Photo courtesy of Bryant Park

The Bryant Park Corporation has announced the schedule for its performing arts series, Bryant Park Presents. Now celebrating its second year, the series aims to be the most accessible venue in New York City to experience a wide range of extraordinary artists in a beautiful outdoor setting.

The season begins this Friday, Apr. 21 with actors performing some of Shakespeare’s greatest villains, and ends Sep. 15 with New York City Opera singers performing music by Giuseppe Verdi. In between, Bryant Park Presents stages dozens of unusual and diverse cultural events including a thousand-person polka party (May 17), contemporary dance superstars Martha Graham Dance Company (Jun. 23) and Limon Dance Company (Jun. 30), a series with more than 100 accordionists, a boundary-breaking classical and jazz music festival (Aug. 4 and Aug. 5), and three full-length productions of Shakespeare plays.

Brand new this year, Bryant Park lends out over 100 free picnic blankets every Friday (May 12 through Sep. 15) between 5:00 PM and 10:00 PM. The goal is to make having a picnic on a summer evening and enjoying a cultural event as easy and as comfortable as possible. At each of the 17 Friday Picnics that the Hester Street Fair curates, exciting local food vendors, wine and beer is available for purchase, and Bryant Park Presents provides music, theater, and/or dance entertainment.

All shows are free to the public with no dress code, no barriers to entry, no tickets and most importantly: no lines. With a lush green grass lawn that comfortably accommodates thousands, visitors can spread out and enjoy the summer without stress and with the promise that there’s a seat for everyone.

Discussing the season, Ethan Lercher, Executive Producer of Bryant Park Presents, said: “It’s never been easier to experience the amazing quality and exciting variety of music, theater, and dance in New York City. Bryant Park Presents brings world-class artists to a beautiful park at no cost to the public. And if you haven’t been to a ballet before, see it in Bryant Park. If you’ve never seen Shakespeare, experience it in Bryant Park. It’s an inviting space and there’s something incredible happening for everyone.”

For the season’s full schedule and other information, please visit BryantPark.org.

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