042908parkshakespeareline.jpgFor the first time, tickets for the Public Theater’s free Shakespeare in Central Park shows will be made available online. While most tickets will still be given to those who wait for hours (pictured) in Central Park, a limited number will be available to theatergoers who log on to the Public theater website at midnight before each day’s show and submit a request for up to two tickets.

The online tickets will then be allocated randomly at 1 p.m. before each performance, to be picked up at the Delacorte Theater box office before the show starts. It’s welcome news for people whose jobs kind of make it difficult to spend an entire day on line for a chance at tickets.

Of course, anyone with $160 to spend can get a reserved seat by making a tax-deductible donation to the Public Theater. And in another change, tickets will not be distributed downtown at 425 Lafayette Street because of ongoing construction to the exterior of the building.

This year’s two-show season begins May 27th with Hamlet, starring robot insurance spokesman Sam Waterston as Polonius, Michael Stuhlbarg as the melancholy Dane, and Lauren Ambrose, who played Juliet in last summer's Romeo and Juliet, portraying Ophelia. Hamlet will be followed up by a July 22nd revival of Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, which christened the Public Theater's current home on Lafayette Street in 1967.

Photo of line for Shakespeare in Central Park courtesy DrunkBrunch.