For Release: Immediately
Department of External Affairs
Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710
FAX (215) 567-7850
Contact: Communications and Development
For Release: Immediately
Contact: Communications and Development


PHILADELPHIA, July 20, 2017—The Free Library of Philadelphia is excited to present summer programming in the newly renovated Shakespeare Park, just outside the doors of the Parkway Central Library. Part of Oval+, which is an extension of the annual joint venture between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks and Recreation at Eakins Oval, the Library’s Shakespeare Park programming will include jazz on Thursdays, weekend storytimes, theater performances, and more.

The Oval+ runs from Thursday, July 20 through Sunday, August 20, offering free outdoor activities that span from the Art Museum to Logan Circle. Shakespeare Park will have a giant chess set and giant Lego blocks for play. During jazz performances and storytimes, a food cart in the park will sell water, soft drinks, and Dream Pops—3D-printed superfood popsicles crafted by Juan Amador, a three-star Michelin chef, with David Marx, David Greenfeld, and David Cohen.

Philadelphia’s newest jazz voices will perform in the space on Thursdays for a span of five weeks, beginning Thursday, July 20, from 5:00 to 6:30 p.m. The performance schedule is as follows:

July 20 – Benjamin Appel (solo jazz piano)

July 27 – Ben Seltzer & Friends

August 3 – Seth Silverman

August 10 – Benjamin Appel Trio

August 17 – TBD

On Saturdays, the Central Children’s Department will host storytimes in the park from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., featuring tall tales, colorful characters, and wild adventures. Storytellers from the Parkway Central Library Children’s Department and Keepers of the Culture will present these interactive storytimes for all ages, followed by craft activities. Beginning July 23, Sundays will bring StoryUP!—a team of improv performers that targets creativity and literacy skills—to the park for interactive shows at 11:00 a.m. These shows, based on ideas and stories from the child audience, run approximately 45 minutes to an hour and are recommended for ages 3 to 12.

The park will also showcase Revolution Shakespeare’s performance of Julius Caesar: A Live Radio Play on August 19 at 6:30 p.m. This production, free and open to the public, is a pared down version of William Shakespeare’s historical play; it was originally edited and directed by Orson Welles, cut down to emphasize the political aspects of the play.

For more information about Oval+ programming, visit

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The Free Library of Philadelphia system, with 54 locations and the Rosenbach, advances literacy, guides learning, and inspires curiosity with millions of digital and physical materials; 25,000 yearly programs and workshops; free public computers and extensive Wi-Fi, including neighborhood Hotspots; and rich special collections, including  those at Parkway Central Library and at the Rosenbach. With more than 6 million in-person visits and millions more online annually, the Free Library and the Rosenbach are among the most widely used educational and cultural institutions in Philadelphia and boast a worldwide impact.


Department of External Affairs, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103-1189
(215) 567-7710, FAX (215) 567-7850