FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE March 27, 2020
Contact: Katalin Mitchell
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
announces John Douglas Thompson* to play Prospero
in its 25th Anniversary production of
Free Shakespeare On the Common:
Directed by Steven Maler
Commits to pay artists and artisans
July 22 – August 9
Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler, announced today the principal cast members for its 25th Anniversary production of Free Shakespeare on the Common: William Shakespeare’s beloved play The Tempest, directed by Steven Maler and starring the eminent Shakespearean actor and multiple award-winner John Douglas Thompson (most recently seen in Man in the Ring at the Huntington and as the Earl of Kent in King Lear on Broadway). Performances are free of charge, and will take place from Wednesday, July 22 through Sunday, August 9, 2020 on the Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand.
In announcing the cast, CSC is also announcing a commitment to paying the artists and artisans involved with the company, even if COVID-19 restrictions require a postponement of the production itself. In this period of uncertainty, and with the help of our supporters, CSC strives to provide a level of economic stability for the team committed to bringing joy to the people of Boston this summer. We are working closely with the City of Boston on our planning to ensure the safety of our Company and our audience.
The outstanding cast assembled for this production also includes beloved Boston area actors Remo Airaldi* (Poirot in Lyric Stage’s Murder on the Orient Express) as Antonio; Nora Eschenheimer* (Imogen in CSC’s Cymbeline) as Miranda; actor/playwright John Kuntz* as Trinculo; Nael Nacer* (Macbeth at Actors’ Shakespeare Project) as Caliban; Richard Noble (Edward III in CSC’s Richard III ) as Alonso; Fred Sullivan, Jr.* (Duke of Buckingham in CSC’s Richard III) as Stephano; and Michael Underhill (Arviragus in CSC’s Cymbeline) as Ferdinand. *Member Actors’ Equity Association
Scenic Design is by Tony Award winner and scenic and costume designer of CSC’s Birdy, Clint Ramos and Jeffrey Petersen, Costume Design by Nancy Leary, Lighting Design by Eric Southern, and Sound Design by David Reiffel.
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. CSC also presents fully staged productions including past productions of the world premiere of Our American Hamlet, Beckett in Brief, Death and the Maiden, Old Money, Caryl Churchill’s Blue Kettle and Here We Go, and Naomi Wallace’s adaptation of William Wharton’s novel Birdy. Most recently CSC has created in partnership with Google a Virtual Reality (VR) experience of William Shakespeare’s classic play Hamlet, entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, released in partnership with Boston public media producer WGBH, it can be viewed exclusively on the WGBH YouTube channel. The video has been shown at multiple venues and educational institutions in the US and abroad.
CSC also produces an annual “Theatre in the Rough,” semi-staged readings including 2017’s 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, as well as its Stage2 performance series for middle and high school audiences.
To learn more, visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863