Outdoor Performing Arts Cheat Sheet

You’re living in New York City, but you need a cheat sheet for which outdoor performing arts events to attend. We can definitely help!

There are many reasons to get outside in NYC, in fact, we recently detailed some here. But now, more than ever, getting outside to support the performing arts should be at the top of the list.

No matter your preference, there’s a show or event for you. Without further adieu, here is an outdoor performing arts cheat sheet for NYC.

Shakespeare in the Park

Shakespeare in the Park may be the most renowned outdoor production in NYC, running for 60 years. Some of the greatest actors have performed there from James Earl Jones to Meryl Streep to Natalie Portman. We added this event to our outdoor performing arts cheat sheet because it doesn’t get much more poetic than Shakespeare in the park, under a starry sky.

Tickets are free to the public but do require reservations. And if you are able to, you can make a donation on their website to support this artistic community.

[Source: The Public Theater]

The New York Philharmonic

The New York Philharmonic makes our outdoor performing arts cheat sheet because they’ve brought their iconic summer music experience to audiences since 1965. They had to cancel all live performances during the summer of 2020, but they are resuming their summer concert series this year! You can pack a picnic and relax enjoying this NY moment.

Get a taste of previous performances from their YouTube clip below and visit their site to see a calendar of events as well as make a donation to their performers.

[Source: NY Philharmonic 2019]

Lincoln Center

Lincoln Center launched a program called Restart Stages to bring performances to outdoor spaces beginning on World Health Day (April 7). Their initiative includes an outdoor performing arts center with ten outdoor performance and rehearsal spaces. Their goal with Restart Stages is to “kickstart the performing arts sector and New York City’s revival”.

Audiences can expect free and low-cost events, including an outdoor reading room from The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, concert and cabarets, film screenings, summer concerts from the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and dance workshops from New York City Ballet. They will also host performances by the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute, Harlem Week and the Harlem Arts Alliance, Korean Cultural Center New York, and so much more.

You can also donate to support their arts community here.

[Source: Music From The Sole at Lincoln Center]

Summer on the Hudson

Summer on the Hudson has a great blend of music, dance performances, movies, wellness activities, and more. It’s Riverside Park & West Harlem Piers Park’s annual outdoor arts and culture festival and is located from 59th Street to 153rd along the Hudson River. There’s a bit of everything at Summer on the Hudson, along with great views!

Programs are free to the public, but just as with many of these mainstays, you can make a donation directly on their website.

Stand Up Comedy

Stand Up NY has hosted some of the greats (Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, and Amy Schumer). Last year they launched Stand Up In the Park and they are bringing it back to 2021. This makes our outdoor performing arts cheat sheet because laughter is good for the soul and a night watching stand-up comedians take the outdoor stage can’t be beaten.  Who doesn’t love a good laugh?

Sit Back & Enjoy The Show

We hope our New York City outdoor performing arts cheat sheet gives you some great ideas! Webster guests are located in the perfect area of NYC to explore so many different venues. After a day at work or school, an outdoor performing arts event is just a walk, Uber, or subway ride away!

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