Actors Share Their Tales of Outdoor Theater

Photo courtesy of Delacorte Theater.

Photo courtesy of Delacorte Theater.

Between rowdy audience members and broken mics, stage actors have plenty of things to worry about whenever they perform. Add in rain, wind and drunken passersby and you’ve got the makings for a disaster — or a particularly memorable night of theater.

Alexis Solosky at The New York Times recently interviewed several actors and crew from the Delacorte Theater and other outdoor venues about their experiences. You can read the full article here but we put a few of our favorite quotes below.

“I remember being onstage with Al Pacino during “The Merchant of Venice” when a massive storm front rolled in from the south. The wind kicked up and got more intense as lightning began to illuminate the quickly darkening sky. It was as if Al was in complete control of the elements, summoning this gust of weather with Shakespeare’s language.” — Jesse Tyler Ferguson

“We perform on the North Patio of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument at West 89th. Many people bring picnics, but one guy actually had a pizza delivered. It happened during our performance of “Trojan Women” — a story of starving women in a prisoner-of-war camp.” — Nicholas Martin-Smith

“It’s the most powerful location for a theater I know of — the center of all the energy of the city, with the Castle as backdrop, and the sky for a roof. One night it was pouring at the theater. We were making plans to go home or to the movies or to a bar, when Joe Papp showed up in his car, strode into the dressing rooms and said: ‘I just came by to tell you that the rain is going to stop. Have a good show.’ And it did stop. None doubted that he had supernatural powers.” — Sam Waterston

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