• Shakespeare on the Common

  • Cancellations

    Weather information:
    781-239-5972

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    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

King Lear

Apprentice Showcase 2015

Commonwealth Concerts

Without You

See Calendar for matinee schedule

Frequently Asked Questions

  • July 22 - August 9, 2015

    King Lear

  • Begins July 31, 2015

    Apprentice Showcase 2015

    • When:

    • Venue:

      Various

    • Need to know:

      All performances are FREE

      Read More
  • Friday, July 30 - Friday, August 7

    Commonwealth Concerts

    • When:

    • Venue:

      Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common

    • Need to know:

      Commonwealth Concerts Sponsored by New England Conservatory, July 30-August 7, 2015. Concerts begin 90 minutes before curtain on the main stage at Shakespeare on the Common. 

      Read More
  • September 9-13, 2015

    Without You

    • When:

      September 9-13, 2015 80 minutes

    • Venue:

      Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College

    • Need to know:

      Run time is approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.

      Seating will begin 30 min prior to curtain.

      Directions & Commuting Information to the Carling-Sorenson Theater

      No refunds on ticket purchases. Ticket exchanges for another performance will be accommodated up to 24 hours in advance.

      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 2015 production of King Lear will run from July 22 through August 9. 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 King Lear on Saturday, August 8, 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 King Lear this summer. The schedule for these will be released in early July. 

This summer’s production of King Lear will also 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

Click here to learn more about accessibility on the common.

                                         

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 King Lear 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?

Audience and actor safety is our main concern. In cases of heavy rain or lightning storms, we will cancel. Audiences can get weather updates on our website at commshakes.org, call the Weather Hotline at (617) 426-0863, or our Facebook or Twitter feeds. 

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.

If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your chair or blanket unattended. 

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 Friends Section page on our website or call us at (617) 426-0863.

Is there food?

Yes. The Ben & Jerry's ice cream truck and Earl of Sandwich are present during all performances. Additional food trucks will be available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. 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, although we do accept credit cards. You are welcome to bring your own food, however, alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common. 

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.

If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your chair or blanket unattended. 

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 King Lear.  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.

CSC's Free Fun Friday sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation is on Friday, July 24.

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

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?

There are a number of ways to support CSC: donations will be collected on the Common and you can visit our website at commshakes.org or call us at (617) 426-0863. Shakespeare on the Common is possible thanks to the support of friends like you. 

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.

Is King Lear appropriate for children?

King Lear contains some adult content and depictions of violence. Parental discretion is advised.