Arts Watch: Shakespeare in the Parking Lot Opens New Season in New Lot

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot produced by The Drilling Company. Photo credit: Claire Taddei.

Shakespeare in the Parking Lot produced by The Drilling Company. Photo credit: Claire Taddei.
Shakespeare in the Parking Lot produced by The Drilling Company. Photo credit: Claire Taddei.
The Drilling Company’s annual production of Shakespeare in the Parking Lot has moved to the Clemente Soto Velez Cultural Center (CSV). After almost 20 summers in the municipal parking lot at Ludlow and Broome streets, the quirky theatrical happening was displaced by Essex Crossing, the large development project breaking ground this summer.

This year’s performances will take place in the parking lot at 114 Norfolk St., located behind the local arts center. On the eve of its last season in its original location last year, Hamilton Clancy, the company’s artistic director told our contributor, Tobi Elkin, that he was committed to keeping the summer performances in the neighborhood.

“The Lower East Side is so cosmopolitan and such a novel corner of New York and it’s also not snobbish. It’s one of the last bastions of real New York and it’s been one of the last great melting pots of the world,” Clancy said.

In a twist of unexpected luck, the company was offered the opportunity to perform at Bryant Park this summer, as well. So they are currently in the midst of a total of five productions, in contrast to when their fate was unknown just last year.

The shows at CSV include “As You Like It,”  opening Thursday night, and “Macbeth” (July 30 to August 15). 

“The Drilling Company,” Clancy told the Wall Street Journal, “is looking forward eagerly to establishing another island of adventure and creativity in the shadow of CSV, which is, itself, a home to much creative theater on the Lower East Side.”

“As You Like It” runs Thurs.–Sat. through July 26, at 114 Norfolk St. (between Delancey and Rivington streets) 8 p.m., bring a blanket or a chair. It’s free.