Press Release: Accessibility Dates for Free Shakespeare On the Common 2019

Press Contact: Kati Mitchell

Audio Described (August 3), ASL Performances (August 2 and 3),
and Open Captioning (July 26) of Cymbeline

BOSTON, MA (July 10, 2019) — Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is pleased to continue its Common Access Initiative as part of its 24th season of “Free Shakespeare on the Common.” Cymbeline runs July 17 — August 4 on the Boston Common. CSC is committed to keeping theatre accessible – financially, geographically, and artistically – as well as inclusive for patrons of all abilities. CSC has offered at least one American Sign Language (ASL) performance nearly every season since its founding in 1996, and in recent years has had the opportunity to meaningfully expand its disability access programming and offerings. At every performance, there are reserved, accessible seating areas for patrons and their guests, in addition to complementary large-print programs and assisted listening devices.

  • Open Captioned performance: Friday, July 26 (Raindate: Sat, July 27)
  • Audio Described performance + Tactile Tour:  Saturday, August 3 (3pm); (Raindate: Sun, Aug 4)
  • ASL Interpreted performances: Friday, Aug 2 + Saturday, August 3 (8pm); (Raindate: Sun, Aug 4)

Open-Captioning provided by c2 captioning service will be held on at Friday, July 26 at 8 pm.
Raindate will be Saturday, July 27 at 8pm. Equipment will be set-up of the house left side of the stage.

The Audio-Described performance with interpretation by Cori Couture and Andrea Doane will be held Saturday, August 3 at 3pm; Raindate will be Sunday, August 4 at 7pm. Headsets and Braille playbill will be made available for blind and low-vision patrons, and can be collected at the Information Tent to the left of the stage. In addition to the performance, there will be a free backstage, tactile tour for blind and low-vision patrons and their guests beginning at 1:45pm. No registration is necessary. Guests should meet at the Information Tent a few minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin. CSC staff will be on hand to help guide patrons on the tour.

The ASL-Interpreted performances will be held on Friday, August 2 and Saturday, August 3 at 8pm; Raindate will be Sunday, Aug 4 at 7pm. ASL Interpretation team will include Shana Gibbs as ASL Coach and Christopher Robinson will be returning as Lead Interpreter.

In addition to the programming listed above, there will be many services available at all performances to enhance the patron experience. ADA-compliant cable-guards have been purchased to make all pathways easier to navigate for patrons using wheelchairs and walkers, and there will be several seating areas designated throughout the Common for patrons using wheelchairs and their companions. Finally, large print programs and assisted listening devices will be available at all performances at the Information Tent.

CSC is proud to be recognized by the Massachusetts Cultural Council as an UP (Universal Participation)-Designated Organization. UP Designated organizations have demonstrated a commitment to learn, take action, and embrace inclusivity as a core organizational value and possess organizational behaviors that reflect the aspirations of the UP Program.

About Cymbeline

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 Philario.  Ensemble members and musicians are Nigel Richards and Rodney Witherspoon II. Additional Cymbeline Company members include the CSC2 Acting Company: Erika Anclade, 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.

For detailed biographies of cast members and creative team please visit   and click on ‘Artists’

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, Boston Common Magazine, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, Shakesbeer, Vantage Graphics, Highland Street Foundation, Mix 104.1, Boston Parks and Recreation, and the Boston Cultural Council.

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 artistic excellence, accessibility, and education. CSC’s Free Shakespeare on the Common has served over one million audience members over its 24-year history, and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by over 50,000 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. 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 presented Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet this past 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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