CSC2

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s Stage2 Performance Series provides the opportunity for students and their teachers to attend high-quality live theater created with them in mind. These abridged productions use Shakespeare’s original text, and focus on the themes and stories that will resonate most with young audiences. Performed by our young professional CSC2 Acting Company, these performances bring together the next generation of of actors with the next generation theater goers.

Participation in CSC2 takes place in two phases.

April-June

In the spring, CSC2 actors will work as a cohort, learning form a diverse cast of peers, to perform one of Shakespeare’s plays for a middle and high school audience at the Carling-Sorenson Theater at Babson College in Wellesley, MA.  These performances may be supplemented with participation in classroom visits, workshops, and post-show talkbacks for attending schools.  In addition to rehearsal and performance, CSC2 will also convene as a group led by CSC’s Associate Artistic Director to review techniques in heightened language, then meet weekly to workshop classical monologues with these topics in mind.

June-August

During the summer, CSC2 will perform with our equity company in small and ensemble roles for CSC’s signature presentation of Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common.  Each member of CSC2 will also be assigned an understudy role within this productions.  In addition, as part of a summer mentorship program, CSC2 actors will work with our Apprentice Company of undergraduate-level actors by leading workshops in heightened language, and facilitating weekly monologue coaching sessions.

Performance Opportunities

Eliott Purcell (Romeo) Romeo & Juliet, 2015. Photo by Nile Hawver

Macbeth at Babson College in Wellesley.  Rehearsals begin April 9th with performances from May 24 through June 1.  This production will be performed by CSC2 and consist of six student matinees and one community performance.  Rehearsals will run Mon-Thurs, 6pm-11pm and Sundays, 12pm-6pm

Richard III: Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common.  Rehearsals begin June 19 with performances from July 17 through August 5. Rehearsals will typically be scheduled Tuesday through Sunday. A daily call will be sent to all actors the night before. This show will rehearse at Babson College in Wellesley with technical rehearsals and performances outdoors on the Boston Common in the heart of the city. CSC2 actors have the option to earn 7 EMC points for their work on this production.  Each member of CSC2 will also understudy at least one role in Richard III.

Other Information
  • Heightened language training for CSC2 will occur during the day between April 9th and 13th.
  • Monologue workshops will be held for two hours weekly during Macbeth rehearsal window, schedule TBD.
  • CSC2 will attend Apprentice Program orientation and early text classes between June 10th and 14th.
  • Free dormitory housing may be available from June 1st to August 6th.
  • CSC2 actors are paid a monthly stipend to help defray expenses.

Questions?  Email csc2@commshakes.org

Rachel Belleman (Helena) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2016. Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

Thank you for your interest in auditioning.  Our open call for the 2018 company is now concluded.  Please check back in early fall 2018 for information about auditioning for the 2019 company.

Kaci Hamilton

2017 CSC2 Alumna; Prince Escalus in Romeo & Juliet, 2017

“My summer with CSC2 was the experience of a lifetime!  I affectionately refer to it as “Shakespeare Boot Camp”, because every day we dove deeper and deeper into the techniques and skills required to lift the text off the page and drive it into our bodies.  With every experience, from rehearsals, to mentoring the Apprentices, to projecting my voice to the thousands who showed up every night on the Common, I learned so much about not only my process and the work, but also about being a working actor.  I treasure my time and the friends I made with CSC2, and I know that I am forever spoiled by the inclusive, fun-loving, and professional environment they created.”

Sarah Mass

2017 Alumna; 2013 Apprentice Alumna; appeared in CSC’s 2017 reading of Fear and Misery in the Third Reich

“Getting to work with like-minded artists as an ensemble for 6 months is a very special privilege.  CSC2 gave me not only friendships that I cherish, but also an opportunity to create art built upon those friendships.  As members of the CSC2 Company, we supported each other in our growth as artists and connected as young actors facing the same challenges while building our careers.  Plus, getting to perform with your company on the Boston Common for the whole city to experience I can only describe as magical.”

Arisael Rivera

2016 and 2015 CSC2 Alumnus; Snout in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Hatch Shell with Boston Landmarks Orchestra,2015; Dull in Love’s Labor’s Lost, 2016

“My experience with CSC2 was a fantastic one, especially when working on the  CSC2 production of Romeo & Juliet.  We were given the artistic freedom to play with these characters and make them our own, while also challenging us to remain true to the text.  The attention to detail concerning language and intention was a true class in not only performing Shakespeare, but performing in general.  Work was hard but the audience’s response made it all worth it.  I’ll cherish those moments with my fellow CSC2 actors.  Also, performing King Lear on the big stage on Boston Common was an epic experience.”

Sophia Blum

2015 CSC2 Alumna; Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Hatch Shell with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, 2015

“Being a member of CSC2 was an incredible experience.  The length of the program allowed me to fully immerse myself in Shakespeare study and performance.  In five months, I got to be a teacher, a mentor, an understudy, a performer, and most of all, a member of a wonderful community.  The connections and friendships I made at CSC were not only invaluable for my career, but for my soul.  I am a better performer and person for the time I spent there.  After the program, one of the actors I met from working on the Common hooked me up with his New York manager.  I also ended up getting cast in a production at Ocean State Theatre, directed by another member of the King Lear cast whom I worked with on the Common.”


Featured Photo: Jes Bedwinek (Titania) and Anthony Cason (Bottom) A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2016. Photo by Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots

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