July 18-August 5, 2018
Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Steven Maler
Performances are FREE and open to the public.
Tuesday–Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm (off Mondays)
Matinee performance on Saturday, August 4 at 3pm
Audio Described Performance: Saturday, August 4 at 3pm (rain date: Sunday, August 5)
Tactile tour will be between 1:30-2pm before the matinee. Patrons will meet at the Info Tent to be escorted backstage.
Open Captioned: Saturday, July 28 at 8pm (Rain Date: Wednesday, August 1)
ASL (American Sign Language) Saturday, August 4 at 3pm (rain date: Sunday, August 5)
Plan Your Trip including Parking, Accessibility and FAQ’s!
Shakespeare’s searing drama chronicles the ruthless ascension of a king and the devastation he leaves in his wake as he gains power over the realm. Featuring stage, film, and television actor, Faran Tahir as Richard III.
$60 Friend Section Chairs
Chairs are a $60 donation until July 17 and then increase to $75 during performance weeks.
Free Shakespeare on the Common is made possible each year through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and donations collected through the Friends Section program. The Friends Section consists of lawn chairs set in front of the stage for your convenience. Individuals can reserve a chair at a performance with a donation of $60 per chair, with all proceeds going directly towards the cost of the production. After July 17th, chairs increase to $75 during performance weeks. Online reservations can be made up to 5 hours prior to the performance.
Friends Section chairs are preassigned. You will be seated at the performance by a member of our team. You must select the performance date you would like to attend at time of purchase or seats will not be reserved.
All donations are NON-REFUNDABLE and NON-TRANSFERABLE. Proceeds from the Friends Section help keep Shakespeare on the Common free for all!
If you attended a performance, please take a few moments to fill out the Audience Survey which helps us to learn more about our audience and your experience at Free Shakespeare on the Common.
All participants will be entered to win one of six 4-packs of tickets to see Pentatonix at the Xfinity Center on August 28!
Visit our amazing food truck partners including Baja Taco, Ben & Jerry’s, Bon Me, Moyzilla, and Taco Party.
Check out our Food Truck Schedule below to see which trucks will be on the Common during your visit!
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 Iguana, Oliver 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.
Seamus Doyle returns to CSC after appearing in Fear and Misery in the Third Reich. Credits include the IRNE and Elliot Norton Award nominated production of Fiddler on the Roof with New Repertory Theatre. He has appeared in over ten productions with Watertown Children’s Theatre, Seussical (JoJo), The Music Man (Marcellus), Grease (Vince Fontaine), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Nick Bottom), and Les Misérables (Fauchelevent). He most recently appeared as Christopher in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at Buckingham Browne & Nichols School. Film credits: “Bed Time Story”, which premiered at Emerson College in Spring 2018.
Deb Martin returns to CSC after appearing as Goneril in King Lear. Recent credits include Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest and Lady Croom in Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia at The Gamm Theatre, Barbara in Barbecue at The Lyric Stage Co. of Boston, Sam in Mud Blue Sky at Bridge Repertory Theater (IRNE Award, Best Supporting Actress), Eleanor in Casa Valentina at SpeakEasy Stage, and Corrine in Gidion’s Knot at Bridge Rep. Other roles include Victoria Grant in the 2nd National Tour of Victor/Victoria, Holly in Next Fall at SpeakEasy Stage, Anna in Ivanov, Irma in The Balcony, Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Kristín in Miss Julie. Development workshops with Huntington Theatre Company, ArtsEmerson, New Repertory Theatre and German Stage. Film: “Spartan”with Val Kilmer and William H. Macy, written and directed by David Mamet. Training: B.F.A., Emerson College, and trained with off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company, founded by William H. Macy and David Mamet.
Richard Noble has appeared previously with CSC as Edward IV et al. in Richard III (2018), Philario et al. in Cymbeline (2019), and Alonso in the script-in-hand online performance of The Tempest (2020). In Rhode Island he has also appeared in numerous productions of the Perishable, Epic, Burbage, Gamm, and other theatres. In (much) earlier days he appeared in a couple of dozen productions at Wesleyan University, was a member of the Dartmouth Summer Rep, and frequently appeared with the Parish Players in Thetford, Vermont. Until his recent retirement he also performed daily as “Rare Materials Cataloger” in the Brown University Library.
Libby McKnight returns to Commonwealth Shakespeare Company after appearing as Cordelia in King Lear and as a member of the Apprentice Company in 2011. She just graduated from Juilliard Drama’s MFA program, and she is so thankful to be reunited with CSC in her favorite city. Most recent credits include Andromache in Trojan Women, Everybody in Everybody (Juilliard), and Judith Bliss in Hay Fever (Panther Creek Arts). For Bryan Max Bernfeld.
Brendan O’Brien is thrilled to to be making his debut with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Previous Boston credits include Merrily We Roll Along (IRNE Nomination, Huntington Theatre), appropriate (SpeakEasy Stage Company), Show Boat (Fiddlehead Theatre Company) and State of Siege (Theatre de la Ville/ArtsEmerson). Brendan has also performed in number of shows and Junior Show Choir with Boston Children’s Theatre. Brendan is 11 years old, lives in Boston and this fall will be in the sixth grade at the Condon School.
Michael Sáenz has returned to the Boston theater world after nine years in New York, where he acted, directed and produced off Broadway and worked as a teaching artist for Lincoln Center and The New Victory Theatre. His play Möbius was a part of the New York International Fringe Festival. Local credits include Sweeney Todd, The Winter’s Tale and Lady in the Dark. He teaches high school drama in Lynn and his play The Thousand Natural Shocks (based on his book) is in development with the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis.
Sarah Sinclair is a Rhode Island actress, Richard III is her first production with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Most recently, she has appeared in Romeo and Juliet, Barbecue, Blithe Spirit, A Streetcar Named Desire and Gabriel with RI theatres. She studied and performed in New York City, and toured 40 cities as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Sarah took a long hiatus from the theatre to raise her family. She has been extremely active in the Gamm Studio in recent years, working on classical roles.
Bobbie Steinbach is delighted to be back on the Common with CSC and Steve Maler, who gave her her first stab at the Bard as the Nurse in Romeo & Juliet, and where she was also seen as Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing and Maria in Twelfth Night. Bobbie is a Founding Member/Resident Actor with Actors’ Shakespeare Project with whom she has played many roles including Paulina, Duchess of York, Mistress Quickly, Volumnia, and Cassius. (Elliot Norton Nomination, Outstanding Actress). She has also worked at many other local theaters: Huntington Theatre Company, New Repertory Theatre, Lyric Stage Company, Greater Boston Stage Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and Speakeasy Stage Company. Bobbie is the recipient of The Elliot Norton Outstanding Actress award and several IRNE Best Actress awards. In 2015 The Theatre Communications Guild honored Bobbie with a two-year Resident Actor Fox Fellowship for Distinguished Achievement, for which she partnered with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, and developed a company project, I Am Lear, and a solo show, In Bed with the Bard. She is also the 2016 Huntington Theatre Company’s Lunt-Fontanne Fellow. Bobbie is an acting coach working mainly with high school students, preparing them for their college theatre auditions. www.bobbiesteinbach.com
Fred Sullivan is celebrating 16 seasons with CSC. On the Common, Fred has played Bottom, Jaques (Norton Award winner), Ageon, Brabantio, Parolles, Menenius, First Gangster (Kiss Me Kate at the Hatch Shell) Malvolio (Norton Award nominee), Gloucester, Holoferness, Capulet, Buckingham, Stephano and he directed 2019’s Cymbeline and adapted our one-man A Christmas Carol. Most recently, Fred appeared at the Lyric Stage Company as Ben Jonson in The Book of Will and as Tim in The Cake. He spent 35 seasons as a resident actor at Trinity Repertory Company in RI where he appeared in 130 plays and received Norton and IRNE awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in Blithe Spirit and His Girl Friday. His Trinity roles included Falstaff, Harold Hill, Captain Hook, Oscar Madison, James Tyrone, Jr, Daddy Warbucks, Creon, Peer Gynt, Joe Pitt, Alfie Doolittle, Scrooge, Nick Bottom and 118 others. At Trinity, Fred directed Shooting Star, A Christmas Carol and Boeing Boeing. Fred is a Resident Director for the Gamm Theatre (25 seasons) where he directed 35 productions including Much Ado About Nothing and Hamlet (each twice) The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Tempest , King Lear, 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, Potter/Clarence in It’s a Wonderful Life, Aslasken in A Lie Agreed Upon 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 is featured in the films: Vault, Saving Christmas (w/ Ed Asner), Mister Birthday, Agent Toby Barks and Almost Mercy. He teaches acting at Gamm and RISD.
Faran Tahir has appeared in over 50 theater productions, 20 films and countless
television roles. He has a long history with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. He
appeared in the very first production of CSC in 1996 as Oberon/Theseus in A Midsummer
Tahir was most recently seen as Baba in the Broadway production of The Kite Runner. He has also worked off-Broadway at Lincoln Center and Manhattan Theatre Club and in major theaters across United States such as American Repertory Theatre and Goodman Theatre. Tahir’s work ranges from classical to contemporary. In 2012, Tahir performed
the title role of Othello at Shakespeare Theatre Company to rave reviews. In summer of 2018, Tahir took on the title role of Richard III at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company for which he earned a nomination for Elliot Norton Awards for best actor, as well as the best actor nomination from IRNE awards. He received the 2010 Male Actor of the Year award and the 2010 Elite Asian Award in Canada. Tahir was also nominated for the Robert Prosky Award for Best Theatre Actor in 2000.
Tahir’s film credits include the President in Elysium (2013), with Matt Damon and Jodi Foster; Escape Plan (2013), starring alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone; Star Trek (2009); and as the unforgettably vicious nemesis in Iron Man (2008), opposite Robert Downey Jr. and Gwyneth Paltrow. He can be seen in three upcoming
movies, The Martial Artist, The Window, and Coup!
Tahir’s work on television spans across all genres, with recurring roles on Scandal, Prison Break, Once Upon a Time, 12 Monkeys, American Crime, Satisfaction, Dallas and Warehouse 13, and over a100 guest lead appearances on shows like Supergirl, Blacklist, Criminal Minds, Elementary, Supernatural, Lost, NYPD Blue, Grey’s Anatomy amongst many others. He was awarded a “Voices of Courage and Conscience Award” from the Muslim Public Affairs Council and submitted by ABC network for a 2010 Emmy Award for his performance in Grey’s Anatomy.
Tahir was born in Los Angeles. He holds a B.A. in Development Studies from University of California, Berkeley, and an MFA in Theatre from Harvard University.
Mark Torres appeared in the CSC productions of Death and the Maiden and in Richard III. He has worked on Broadway, and at such regional theatres as Trinity Repertory Company, Dallas Theater Center, Dallas Shakespeare Festival, Arkansas Repertory Theater, Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Plaza Theatre in Dallas, Center Stage in Baltimore, Melody Top Theatre in Milwaukee, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Music Theatre of Connecticut, Ocean State Theatre, The Theatre at Monmouth and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. He has also appeared on television and in several films, most recently the thriller Shorecliff.
Brandon Whitehead CSC credits include Fear and Misery in the Third Reich, Boyet in Love’s Labour’s Lost, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the Hatch Shell, and Fool in King Lear. Other recent credits include Amiens in As You Like It and Oscar Wilde et al in The Importance of Being Earnest at the GAMM Theater. Also Matthew Harrison Brady in Inherit the Wind and Mike Francisco in Breaking Legs at Ocean State Theater Company as well as Mr. Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors with Tantrum Theatre (Ohio). Before moving to Massachusetts, Whitehead spent nearly twenty years working professionally in Seattle performing with ACT (A Christmas Carol, Joe Egg, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Seattle Repertory Theater (Twelfth Night, The Imaginary Invalid), Intiman (Paradise Lost), Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theater, Village Theater, and many others. Some of his film and television credits include “Castle Rock” (Hulu), “A Bit of Bad Luck”, “21 and Over”, and “Leverage”.
Claire Alexander is absolutely thrilled to be making her debut with CSC2. NYC credits include Duke of Exeter (Hamlet Isn’t Dead), Mark Antony (Genesius Theatre Company), Elmire (Onwheels Theatre), Adriana (Bergen Shakespeare), Saturnine (Hudson Shakespeare). Claire is a graduate of the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute in Method Acting, and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Vocal Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. www.claire-alexander.org
Ross Barron is proud to be on the Boston Common! On the way here, he studied a little at the Lucid Body House, Stella Adler Studios, and the Guildhall School in London, and studied a lot at Princeton University ‘17. An actor who enjoys performing in preexisting stories as much he does making his own, he most recently appeared in Antigone at Primary Stages. His favorite credits include: Disco Pigs, The Seagull (Lewis Center for the Arts), and Metamorphoses (Princeton Summer Theater). Playwright: Revision (Theater Intime). Film: Author/Lead of “Sticks and Stones” (Neymarc Visuals, *upcoming). www.rossbarron.com
Tyshon Boone is excited to be joining CSC2. Past credits include Two Noble Kinsmen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Golden Boy at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. All’s Well That Ends Well and Antony & Cleopatra at Virginia Shakespeare Festival. BFA from University of the Arts.
Marge Buckley is a recent graduate of Emerson College, where they performed in the The Caucasian Chalk Circle (The Singer/Shauva), We Are Pussy Riot (Vladimir Putin), and O Beautiful (Brian Ryan). They recently appeared in the Underlings Theatre Company’s Romeo and Juliet as Mercutio. Their plays, such as God is a Woman, A Fable Regarding the Octopus, Anchortown, and The Earth Room have been performed in Boston and New York.
Bailie de Lacy is a New York based actor who was born in Peachtree City, Georgia, but grew up in Hollis, New Hampshire. Bailie was recently seen in New York playing Rosannah in Brilliant Traces at the Playroom Theater and Sonya in a new adaptation of Uncle Vanya. Boston credits include Lucille in Parade, Lydia in Big Love, Sinadab in the U.S. premiere of Zobeide, Francis/Bardolph/John of Lancaster in Henry IV Part I, Eve in The Serpent and Philomele in The Love of the Nightingale. Bailie earned her BFA in Acting from Boston University and studied physical comedy and Commedia dell’arte at the Academia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. Bailie is beyond excited to be reunited with the beautiful city of Boston and is thrilled to be making her debut with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company this summer. www.bailiedelacy.com
Kody Grassett recently returned to New England after receiving his MFA at the University of Central Florida in partnership with the Orlando Shakespeare Theater. Recent credits include the Underlings Theatre Co’s Romeo and Juliet (Nurse/Prince), Orlando Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (Agrippa), Blackberry Winter (Grey Mole), and West Side Story (Glad Hand), TheatreUCF’s Reeling (Big Man) and The Divine Sister (Mother Superior), and Guerrilla Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius/Cobweb/Starveling/Puck). He recently directed an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth as part of his graduate thesis and has studied with Routalibero Teatro in Rome and the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Stefanie Resnick is thrilled to be a member of CSC2. She is originally from New York and received her MFA in Performance from UNLV. She has most recently been on tour with the Utah Shakespeare Festival’s productions of The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Stefanie has worked with Great River Shakespeare Festival, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Nevada Conservatory Theatre, and TITAN Theatre Company in NYC. stefanieresnick.com
Billy Saunders Jr. is thrilled to be making his debut with Commonwealth Shakespeare! He has worked recently with Hartford Stage (A Christmas Carol), Capital Classics (Love’s Labour’s Lost), Monomoy Theatre (Of Mice and Men, The Tempest), Chesapeake Shakespeare (As You Like It, Comedy of Errors), and 4615 Theatre Co. (The Pillowman). New York credits include The Evoke Festival (A Lottery) and Village Playwrights. Billy has studied in the UK at Drama Studio London and is a proud graduate of The Hartt School. www.billysaundersjr.com @bsaundsjr
Felix Teich is thrilled to working with CSC again after his time as an Apprentice in 2013. Locally he’s worked with Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Greater Boston Stage Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Fort Point Theatre Channel, Brown Box Theatre Project, Sleeping Weazel, and Apollinaire Theatre Company, and he appears regularly in Shi*%!t-faced Shakespeare. He graduated from Emerson College with a BFA in Acting and trained with Shakespeare and Company in the Berkshires in 2017
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
Susannah Wilson is excited to make her debut with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Recent credits include: Nurse Play (Exiled Theatre); Julius Caesar (Praxis Stage); Both/And: A Quantum Physics Play (Catalyst Collaborative project with MIT); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet (Boston Theatre Co.); Once a Blue Moon, Shahrazad (Double Edge Theatre); and the title role in Richard III (Emerson Stage). She is a graduate of Emerson College where she received a BA in Acting.
Jaine Ye grew up in a small town outside of Seattle, WA. Now based in NYC, she was last seen in the The Public Theater’s Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar. Other credits: Don John in Much Ado About Nothing, Octavia in Antony & Cleopatra, and Comfort Women: A New Musical (off-broadway). TV/Film: “Yuna’s Lunch” (short film), “Experience Curve” (web series).
Steven Maler is the Founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC). At CSC he has been directing Free Shakespeare on the Boston Common productions since 1996, including Richard III, Love’s Labour’s Lost, King Lear, Twelfth Night, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, All’s Well That Ends Well, Othello, The Comedy Of Errors, As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, Macbeth, Henry V, The Tempest, Julius Caesar, and Romeo & Juliet. Other CSC works include his critically acclaimed production of Naomi Wallace’s adaptation of William Wharton’s novel Birdy, Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, the world premiere of Jake Broder’s Our American Hamlet, and the world premiere of Robert Brustein’s The Last Will. In collaboration with Boston Landmarks Orchestra, he directed A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring the Overture and Incidental Music of Felix Mendelssohn, as well as concert stagings of The Boys from Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate at Boston’s iconic Hatch Shell. For CSC he has also directed one-night-only readings of iconic plays featuring Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Paul Rudd, Anthony Mackie, Blair Brown, Tony Shalhoub, Brooke Adams, Leslie Uggams, David Morse, and Jeffrey Donovan among others. He conceived and directed Shakespeare at Fenway, an evening of Shakespeare scenes performed at Boston’s iconic Fenway Park, featuring Mike O’Malley, Neal McDonough, Maryann Plunkett, Jay O. Sanders, Kerry O’Malley, Seth Gilliam, Zuzanna Szadkowski, Max Von Essen, Christian Coulson, Jason Butler Harner, and many others.
In collaboration with Google, he adapted and directed a first of its kind sixty minute virtual reality film of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, entitled Hamlet 360: Thy Father’s Spirit, starring Jack Cutmore-Scott, Jay O. Sanders, Brooke Adams, and Faran Tahir. It is currently available for viewing on Boston public media producer GBH’s YouTube channel; for more information, visit www.wgbh.org/hamlet360.
Outside of CSC, he directed Maria, Regina D’Inghilterra for Odyssey Opera, Péter Eötvös’ operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America (U.S. Premiere) and Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face for Opera Boston, The Turn of the Screw at New Repertory Theatre, Santaland Diaries and Chay Yew’s Porcelain at SpeakEasy Stage Company, Top Girls and Weldon Rising at Coyote Theatre, and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong at A.R.T. His New York City credits include the New York Musical Theatre Festival production of Without You, written by and starring Anthony Rapp. The production has been seen in Boston, Edinburgh, Toronto, London, and Seoul.
He received the prestigious Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, as well as for Best Production for Twelfth Night and All’s Well That Ends Well; Outstanding Director, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Best Production, SubUrbia; Best Solo Performance, John Kuntz’s Starf***ers (which also won Best Solo Performance Award at New York International Fringe Festival). His feature film “The Autumn Heart,” starring Tyne Daly and Ally Sheedy was in the Dramatic Competition at the Sundance Film Festival.
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.
Jessica Pabst: Broadway: Marvin’s Room, The Heidi Chronicles. Recent Off Broadway; The Amateurs (The Vineyard Theatre) Marjorie Prime, The Whale (Lucille Lortel Award; Playwrights Horizons). The Ruins of Civilization, Taking Care of Baby, Murder Ballad( Manhattan Theatre Club) . Fortress of Solitude (The Public Theatre ) as well as Lincoln Center, Second Stage, Primary Stages, Atlantic Theatre Company, The New Group and The Juilliard School. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Long Wharf, Two River, Dallas Theatre Center, Children’s Theatre Company, and Center Theatre Group.
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”.
Angie Jepson is a fight choreographer, actress, and professor in the Boston area. She is thrilled to return to CSC after having worked as the Fight Director of Romeo & Juliet. Fight choreography credits include: Villians’ Supper Club with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Tiger Style!, Becoming Cuba and M with the Huntington Theatre Company, Fences with Gloucester Stage Company, The Scottsboro Boys, Appropriate, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, and Bad Jews with SpeakEasy Stage Company, Camelot with New Repertory Theatre, and Guards at the Taj with Central Square Theatre among many others. Angie received her MFA in Acting from Brandeis University, is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, and teaches at the New England Conservatory, the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and UMass Boston.
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.
Alex Schneps is an actor, director, teacher and production manager. For CSC: Associate Production Manager for the 2017 Shakespeare on the Common production of Romeo & Juliet.His acting credits include Romeo & Juliet (dir. Darko Tresjnak, Hartford Stage), Good (dir. Jim Petosa, New Repertory Theatre), The Hen Night (world premiere by David Ireland, Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare’s Globe Education, London) Prelude to a Kiss (dir. Peter DuBois, Huntington Theatre Company). He directed Tragedy: a tragedy by Will Eno for Boston University; Said the Wind and The Welcome (writer & director) for CrisisArt Festival in Arezzo, Italy. Alex has created curriculums for and taught both Acting & Performance 1, and Speech Communications, introductory courses for non-major students at Boston University. He was Associate Production Manager for CSC’s Romeo & Juliet and Richard III. He was also the Project Manager for Hamlet VR 360: Thy Father’s Spirit. He holds an MA in Classical & Contemporary Text in Theatre Arts from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and a BS in Film & Television from Boston University
Hannah Pryfogle is a Boston transplant from the beautiful Bay Area of California. She is a proud alum of Emerson College, where she studied musical theatre and arts management. She is the Patron Relations Coordinator for Fresh Ink Theatre Company and directs throughout the city. Hannah has previously been on staff with such companies as Lyric Stage, SpeakEasy Stage, and the American Repertory Theater. She is an avid solo traveler and mental health advocate.
Performances take place at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, across from the AMC Loews Boston Common movie theater on Tremont Street.
Download a map of the Free Shakespeare on the Common site
William Shakespeare’s “Richard III” unfolds nightly on the Boston Common — weather permitting — in an impressive production, under the carefully calibrated direction of Steven Maler.
How does a once-great nation survive when its leader is unhinged? That question is, um, perhaps less academic than it once was. So you might feel a few uneasy twinges of recognition as you sit on Boston Common… Read More
Posted: July 23, 2018
Updated: July 12, 2018
The summer 2018 production of Richard III will run from July 18-August 5. Performances on Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm. Sunday performances begin at 7pm. There is a 3pm matinee on Saturday, August 4. There are no performances on Mondays.
What is the running time of the Richard III?
2 hours and 45 minutes including a 15 minute intermission
What ages are appropriate for Richard III?
Richard III includes staged violence, blood, and depictions of murder. Parents know their child’s sensibilities and maturity best. If you have specific concerns about content, please contact 617-426-0863.
Are there matinee performances?
There will be one matinee performance of Richard III on Saturday, August 4 at 3pm.
Are there special performances or considerations for patrons with disabilities?
Open Captioned: Saturday, July 28 at 8pm (Rain Date: Wednesday, August 1)
Captioning by David Chu of c2
Audio Described: Saturday, August 4 at 3pm (Rain Date: Sunday, August 5)
Tactile tour will be between 1:30-2pm before the matinee. Patrons will meet at the Info Tent to be escorted backstage.
ASL (American Sign Language):Saturday, August 4 at 3pm (rain date: Sunday, August 5)
Laurie Achin, ASL Interpreter
Laurie graduated from Gallaudet University majoring in educational drama 2003, then earned her master’s in Deaf education at Gallaudet in 2008. Laurie as been involved with theatre since age 7 years old in Chicago, starting with CenterLight Theatre and been performing through the years. Once she arrived to Gallaudet, she was member of Gallaudet Theatre Department, Rathskellar Group, Quest for the Arts Group, also was one of the host anchor for “What’s Up Gally”- TV show. She has been teaching since 2001, started as fellowship at Model Secondary School for the Deaf in Washington, D.C. on Gallaudet Campus. Then she moved to MA and started working as Deaf educator for R.E.A.D.S Collaborative Deaf and Hard of Hearing program (pre-K to H.S.) 2008- 2016. She also taught ASL at Suffolk University, Boston Children’s Hospital and Bristol Community College. She also worked as an ASL specialist for R.E.A.D.S. Collaborative DHH program in Norton and Taunton 2015-2016. She comes from a hearing family and enjoys spending time with her husband, two daughters, and two dogs. She loves theatre, to play sports, dance, and travel!
Christopher Robinson, ASL Interpreter
Christopher is the Coordinator of Outreach and Training at Boston University Disability Access Services. He has worked as an ASL Interpreter for The Huntington Theatre; American Repertory Theatre; BCAP at Boston University. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Speakeasy Stage, Wheelock Family Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Rep and most recently, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts touring production of Hamilton the Musical. The late August Wilson inspired him. He is a Certified Facilitator in LEGO Serious Play Methodology.
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.
Parking is available in the Boston Common Garage. (Zero Charles Street, Boston, MA) Be sure to pick up a discount parking coupon from the Info tent or from an usher to receive $1 off your parking. These coupons are provided by the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority (MCCA). CSC receives a $2 donation from the MCCA each time a coupon is used.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
Yes, portable toilets are located near the tennis courts.
Is there merchandise available for purchase?
Yes, T-shirts, sweatshirts, blankets, baseball hats, 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.
No, there is now a smoking ban in all Boston Parks. A $250 fine will be enforced by the Park Rangers onsite.
Think you don’t know enough about the actual Richard III, the British monarchy, or the historical background of the characters? Discover fun facts, helpful information, and insight into the events and players of this remarkable story that will help enhance your experience on the Common.
RICHARD III (Richard, Duke of Gloucester)
Often depicted in Shakespeare’s work as hunchbacked but in fact suffered from scoliosis.
Historians debate whether Richard wanted the crown or if he became King by chance.
His body was later discovered in 2012 under a parking lot in Leicester, England.
KING EDWARD IV
Known for having many affairs and mistresses.
King Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth was controversial and almost divided the York family.
Edward’s journey to power is featured in Shakespeare’s play Henry VI Pt. iii.
CLARENCE (George, Duke of Clarence)
Did not support the marriage between Edward IV and Queen Elizabeth and fought for the Lancasters as a result.
Accused Queen Elizabeth of witchcraft when his wife Isabel died during childbirth.
It was rumored the Duke of Clarence was murdered by being drowned in a cask of wine.
QUEEN MARGARET (Margaret of Anjou)
She was 15 years old when crowned Queen.
Due to Henry VI instability, Margaret would rule in his place and created tensions between the Lancasters and the House of York.
Founded Queens College in Cambridge, UK which focuses on theater and drama.
QUEEN ELIZABETH (Elizabeth Woodville)
Upon King Edward IV death he left his wife nothing in his will other than personal property that he had no claim to. At the time of her death she was destitute.
While queen, she became patroness of Queen’s College which is still in use today.
Her eldest daughter would go on to become queen by marriage through Henry Tudor.
LADY ANNE (Anne Neville)
Previously married to Edward, Prince of Wales but was widowed by age 15.
Her sister married Richard III brother George, Duke of Clarence.
For the first time in England, Richard and Lady Anne were crowned King and Queen together.
RICHARD, DUKE OF YORK
Richard and Prince Edward were declared illegitimate due to a previous contract his father Edward IV had to another woman.
The death of Richard and his brother Prince Edward is still an unsolved murder/disappearance.
PRINCE EDWARD (Edward V)
Was King from April to June 1483 but was never crowned.
Was attempted to be rescued from the Tower of London only to discover he had died.
Philippa Langley who discovered the remains of Richard III is hoping to uncover the truth behind the death of Prince Edward and young Richard, Duke of York.
DUCHESS OF YORK (Cecily Neville)
Became the Duchess of York before the age of 10.
Would go on to outlive her children.
DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM
Married Queen Elizabeth’s sister Catherine Woodville.
Aided Richard III in displacing Prince Edward to the Tower of London.
Philippa Langley; who discovered Richard III, believes Duke of Buckingham could be responsible for the death of Prince Edward and young Richard, Duke of York.
Worked closely with Edward IV and was instrumental force during his reign.
Hasting’s downfall was essentially his allegiance to Queen Elizabeth.
Sir William Stanley warned him to not attend the meeting that would lead to his death.
SIR WILLIAM STANLEY
Retained Buckingham’s lordship upon his death.
Following the Battle of Bosworth he became Lord Chamberlain to Henry VII (Richmond).
Was executed for treason ten years after the War of the Roses.
RICHMOND (Henry Tudor/Henry VII)
Started the Tudor dynasty.
King Henry VII is the father of the infamous King Henry VIII.
Some believe he could be responsible for the death of Prince Edward and young Richard, Duke of York because he had motive to remove them from the line of succession.
Billy Saunders, Jr. (Sir William Catesby) takes you on a 4 episode behind-the-scenes Vlog as the cast and crew make their way to Boston Common.
Tech rehearsals begin on the Boston Common as the cast prepares for the first performance and the audience.
Watch the cast as they prepare for the Opening Night performance and festivities at Back Deck.
The cast closes Richard III and Billy takes you backstage to see what it looks like behind the stage at Free Shakespeare on the Common. See you next year!
Apprentice Company members, Mariel Stein and Clara Hevia serenade you with a snappy little tune to help you with the plot points of Richard III.