A Guide to Visiting Shakespeare on the Sound
There's no better way to spend a summer evening then watching a professional Shakespeare performance on the picturesque waterfront setting of Pinkney Park. Whether this is your first time at the show or your fifth, this guide will provide an overview of what a night at the show can look like!
Shakespeare on the Sound makes every effort to have performances go ahead if possible, but performances will be cancelled if it seems that weather will make a performance dangerous for the actors and audience. If the weather is iffy, don't forget to check for updates on this website as well as on our Twitter and Facebook pages (be aware that there is no set time at which a decision is made). If the show is cancelled and you've ordered tickets, you can absolutely refund or pick a different performance date: see our cancellation policy here for more details.
Getting Seats and Parking
The Old School Field is the closest and best parking option and is located essentially across the street from Pinkney Park- however, space is limited, so be sure to arrive early! If you're coming via train, Rowayton Train Station is located about 2 miles from the park, and an Uber or Lyft can easily drop you off right at Pinkney Park. For more information, as well as directions to the parking lots or from New York City, take a look at our Directions and Parking page.
If you're coming on a ticketed night, considering ordering your tickets online before the performance (please note that a ticket only guarantees you entry into the park, not a specific seat for the show). Tickets can also be purchased at the door: see the pricing structure here. If you're coming on Tuesday, the donation-only night, this is obviously not an issue- though you're encouraged to donate in the park!
Don't forget a blanket or a chair! It's how you'll stake out your seat in the park. Whether you choose a chair or blanket will change where in the park you'll be sitting: high- and low-backed lawn chairs are usually placed on the hill leading down to the stage, and blankets are placed on the flat grass in front of the stage. To avoid the trouble of finding seats in the park, you can also reserve chairs for $60/chair. (Our Reserved Seating chairs are often the best seats in the park, so this is a great option!).
The park opens at 4 every evening. Seating and parking can be quite competitive, and a line outside the park will form before then, followed by a scramble to place blankets and chairs down. Space usually becomes hard to find by 5:30-6 at the latest, so you'll generally want to arrive and place down your blankets before then. In reality, don't worry too much about where you put your blanket or chair down: every seat in the park provides a good view of the stage. Once you've gotten your seats, you're free to leave or move around the park- be sure to explore the activities you can do before the show outlined below!
Before the Show
Food is absolutely allowed in the park and during the production; there's nothing better than picnicing in front of the stage on your blanket or chairs, or eating in the gazebo or on the grass by the water, as you wait for the production to start. You're welcome to pack your own picnic or venture out to try some of Rowayton's local eateries, located just down the street from Pinkney Park- you'll come across some of Rowayton's best restaurants if you leave the park, take a right, and keep walking down Rowayton Avenue.
For classic American food in a sit-down setting, be sure to visit Sails American Grill. Tucked next to the US Post Office, Sails offers everything from burgers to seafood to sushi in a slightly upscale setting. If you're looking for something more like a grocery store, be sure to visit Rowayton Market; they offer groceries, packaged foods (chips, cookies, other snacks), as well as a freshly prepared foods and a deli section that's perfect for a picnic.
A few more minutes of walking will bring you to a local favorite- Rowayton Pizza, a homely and casual sit-down pizzeria with take-out options. The staff is friendly and the pizza wholesome, but the restaurant can get quite busy, especially on Friday evenings or weekends, so it's recommended that you call ahead of time if you'd like to order a pizza and bring it to the park. A bit farther down the street from Rowayton Pizza is Brendan's 101, a local, well-loved cafe that offers salads and sandwiches, as well as ice cream and other sweets. There's not a lot of seating, but the food is easy to take out and bring back to the park. You'll also find them running a concession stand in the park before the show (opening at 5:30) and during intermission, where they'll have sandwiches, ice cream, and other snacks.
At the end of the street is Rowayton Seafood, a more upscale sit-down restaurant on the pricier side. Rowayton Seafood offers fresh seafood with a beautiful waterfront view; there's even a fresh seafood market next to the restaurant. If you're willing to spend a bit extra, and also have some time before the show, be sure to check out the restaurant, which has some of the best seafood in the region.
If you come to a Friday performance, be sure to visit the Rowayton's Farmers Market in Pinkney Park. The Market, which runs from 12-5, features unique local food ranging from freshly grown produce to authentic Greek and Chilean food. In addition, the Market features local artisans selling pottery, skincare products, handmade jewelry, and more. Be sure to check out this unique staple of Rowayton!
For a full list of restaurants, including addresses and contact information, check out our "Restaurants and Markets" page here!
Kids are welcome to come see the show (children under 13 can watch for free on any night!), but they understandably may be daunted by the prospect of seeing a two-and-a-half hour production performed in early modern English. Shakespeare on the Sound provides fun educational opportunities for your kids every night before the show begins!
The Pre-Show, performed by the Shakespeare on the Sound Players, is 30 minutes of hilarity and audience interaction that takes place every evening before the show at 6:30. The Pre-Show is written by the Players and provides an overview of the show in colloquial English and is a perfect introduction to the mainstage production for both you and your kid. Be sure to also visit the Education Tent at the front of the park- the tent is a great place for your kids to pick up fun, educational activities, from crafting fun production-related costumes to completing word searches and learning vocabulary.
For more information on activities for kids, please visit our "For Kids in the Park" page!
More Activities Around Pinkney Park
Pinkney Park is home to a fantastic harbor view, a small and beautiful garden, and a picturesque gazebo behind the Rowayton Historical Society's headquarters at the Seeley-Dibble-Pinkney house (a white, wooden house located towards the end of the path leading into the park). Be sure to check out Seaside Delights, a small shop run by the Rowayton Historical Society next to the Pinkney house, and sells unique, nautical-themed souvenirs and gifts.
Rowayton Avenue (the street on which the restaurants are located) is full of small shops, including local restaurants and art galleries. For a full listing of activities to do in Rowayton and the surrounding city of Norwalk, take a look at our "Activites Around the Park" page here!
Get to your seats, silence your phones and devices...it's 7:30, and the show is beginning! Be prepared to laugh and cry, to see beautiful sets, and for actors to delight you as the sun sets on Pinkney Park. A few important notes: pictures and videos of the production are prohibited, and cell phones and devices must be silenced or turned off before the show begins. Otherwise, sit back and enjoy the show!
There is always a fifteen-minute intermission in the middle of the performance, during which people scramble to the front of the park to use the restrooms or order ice cream and snacks from Brendan 101's concession stand. Be aware that lines for both can get quite long! If you need to either use the restrooms or order some food, it may be worth getting there quickly before a line forms or waiting until the line dies down towards the end of intermission.
After the Performance
Once the performance ends and the curtain closes, the park can become chaotic in the dark. Be careful while collecting all of your things, crossing the road, and finding the parking lot. If you have children be sure to watch them closely.
If you think you've lost something in the park, let us know at email@example.com or 203.299.1300 and we'll see if we can find it in the park. Otherwise, thank you for coming!