July 21-August 8, 2021
Parkman Bandstand, Boston Common
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Steven Maler
We are thrilled to announce the Company’s plans to return to live performance this summer with our 25th anniversary production of Free Shakespeare on the Common. If you have any questions or concerns please contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our Box Office at 617-362-7485.
With the safety of our artists, staff, and audiences at the forefront of decision-making, there will be a number or adjustments to this year’s offering. The production will be streamlined to allow for an intermission-less performance. In addition, audience size will be limited according to the most updated state and city guidelines on capacity and social distancing. In accordance with union guidelines, CSC invites and encourages patrons over the age of 2 to wear a mask until seated, while attending The Tempest. The production will remain free, but due to expected capacity constraints, advance registration is recommended for ease of arrival and priority access to seating. Walk ups will be welcome the night of!
Suffolk University has partnered with CSC on ticketing software. When you begin registration you will see Suffolk University at the top of the page. You are registering for FREE Shakespeare on the Common NOT a Suffolk University event.
Because we want everyone to be able to enjoy the show as safely as possible, please stay at home if:
We ask and encourage everyone to wear a mask when up and moving around. Individuals who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask when seated, however unvaccinated individuals should follow the latest CDC guidance and wear a mask at all times.
We have marked out spacious rows throughout the Common to provide visual guidelines for seating. Front of House staff will also be available to orient anyone to the space. Please be considerate of others and leave three feet between parties. We have limited our capacity to 50% of previous years to accommodate this. To allow as many people as possible to enjoy The Tempest every night, please follow the directions of our staff at all times.
Free Shakespeare on the Common is made possible through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and donations collected through the Friends Section program. Our Friends Section consists of low beach chairs pre-set in front of the stage. We have a limited number of tall chairs (the height of a typical camping chair) for patrons who may not be comfortable in our low beach chairs. To request tall chairs, please make a note under “special accommodations.”
There are a few changes to the Friends Section this year we want you to know prior. You will be able to reserve pods of 2 for $150. This seating is to help with safety measures and ensure as many households can attend as possible. For this reason, single seats will be unavailable. For those planning to attend with friends, and have selected single seats in years past, we encourage you to reserve your seats as a pod. Odd-numbered parties will be seated in a pod of the next largest size, so make sure to bring a friend for the extra seat!
Wednesday, July 21 at 8PM
Thursday, July 22 at 8PM
Friday, July 23 at 8PM
Saturday, July 24 at 8PM
Sunday, July 25 at 8PM
Tuesday, July 27 at 8PM
Wednesday, July 28 at 8PM
Thursday, July 29 at 8PM
Friday, July 30 at 8PM
Saturday, July 31 at 8PM
Sunday, August 1 at 6PM
Tuesday, August 3 at 8PM
Wednesday, August 4 at 8PM
Thursday, August 5 at 8PM
Friday, August 6 at 8PM
Saturday, August 7 at 8PM
Sunday, August 8 at 8PM
Open Captioning: July 31
Register HERE: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10776869
Audio description and ASL interpreted performance #1: August 1
Register HERE: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10776954
ASL interpreted performance #2: August 6
Register HERE: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe/10776873
Audio description performance #2: August 8
Register HERE: https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10776875
Rain Date for all Access services: August 8
Prospero, the former and rightful Duke of Milan, washed up on the shores of this island with his baby daughter, Miranda, many years ago.
On this day, Prospero uses his magic and the powers of his spirit-servant, Ariel, to conjure a storm–the tempest of the title–to shipwreck a passing vessel. Aboard this wrecked ship is a group of royals: Alonso, the King of Naples; his son Ferdinand, the prince; his treacherous brother, Sebastian; and Prospero’s treacherous brother, Antonio, among other nobles and mariners.
In this tale of magic, betrayal, revenge, and family, Prospero uses his learned sorcery to trick and trial the stranded sea voyagers, in the hopes that he will be avenged for these years of forced exile. Meanwhile, Prospero’s slave, Caliban, forms alliances with Stephano and Trinculo, a drunken clown and a fool, respectively, to try to rid himself of his master. On another part of the island, Ferdinand and Miranda meet and begin to fall in love. All must come to terms with the past if peace and love are to reign in this brave new world.
Now entering its 25th 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.
This program is supported in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council and administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.
John Douglas Thompson has been hailed by the New York Times “as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation” and in The New Yorker, Thompson [is] “regarded by some people as the best classical actor in America.”
John most recently appeared on Broadway in King Lear and the revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Carousel. He also starred in the Huntington Theatre Company’s Man in the Ring (Elliot Norton Award) and in the titular role of the American Conservatory Theater’s production of Hamlet. He also co-starred in The Public Theater’s Shakespeare In The Park production of Julius Caesar.
He received rave reviews for his performance in August Wilson’s Jitney, for which he received a Tony Award nomination. Thompson’s other credits include The Father and A Doll’s House at Theater For A New Audience and Troilus & Cressida at The Public. Other Broadway credits include A Time To Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac, and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington.
John’s Off-Broadway credits include: The Iceman Cometh (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Tamburlaine (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Satchmo At The Waldorf (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the NAACP Theatre Awards) at Westside Theater, ACT, Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts, Long Wharf Theater; King Lear at The Public Theater; Macbeth (title role); Othello (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award) at Theatre for a New Audience; The Forest; The Emperor Jones at Irish Repertory Theatre (Lucille Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations); and Hedda Gabler at New York Theatre Workshop. Regional credits include: Joe Turner’s Come And Gone at Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Award); Antony And Cleopatra; Red Velvet, Othello, Richard III, and Mother Courage at Shakespeare & Co.; Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Barrymore Award); and productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre among others. Television credits include: For Life, Mare Of Easttown, The Gilded Age, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Film credits include: 21 Bridges, 355, Let Them All Talk, Wolves, The Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin, Midway, and Malcolm X.
John Lam has been a dancer since the age of four. A native of California, he began his professional career with the National Ballet of Canada at age 15 and was invited to join Boston Ballet in 2003. He became a soloist n 2008 and a Principal Dancer in 2014, performing in leading roles in BB’s productions, including multiple premieres. He was a finalist at the Seoul International Ballet Competition and a semi-finalist in the Helsinki International Ballet Competition; he is a recipient of a Princess Grace Fellowship. In addition to his stage work he has produced several independent dance films, including Dance Is, Movement in Structure, She/I, The Air Before Me, and Moving Parts; receiving critical acclaim at international dance festivals including the San Francisco and the Portland Dance Film Festivals. He also is active as a creative director, choreographer, actor, arts advocate, and model.
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.
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.
Nora Eschenheimer is delighted to return to CSC after last appearing as Miranda in The Tempest, and Imogen in Cymbeline (Elliot Norton Award nomination). Her other recent credits include Rosalind in As You Like it, Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, and Gwendolen Fairfax in The Importance of Being Earnest at the Gamm Theatre, as well as Rachel Brown in Inherit the Wind at the Ocean State Theatre Company, and the Princess of France in Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles. She would like to thank all the scientists and healthcare workers who made a return to the live performing arts possible. www.noraeschenheimer.com | @noraeschenheimer
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.
Nael Nacer was seen recently in The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Equivocation (Actors’ Shakespeare Project), Romeo and Juliet, A Doll’s House, Bedroom Farce, Awake and Sing!, Our Town (Huntington Theatre), Tiny Beautiful Things (Merrimack Repertory Theatre), Small Mouth Sounds, Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage),The Return (Israeli Stage),The Seagull and ChekovOS (Arlekin Players Theatre), True West, The Flick (Gloucester Stage), Constellations (Central Square Theatre), Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play, Intimate Apparel (Lyric Stage), A Number, Lungs (New Repertory Theatre), Rhinoceros, Windowmen (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre), and Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse). Nael is the recipient of Elliot Norton and IRNE awards, and is a resident acting company member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project.
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.
Maurice Emmanuel Parent is an award-winning actor, director, educator and mentor with 20 years of professional experience. He has over 40 credits at theatres across the nation and abroad, having performed and directed for some of Boston’s oldest and most respected companies such as the Huntington Theatre Company, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage Company, New Repertory Theatre, and Central Square Theater among others. His work as an actor has earned him two Elliot Norton Awards from The Boston Theater Critics Association, three Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) awards, and an ArtsImpulse Award. Parent’s history as an educator extends back nearly a decade. He’s taught for Northeastern University, MIT, The Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston University and spent nearly 6 years as a Performing Arts Specialist in the Boston Public School System. Currently Parent is a full time Professor of the Practice in the Tufts Department of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies. Parent is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Front Porch Arts Collective, “a black theatre company committed to advancing racial equity in Boston through theater.” In its fifth season, “The Porch” has quickly become a well respected voice in the Boston theatrical landscape. www.MauriceParent.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.
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
Marta Rymer (she/her) is grateful to be a part of The Tempest! National Tour: Once (Apex Touring). Regionally: Once (Speakeasy Stage), The Spitfire Grill (Oregon Cabaret Theatre), West Side Story (Fiddlehead Theatre), A Tale of Two Cities (York Theatre). Upcoming: Nature! (TigerLion Arts). Marta is a graduate of AMDA. She sends love to her family for their endless love and support. www.martarymer.com
Ekemini Ekpo (she/her) is happy to be back with CommShakes! Around town, she has performed with the Artists’ Theater of Boston, Apollinaire Theatre Company, and Praxis Stage. She is also a member of the 24 Hour Plays: Nationals 2020 Company and the inaugural IGNITE Mentorship cohort for emerging women and non-binary artists of color, through which she is mentored by Jocelyn Bioh. Education: Harvard College, Atlantic Acting School IG: @e.u.ekpo, ekeminiekpo.com
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
Jeffrey Petersen returns to CSC after designing last season’s Stage2 production of Romeo and Juliet and after assisting Clint Ramos on the recent productions of Birdy and Death and the Maiden. Recent New England design credits include: Maria Regina d’Inghlterra (Odyssey Opera) Mary Stuart, Everyman (NEU) Barefoo
Nancy Leary is a Costume Designer who’s visionary work for Opera and Theater has graced stages across the United States. Experienced in producing both highly conceptual and more traditional models of Opera and Theater costuming, Nancy has successfully applied her expertise to a wide array of theatrical styles and artistic endeavors. From 2000 to the present Nancy has worked on well-established productions, recently developed pieces, and the premier of new works for such places as; Opéra Royal Château de Versailles, Glimmerglass Festival, The Pittsburg Symphony, Virginia Opera, Utah Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Saratoga, Mannes Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Mobile Opera, Juilliard Opera, Opera Boston, as well as Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.mpany, Westin Playhouse, The Julie Harris Theatre, The Barrow Group Theatre, and New York Live Arts to name a few.
Kat Ibasco is a proud Chinese-Filipino costumer and storyteller, currently based in New York. She is thrilled to be on the common this year for her first production with CSC. Having recently obtained her double BFA from Boston University in Costume Design and Costume Production, Kat is an incoming MFA Costume Design candidate at NYU Tisch.
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).
David Reiffel (Sound Designer) is a Boston-based composer, songwriter, playwright and sound designer. Recent national credits include Shakespeare in Love (U.S. national premiere), Twelfth Night and Romeo and Juliet (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Cymbeline (
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.
MARSHA SMITH* (Stage Manager) is very excited for her first production with CSC and to be here on the Common. She has been privileged to work with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre on shows like Laughs in Spanish, Franklin, Burning, and Little Black Dress. She has worked a great deal here over the years with Gloucester Stage Company on shows like 39 Steps, Lifespan of a Fact, Cyrano, Doubt, The Flick, Spring Awakening, and Fences. And had the opportunity to work, in rep, on Actors’ Shakespeare Project productions of Macbeth and Equivocation. Marsha is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Stage Management and lives on her family’s farm in southern New Hampshire.
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.
Performances take place at the Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common, across from the AMC Loews Boston Common movie theater on Tremont Street.
“What could be more fitting for this summer’s FREE annual Commonwealth Shakespeare production on the common, than THE TEMPEST? In a season of storms: climatic, pandemic, and politic, and their cross currents: moral ambiguity, and familial strife, the… Read More
“The tempest itself is a thing of terrifying beauty, causing sails and passengers to flail and fall. There’s nothing like the wonder of watching a play where you know what’s going to happen but, in the moment of… Read More
“Although Maler has been meticulous in assembling a top-notch cast for his return to the Boston Common and has mounted a spectacle complete with music and dancing, it is the two-person scenes and the moving monologues delivered by… Read More
“In its economy, pace, and its lucid presentation of an emotionally rich journey, this is the best production of The Tempest that I have ever seen, one of those where you go, “Well, I never have to see [insert… Read More
“Boasting an excellent, pitch-perfect cast, featuring the increasingly renowned John Douglas Thompson as Prospero, Boston Ballet principal John Lam as Ariel, and local favorite Nael Nacer as Caliban, this Shakespearean offering of betrayal is outlined with forgiveness and hope. Part of… Read More
“Whether you’re a newcomer to “The Tempest” or a veteran, this might possibly be the Prospero against which you measure all others you see in the future.”
The summer 2021 production of The Tempest will run from July 21-August 8. Performances on Tuesday through Saturday evenings and most Sunday evenings begin at 8pm. On Sunday, August 1 the performance begins at 6pm. There are no performances on Mondays.
100 minutes with no intermission.
We often welcome children and families to our show but we recommend each family familiarize themselves with the story of The Tempest which incorporates some themes in the script that may be violent, scary or inappropriate depending on the child/age.
There will be no matinee performances of The Tempest.
The Tempest will feature on-site accessible services to patrons with mobility challenges, those who are deaf, hard of hearing, and blind.
Accessible Seating for wheelchairs or for those with mobility impairments and their companions are reserved in several free seating locations around the Common.
Accessible seating is also available in CSC’s Friend Section for a minimum donation of $150.
Open Captioning: July 31
Audio description and ASL interpreted performance #1: August 1
ASL interpreted performance #2: August 6
Rain Date for all Access services: August 8
(Audio Describer) Cori Couture (she/her/hers) has provided description for TV programs, films, and upwards of 75 Boston-area live shows – including Cymbeline for CSC. During the pandemic, she worked with several theatres to integrate audio description into their innovative online productions, beginning with CSC’s online reading of The Tempest last summer. In the early days of WGBH’s Descriptive Video Service (DVS), she wrote description for PBS programs and for movies on home video. More recently, she has worked with DVS to narrate description for a slate of Paramount films, as well as for NASA, the 9/11 Museum, and Disney Parks. Cori, who has spina bifida, proudly identifies as a person with a disability. For her master’s degree, she created a one-woman show about how the arts shaped and buoyed her through life’s challenges. She wants everyone to know that people with disabilities lead all kinds of lives and can have any job!
c2 (Captioning) pioneered and specializes in live theatrical captioning for patrons with all degrees of hearing loss; theatre partners include Broadway, off-Broadway, the Kennedy Center, national performing arts venues, and top-shelf regional Tony theatres, large and small, coast to coast. We provide both live performance captioning for the stage and digital captioning for the virtual world.
Information about pre-show description:
Please arrive at the theater half an hour before the official curtain time to hear the pre-show audio description. Pre-show descriptions are packed with details which describers don’t have time to explain once the curtain goes up. These details include descriptions of sets, props, characters, the actors playing them, and their costumes. They can also establish a shorthand vocabulary for what describers will call certain characters or areas of the set and will explain the stylistic conventions of the show. In short, pre-show descriptions can greatly enhance the audio description user’s experience of live theater.
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 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.
All performances of Shakespeare on the Common are FREE and open to the public, however advance reservations are required. 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.
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 617-362-7485. Information will also be distributed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
A limited number of lawn chairs are available for rent in advance when you make your reservation. Chair rentals are $10 and must be selected as part of your reservation. You can retrieve your chair(s) at the entrance when you check-in. After the performance, simply leave your chair(s) set up and our staff will sanitize and retrieve them.
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. If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your chair or blanket unattended.
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. For more information, click HERE.
You are welcome to bring your own modest refreshments and we ask you to help us keep the Boston Common clean by picking up after yourself. For dinner before or after the performance, we encourage you to visit one of the many restaurants located in Downtown Crossing. Alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common and no concessions will be available for sale this year.
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 to arrive early, please do not leave your blanket or chair unattended.
Yes, portable toilets are located behind the bandstand.
There will be no merchandise sold onsite this year.
There are a number of ways to support CSC. You can CLICK HERE 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.