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Free Shakespeare in the Park Heading to Sunnyside Gardens Park Next Week

Hip to Hip, Sunnyside Gardens Park

July 16, 2018 By Nathaly Pesantez

Shakespeare in the Park is returning to Sunnyside once more, with free performances scheduled at Sunnyside Gardens Park and open to all beginning next week.

Two of Shakespeare’s works—“King Lear” and “All’s Well That Ends Well”—will play on July 28 and August 4, respectively, with a kid’s segment also planned on those days.

Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., and follow a “Kids & the Classics” program—a companion piece to the Shakespeare performance.

The interactive kids workshop for children ages 4 to 12 begins at 7 p.m., and gives kids a chance to get a closer look at the plays by previewing the characters, situations, and analyzing the works through games and close readings.

Sunnyside Gardens Park says the family friendly productions are for long time lovers of Shakespeare or for those experiencing his works for the first time.

The park is also encouraging attendees to bring blankets, low chairs, and picnic fare to enjoy the performances. Seating is first come, first serve, and doors will open at 5:30 p.m.

The performances are brought by the Hip to Hip theater company, a non-profit that organizes free productions of theater classics in public spaces.

To learn more about the performances at Sunnyside Gardens Park, visit the park’s events page. For more on Hip to Hip and its performance schedule across the city, click here.

Sunnyside Gardens Park is located at 48-21 39th Ave.

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45 Comments

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Park Treasurer

For all of you spreading ignorant, vitriolic lies about the park, I invite you down for a meeting with myself, the treasurer (who volunteers his time like all of the members). I can show you the latest numbers of current members, which exceeds 500, I can show you the constitution and bylaws that show no limitation to the number of members, as long as they live within the designated zone. A zone that was established as many have stated based on the original Sunnyside Gardens development. There are no exclusionary policies either explicit in the constitution or implicit in the practice the park is as diverse as the people that live within the zone. I can show you our P&L, where you will notice that the park doesn’t take a penny of taxpayers money; every cent used to maintain and service the park comes from events and members. So instead of spewing hate speech, lies and other nonsense, just come by and you can see and learn the simple truth.

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Sassy Lassy

Thank you for taking this issue in hand. I’ve been a long time and I was so surprised to find how vicious the misinformed hatred about it is.

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Nosepin

J Murphy I don’t think the park should have a limit on the number of members. The constitution says if you live in the district you can join. Sometimes the board is full of new people who may not fully understand their duty to the community, I’m afraid.

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Anonymous

There is no limit to the membership or waiting list all you have to do is live in the geographical zone that was setup over 90 years ago. The real fact is, members volunteers hours are what makes it run, and member dues.

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Anonymous

For all the people talking about Sunnyside Gardens Park here is a little inside info. from someone who is a member for 8 years and also has a family member on the board. Any person who is in the original geographic zones for membership is welcome to join – and they ARE currently accepting new members (J Murphy you should check your info.) – DOES NOT MATTER if you are black, white, purple or green. Anyone that is ACTUALLY a member would know the Park has a broadly diverse membership which includes all ethnicities, races, religions and sexual orientations including Caucasian, African American, Hispanic, Asian, German, Turkish, Irish, Italian, Romanian, Croatian, Russian, Hungarian, French, Indian, Nepalese Muslim, Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Mormon, Gay men, Lesbians, etc… Just to name a few off the top of my head. People should check their facts and actually check with members or even call the office at the park before making blanket statements on who can join. I live in a small 2-bedroom apt. in a house that happens to be up the block from the park (in one of the geo. zones) – I do not own a million dollar home and there are plenty of members who live in the rental and co-op buildings that are in the zone. Here is a link to the map so that you can check your facts…http://sunnysidegardenspark.memberlodge.com/ZoneMap

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J murphy

I stand corrected. I should probably tear up my library pass and stay off the internet. Back to my parents basement. Goodnight!

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Fan

Actors in this company have gone to and come from the top theaters in the country: Denver Center, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Julliard, Center Stage, San Diego Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Osolo Rep, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Florida Studio Theater, Florida Rep and The Shakespeare Theatre in Washington DC as well as roles in the cult hit Sleep No More, “the Big Sick,” “Sink Sank Sunk” (with Laura Linney), “Jane the Virgin,” Festival Circuit Award Winner “Fortune’s Debt,” “One Bedroom,” “Genius” and more. These actors are Broadway and off-Broadway veterans, with Master’s Degrees in Acting. The lead in King Lear just played the title role in the Jewish King Lear off-Broadway to rave reviews, and played on Broadway with Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart.

As Hamlet says, Do you hear, let them be well used; for they are the abstract and brief chronicles of the time: after your death you were better have a bad epitaph than their ill report while you live.

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43rd & 43rd

The production puts in a lot of work, but the audience here is just terrible. Small children climb onstage, run over other audience members’ blankets, scream the entire time. I went for about 5 years hoping the kids would eventually be reined in, but they never were, so I’m afraid I won’t be back. Too bad, I love Shakespeare and I really want to support Queens productions, but parents need to realize their 3-year-old is not getting anything from hour 2 of King Lear. Take kids to the preshow, watch the play with them for as long as they actually watch it, and then — take them home! I totally understand they can’t be engaged for hours, but that doesn’t mean they should be allowed to ruin everyone else’s experience.

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J murphy

Thats the new Progressive way of raising children……negotiate with them. Make them aware it’s all about them……they have rights……the parents have no manners……

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Rikki

I was at a Shakespeare production in the park 2 years ago. No one was watching or listening. Kids were running around, parents were talking. People who had absolutely no interest were there. This is not a community that deserves a Shakespeare production. The people here are just too unsophisticated to understand it. Shakespeare in Sunnyside should be banned. Sorry if I come off as a snob but it’s true. King Lear is a serious play. No one will be paying attention.

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George

Murph: If you ever run for office you got my vote. The real change Sunnyside needs.

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Born&Raised whether you like it or not

If you live in an apartment building in the Sunnyside Gardens district you are welcome to join the park. The land the park sits on was paid for by the company that developed the community in 1926. They used the last parcel of land not to build houses but to create a common “backyard” for the whole development. Kind of like the playgrounds you see in different areas of Levitttown. Anyone who lived nearby within the housing development could pay membership dues, work considerable volunteer hours and fundraise in order to maintain and use the facilities. Does the community resent the playground tenants of the Big Six have for the kids who live there? Does the community feel they have the right to use the common driveways behind some of the row houses this neighborhood has? Should anyone be allowed to park in the lot owned by the Celtics? Should everyone be allowed to use St. Sebastian’s open yard on 58th St.? There is a nice yard on 48th St. attached to an apartment building on 47th St., should anyone and everyone be allowed to use it at will? I would like to sit on some of the porches and in the little yards of houses I see, but I know it is private property and I respect that. Why is this private property, held in trust for the people who live in Sunnyside Gardens and both pay and work for it, such a target of jealousy and anger? If you live in the district, go sign up, pay up and be prepared to work, be prepared to attend meetings, or run for office and work yourself sick for a year or two.

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j murphy

Your wrong! It is limited to 500 members and they are not accepting any more! Why should any park be off limits unless you specifically want to exclude a group of people? Why not allow impoverished residents of the community to enjoy the beauty of this oasis? Is it because they can’t afford it? Or some other reason? Would you be in favor of a private park for jews or catholics should someone buy the property and designate so? BTW you are welcome to enjoy the park on 48 street …pay the dues or if you can’t afford them volunteer to do yard work ………I believe they hold two open houses a year seeking members and volunteers!

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j murphy

Your wrong! It is limited to 500 members and they are not accepting any more! Why should any park be off limits unless you specifically want to exclude a group of people? Why not allow impoverished residents of the community to enjoy the beauty of this oasis? Is it because they can’t afford it? Or some other reason? Would you be in favor of a private park for jews or catholics should someone buy the property and designate so? BTW you are welcome to enjoy the park on 48 street …pay the dues or if you can’t afford them volunteer to do yard work ………I believe they hold two open houses a year seeking members and volunteers!

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Nosepin

I wasn’t aware there was a number limit. Nor was I aware the yard on 48th St. had a membership. Is it private? Are there three private parks in NYC? Better tell the NYT. Is there a geographical limit? Where do you go to join? Who do you talk to? I told you why the park on 39th Avenue has geographical limits, the people who created it in the ’20s were influenced by communism and sought ways to bring people who lived closely together into communication and cooperation with each other. It was a revolutionary idea at the time to create a village in the big city. It largely worked, and today people like you, outside the community, seem to hate it with a vengeance. Look it up in the Queensborogh Public Library Long Island Collection. A lot of documents on Sunnyside Gardens are on file there. I think the reason they don’t open it up, is that people who live farther away don’t seem to have the same commitment to the community, given they don’t live in it. Their taxes aren’t paying for it.

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J murphy

You seem to be not aware of many things…..yes there is a number limit…..yes there are other private parks in the City that are currently facing legal challenges with regard to their exclusivity. Should I do the research for you? That’s your responsibilty to educate yourself….your attitude is what is wrong with this country…. Nobody “hates it” what people oppose is phoney liberalism “black lives matter, LGBT…etc.” except in their own backyard. I don’t think communism has much to do with the current state of the park. If it were communist then “all the masses of people” would have access….your reasoning is counter intuitive. What is definition of a community? especially these days….Oh and lastly ….walk to 48 street or 47 street you will see a sign on the property….contact the organization….unfortunately they can’t find you!

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king kong

This park also received tax payers money a couple years back and that’s wrong for a private exclusive park.

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Str8Skinny

I wholeheartedly agree with you and I fought tooth and nail to stop that from happening. Unfortunately, I was alone in my opposition.

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Raymondo McReardon

That money was spent cleaning up the surrounding blocks including Barnett avenue . I remember waking at 6am on a Sunday to dig a trench that became a flower bed . Not a penny was spent inside the park

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Rosencrantz and Changeguy are Dead

Old fashions please me best; I am not so nice
To chaaaaange true rules for odd inventions.

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J murphy

Isn’t it ironic that the same Progressive , Left Leaning Liberals, that lead the rallying cry for the LGBT , Black lives matter, abolishing ICE……have a private park all to themselves…how many black and hispanic families by percentage are members of this exclusive park? Why not invite the poor children in the welfare hotels on Queens Blvd to use the park for free? How about a rap or hip hop concert this summer?
They are hypocrites……

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Michael

Wait, you think Sunnyside Gardens is home to the more liberal members of our community? You must be new here, welcome.

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me fail english?

The show not “private” but instead is free to all.

You could have learned that from the article, but Trumpeters are illiterate.

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J murphy

No I realize it’s a “free” production….but the park itself is exclusive for the liberal , progressive community of Sunnyside. Because they open it up twice a year to the less fortunate does not make it a “park of the people”. Why not disclose how many members of the park are minorities? Why can’t Hispanic immigrants to this country that live in Sunnyside have access to the park? remember how much they contribute! Why shouldn’t they be welcomed? Why can’t the LGBT community hold an annual picnic? We no longer have to worry about latrines since it’s ok to urinate in public! So there’s no excuse…..oh and lest I forget! Why not make this a marijuana green light park? Where all Progressives can ride their bikes and then light up joints?
I guess that’s only allowed in front of someones business on Skillman Ave….

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Nosepin

The park is not a public institution. Neither the county, city, state or federal government owns it. It was purchased from the LIRR back in the 1920s as part of a an affordable housing development called “Sunnyside Gardens.” The developers set aside land for a park. The people in the development take care of it. No other authority exists, the people apply for and win grants sometimes but otherwise they plan, fund and execute every single activity themselves. They make repairs or hire people to make them. The park has a handful of employees who are paid but none of the members of the board of directors or any other committee get paid. If there is an LGBT group in Sunnyside Gardens or a member wants to sponsor an event for that demographic, they can. Any minority that lives in the district can join, and are encouraged to join. Cool off, J Murphy, there is no outrage here, just misunderstanding.

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j murphy

I think you need to get your facts straight…..the park does not nor is it presently accepting new members….if one was lucky enough and the right color …he or she would have to pay! See that’s the point. Your all about diversity just as long as it’s not in your backyard….

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king kong

Then why was this private park given tax payers funding? Why are all the residents of NYC paying for this park’s upkeep?

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Jimmy Van Dreamer

The “show” may be free but the park is private..The park doesn’t reflect the diversity of the borough the progressives so embrace!

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tootiestooters

They are into classism in that neck of the woods. They want to help the “downtrodden” from afar.

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bahbahbah

Just head on over to the exclusionary local park that doesn’t allow you to use the park if you just so happen to live in an apartment building.

Time to tax the land.

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Hiding From the Attackers

It is taxed. Every home and apartment in the district pays a little extra to cover the price.

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j murphy

Except you can’t use it….your welcome to pay taxes but the Liberals want to choose who has access!

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Nosepin

Again, I wasn’t aware there was a limit to the number of memberships. I don’t believe that is right.

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J murphy

You don’t believe it is “right” in a moral sense or you believe my assertion is not “right”?

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whaah

Also, the average home in the historic gardens district is over a million dollars. So if you live in a more affordable apartment just outside the district you are not allowed to use the park, even if you were willing to pay.

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tootiestooters

This is the comic book version of Shakespeare; bad production values; bad acting and obnoxious kids running onto the stage. I wanted very much to like them but they are awful. Do yourselves a favor and go to BAM for great productions or the Secret Theater in Long Island City. The Secret Theater is very inexpensive.

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Nosepin

I found the unsupervised children just awful. It has been awhile since I went to one, but I do remember it being impossible to hear or watch because kids were running around like crazy. Bad parenting, I’d say. Very inappropriate and selfish parents.

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Sunnyside resident

The actors in this company are professional, union actors–at least one Broadway veteran and actors who are from the top Shakespeare companies in the country; the designers and directors are also professionals. This park is unfortunately the worst place to see this company since the care-less parents won’t keep their children from running all over and there is a “the zoo has opened the cages” aspect to this performance. The best actors in the world would have trouble playing this park and this audience.

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Everyone's a critic

LOL I saw the worst Shakespeare production of my life at the Secret Theater. Will never forget it. THE WORST.

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NYC Parks

I feel sorry for the performers at this venue. I now see them at Gantry and the shows there are excellent.

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