• 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

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

Thank you 2015 Apprentices for an amazing program!

Check back winter 2015 for information on the 2016 Program 

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's
Apprentice Program

June 14-August 10, 2015

Check Out the 2014 Apprentice Blog


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 each successful season, as staff, company representatives and as performers.

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. Our faculty focuses on the fundamental skills necessary to unleash Shakespeare’s text onto the modern stage. Meanwhile, Apprentices work with professional directors and designers on Apprentice Showcase performances. Faculty and directors review rehearsal work weekly and collaborate to tailor the classroom learning in order to address issues raised in rehearsals. The result is a fully integrated approach to actor training that blends theory and practice, eroding the gap between classroom and rehearsal room. To get a good idea of what this summer might look like, please see our sample calendar below

Apprentices must be at least 18 years of age and have completed their freshman year of undergraduate or equivalent training. There is no age limit on the program. 

If you have any questions, please contact Program Coordinator Victoria Townsend at apprentice@commshakes.org

2015 Apprentice Program Calendar

Please see below for a draft of the 2015 program calendar. Please note that all information, including tentative days off is subject to change. Apprentices will be split into two groups for most classes and rehearsals. 

Jump to:



Core classes include instruction in voice, movement and classical text analyses.

Occasionally, members of the CSC professional company will lead master classes for Apprentices. Topics vary depending on the main-stage cast and individual actors’ specialties. Pass masterclasses have included: Acting for the Camera, Stage Combat, Yoga for the Actor, Improvisation, Voiceover and more.

As part of a cross-mentorship program with CSC2 (CSC’s advanced actor training program for MFA level actors), Apprentices will thoroughly work through a Shakespeare monologue with guidance from a member of CSC2 and CSC staff.

2015 Faculty: (Click on the photo to see bio)



The Academy Showcase is directed and designed by professional Boston artists and performed at various venues in and around the city. Two shows will be produced and each will feature a cast of half of the Apprentice class.

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.

Twelve Apprentices will be asked to understudy small and ensemble roles in CSC’s main-stage production of King Lear. Additional rehearsals will be required for those Apprentices.

Each Apprentice will receive a thorough introduction to the Actor’s Equity Association and is eligible to earn seven Equity Membership Candidacy (EMC) points towards union membership. Points are earned through rehearsal observations and by rotating through various front-of-house responsibilities for performances of King Lear.


    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 for Shakespeare on the Common

    • 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."


    Application and Additional Information

    Acceptance notifications are issued on a rolling basis beginning the week of February 16. 

    All Applicants are required to submit the following materials:

    • Application Form (available below)

    • $30 nonrefundable application fee by check made out to "Commonwealth Shakespeare Company" or via link below

    • Resume

    • Head shot

    • One letter of recommendation (may be sent in separately by author)

    • Essay/personal statement: Please describe your interest in attending a professional development program focused on Shakespeare. How will this program fit in with your current training and help continue your growth as an actor? Approximately 350 words. 

    All Application materials should be sent in one package to: 

    Victoria Townsend, Apprentice Program Coordinator
    Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
    231 Forest Street, Trim 216
    Babson Park, MA 02457

    Application Forms/Payment Resources:

    2015 Application Form: /Uploads/PDFs/Academy/Apprentice Program/Apprentice_Application_2015.pdf

    Eventbrite - Apprentice Application Fees 2015

    Financial Aid:

    We are able to provide a limited number of need-based scholarships each year to accepted students. If you are interested in applying for financial aid, please use the form below. Financial aid applications and additional materials are due by Friday, May 8 2015. Financial aid applications will not be reviewed until after a student is accepted. 

    2015 Financial Aid Form: /Uploads/PDFs/Academy/Apprentice Program/Apprentice_Financial_Aid_Application_2015.pdf


    There is also a required audition for consideration for the Apprentice Program. We ask to see one Shakespeare and one contemporary monologue, each not to exceed two minutes.

    There are several audition opportunities throughout the spring.

    Program representatives will be holding auditions at ACTF Region 1 for festival attendees ONLY on Friday, January 30: 12:30-1:30PM and Saturday, January 31: 12:00-3:00PM. A sign-up table will be present near registration on Thursday, January 29. 

    We will also be in attendance at the annual New England Theatre Conference Auditions. Please visit the link for registration information. 

    In addition, we host four audition dates throughout the spring in Boston and Wellesley, MA. Please email apprentice@commshakes.org to schedule an audition slot.

    Boston Audition Dates: Boston Center for the Arts

    • February 15: 12:30-2:30PM (Arts Resource Room, Calderwood Pavilion: 527 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116)

    • April 18: 12:30-2:30PM (Studio 204, 551 Tremont Street, Boston, MA 02116)

    Babson College Audition Dates:

    (Black Box Theater at the Carling-Sorenson Theater, 231 Forest Street, Wellesley, MA 02457)

    • March 20: 5:00-7:00PM

    • May 2: 12:00-2:00PM

    While an in-person audition is always preferred, for applicants who are not local we will accept a video audition. A DVD can be mailed to the address above or a video link can be sent to apprentice@commshakes.org 


    Dorm housing and/or meal plans at Babson College will be available to students at an additional cost. This year's housing rate is $1767.  These are double-occupancy dorm rooms each with a private bath and kitchenette as well as access to in-building laundry and parking. Accepted students who have graduated from their undergraduate institution may also apply for a single-occupancy room at an additional cost of $200. 

    Last year's meal plans were available at the following levels. 

    • 50 meals: $460
    • 100 meals: $872

    More information about 2015 options and rates will be posted soon.