• Shakespeare on the Common

  • Cancellations

    Weather information:


    Food & Beverages

    • · Vendors available onsite
    • · Personal food & drink welcome
    • · No alcohol
  • Tickets & Seating

    · Performances are free & open to the public

    · Bring a blanket to sit on

    · Bring or rent a chair - rentals $5 + $5 deposit

    · Learn more about sitting in our Friends Section

    · Additional information will be posted in the spring

  • Other Info

    · Parking: Boston Common Garage

    · Restrooms available onsite

Romeo & Juliet

King Lear

See Calendar for matinee schedule

Frequently Asked Questions

  • July 22 - August 9, 2015

    King Lear

    • When:

      July 22 - August 9, 2015

    • Venue:

      Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common

    • Need to know:

      Performance Schedule:

      *Tuesdays - Saturdays @ 8pm
      *Sundays @ 7pm
      *Matinee: Saturday, July 25th @ 3pm

      Read More
  • May 21 - May 30, 2015

    Romeo & Juliet

    • When:

      May 21 - May 30, 2015

    • Venue:

      The Strand Theater, 543 Columbia Rd, Dorchester, MA

    • Need to know:

      Directions & Parking Information for The Strand Theatre

      Run Time: 90 minutes, no intermission.

      Wheelchair Accessibility: Please note that there is no elevator access at the Strand Theatre, however wheelchair seating is available on the Mezzanine or Orchestra levels. When purchasing tickets, please indicate your needs for wheelchair accessible seating and House Management staff will be happy to reserve appropriate seating for you and your guests.

      ASL Interpretation: There will be an ASL Interpreted performance on May 30 at 2pm. If you require seating in the ASL Interpreted viewing section, please see an usher the day of the performance and they will happy to show you and your guests to appropriate seating.

      This performance of Romeo & Juliet is part of our Shakespeare OFF the Common project, an innovative three-part arts program created in collaboration with the Mayor's Office of Arts, Tourism, and Special Events to foster community interaction, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts "Our Town" program.

      Volunteer for Romeo & Juliet!

      Read More

General FAQ

  • Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), founded in 1996, is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

  • CSC is the Theatre in Residence at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

  • Apprenticeships, internships and volunteer opportunities are available throughout the year. Please contact us for more information.

Click on the questions below to learn more about CSC's FREE Shakespeare on the Common

When are the performances?

The Summer 2014 production of Twelfth Night will run from July 23 through August 10. Performances on Tuesday through Saturday evenings begin at 8 PM. Sunday performances begin at 7 PM. There are no performances on Mondays.

Are there matinees?

There will be one matinee performance of Twelfth Night on Saturday, July 26, at 3 PM.

Are there any special performances or considerations for patrons with disabilities?

Yes. CSC will offer ASL-Interpreted and Audio-Described performances of Twelfth Night this summer.  The ASL-Interpreted performances are on August 3 and August 8.  The Audio-Described performance is July 27.

This summer’s production of Twelfth Night (July 23-August 10) will feature on-site accessibility services to patrons with mobility impairments, those who are Deaf, Hard-of-Hearing, Blind and Visually Impaired. The staff at CSC is committed to serving all patrons regardless of ability or disability. 

Our Services
•    American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Performances
•    Audio Described Performance
•    Sound Enhancement Devices Available
•    Braille and Large-Type Programs Available
•    Accessible Seating reserved in several free seating locations around the Boston Common
•    Accessible Seating available in CSC’s newly-renamed Friends Section for a minimum donation of $50


Several areas are reserved for patrons with wheelchairs or mobility impairments and their companions. Click HERE to view a seating map.

For more information, please contact CSC at (617)426-0863 or info@commshakes.org.

Where are the performances?

Performances take place at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, across from the AMC Loews Boston Common Movie Theater on Tremont Street. If you are traveling via the MBTA, there are several stations located within steps of the Boston Common: Green Line (Boylston or Park Street T stops), Orange Line (Downtown Crossing or Chinatown T stops) or the Red Line (Park Street or Downtown Crossing T stops).

View Larger Map

Where should I park?

Parking is available in the Boston Common Garage. Be sure to pick up a discount coupon from one of the tents or from one of the ushers. These coupons, provided by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, extend a discount to our patrons and also direct funds to CSC. For more information visit the MCCA's website .

View Larger Map

How much are tickets?

All performances of Twelfth Night are FREE and open to the public. We offer a limited number of reserved chairs in our Friends Section located near the stage at each performance. Visit the Support Us page to learn more.

In order to help us keep Shakespeare on the Common free for those who cannot afford to pay, we encourage all who attend to consider leaving a donation to support future productions. 

Are shows delayed or canceled for weather?

Yes, a performance may be delayed or canceled in cases of heavy rain or lightning storms. Note that because we cannot reschedule a performance, management will often delay this decision until close to show time. Audiences can check the Weather Hotline (781-239-5972), Facebook or Twitter 1 or 2 hours before the show for cancellation announcements.

To receive cancellation alerts via text, register for CSC Weather Alerts below or text RainAlert to 55678. Standard data and messaging rates apply.


When should I arrive?

Some people arrive as early as 2-3 hours before the performance to stake out their spot. There is plenty of space on Boston Common, however, and you will be able to find room no matter when you arrive.

Are there chairs?

Lawn chairs are available for rent in the chair rental tents on either side of the stage. Chair rentals are $5, plus a $5 deposit that will be returned to you when you return the chair.

Can I bring my own chair? If so, where can I sit?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own chair and/or blanket to sit on.  Please note that if you have a tall chair that could obstruct the view of other patrons, you will be directed to a designated Tall Chair Section. Click HERE to view a detailed seating map.

How do I get one of those seats near the stage?

Shakespeare on the Common is always free and open to the public. A limited number of reserved chairs are available in CSC's Friends Section for each performance. For more information, visit the Support Us page.

Is there food?

Yes, CSC hosts several food vendors onsite. In addition, CSC concessions, including bottled water and candy, directly support Shakespeare on the Common. For your convenience, we encourage attendees to bring cash for food and concessions.

Our friends at Earl of Sandwich are selling picnic boxes. Take a look at this year's menu and consider making a $15 donation now to enjoy a picnic box when you are on the Common for Twelfth Night this summer. To place an order for picnic boxes, click here.

Other various food trucks will be available on the weekends at the schedule below. Ben & Jerry's will be present at ALL performances, including weekdays.

Fri 7/25

Sat 7/26

Sun 7/27

Fri 8/1

Sat 8/2

Sun 8/3

Fri 8/8

Sat 8/9

Sun 8/10

The Taco Truck

Mei Mei

The Taco Truck

Mei Mei

Chicken & Rice Guys

Bon Me

The Taco Truck

Mei Mei

The Taco Truck

Bon Me

Chicken & Rice Guys

Bon Me

The Taco Truck

Bon Me

The Taco Truck

Bon Me

Chicken & Rice Guys

Bon Me

Can I bring my own food?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own food.  Please help us keep the Boston Common clean by picking up after yourself. Note that alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common.

What else should I bring?

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on, a light sweater, mosquito repellent, and an umbrella if the forecast calls for rain. We also recommend having some cash on hand to purchase concessions. If you plan to attend a matinee performance, we also suggest that you bring a hat and sunscreen.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, portable toilets are located near the tennis courts.

Is there anything else going on at the performance?

Yes, there will be other performances before Twelfth Night.  Below is a list of a few events that will be presented during the run of the show.

Commonwealth Concerts take place 90 minutes prior to most evening performances.  The concerts are sponsored by the New England Conservatory from August 1-8 and by The Free for All Concert Fund, Inc. on August 9 & 10. (To learn more, click on the sponsor links above.)

CSC's Free Fun Friday sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation is on Friday, August 1.  More information will be provided soon.

CSC presents The Greenshow 1 hour before each performance. The Greenshow will focus on a theme from Twelfth Night.

Is there merchandise available for purchase?

Yes. T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, hats and other items are available for purchase at the tents on either side of the stage. 100% of the proceeds go to benefit Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

How can I support free Shakespeare on the Common?

If every audience member contributed $5, we could fund next year’s production in its entirety. Donations will be collected on the Common, or you can contribute online here .

Also, we are always in need of volunteers to help us usher, distribute playbills, sell merchandise, and perform other tasks. Call us at 617-426-0863 or email us for more information.

Can I smoke on the Common?

No, there is now a smoking ban in all Boston Parks.  A $250 fine will be enforced by the Rangers onsite.

Don't forget to order your picnic boxes!  Picnic boxes from Earl of  Sandwich are BACK!  Take a look at this year's menu and consider making a $15 donation now to enjoy a picnic box when you are on the Common forTwelfth Night this summer.