Much Ado About Nothing

July 20-August 7, 2022

Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common

by William Shakespeare

Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian

We are thrilled to welcome audiences to our summer 2022 Free Shakespeare on the Common production of Much Ado About Nothing, directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian! Our production brings Shakespeare’s quintessential battle of wits to the colorful and vibrant time of the 1990’s and reimagines Benedick and Beatrice as two women.

Much Ado is a wonderful play, joyful, funny and accessible to all audiences. But it also deals with larger issues involved in navigating relationships, which makes the play very relevant to contemporary audiences” said CSC’s Founding Artistic Director Steve Maler. “We are thrilled to welcome director Megan Sandberg-Zakian, an accomplished artist who will be bringing her unique style and vision to the play.”

“I’m delighted that Commonwealth Shakespeare will continue the beloved tradition of Shakespeare on the Common for a 26th season!” remarked Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. “We’re lucky to have an active, vibrant arts community in our City, and organizations like CSC that help break barriers and expand access to live theater. I look forward to attending this summer’s production, and I encourage all of Boston to support and enjoy our amazing theater scene.”

Audience Information
    • Performances are FREE of charge. Advanced registration is not required for this summer’s production.
    • Audience members are permitted to bring modest food items to consume at the show. Alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common.
    • Audience members can bring their own blankets or chairs, or can rent chairs online in advance or on-site for $10.

    • Reserved premium seating in our Friends Section are available at the button below.  Check out our Friends Section page for more information.

 

Performance Dates and Times

7/20/22 at 8pm
7/21/22  at 8pm
7/22/22  at 8pm
7/23/22  at 8pm
7/24/22 at 8pm
7/26/22 at 8pm
7/27/22 at 8pm
7/28/22 at 8pm
7/29/22 at 8pm
7/30/22 at 4pm
7/31/22 at 8pm
8/2/22 at 8pm
8/3/22  at 8pm
8/4/22 at 8pm
8/5/22  at 8pm
8/6/22  at 8pm
8/7/22  at 8pm

About our Director

“I am so thrilled to join CSC for my favorite Boston summer tradition of Shakespeare on the Common, and especially to be helming Much Ado About Nothing. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved comedies, it gives us a community emerging from a time of war into an uneasy peace — where there is plenty of feasting and dancing, but where trust is fragile and trading insults feels safer than intimacy.” – Megan Sandberg-Zakian

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an accomplished theater director, author, and facilitator. Based in Boston, she has directed plays all across the country, including at the New York Theatre Workshop, California Shakespeare Theatre, and Capital Repertory Theatre, plus at Boston-area theaters including the Huntington Theatre, Actors Shakespeare Project, and Merrimack Repertory Theater, among many others. Her productions have received both Eliot Norton and IRNE awards. Megan is co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.  Her book, There Must be Happy Endings: On a Theater of Optimism and Honesty, is available from The 3rd Thing Press. 

Megan is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.  She has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater, the Providence Black Repertory Company, and The 52nd Street Project in NYC, and as Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre.  She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship. 

Megan’s complete bio can be found HERE.

 

Synopsis

Much Ado About Nothing is one of Shakespeare’s most popular and frequently performed plays. The plot revolves around two couples — witty Beatrice (Rachael Warren) and Benedick (Tia James), who publicly proclaim their disdain for each other but fall madly in love; and naïve Hero and Claudio, who fall quickly in love only to be thwarted and then reunited (in both cases, with a bit of help from their friends). But it’s more than just a comedic romp. The play tackles serious themes too: trust and betrayal, power and privilege, gendered expectations around chastity and violence. This is a comedy entangled with a tragedy, where love and justice nevertheless manage to prevail with vigorous joy — a perfect play for our uncertain times.

Accessibility

CSC provides a range of accessibility services including assistive listening devices and  large print programs at every performance, and  ASL interpretation, open captioning, and audio description at selected performances.

Open Captioned Performance: Sat, July 23 & Sat, July 30 (Raindate: Sun, Aug 7)

ASL Interpreted: Sat, July 30 & Fri, Aug 5 (Raindate: Sun, Aug 7)

Audio Described: Sat, July 30 & Sat, Aug 6 (Raindate: Sun, Aug 7)

For more information about accessibility, please email audienceservices@commshakes.org
Audio Synopsis:

 

Audio Description of Boston Common:

 

Full Pre-Show Audio Description:

Full Pre-Show Audio Description PDF

 

 

About CSC

Now entering its 26th season, CSC’s Shakespeare on the Common has become an annual Boston tradition, modeled along the lines of “Shakespeare in the Park” in Central Park and the many other free outdoor summer Shakespeare events throughout the country.

Beginning in the summer of 1996, CSC Founding Artistic Director, Steven Maler collaborated with the City of Boston, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department, and the Mayor’s Office for Cultural Affairs to present a free outdoor production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Copley Square.  This event was described by Ed Siegel of the Boston Globe as “fully engaging, with one of the most diverse audiences ever seen in Boston.” The production was chosen as one of the top ten theatrical events of 1996 by the Boston Globe, and Mr. Maler received the Eliot Norton Award for his outstanding direction.  Carolyn Clay of the Boston Phoenix wrote, “how proud it is for Boston to finally offer free Shakespeare.”

Following the success of its first production, CSC presented Romeo & Juliet at the newly renovated Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common in August of 1997. Performing annually at the Parkman Bandstand — centrally located, handicapped-accessible and accessible to all by public transportation — CSC has become one of Boston’s most attended annual arts events.  Each summer CSC welcomes approximately upwards of 50,000 people to our shows on the Boston Common, and over the past 25 years CSC has performed for over 1 million audience members.

Free Shakespeare on the Common is possible thanks to the support of friends like you. There are a number of ways to support CSC. Donations will be collected on the Common or you can also CLICK HERE.

Got another question? Check out our FAQ section HERE.

 

Video By Scalped Productions
Photography by Nile Scott Studios

Cast

Tia James
Benedick
Tia James
Benedick

Regional: A Wrinkle in Time, Julius Caesar, Native Son, with PlayMakers Rep. The Winter’s Tale and The Merchant of Venice Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park. Richard III with Allentown Shakespeare, Loving and Loving with Stella Adler Theater. TV/Film: Treme, Nurse Jackie.

Rachael Warren
Beatrice

Rachael Warren (She/Her) started at Trinity Rep in the 1999-2000 season playing Eliza in My Fair Lady. She has been a Resident Artist there since 2002.  Highlights from those 23 years include: Suze (Fairview), Madame Defarge (A Tale of Two Cities), The Voice of the Plant (Little Shop of Horrors), Darcy/Wickham (Pride and Prejudice), Mother (Ragtime), Grace Richards (world premiere, Into the Breeches!), Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Warrior One (Beowulf: A Thousand Years of Baggage), Laurey (Oklahoma!), Maudie Atkinson (To Kill a Mockingbird), Portia (Julius Caesar), Tilly (Melancholy Play: a chamber musical), Nancy (Oliver!), Sally (Cabaret), Betsy/Lindsey (Clybourne Park), Antigone (The Dreams of Antigone), Songs of Innocence and of Experience, Ophelia (Hamlet),  Wendy (Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Would Not Grow Up), Isobel (The Secret Rapture), Rebecca (world premiere, The Long Christmas Ride Home), Sabina (The Skin of Our Teeth), Mary Warren (The Crucible), Mary (Dublin Carol), The Syringa Tree, Lady Percy (Henry IV), Duchess of York (Richard II), Princess Katherine (Henry V), Anybodys/Somewhere Girl (West Side Story), Mrs. Webb (Our Town), The Other Woman (Dead Man’s Cell Phone), Truvy (Steel Magnolias), Drood (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Nerissa (Merchant of Venice), Boots on the Ground, Some Things Are Private, Luisa (The Fantasticks), Anne (Merry Wives of Windsor), Shapeshifter, Marie (Paris by Night), It’s a Wonderful Life and, of course, A Christmas Carol.  Ms. Warren has spent two seasons in the acting company of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival playing The Baker’s Wife (Into the Woods), Muriel Humphrey/Pat Nixon and others in the world premiere of The Great Society, Eliza in My Fair Lady and Cymbeline. Rachael has also performed at the Wilbury Theatre Group (Allison, Fun Home), American Repertory Company (The Doctor’s Dilemma, Antigone, Man and Superman, The Bacchae), Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Cleveland Play House (Man of La Mancha), Williamstown Theatre Festival (Tonight at 8:30 & Princess Turandot), Hartford Stage, Virginia Stage, and Goodspeed Opera House (Great Expectations). She was in the national touring companies of Tommy, Chess, and Company. She is a graduate of the A.R.T Institute at Harvard and Illinois-Wesleyan University, and is on the faculty of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs where she teaches singing.  She has a private teaching practice (www.rachaelwarrenstudio.com), & also serves as Literary Affiliate for Trinity Rep. 3 Motif Awards for best actress in a musical for Alison in FUN HOME, Mother in RAGTIME & Sally in CABARET.  2018 Lunt-Fontanne Fellow

Erik Robles
Claudio

Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Ironbound, A Lie Agreed Upon, An Octoroon with Gamm Theatre. Good with Burbage Theatre. Film: For the Record, After the Happiness Awards: The Gamm Theatre Fellowship Recipient, David Edmonds Award for Outstanding Artistic and Creative Expression – University of Rhode Island, Freeform Nationwide Talent Search Top 20 Finalist @Evenbetterstill

Rebecca-Anne Whittaker
Hero

Regional: Constellations, Pericles, A View From the Bridge, Bakkhai with Brown/Trinity Rep. Ice Factory with New Ohio Theatre. Awards: Miranda Family Fellow. @rebeccaanne.w

Michael Underhill
Don Pedro

Michael Underhill previously appeared at CSC in Cymbeline, Othello, Two Gentleman of Verona (u/s), Macbeth (CSC2), Richard III, and Romeo & Juliet (CSC2). He is a graduate from Northeastern University and a Boston born and bred actor. Additional roles include the title role in King John (Praxis Stage), Actor #1 in Hotel Nepenthe (Brown Box Theatre) and Joseph Surface in School for Scandal (Actors’ Shakespeare Project). Other regional credits include the Huntington Theatre, SpeakEasy Stage, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Central Square Theatre and imaginary beasts. Find out more at www.michaeljunderhill.com 

Remo Airaldi
Leonato

Remo Airaldi has appeared with CSC in Cymbeline, Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentleman of Verona, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew. He has appeared in over sixty productions at the American Repertory Theater, including Night of the IguanaOliver Twist (also at Theatre for a New Audience and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), and Island of Slaves (IRNE Award—Outstanding Actor). Other credits: Shakespeare in Love (Speakeasy Stage), Murder on the Orient Express, Little Shop of Horrors, The Little Foxes, My Fair Lady, and Sweeney Todd (Lyric Stage), Exposed (Boston Playwrights’ Theater), Mistero Buffo (The Poets’ Theatre), Frankenstein and The Hound of the Baskervilles (Central Square Theater),The King of Second Avenue (New Repertory Theatre) and productions at Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Geffen Playhouse, Cirque du Soleil, American Conservatory Theater, Walnut Street Theatre, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville. He teaches acting, improvisation and public speaking at Harvard University.

John Kuntz
Antonio

John Kuntz has appeared with CSC previously in Henry V, Hamlet and Twelfth Night.  He is the author of over 15 full-length plays including Necessary Monsters, The Hotel Nepenthe, Starfuckers and The Salt Girl.  As an actor, he has appeared with The Huntington, ART, Speakeasy and many others. He is the recipient of five Elliot Norton Awards, two IRNE Awards, a New York International Fringe Festival Award and a 2015 MCC Fellowship Award in Dramatic Writing.  He is a lecturer in Theatre, Dance and Media at Harvard University, an Associate Professor at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee and is the Artistic Director of The Derrah Theatre Lab.

Gunnar Manchester
Don John

CSC: Cymbeline. Brown/Trinity: Summer and Smoke, Tiny Beautiful Things, Christmas Carol. Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theater: As You Like It, Uncle Vanya, Arcadia, Ironbound. Actor’s Shakespeare Project: Exit the King. Wilbury Theatre Group: Church, Spring Awakening, Straight White Men, Great Comet of 1812. Williamstown Theater Festival: Late Night Cabaret, 27 Ways I Didn’t Say Hi to Laurence Fishburne. Epic Theatre Co: Red Speedo. Gunnar is a graduate of Bates College, and of the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program. @snugmanchester, gunnarmanchester.com

Debra Wise
Dogberry
Debra Wise
Dogberry

Debra Wise co founded Underground Railway Theater in 1978 and has served as Artistic Director since 1998. For 25 years, URT toured nationally and abroad a repertoire of original socially-engaged productions, as well as puppet spectacles commissioned by major orchestras. In 2007, She co founded Central Square Theater, where she has helmed award-winning productions as Artistic Director (including Vanity Fair, black odyssey boston, a co-pro with The Front Porch; Constellations; The Convert), and director (an original adaptation of Christmas Carol). As an actor, she has most recently appeared in The Half-Life of Marie Curie, Vanity Fair and Homebody (Central Square Theater), Escaped Alone and Dolls House 2 (The Gamm), People Places & Things (Speakeasy). She founded and now directs Central Square Thearter’s science/theater partnership, Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, and has co-authored an ebook with videos documenting Underground Railway’s first decades as a puppet & actor, socially-engaged touring company: www.URTheaterEbook.com.

Sarah Corey
Borachio

CSC Debut! Regional: Death For Five Voices (International Tour;  Prospect Theater Company), A Letter to Harvey Milk (Off-Broadway), Nathan the Wise with Theater J/Folger Theater, Oil with Olney Theatre Center, A Thousand Splendid Suns with Arena Stage, Twelfth Night with Mountain Playhouse, In the Book Of with Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Florida Studio Theater, Rhinoceros withTantrum Theater, Midsummer Night’s Dream with Prospect Theater Company,  A Christmas Carol with TheatreSquared, Stoneham Theater, and Worcester Foothills, Around the World in 80 Days, Broadway Bound, and Brighton Beach Memoirs with Oldcastle Theater Company, Caroline, or Change with Speakeasy Stage, Lippa’s The Wild Party with New Repertory Theater, A Grand Night for Singing with Gloucester Stage, Meshuggah-Nuns with Lyric Stage, The Who’s Tommy and Cole Porter’s You Never Know with Stoneham Theater, Evita and Sisters of Swing with Worcester Foothills, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change with Totem Pole Playhouse. Film/TV: Lady in the Lake, We Own This City, A Good Cop, Unravel Awards: 2008 IRNE for Best Supporting Actress, Kate in The Wild Party at New Rep @sscoreyny

Siobhan Juanita Brown
Friar Francis

Siobhan Juanita Brown played Titania in CSC’s first production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1996), Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (1997), Olivia in Twelfth Night (2001), and The Widow in All’s Well That Ends Well (2011). She holds a BFA degree in Performing Arts and African American studies from Emerson College and is a graduate of the A.R.T. Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University. Other credits include Suzan-Lori Parks’ The America Play at A.R.T., The Emancipation of Valet de Chambre at Cleveland Play House, Studs Terkel’s American Dreams: Lost and Found with the Acting Company, Medea and Antony and Cleopatra for Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and Adrienne Kennedy’s Funnyhouse of A Negro with Brandeis Theatre Company. She has worked extensively in arts education as the former Associate Director of Education at Citi Performing Arts Center and Director of School & Teacher Programs at Actors’ Shakespeare Project, as well as teaching for the Strand Theatre, CSC, and the Acting Company.  As a playwright Siobhan wrote A Piece of Silver based on recorded conversations with her maternal and paternal grandmothers who are Mashpee Wampanoag Indian and African American, respectively. She has worked with the Wôpanâak Language Reclamation Project since 2013 and is a member of the founding teaching team of Weetumuw Katnuhtôhtâkamuq, the Wôpanâak language and culture immersion school providing academic and Indigenous education using a Montessori pedagogy for decolonization and language reclamation.

Jaime José Hernández
Verges

Jaime José Hernández (he/him) is thrilled to be a part of CSC2! He was most recently seen in Romeo & Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Apollinaire Theatre Company). Other credits include: The Arboretum Experience (American Repertory Theatre); Much Ado About Nothing, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Hub Theatre Company of Boston); Vicuña (Zeitgeist Stage Company); SLAM BOSTON (Open Theatre Project). Jaime is a company member of Teatro Chelsea. jaimejosehernandez.com

Siobhán Carroll
Margaret

Siobhán Carroll (she/her/hers) is delighted to be returning to Commonwealth Shakespeare Company after being a part of their production of Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle & Here We Go. Other Boston credits include Red Velvet (O.W.I.); My Fascination With Creepy Ladies and I, Snowflake (Anthem Theatre Company); The Three Sisters (Apollinaire Theatre Company); and Next To Normal (Arts After Hours). Catch her as Petra in the series Ms/Manage now out on Black Oak TV.

Jon Vellante
Balthasar

Jon Vellante (he/him) is a Boston-based Theatre, Film and TV Actor. Recent credits include Julia (HBO Max); The Women and Science Festival (Central Square Theater); The Taming of the Shrew (Sh*t-Faced Shakespeare); The Sound Inside (u/s, Speakeasy Stage Company); and the short Automate (winner, best actor at London Shorts). Jon also works as an actor for IBIS Consulting in partnership with Google as part of DEI training. For upcoming projects, visit www.jonvellante.com.

Duncan Gallagher
Conrade

Duncan Gallagher (he/him) is delighted to return to Boston with this extraordinary company. Previous work in the area includes The Tempest (CSC) and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Hub Theatre Co.) Elsewhere: Echo, in a Diner (world premiere, Columbia University) and The Country Wife (Sweet Tea Shakespeare.) Upcoming: Much Ado About Nothing (CSC.) Credits while training include Brutus in Julius Caesar, Antonio in The Changeling and the title role in Richard III. MA: LAMDA, BA: Brown University. duncan-gallagher.com

Nettie Chickering
A Sexton (The Judge)
Nettie Chickering
A Sexton (The Judge)

Nettie Chickering (she/her) is grateful to work with CSC in person this year. She is a CSC Virtual  Apprentice alumna (2020) and was an Apprentice Showcase scene partner (2021). Recent NY/Regional Theatre: Helena in Midsummer (Theatre 2020), Feste in Twelfth Night (60 Hour  Shakespeare), Twelfth Night (Nashville Shakespeare) and Much Ado About Nothing / Love’s  Labour’s Lost (Hub Theatre Boston, directed by Bryn Boice). Nettie sang and composed  jazz/blues scores for both Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet. Nettie is a Resident Acting  Company member of Hamlet Isn’t Dead and a vocalist for free jazz/poetry group Heroes Are  Gang Leaders. Training: The Neighborhood Playhouse. @nettiechickering

Xander Viera
First Watchman
Xander Viera
First Watchman

Xander Viera (He/They) graduated in 2021 with a BFA in Theatre Arts from Salem State University. He currently resides in Salem, MA. This is his first performance with the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, and he looks forward to hopefully more! Previous credits include: Touchstone (As You Like It), Greg/Hing/Minister/Rulon (The Laramie Project), Verges (Much Ado About Nothing).

Dylan C. Wack
Second Watchman (George Seacole)
Dylan C. Wack
Second Watchman (George Seacole)

Dylan C. Wack (he/him) is thrilled to be returning to Commonwealth Shakespeare Company after performing in The Tempest. He has performed with the Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Theater in the Open, New Repertory Theatre, Fresh Ink Theatre, and Sparkhaven Theatre, among others. He holds a BFA from Boston University and a Certificate in Classical Acting from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. Originally from Newburyport, Massachusetts, Dylan now resides in Brooklyn. dylancwack.com | @dylanwack

Jordyn Palmer
Third Watchman (Sue Otecake)
Jordyn Palmer
Third Watchman (Sue Otecake)

Jordyn’s recent credits include Launcelot Gobbo in Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s acclaimed production of The Merchant of Venice and Watchtower in Fresh Ink Theatre Company’s world premiere of Truth or Consequences. She has trained with Double Edge, Shakespeare & Company, and the Linklater Institute. BFA Boston Conservatory at Berklee.

Jessica Golden
Military Messenger
Jessica Golden
Military Messenger

Jessica Golden (she/her) is delighted to be back with CSC after appearing in last summer’s production of The Tempest (Iris). Other recent appearances include Hub Theatre Company’s virtual productions of Love’s Labour’s Lost (Rosaline) and Much Ado About Nothing (Balthasar / Conrade / Ursula). Jessica holds a BFA from NYU/Tisch New Studio on Broadway.

Zoe Abuyuan
Jade, a servant of Leonato's House
Zoe Abuyuan
Jade, a servant of Leonato's House

Zoe Abuyuan (she/her) is so grateful to be here in Boston doing live theatre with Commonwealth!  Most recently seen as Rosalind in Shakespeare’s As You Like It with PICT Classic Theatre.  Select Credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Helena/Snout, PICT Classic Theatre), and Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), Much Ado About Nothing (Conrade/Ursula) and Taming of the Shrew (Widow) with Shakespeare in the Woods.  Graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre.

Creative Team

William Shakespeare
Playwright

William Shakespeare was a renowned English poet, playwright, and actor born in 1564, in Stratford-upon-Avon. His birthday is most commonly celebrated on 23 April, which is also believed to be the date on which he died in 1616. Shakespeare was a prolific writer during the Elizabethan and Jacobean ages of British theatre (sometimes referred to as the English Renaissance or the Early Modern Period). Shakespeare’s plays are perhaps his most enduring legacy, but they are not the only things he wrote. Shakespeare’s poetry has also remained popular to this day.

Shakespeare’s work includes 38 plays, 2 narrative poems, a collection of 154 sonnets, and other poems as well. No original manuscripts of Shakespeare’s plays are known to exist today, and about half of Shakespeare’s plays are only available to us because a group of actors in his company collected them for publication after his death. These writings were brought together in what is known as the First Folio (‘Folio’ refers to the size of the paper used). It contained 36 of his plays, and none of his poetry. Shakespeare’s legacy is as rich and diverse as his work; his plays have spawned countless adaptations across multiple genres and cultures, and his plays have had an enduring presence on stage and film.

His writings have been compiled in various iterations of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare by different entities, which usually include all of his plays, his sonnets, and his other poems. From Stratford to London and beyond, William Shakespeare was and is one of the most important literary figures of the English language.

 

Megan Sandberg-Zakian
Director

Megan Sandberg-Zakian is an accomplished theater director, author, and facilitator. Based in Boston, she has directed plays all across the country, including at the New York Theatre Workshop, California Shakespeare Theatre, and Capital Repertory Theatre, plus at Boston-area theaters including the Huntington Theatre, Actors Shakespeare Project, and Merrimack Repertory Theater, among many others. Her productions have received both Eliot Norton and IRNE awards. Megan is co-founder of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.  Her book, There Must be Happy Endings: On a Theater of Optimism and Honesty, is available from The 3rd Thing Press. 

Megan is a graduate of Brown University and holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College.  She has previously served as the Associate Artistic Director of Underground Railway Theater, the Providence Black Repertory Company, and The 52nd Street Project in NYC, and as Director-in-Residence at Merrimack Repertory Theatre.  She is a recipient of the Princess Grace Theater Award and the TCG Future Leaders fellowship. 

Megan’s complete bio can be found  HERE.

Levi Philip Marsman
Choreographer/Movement Coach
Levi Philip Marsman
Choreographer/Movement Coach

Levi Philip Marsman was born and raised in Boston, MA and he began his training at the Boston Arts Academy, OrigiNation Cultural Arts Center, and Jeanette Neill Dance Studio as a scholarship recipient in their Boston Youth Moves Program.  After graduating from the from the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Levi was awarded a place in the Scholarship Program at The Ailey School.  He later enrolled in the Ailey/Fordham BFA Program, which lead to an invitation to join Ailey II by former director, Sylvia Waters before graduation.  Levi’s performance credits include the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (New York), Movements Dance Company (Jamaica), OrigiNation (Boston), Lula Washington Dance Theatre (Los Angeles), Reed Dance (Pittsburgh) and PHILADANCO! (Philadelphia).

Levi is currently an instructor at Urbanity Dance and in the Ailey Extension program at the Ailey School and has been Artist in Residence at the Boston Arts Academy, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and Teacher In Residence for Urbanity Dance. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum commissioned him to create a new work entitled ‘Colorful’ in conjunction with the opening of their exhibit, “Boston’s Apollo” in 2020 and he was created, “some kind of peace”, to close out Richmond Ballet’s 2021 season. He was choreographer for Boston Lyric Opera’s 2021 production of “Cavalleria Rusticana,” Urbanity Dance premiered a trio of his in Boston as part of their 10th anniversary season and, most recently, Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore! commissioned a second work of his this spring. He has also created works for institutions such as Dallas Black Dance Theatre: Encore!, the Walnut Hill School for the Arts, Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, LaVilla School for the Arts, Sharron Miller Academy for the Performing Arts, Alexander W. Dreyfoos School for the Arts, Marygrove College, Renaissance High School, Boston Youth Moves, Dean College, Endicott College, Eastern Michigan University, Wheaton College, Georgetown University’s Black Movements Dance Theatre, the Joffrey School, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, The Ailey School, Reed Dance, the Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, Ballet Ecclectica at Center of Creative Arts, OrigiNation and MOVE(NYC).  

Levi’s awards include Contemporary Dance Silver Medalist of the 4th Seoul International Dance Competition, 2007 Young Professionals Awardee—Martha Hill Dance Fund, Best Performance at the 10th Annual Oakland Dance Festival in Michigan and first recipient of the 2016 Ballet Inc. Emerging Choreographer Award.  He was asked to perform an original solo in the 2018 Boston Contemporary Dance Festival and was one of two guest choreographers to create a new work for Urbanity Dance in Boston in their “Urbanity NeXt” Project in 2017. 

He returns this year to create new works for The Ailey School and the Boston Conservatory at Berklee and he has also been commissioned to create a new ballet in Ohio for Verb Ballets in the spring 2023. He is excited to be movement choreographer for his second project with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company as they present ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ for “Shakespeare in the Common” after being nominated for Outstanding Choreography by the Boston Theater Critic’s Association for his work on the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s 2021 production of “The Tempest.”

Lawrence E. Moten III
Scenic Designer
Kathleen Doyle
Costume Designer
Kathleen Doyle
Costume Designer

Kathleen Doyle (Costume Designer)  designs costumes and puppets for theater, opera, dance and stop-motion animation.  She has designed costumes across the country from Alaska to Hawai’i.  Recent projects include ‘Sunfish’ at Daegu Opera House in South Korea,  ‘Little Big Eye’ at The American Museum of Natural History, ‘Lollapalooza’ Jazz at Lincoln Center, ‘The Light Princess’ – The New Victory, ‘The Snow Queen’ at HERE, ‘Sassy Swings Tokyo’ – at La MaMa, ‘Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play’ at Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival,  ‘Fireweather’ at The Joyce Theater,  ‘Girl of The Golden West’ at New Ohio Theater.  Doyle is the recipient of many awards and grants including two Fulbrights and has been a Goodwill Ambassador to Peru.   Her work has been exhibited in solo shows in New York and Sao Paulo.     M.F.A in Theatrel Design, NYU.     M.A. in Dramaturgy, Villanova.  www.kathleendoyledesign.info

Eric Southern
Co-Lighting Designer
Eric Southern
Co-Lighting Designer
Eric Southern is a lighting designer for theater, opera, music, and dance. With CSC Richard III (set and Lighting Design, IRNE Nomination), Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, Coriolanus, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and Two Gentlemen of Verona.  Other recent projects include: Echo Mine an evening length dance by Robyn Mineko Williams with music by Caliphone (Harris Theater); Knee Plays a semi staged re-orchestration of the seminal works of David Byrne and Phillip Glass (The Crossing); Riddle of the Trilobites (Collaboration Town, New Victory Theater); The Good Swimmer, a pop requiem created by Heidi Rodewald, Donna DiNovelli, and Kevin Newbury (BAM Next Wave); After the Blast, Ghost Light, Bull in a China Shop, and The Harvest (Lincoln Center); Buyer and Cellar (Barrow Street Theater, Mark Taper Forum, London and National Tour). He is a longtime collaborator with the award-winning theater group 600 HIGHWAYMEN where he has designed Manmade Earth, The Fever, Employee of the Year, The Record, Empire City, This Great Country, and Everyone is Chanting Your Name. Internationally, his designs have been seen in London at the Mernier Chocolate Factory, in Paris at the Pompidou Center and at Park de la Villette, in Avignon at the Avignon Opera House, as well as in Seoul, Greece, Australia, Canada, Ireland, Bosnia, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Abu Dhabi, and Hungary.In the US, his work has been seen at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Manhattan Theater Club, Hubbard Street Dance Atlantic Theater Company, The Guthrie Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Playwrights Horizons, The Goodman Theater, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Westport Country Playhouse, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Asolo Rep, Virginia Opera, Portland Center Stage, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, The Arden Theater, The Magic Theater, Kansas City Repertory, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (among others).  He is an assistant professor at Northwestern University and received his B.F.A. and M.F.A from NYU Tisch School of the Arts.
Maximo Grano De Oro
Co-Lighting Designer
Maximo Grano De Oro
Co-Lighting Designer

Maximo Grano De Oro is a Lighting Designer for theater, opera, dance, and music originally from New Jersey. He is currently an MFA candidate at Northwestern University studying Lighting Design which he is expected to complete in June 2023. This is his first production with CSC and he is excited to be here. Recent design credits include: Resiliencia (Northwestern Dance), Albert Herring, Gianni Schicchi, Il Tabarro (Rutgers University Opera), and Bitter Greens (Station 26 Productions).

Elizabeth Cahill
Co-Sound Designer
Elizabeth Cahill
Co-Sound Designer
Nathan Leigh
Co-Sound Designer
Nathan Leigh
Co-Sound Designer

Nathan Leigh has designed sound and composed original music for over 300 plays at theatres including New York Theatre Workshop (Nat Turner In Jerusalem), Red Bull Theatre (The Duchess of Malfi),Huntington Theatre (Skeleton Crew), American Repertory Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, The Debate Society (Gothamist: Best Sound Design 2007 for The Eaten Heart), Stoneham Theatre (IRNE Best Sound Design 2009 for Strangers On A Train), and Central Square Theatre (IRNE Best Sound Design 2010 for The Hound of the Baskervilles). With Kyle Jarrow, Nathan co-created the musicals Big Money (WTF Boris Segall Fellowship 2008) and The Consequences (World Premiere 2012 at WHAT). With the Liars and Believers ensemble, Nathan Leigh composed scores for adaptations of Song of Songs and Icarus. With Megan Sass, he is the composer and lyricist for The Mad Scientist’s Guide (NYC Fringe 2015). Nathan’s latest solo album is “Ordinary Eternal Machinery”.

Jessica Scout Malone
Intimacy and Fight Director
Jessica Scout Malone
Intimacy and Fight Director
Colleen Lacy
Production Stage Manager
Colleen Lacy
Production Stage Manager
Ludmila De Brito
Assistant Director
Ludmila De Brito
Assistant Director
Daniel Allen
Assistant Scenic Designer
Daniel Allen
Assistant Scenic Designer
Brian McCoy
Audio Engineer
Brian McCoy
Audio Engineer

Brian McCoy Audio engineer focusing in live sound reinforcement with extensive experience mixing Front of House, as a Monitor Engineer, and System Tech. Comfortable with responsibilities of being Crew- chief and system designer. Displaying a strong sense of pride in the craft, constantly learning and keeping up with industry innovations, with the flexibility and knowledge to be able to be able to adapt to any situation.

Ashley Pitchford
Assistant Stage Manager
Ashley Pitchford
Assistant Stage Manager
Ashley Pitchford (Assistant Stage Manager) is excited to return to the common with CSC after having previously worked on Richard III. Other regional theatre credits include: We All Fall Down (Huntington Theatre Company), The Kritik (Huntington Theatre Company), Man in the Ring (Huntington Theatre Company), The Wizard of Oz (Create. Inspire Change Theatre Company), The Little Mermaid (CIC Theatre Company), Mary Poppins (CIC Theatre Company), James and the Giant Peach (CIC Theatre Company) and Variety Show (Happy Madison Productions).
Winnie Chiang
Assistant Stage Manager
Winnie Chiang
Assistant Stage Manager
Jenna Worden
Production Manager
Jenna Worden
Production Manager

Jenna Worden is a producer, director, and stage manager with a passion for storytelling, education, and access to the arts. Favorite CSC credits include Birdy, Universe Rushing Apart, and Our American Hamlet. Additional regional credits include New Rep Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, Phoenix Theatre, and Childsplay AZ. She collaborates often with Brian O’Donovan and is the director and producer of A Christmas Celtic Sojourn. She earned both her BA in Theatre Studies and BSEd in History from Northern Arizona University and is constantly looking for new ways to teach and be in conversation with the past. Proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Alexandra Smith
Assoc. Production Manager
Alexandra Smith
Assoc. Production Manager
Allison Hanna
Production Management Assistant
Allison Hanna
Production Management Assistant
Ross Gray
Covid Safety Manager
Ross Gray
Covid Safety Manager
Kelly Smith
Props Artisan
Kelly Smith
Props Artisan

CSC’s production of Free Shakespeare on the Common performs on land now known as The Boston Common which is on the traditional lands of the Pawtucket and Massachusett tribes, as well as the historic lands of the Wampanoag nation.

The Boston Common, in particular, has a bloody history towards Indigenous peoples that is seldom discussed. We wish to express our sorrow for this history and extend our deepest gratitude for the use of this space. We ask you to learn more about this, the process and importance of land acknowledgement, and ways to support Indigenous communities who are still here by exploring the materials we have gathered below.

 

 

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

For Locations of our Merch Booth, Front of House Booth, and Stage, see this Google Map.

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