by Hamilton Clancy.

WHERE AND WHEN:
PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE, 107 Suffolk Street:
Thursday through Saturday, July 15, 16, 17 and Wednesday through Friday, July 28, 29, 30 at 7:00 PM
Subways: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street.
BRYANT PARK, 6th Avenue at 42nd Street, in midtown Manhattan:
Monday through Wednesday, July 19, 20, 21 at 7:30 PM
Subways: B, D, F, or M to 42nd St./Bryant Park; 7 to 5th Ave.
Running time: 2 hours (without intermission)
Both productions are FREE, donations gratefully accepted.
Presented by The Drilling Company and co-presented by The Clemente and Bryant Park Corporation.


The Drilling Company will return with Shakespeare in the Parking Lot July 15 to 30, offering a portable three-week run of "Two Noble Kinsmen," a rarely-produced curiosity of the Shakespearean canon. Performances will begin July 15, 16, 17 (at 7:00 PM) in the parking Lot of The Clemente, 107 Suffolk Street; move July 19, 20, 21 (at 7:30 PM) to Bryant Park, and return July 28 29, 30 (at 7:00 PM) to The Clemente. Director Hamilton Clancy is re-envisioning the story of Thebes and Athens into a modern spy caper complete with two Russian spies, a corporate magnate and an Interpol spycatcher.

"The Two Noble Kinsmen" is a play by John Fletcher and William Shakespeare that was reprinted in a second folio edition of Beaumont and Fletcher's plays in 1679. Its story is taken from "The Knight's Tale" by Chaucer. It is generally accepted to be The Bard's final play before he retired to Stratford-Upon-Avon and died three years later--a collaboration of an older playwright with one whose career had only begun. The play is a tragicomedy in the manner of Fletcher. It was most famously adapted to the restoration stage by Sir William Davenant as "The Rivals" in 1664. (See plot summary below.)

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot frequently adapts its productions to modern dress and in this instance, it was resolved by Director Hamilton Clancy and Assistant Director Karla Hendrick to couch the play's circumstances in the modern world so as to reflect the tensions of our time. On the heels of the Biden-Putin Summit, the play is being re-envisioned as modern espionage story.

Director Hamilton Clancy is Artistic Director of The Drilling Company and the most frequent director of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, for whom he has staged 18 Shakespeare productions to-date. He has also acted there as Henry V, Julius Caesar, Petruchio and Benedick, among others. He played Tor, a Norwegian mobster, in the Drilling Company's long-running comedy, "The Norwegians" and has appeared in TV shows including "Orange is the New Black" (SAG Award Best Ensemble Seasons 2&3), "One Dollar," "Blue Bloods," "Bull," "Billions," "Mindhunter" and "Gotham."

The ensemble is led by long time Drilling Company stalwarts Brad Frost as Palemon and John Caliendo as Arsite with Jane Bradley in the show-stealing part of the Jailer's Daughter. The ensemble also includes Liz Livingston, Lucas Rafael, Mary Linehan, Jaqwan Turner and Remy Souchon. Assistant Director is Karla Hendrick. Costume design is by Sofia Piccolo. Set design is by Jennifer Varbalow.

L-R: Jane Bradley, Brad Frost, Liz Livington, John Caliendo, Bob Arcaro and Elowyn Castle. Photo by Jonathan Slaff.

This production is presented by The Drilling Company and co-presented by The Clemente and Bryant Park Corporation.

Admission is free. At The Clemente, chairs are provided on a first come, first served basis and audience members are welcome to bring their own. At Bryant Park, free chairs are plentiful. As of this writing, The Clemente is still requiring masks, Bryant Park does not.

Rainout notices will be posted on www.shakespeareintheparkinglot.com and www.drillingcompany.org.

The Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has been a Lower East Side neighborhood institution for over 25 years. Its concept--presenting Shakespeare plays with a "poor theater" aesthetic in a working parking lot--is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand. Last summer, the attraction was suspended due to the Covid-19 lockdown.

Bryant Park Corporation (BPC), a private not-for-profit company, was founded in 1980 to renovate, finance and operate Bryant Park, one of the busiest public spaces in the world, without government or philanthropic funding. In addition to providing security and sanitation services, and tending the lawn and seasonal gardens, BPC creates amenities and activities in Bryant Park for over 6 million visitors each year. BPC's website, www.bryantpark.org, has more detailed information about Bryant Park Presents as well as the plethora of other upcoming free activities, performances, and programs that occur in the park. Visitors to Bryant Park are subject to the rules of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

For info on upcoming Drilling Company productions call 212-873-9050 or visit www.drillingcompany.org. For info on Bryant Park events only, see: www.bryantpark.org, @bryantparknyc and #bryantpark.

SUMMARY OF "TWO NOBLE KINSMEN"
In "Two Noble Kinsmen," distinguished comrades Palamon and Arcite, cousins and warrior nephews of King Creon of Thebes, are captured by the Athenians after Creon's downfall. The victor, Duke Theseus of Athens, has seen them in battle "like to a pair of lions smear'd with prey, make lanes in troops aghast." In admiration of their valor, he orders the best medical care for them. Though wounded, they thrive in prison, sustained by the power of their friendship, until from their prison window, they see the Amazonian Princess Emilia and both fall passionately in love with her. Their inviolable closeness turns to rivalry. Arcite is first to be released from prison; by his athletic prowess, he wins notice by Emilia and is appointed her attendant. Next, unknown to both knights, the Jailer's Daughter has fallen in love with Palamon and arranges his release from prison. The two knights are reunited but unable to resolve who should have Emilia, so they resort to settle the matter by a duel in armor. Their fight is interrupted when it is accidentally discovered by Theseus' hunting party and the Duke proclaims their impasse to be settled by a public tournament in the lists.

The Jailer's Daughter, insane in her love for Palamon, can only be cured by the advice of a doctor who instructs her old suitor to take the name of Palamon, sing the songs that Palamon sang to her in prison, eat and drink with her and encourage friends to talk to her of Palamon. "It is a falsehood she is in, which is with falsehoods to be combated." The suitor's devotion slowly wins her over.

Before meeting in the tournament, Arcite prays to Mars that he will prevail, Palamon prays to Venus for a sign of her pleasure and Emilia prays to Diana that she be wed to the one who loves her best and has the truest title to her. Each prayer is granted: Arcite wins the contest but is later thrown from his horse and dies. With his last breath, he confers the matchless Emilia upon his friend.


THE DRILLING COMPANY'S FREE SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
RETURNED TO LIVE THEATER WITH A CELEBRATION OF THE BARD'S 457TH BIRTHDAY
APRIL 23 & 24, 2021 IN THE PARKING LOT OF THE CLEMENTE, 107 SUFFOLK STREET.
Two Nights of Scenes, Songs, Sonnets and Soliloquies.

WHERE AND WHEN:
April 23 and 24, 2021 from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Parking Lot of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street.
Presented by The Drilling Company
FREE but limited to 50 participants
Masks and temperature checks required; social distancing observed.

Will Shakespeare turned 457 on Friday, April 23, 2021. So on April 23 and 24, from 7:00 PM to 8:00 PM, members of The Drilling Company's Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Company mounted "Happy Birthday Shakespeare-457" in the parking lot of The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Educational Center, 107 Suffolk Street. An energetic, one-hour collection of outdoor performances was offered, all free to the public, all live and limited to 50 audience members. It was the first free Shakespeare to be offered in NYC in the year since the quarantine.

Led by Jane Bradley and Kathleen Simmonds, core players of the company performed great speeches, scenes, sonnets and songs from the Shakespearean Canon.

Hamilton Clancy, Artistic Director of The Drilling Company, home of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, writes, “It’s essential to get our theater professionals back to work and to bring live theater safely back to the City. Who better to lead the way than William Shakespeare?”

Masks and temperature checks were required and social distancing was observed. Participation was free but only 50 patrons were allowed per night. Admission was on a first-come-first-served basis and registrations were strongly recommended.

TO SEE THE LINEUP OF PERFORMANCES (WHO PLAYED WHAT), DOWNLOAD THE PROGRAM.


ABOUT SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot (SITPL) is now in its 26th season (it would be the 27th, but the 2020 season was cancelled due to the Covid-19 shutdown). The program was begun in 1995 by Expanded Arts under the artistic direction of Jennifer Spahr. When Ms. Spahr retired in 2000, an organization known as Ludlow Ten was formed under the direction of Leonard McKenzie. The Drilling Company began co-producing SITPL with Ludlow Ten in 2001. After Mr. McKenzie's retirement in 2005, The Drilling Company was asked to continue the great tradition of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. The concept of free Shakespeare in a parking lot, presented with a "poor theater" aesthetic, is now widely imitated around the US and around the world, with productions as far away as New Zealand.

In 2014, having lost its Parking Lot when the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area gave way to a giant mixed-used development, The Drilling Company sought a new location in the Lower East Side to continue the spunky Lower East Side tradition. After a nine-month search, the new space adjacent to The Clemente, on Norfolk Street between Delancey and Rivington Streets, was arranged. Like the previous location, it is a working parking lot and has the urban, gritty atmosphere that has made these productions memorable through the years. It is just three blocks from the municipal parking lot where the annual Free Shakespeare festival originated.

ABOUT THE DRILLING COMPANY
Beside producing Shakespeare, The Drilling Company, led by Artistic Director Hamilton Clancy, is an incubator of new American plays. It produced new works in an intimate theater space at 236 West 78th Street, formerly 78th Street Theater Lab, from 1999 to 2014 and is presently seeking new digs for this aspect of its work. Last season, it presented "Gabriel: A Polemic" at North of History, a "popup" gallery and performance space located at 445 Columbus Ave. (between 81st and 82nd Street), near its 15-year home. The company is also the exclusive producer of Shakespeare plays for Bryant Park Presents Shakespeare.

IF YOU GO
Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with audience members often arriving early to secure a place. Audience members are welcome to bring their own chairs. Once seats are gone, blankets are spread out. No one has ever been turned away and there's never a wait for tickets.

WHY A PARKING LOT?
"It is a tremendously accessible gathering place in the heart of the city. Like most companies that do Shakespeare we are following the spirit of Joseph Papp. But putting our own spin on it by placing it in a parking lot, making an urban wrinkle," says founding artistic director Hamilton Clancy. Shows are offered while the lot is in use. The action sometimes happens around a parked car which drives away during a performance. At such times, the players stop and the audience moves its chairs, pausing the performance the same way a show would stop for rain uptown in Central Park. It's all part of the fun.

 

for Shows in the Parking Lot


HOW DO I GO TO SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT?

* Performances are at: Parking Lot of The Clemente, 107 Sufolk Street (between Delancey and Rivington).
* Shows are Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:00 PM and admission is FREE.
* Seats are available on a first come first served basis, with audience members often arriving early to secure a place. You are welcome to bring your own chair. Once seats are gone, blankets are spread out.
* We've never turned anyone away and there's never a wait for tickets.
* Subways to The Clemente: F to Delancey Street, M to Essex Street. MAP



 

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

A SAMPLING OF PRESS ARTICLES FROM PAST SEASONS

SHAKESPEARE IN THE PARKING LOT

New York Times, "An ‘As You Like It’ on Asphalt, From Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" by Ken Jaworowski July 15, 2015
The Villager, "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot drives on" by Sean Egan July 15, 2015
Wall Street Journal, "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Finds a New Spot" by Pia Catton July 8, 2015
My Fox NY, "Shakespeare in the Parking Lot" by Lidia Curanaj July 9, 2015
"This Week in Shakespeare" interviews Hamilton Clancy August 5, 2013


CHECK OUT OUR PHOTO ALBUM.
Production photos of current and past seasons are available here.


OTHER PRESS:

Wall Street Journal:
On the Lower East Side, Shakespeare Among the Camrys

by Nick Neyland


PHOTOS AND WRITEUPS OF SEASONS IN OUR RECENT PAST

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot

2019 | 2018 | 2017 |2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011

 

Our other venue: Bryant Park

2016 | 2015 | 2014