• 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

Art, by Yasmina Reza

See Calendar for matinee schedule

Theatre in the Rough

A new series debuting in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s 2013-2014 season. An expansion of CSC’s longstanding American Voices, TITR is a script-in-hand reading series presented without common theatrical elements like sets or costumes. These pared-down readings uniquely engage the audience by immersing them in the immediacy of the text and the actors’s performances, allowing one’s own imagination to take creative flight.

Shakespeare and the Law/Leadership

A favorite script-in-hand reading series, Law and Leadership each bring together local, state and national lawyers and judges and renowned business leaders with some of Boston’s best local acting talent to perform Shakespeare plays each season. Each performance is followed by a panel discussion addressing questions and themes in the text that resonate for these professionals within their modern fields.

Tour of the Parks

CSC’s touring initiative to local parks brings free outdoor theater to neighborhood venues and under-served communities. Past seasons have included: Shakespeare on Love, a collection of love scenes complimented with popular music performed by CSC Apprentices and Bard Over Broadway a new Shakespeare-inspired musical-theater review performed in collaboration with The Boston Conservatory.

Shakespeare on the Common

A Boston tradition since 1996, CSC has been presenting fully-staged productions of Shakespeare plays free-of-charge to Boston audiences.

Commonwealth Concerts

Sponsored by New England Conservatory and the Free For All Concert Fund, Commonwealth Concerts is a series of pre-show concerts featuring a wide range of musical styles before performances of Shakespeare on the Common.


Special events--including our Annual Gala--held throughout the year to raise funds to support all of CSC’s FREE programming.

Apprentice Program

 Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's
Apprentice Program

June 16-August 10, 2014

Check Out the 2014 Apprentice Blog

Thank you to the 2014 Apprentices for a wonderful summer! We miss you already and wish you the best in your careers.



Please visit this page in winter 2014 for information about the 2015 Apprentice Program

The CSC Apprentice Program is an intensive summer training program for young professionals who are actively  pursuing a career in theatre. Besides invaluable training, CSC offers a unique opportunity to work alongside theatre professionals on a truly massive scale. Our summer programming reaches over 100,000 audience members every year, and our Apprentices are an integral part of every aspect of the production.

In Fall of 2013 CSC became the Theater in Residence at Babson College in Wellesley, MA. Thanks to this exciting partnership, much of CSC’s training will take place at Babson’s beautiful campus and in the state-of-the-art Richard W. Sorenson Center for the Arts.”

Training at CSC means preparing yourself for the next stage in your career as an actor while developing the skills that are crucial to performing classical drama. We blend a thorough classroom experience with immediate performance opportunity. We also focus on training our Apprentices as successful professionals with skills that differentiate you from other young actors in the rehearsal studio as well as on the resume.

To discuss the Program in more detail, please contact Associate Artistic Director, Adam Sanders at apprentice@commshakes.org.

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For eight weeks, six days a week, Apprentices participate in a series of skills-building classes and activities. CSC’s nationally recognized faculty focuses on the fundamental skills necessary to unleash Shakespeare’s text onto the modern stage.

Master classes supplement the training with work in special topics essential for the classical actor. Master class offerings change every year, but past offerings have included:

  • Stage Combat

  • Michael Chekov

  • Elizabethan World

  • Acting for the Camera

  • Improvisation

  • The Classical Audition

  • The Business of Acting

  • Yoga for the Actor

Apprentices will work intensively on two Shakespearean verse monologues throughout the eight weeks, preparing them as strong audition pieces for life after the Program. Monologues will be coached by Program staff as well as members of the professional main-stage company.

2014 Faculty: (Click on the photo to see bio)



Training with CSC is put to an immediate, “real world” test with ongoing performance opportunities throughout the summer.

  • Every Apprentice will be given an understudy role in CSC’s main-stage production of Twelfth Night. There will be ample opportunity to observe the professional rehearsals as well as an opportunity to rehearse those roles.

  • Apprentices will develop scene work as part of their training that will be incorporated into CSC’s “Greenshow,” a short piece that will be performed on the Boston Common as a prelude to the main-stage production.

  • The Apprentice Company will be cast in its own performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays. The Academy Showcase. This piece will be directed and designed by professional Boston artists and performed at the Sorenson Theater on the Babson Campus.


    Professional Development

    Working alongside dozens of professional faculty, staff and artists, you will gain valuable and varied insights as well as an indispensable opportunity for making major networking connections.

    • Gain an intimate introduction to Boston’s thriving professional theatre scene

    • Accrue Equity Membership Candidacy (EMC) points and gain an introduction to the actor’s union, Actor’s Equity Association

    • Rotate through various front-of-house responsibilities

    • Earn college credit through your university (contact your institution for availability)

    What Former Apprentices are Saying about the Program:

    "Along with the solid classical acting foundation I gained, the relationships I developed are indispensable."     

    "I have grown increasingly comfortable with a genre of theatre assumed 'un-masterable' by many, including myself." 

    "Truly a summer I will never forget."

    "Speaking of transformative, the ending of the program allowed me to step back and truly appreciate what I had gone through that summer. It was hard to go, but it was such a great experience that I will carry with me as I move forward into my career." 


    Application and Additional Information

    Thank you for your interest, applications for our 2014 Apprentice Program closed on May 9, 2014. 

    Application Materials:

       Applicants must submit the following:

      The Apprentice Program Application Form (available below)

      A theater resume

      A headshot

      One personal essay describing your goals in acting training

      One letter of recommendation (may be sent separately by recommender)

       A $30 non-refundable application fee, submitted via check made out to Commonwealth Shakespeare Company or by using the PayPal button below

    The Audition:

    There is also a required audition consisting of two contrasting monologues, one Shakespeare and one contemporary, not to exceed five minutes.

    Open Audition dates for the Summer 2014 program will be held throughout the spring both in Boston and on the Babson campus BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. Please see schedule below. Call or e-mail apprentice@commshakes.org to schedule a specific time or for information on how to audition remotely.

    Acceptance notifications are issued on a rolling basis within two weeks of your completed application submission.


    Tuition for the Apprentice Program is $2400. There is limited financial aid available, up to a half scholarship. Financial aid is awarded on a need basis and requires a separate application. Decisions on financial aid offers will only be made after an apprentice is accepted into the Program.


    There is limited dormitory housing available on the Babson campus. The cost is $1740 for the eight weeks of the Program, is furnished, has a kitchen, in-unit laundry, free parking, and is in very close proximity to classes and rehearsals.



    *Boston/Babson audition dates are by appointment only. Please email apprentice@commshakes.org to schedule your audition slot. 

    Jan. 31: 12:30PM-1:30PM KCACTF auditions in Hyannis, MA (open to festival participants only)

    Feb. 1: 12:00PM - 3:00PM KCACTF auditions in Hyannis, MA (open to festival participants only)

    Feb 23: 5:00PM-7:00PM: Boston Audition

    March 15, 16, 17: NETC auditions in Natick, MA. For more details visit: http://netconline.org/

    March 22: 12:00PM-2:00PM: Babson College Audition (Wellesley, MA)

    April 12: 5:00PM-7:00PM: Boston Audition

    May 9: Final day to submit applications

    May 10: 12:00PM-2:00PM Babson College Audition (Wellesley, MA)

    May 13: Final decision notifications (including financial aid offers) released

    May 26: Deposits due for accepted students

    June 16: First day of classes; all remaining tuition owed due at top of class


    2014 Apprentice Program Application Form

    2014 Financial Aid Application Form (optional)