Press Release: Free Shakespeare On the Common 2019: William Shakespeare’s Cymbeline

For Immediate release: May 1, 2019
Contact: Kati Mitchell

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
“Free Shakespeare On the Common 2019:”
William Shakespeare’s
Directed by Fred Sullivan, Jr.

July 17 – August 4
Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common

Wellesley, MA — Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler, is pleased to present its 24th season of “Free Shakespeare on the Common:” William Shakespeare’s romantic fable Cymbeline directed by Fred Sullivan Jr. 

Performances are free of charge and will take place on the Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand.

Performance dates: July 17 – August 4.

Tuesday – Saturday performances at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm (Off Mondays).
There will be one 3pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 3.

Press opening: Wednesday, July 24 at 8:00pm

Tickets: Performances are free and open to the public. A limited number of “Friends’ Section” reserved chairs are available for $60-75 donation per chair. For more information and to reserve chairs visit or call 617-426-0863. For weather updates on performance nights, call the CSC weather hotline at (781) 239-5972.

One of Greater Boston’s most beloved traditions, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s

“Free Shakespeare on the Common” takes up residence once again with Shakespeare’s lovely

mystical dramedy Cymbeline. The play chronicles the fates of King Cymbeline and his family through a journey of deception, separation, and intrigue. Join his daughter Imogen, one of Shakespeare’s most beloved heroines, as she is swept into a nearly mythic realm of mistaken identities, twists and turns, and the all-consuming quest for true love.

The Company includes Kelby Akin* as Cloten, Remo Airaldi* as Pisanio, Daniel Duque-Estrada* as Posthumus, Nora Eschenheimer as Imogen, Tony Estrella* as Cymbeline, Gunnar Manchester* as Caius Lucius, Tom Gleadow* as Belarius, Jonathan Higginbotham* as Guiderius, Jesse Hinson* as Iachimo, Jeanine Kane* as the Queen, Richard Noble as Lady Philario.  Ensemble members and musicians are Nigel Richards and Rodney Witherspoon II. Additional Cymbeline Company members include the CSC2 Acting Company: Erika Anclade, Malikah McHerrin-Cobb, Chet R. Davino, Zachary Gibb, John Hardin, Gregory Hermann, Ashley Knaack, Mihir Kumar, Armand Lane, Brian Pollock, Michael Underhill, and Sarah Vasilevsky.

The creative team includes set designers Jessica Hill and Patrick Lynch, lighting designer Eric Southern*, costume designer Elisabetta Polito, sound designer Peter Hurowitz, and fight director Nile Hawver.  The music director is Milly Massey.

This production of “Free Shakespeare on the Common” is made possible support from Babson College, WGBH, Xfinity and Ovation TV, The Klarman Family Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, Ricardo Rodriguez and Michael Kelley, Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Boston Globe, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, Shakesbeer, Vantage Graphics, Highland Street Foundation, Mix 104.1, Boston Parks and Recreation, and the Boston Cultural Council.

Fred Sullivan, Jr.* is celebrating 13 seasons with Shakespeare on the Common, first time as Director. He has played the Duke of Buckingham, Capulet, Malvolio, Bottom, Gloucester, and Parolles, the First Gangster in Kiss Me, Kate at the Hatch Shell, and received a Norton Award for Outstanding Actor for his Jaques in As You Like It. He spent 35 season as a resident actor at Trinity Repertory Company where he appeared in over 130 plays and received Norton and IRNE awards for Outstanding lead actor in Blithe Spirit and His Girl Friday. His Trinity Rep roles included Falstaff, Bottom, Oscar Madison, James Tyrone, Jr, Joe Pitt, Captain Hook, Scrooge and Harold Hill, and he directed Trinity Rep’s A Christmas Carol, Shooting Star, and Boeing Boeing. Fred is resident director for the Gamm Theatre since 1996 where he has directed 28 productions including Hamlet and Much Ado about Nothing (each twice), and Awake at Sing (Norton Award for Outstanding Production). As an actor at Gamm, he played Donny in American Buffalo, Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale and Mark Rothko in Red. Fred has also performed at NJ Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep, and Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. He teaches acting at Gamm and RISD.

“Free Shakespeare on the Common” is made possible each year through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and donations collected through the Friends Section program. Individuals can reserve a chair at a performance of Cymbeline with a donation of $60-75 per chair, with all proceeds going directly towards the costs of the production. Chairs may be reserved through July 16 — before the season begins — with a donation of $60. Once performances begin on July 17, the minimum donation requirement increases to $75. To reserve chairs, visit our website, email, or call 617-426-0863.

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company staff is equipped to assist patrons of all abilities. A limited number of tall chairs, accessible seating areas, assisted-listening devices, and Braille & large print programs are available at each performance. Dates for ASL-Interpreted and Audio-Described, performances will be announced closer in July. Anyone needing special accommodations is encouraged to contact CSC in advance. These requests should be emailed to our Audience Services staff at or call CSC’s main line during regular business hours at 617-426-0863.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit theater organization founded in 1996, dedicated to presenting vital and contemporary productions of William Shakespeare and other dramatic works to the people of Greater Boston, and to exploring Shakespeare’s work with youth in innovative and creative ways. CSC’s Free Shakespeare on the Common has served over one million audience members over its 23-year history, and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by nearly 75,000 people annually. In addition to the annual Boston Common production, CSC now presents fully staged productions at the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson, including the world premiere of Our American HamletBeckett in Brief, Death and the MaidenOld Money, Caryl Churchill’s Blue Kettle and Here We Go, and Naomi Wallace’s adaptation of William Wharton’s novel Birdy, nominated for an Elliot Norton Award.  It also produces an annual “Theatre in the Rough,” semi- staged readings including Fear and Misery in the Third Reich featuring Tony Shalhoub and Brooke Adams; as well as presentations of “Shakespeare & the Law,” and “Shakespeare & Leadership.” CSC also hosts two annual series, entitled Shakespeare and the Law and Shakespeare and Leadership, which analyze Shakespeare’s work as it relates to contemporary issues, leadership, and laws.

CSC fulfills its educational mission with actor-training programs for pre-professional and professional actors through the summer Apprentice program and CSC2, which presents Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet this spring for local high school audiences at the Carling-Sorenson Theater, directed by Associate Director Adam Sanders.  To learn more about these programs, visit

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