FAQ: Performances of Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common

When are the performances?

Performances on Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm.  Sunday performances begin at 7pm.  There will be one 3pm matinee. There are no performances on Mondays.

What ages are appropriate for The Tempest?

Parents know their children best. Please reach out at 617-426-0863 with specific concerns.

Are there matinee performances?

There will be one matinee performance of The Tempest.

Are there special performances or considerations for patrons with disabilities?

CSC will offer ASL-Interpreted, Audio-Described, and Open Captioned performances of The Tempest.  Stay tuned for complete schedule.

Where are the performances?

Performances take place at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, across the street from the AMC Loews Boston Common movie theater on Tremont Street.


If you are traveling via the MBTA, there are several stations located within steps of the Boston Common.

Green Line: Boylston or Park Street stops

Orange Line: Downtown Crossing or Chinatown stops

Red Line: Park Street or Downtown Crossing stops.

Click below to view a video about transportation options

Where should I park?

Parking is available in the Boston Common Garage.  (Zero Charles Street, Boston, MA) Be sure to pick up a discount parking coupon from one of the tents or from one of our ambassadors.  These coupons, provided by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, extend a discount to our patrons and proceeds go directly to CSC.

How much are tickets?

All performances of Shakespeare on the Common are FREE and open to the public.  We offer a limited number of reserved chairs in our Friends Section located near the stage at each performance.  Click HERE for more information. In order to help us keep Shakespeare on the Common free for everyone, we encourage all who attend to consider leaving a donation to support our production.

Are shows delayed or canceled for weather?

Audience and actor safety is our main concern.  In cases of heavy rain or lightning storms, we will cancel.  Audiences can get weather updates on the homepage of our website or by calling the Weather Hotline at 617-426-0863.  Information will also be distributed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

When should I arrive?

Some patrons arrive as early as 2-3 hours before the performance to stake out their spot.  There is plenty of room on the Boston Common, however, and you will be able to find room no matter when you arrive.

Are there chairs?

Lawn chairs are available for rent in the chair rental tents on either side of the stage.  Chair rentals are $5, plus a $5 deposit that will be returned to you when you bring back the chair after the performance.

Can I bring my own chair? If so, where can I sit?

Yes, you are welcome to bring your own chair and/or blanket to sit on.  Please note that if you have a tall chair that could obstruct the view of other patrons, you will be directed to a Tall Chair Section.  Click HERE to view a detailed seating map.  If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your chair or blanket unattended.

How do I get one of those seats near the stage?

Shakespeare on the Common is always FREE and open to the public.  A limited number of reserved chairs will be available in our Friends Section for each performance.  Friend Section seats will be available for purchase in mid-spring.

Is there food?/Can I bring my own?

Yes, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream truck and Earl of Sandwich are present during all performances.  Additional food trucks will be available Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  CSC concessions including bottled water and candy directly support Free Shakespeare on the Common.  For your convenience, we encourage attendees to bring cash for food and concessions, although we do accept credit cards.  You are welcome to bring your own food and we ask to help us keep the Boston Common clean by picking up after yourself.  Alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common.

What else should I bring?

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on, a light sweater, mosquito repellent, and an umbrella if the forecast calls for rain.  If you plan on attending a matinee performance, we suggest you bring a hat and sunscreen for your protection from the sun.  Bringing cash is very much recommended for concessions, although we do accept credit card as well. If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your blanket or chair unattended.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, portable toilets are located near the tennis courts.

Is there merchandise available for purchase?

Yes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, and other items are available for purchase at the tents on either side of the stage.  100% of the proceeds benefit Commonwealth Shakespeare Company.

How can I support Free Shakespeare on the Common?

There are a number of ways to support CSC.  Donations will be collected on the Common or visit.  You can also CLICK HERE or call us at 617-426-0863 to learn more about how you can make a donation.  Free Shakespeare on the Common is possible thanks to the support of friends like you.

Can I smoke on the Common?

No, there is now a smoking ban in all Boston Parks.  A $250 fine will be enforced by the Park Rangers onsite.

Featured Photo: Marin Ireland and Larry Coen in As You Like It, Shakespeare on the Common 2008-Photo by T. Charles Erickson

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