A complete guide to summer theatre in NYC
Discover all the live theatre taking place in New York this summer.
To quote Hamilton, there’s nothing like summer in the city. Especially when New York theatres are open. With Broadway shows coming back in just a few months time and off-Broadway theatres opening city-wide, there’s a ton of theatre and live entertainment on our doorstep.
Reunite with friends and family. Hear the orchestra tune up again. Get ready to experience the summer of a lifetime at New York theatres. Here’s our guide to summer theatre in New York City.
Which outdoor shows can I see in New York this summer?
Explore all that NYC theatre has to offer this summer, while being in the great outdoors. At the Delacorte Theater, Shakespeare in the Park returns for another year, bringing the Bard's words to life. This year, Jocelyn Bioh's adaptation of The Merry Wives of Windsor takes center stage, transporting the Shakespearean play to south Harlem. Read more about The Merry Wives of Windsor here.
At Tavern on the Green, Ariana DeBose and Shoshana Bean star in their own solo concerts. Enjoy a night under the stars at the TodayTix Originals concerts, taking place on selected dates throughout May and June, with upcoming TodayTix Originals concerts to be announced at a later date. Find out more about TodayTix Originals concert at Tavern on the Green here.
If you're craving the festival atmosphere, Restart Stages at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts provides this in bountiful amounts. Events are scheduled all summer long, including live concerts, recitals, dance exhibits, and poetry slams. Upcoming shows will be announced in the coming weeks, so you'll have to keep an eye out for the latest lineup.
Bryant Park will also be home to a series of Broadway concerts, running on selected dates from June 9 - September 20. 25 events are confirmed, with stars taking part including Tina: The Tina Turner Musical's Adrienne Warren and Motown The Musical's Mykal Kilgore.
Which indoor shows can I see in New York this summer?
The North American premiere of Blindness at the Daryl Roth Theatre will run throughout the summer. Blindness invites audiences into a dystopian world, with audiences experiencing the show via headphones. Blindness tickets are on sale now.
The iconic cabaret venue 54 Below will also reopen its doors this summer. There'll be Pride-themed shows starring Beth Malone and Michael Kushner, as well as performances from Andy Karl and Orfeh, Adam Pascal and Alice Ripley. 54 Below reopens in New York City from June 17.
Dozens of NY PopsUp performances are taking place across New York's five boroughs this summer. In the nature of the festival, details on upcoming shows are revealed close to the event. Check out NY PopsUp online to discover all the performances.
Will New York theatres be Covid safe this summer?
Yes. New York theatres would not be allowed to stage live events if it wasn’t Covid safe. The latest advice from New York State’s Department of Health in April 2021 states “the patron presence at any indoor venue for a performance or event is limited to the lesser of 100 attendees or 33% of the maximum seated capacity for a fixed seating venue or 33% of the maximum occupancy for a flexible seating venue, as set by the certificate of occupancy, exclusive of employees and performers/talent."
For outdoor venues, "the patron presence at any outdoor venue for a performance or event is limited to the lesser of 200 attendees or 33% of the maximum seated capacity for a fixed seating venue or 33% of the maximum occupancy for a flexible seating venue... If all patron attendees present proof of recent negative COVID-19 diagnostic test result or proof of completed immunization... Responsible Parties may increase the patron presence to the lesser of 500 attendees or 33% of the maximum seated capacity for a fixed seating venue or 33% of the maximum occupancy for a flexible seating venue."
Find out more about Covid protocols for New York theatres here.
Are Covid vaccines mandatory to see a show in New York this summer?
Currently, you do not need to show proof of a Covid vaccination in order to see live theatre in New York. If you are still waiting for a Covid vaccine, you may even be able to receive your jabs at the vaccine site on Broadway. If you have not had a Covid vaccine, you will have to hold a valid negative Covid test. There has even been talk of opening Broadway theatres as vaccination centres.
Is mask wearing mandatory at the theatre?
Each production will have their own regulations for keeping audience members, cast, and creative teams safe during the show. Dependent on whether the performance is taking place indoors or outdoors, it may affect the likelihood of being advised to wear a mask at the theatre. As stated by New York Department of Health guidance, "responsible parties should have an adequate supply of face coverings, masks and other required PPE on hand should any individual need a replacement."
For the live performances that have taken place in New York in recent months, audiences have been socially distanced in pod-style seating, ensuring they don’t come into close contact with other guests.
According to the New York Times, fully-vaccinated people will not have to wear a mask in most circumstances. But we recommend carrying a mask just incase. It’s also important to note specific vaccination requirements for audience members are to be announced.
Can I see a show on Broadway this summer?
Sadly, no. Broadway theatres will be closed all summer long, but they’re opening really soon. Hadestown is currently the first Broadway show to reopen after the pandemic; performances are at the Walter Kerr Theatre from September 2.