ID: "Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Presents", "The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare" "Directed By Bryn Boice" "July 16 - August 4, 2024 Free on Boston Common" all in text. "Can Time Heal?" in text across an image of Omar Robinson, Marianna Bassham, and Nael Nacer (PC: Nile Scott Studios).

The Winter’s Tale

July 16 - August 4, 2024

The Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common

By William Shakespeare

Directed by Bryn Boice

King Leontes of Sicilia falsely accuses his wife, Hermione, of infidelity with his best friend, the King of Bohemia. Inflamed by jealousy and convinced that he is right, Leontes’ torment causes a storm of loss. Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale is a captivating parable of betrayals, renewed hope, and the transformative power of time.

Directed by CSC Associate Artistic Director Bryn Boice in her Boston Common debut, the production will take place at the Parkman Bandstand on July 16 – August 4, 2024 in partnership with the City of Boston, Mayor Michelle Wu, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Ryan Woods, and Boston Chief of Arts and Culture Kara Elliott-Ortega.

SEE THY WORDS: All performances are Open Captioned. Captions powered by CCTheater™, from AccessTech, LLC (www.getaccesstech.com

Performance Dates and Times

The Boston Common Stage at the Parkman Bandstand

Content Advisory: The Winter’s Tale is considered one of Shakespeare’s romances, or ‘problem plays’. This is because it holds both tragedy and comedy together in its plot. Deep-seated jealousy, a false sense of betrayal, and desire for revenge are among the themes that the play explores, in addition to a child and mother dying, child abandonment, false imprisonment, pick-pocketing–and being pursued by a bear (while exiting.) For these reasons, we encourage you to consider whether this play may be appropriate for young children. We always recommend parents/teachers/guardians to read the play script and/or screen an earlier free performance if they are unsure.

Audience Information
  • Performances are FREE of charge.
  • 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 Cash and $12 Credit.
  • Reserved premium seating in our Friends Section is available now, when you make a donation of $100 or more!  Check out our Friends Section page for more information or click the button above to reserve yours today! All donations are non-refundable.
  • Tall Chairs: our Friends Section consists of low beach chairs pre-set in front of the stage. We have a limited number of taller chairs (the height of a typical camping chair) for patrons who may not be comfortable in our low beach chairs. To reserve tall chairs, please look for the section to the bottom right of the seating chart. 
Our Partners

Our Premier Restaurant Sponsor, Boston Chops Downtown would like to offer 20% off of Food for any CSC patron (with receipt of purchase). Experience top-notch service at their casual, yet refined twist on the classic American steakhouse! Learn More Here

 

Upgrade your dinner game this summer with a DIG Family Dinner Meal! Trust us, your taste buds will thank you for it. From 7/10- 8/4 we’re offering 10% off our DIG Family Dinner bag to all Shakespeare on the Common attendees who order a dinner meal ahead of the show. So grab your friends and family, and come by before the show starts!

Learn More Here *Online redemption only. Offer valid for pick-up at all BOS DIG locations. Must use Promo code: BOSDIGSDINNER at checkout.

Accessibility

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

ASL Interpretation: Sunday, July 21, 2024

Audio Description, ASL Interpretation, and Touch Tour: Saturday, July 27, 2024

Audio Description and Touch Tour: Saturday, August 3, 2024

Rain Date for All Access Services: Sunday, August 4, 2024

Touch Tours will be offered at 6:15pm on July 27 and August 3. Please meet at our front gate to House Left of the Stage,

All performances of The Winter’s Tale will be open captioned.

Community Nights on the Common

A new extension of our Community Ambassador program, Community Nights on the Common seeks to further CSC’s mission of making theater accessible to all, by welcoming organizations and groups that serve communities where racial, economic, and social injustices are pervasive into a shared space to explore Shakespeare and break down barriers to the arts. 

Common Ground Night: Focused on Highlighting Those Seeking Racial Equity and Economic Justice – Saturday July 20, 2024

Pride Night with The Crown and Anchor – Tuesday July 23, 2024

Arts Accessibility Night with MCC’s UP Initiative – July 27, 2024

Educator Night with CSC’s Education Department – Tuesday July 30, 2024

About CSC

Now entering its 28th 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 28 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.

Sign Up for our Newsletter at the button below to stay up-to-date! 

Cast

Nael Nacer
Leontes

Nael Nacer – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Macbeth, The Tempest. Broadway: Prayer for the French Republic (Manhattan Theatre Club). Off-Broadway: The Orchard (Arlekin Players/B.A.C). Regional: Prayer for the French Republic, A Doll’s House, Bedroom Farce, Awake and Sing!, David Cromer’s Our Town (The Huntington); Angels in America: Millennium Approaches (Bedlam/CST); People, Places & Things, Small Mouth Sounds, Tribes (SpeakEasy Stage); The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Equivocation (Actors’ Shakespeare Project); The Return (Israeli Stage); The Seagull (Arlekin Players Theatre); The Ding Dongs, Tiny Beautiful Things, True West, The Flick (Gloucester Stage); Intimate Apparel (Lyric Stage); The Kite Runner, A Number, Lungs (New Rep); Shear Madness (Charles Playhouse). Nael is the recipient of Elliot Norton and IRNE awards and is a resident acting company member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project.

Marianna Bassham
Hermione

Marianna Bassham* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company:  Macbeth, Othello, Twelfth Night. The Huntington: Sweat, Yerma, Our Town, Luck of the Irish, and Becoming Cuba and others.  Speakeasy Stage Company: The Band’s Visit (co-produced with The Huntington), People Places and Things, Blackbird, Admissions, Hand to God and many others. She has also performed with Central Square Theater, Greater Boston Stage Company, Lyric Stage, The Gamm Theater, and Boston Playwrights’ Theater. Off Broadway: I Was Most Alive With You. Directing Credits: Every Brilliant Thing and Heroes of the Fourth Turning (Speakeasy), The Mad Ones (Boston Conservatory) and Romeo and Juliet (Actor’s Shakespeare Project, where she has also appeared in many productions.) Marianna teaches acting at Boston Conservatory at Berklee and coaches privately, and has received Elliot Norton Awards for People Places and Things, Blackbird (Outstanding Actor) and Sweat and The Hotel Nepenthe (Ensemble). mariannabassham.com

Omar Robinson
Polixenes

Omar Robinson* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Macbeth. Huntington Theatre Company: Toni Stone, Common Ground Revisited, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, Romeo and Juliet, Tartuffe. Actors’ Shakespeare Project: King Hedley II, Seven Guitars, Pride and Prejudice, Much Ado About Nothing, Hamlet, The School for Scandal, The Comedy of Errors, Henry VIII, Pericles, Twelfth Night. Other credits include Hartford Stage, Trinity Repertory Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, SpeakEasy Stage Company, Lyric Stage, Central Square Theater, and Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. Education: BA, Emerson College.

Paula Plum
Paulina/Time
Paula Plum
Paulina/Time

Paula Plum* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Shakespeare On the Common: Encores. Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Cleopatra, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Touchstone and Phedre. Lyric Stage: Miss Witherspoon, The Heiress and Death of a Salesman; SpeakEasy Stage: The Children, Body Awareness, History Boys and New Century; American Repertory Theatre: Lysistrata, Ivanov, Mother Courage, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. Ms. Plum starred in two world premieres by John Kuntz: Sing Me To Sleep (Boston Center for the Arts) and Miss Price, which she co-produced (Boston Playwrights’ Theatre). Movie credits include “Irrational Man”, “Next Stop Wonderland”, “Mermaids”, “Malice”, and “The March Sisters at Christmas”. Television credits include voicing characters on “Squigglevision” (ABC), “The Dick and Paula Celebrity Special” (FX), “Hey Money” (Oxygen) and “Dr. Katz, Professional Therapist” (Comedy Central). Her original plays include: Memorial, Wigged OUT!, and What Lips My Lips Have Kissed. Her solo show, Plum Pudding, garnered her critical praise and the 2003 IRNE award for Best Solo Performance. Her article “Handling the Hot Moments, How Actors Negotiate Intimacy On Stage,” was published in American Theatre Magazine. Paula was honored by the Boston Theatre Critics Association with the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence (past recipients include Sir Ian McKellen and Julie Harris) and for Best Actress twice (Lost in Yonkers and Miss Witherspoon). Ms. Plum was trained at The London Academy of Music and Dramatic arts and is a Cum Laude graduate of Boston University’s School for the Arts, where she was also honored as Distinguished Alumna in 2003.

Tony Estrella
Camillo

Tony Estrella* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Cymbeline. Gamm Theatre: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Faith Healer, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Night of the Iguana, Hamlet, Macbeth, Winter’s Tale and many more. Huntington Theatre Company: A Prayer for the French Republic. Other theaters include Boston Playwright’s Theatre and The Trinity Repertory Company.  Tony has been the Artistic Director of The Gamm Theatre since 2002 and teaches Shakespeare at his alma mater, The University of Rhode Island. His film appearances include Martin Scorsese’s The Departed, Little Women, Company Men and The Good House.

Richard Snee
The Shepherd
Richard Snee
The Shepherd

Richard Snee* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: The Taming of the Shrew. Richard has been working in Boston area theatres for nearly forty years including Speakeasy Stage, Lyric Stage, American Repertory Theatre, Huntington Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, The Umbrella Stage Company, and Merrimack Repertory Theatre. He is a founding member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project. Films include: “Godmothered”; “Gone, Baby, Gone”; “Don’t Look Up”, “The Company Men”. He has voiced animated characters for several series including “Dr.Katz”, “Home Movies”, “Science Court”, and “The Dick and Paula Celebrity Special” on FX in which he and his wife, Paula Plum, played the title roles. She was “Paula”. He was “The Dick”.

Robert Walsh
Antigonus

Robert Walsh – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Coriolanus (Cominius), Macbeth (Macduff ‘03), Henry V (Exeter)   Off-Broadway: Gloucester Blue (Cherry Lane), Big Maggie (Douglas Fairbanks), Penelope (Perry St. Theatre), and company member with the Theater of the Open Eye and the Riverside Shakespeare Company.  Boston: The Gaaga and The Dybbuk (Arlekin Players Theatre); Ah, Wilderness! and Hamlet (Huntington Theatre); Trouble in Mind (Lyric Stage); Our Town, Mass Appeal, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Merrimack Rep); Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses (Gloucester Stage); ‘ART’, The Cocktail Hour (New Rep); Next Fall (Speakeasy); and King Lear, Henry IV, Titus Andronicus, and Hamlet, among others for the Actors’ Shakespeare Project (founding company member).  Film/TV: “Fourth of July”, “Black Mass”, “Dead Reckoning”, “The Spirit of Christmas, Evening”; “State and Main”; “Amistad”; “Eight Men Out”; “Body of Proof” (ABC). Former Artistic Director of Gloucester Stage Company and serves on the faculty at Brandeis University. He directed the on-field ceremonies for the 1999 All-Star Game for Major League Baseball at Fenway Park in Boston.

Ryan Winkles
Autolycus

Ryan Winkles* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle and Here We Go. Huntington Theatre: Joy and Pandemic. Gloucester Stage: Mr Fullerton, Between the Sheets. Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse: Visitors. Shakespeare & Company: Antony & Cleopatra, As You Like It, Henry V, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Love’s Labour’s Lost, Merry Wives of Windsor, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Richard III, The Tempest, Twelfth Night, Two Gentlemen of Verona.

Joshua Olumide
Florizel

Joshua Olumide* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company debut. Olumide’s film highlights include the Academy Award-winning screenplay, “American Fiction,” starring, Jeffrey Wright and “Detroit,” where he worked with Oscar-winning director, Kathryn Bigelow. Theatre credits include: A Raisin in the Sun (New Repertory Theatre), Macbeth (Hanover Theatre Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Classic Theatre of Maryland), Our Town (People’s Light), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival). We are multidimensional beings. Joshua hopes to be a reflection of the Eternal Love, radiating through each one of us. In this, we are all the same. @josholumide_

Nettie Chickering
Emilia

Nettie Chickering* – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2), CSC Apprentice 2020. Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Romeo & Juliet. 60 Hour Shakespeare: Othello, As You Like It, Twelfth Night. Hub Theatre Boston: Love, Loss, & What I Wore, Into the Breeches! Nettie has also been seen at La Mama ETC and The Rubin Museum of Art. Nettie is a vocalist for the free jazz/poetry ensemble Heroes Are Gang Leaders. @nettiechickering

Clara Hevia
Perdita

Clara Hevia – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2), Suffolk in Henry VI Part 2 (Apprentice Repertory Company 2018). National Tour: Cats. Saratoga Shakespeare Company: King Lear. NYU Steinhardt ’21. Love and thanks to Mom, Dad, and my partner Cameron. clarahevia.com @clara.hevia

Cleveland Nicoll
Clown

Cleveland Nicoll– Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Lennox in Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo & Juliet (Stage2). Hub Theatre Company of Boston: The Book of Will. Sundance: Wizard of Oz. Hale Centre Theatre: Baz Lurman’s Strictly Ballroom (U.S. Premiere), Phantom. An Other Theatre Co.: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Renaissance Now Theatre & Film: Twelfth Night, The Tempest. Mac is also a member of the SDC and has directed for Hale Center Theatre Orem, The Noorda Center for Performing Arts, Renaissance Now Theatre & Film, Utah Valley University, and Bentley University. He is the founding artistic director of Klouns Theatre Co. @klounstheatreco @cleveland_nicoll

John Blair
First Lord
John Blair
First Lord

John Blair – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Second Witch in Macbeth, A Midsummer Nights Dream and Romeo and Juliet (Stage2). Hub Theater Company: The Book Of Will. The Tank (NYC): On How To Be A Monster. He studied theater at New York University.

Bella Grace Harris
Gaoler/Bohemian Servant
Bella Grace Harris
Gaoler/Bohemian Servant

Bella Grace Harris – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Macbeth (Gentlewoman), Romeo & Juliet (Stage 2), Much Ado About Nothing (u/s), Romeo & Juliet (Apprentice Repertory Company 2022). Wheelock Family Theater: A Wrinkle in Time (u/s Mrs. Whatsit). Training: BFA (Honors) from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. bellagraceharris.com

Ednilson Tavares
Second Lord

Ednilson Tavares – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2). Trinity Rep: La Mancha; 2022-2023 Gamm Fellow at The Gamm Theatre, RI. Will be attending The Juilliard School this upcoming fall for Drama.

Ryan Richard Doyle
Cleomenes/Ensemble
Ryan Richard Doyle
Cleomenes/Ensemble

Ryan Richard Doyle – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2). Salem State University: Enter Laughing, Ragtime: The Musical, Bedroom Farce, The Laramie Project. Ryan can also be seen in the Oscar-winning film, “American Fiction”, as the bookstore employee, Ned! He is thrilled to make a return to the stage after receiving his BFA in Theater from Salem State University in 2021. Instagram: @dole_47

Hampton Richards
Dion/Ensemble
Hampton Richards
Dion/Ensemble

Hampton Richards – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Debut. Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Biondello in Taming of the Shrew. Boston Playwright’s Theatre: Michelle in OTP. Other Credits: The Odd Couple (Florence), Mercury (Pamela), and Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. (Ensemble/Movement Captain). Hampton has just received her BFA in Acting at Boston University (‘24), and also studied Physical Theatre at Accademia Dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. She is incredibly grateful for her community; to her family for always supporting her, to her friends for always pushing her, and to every person who has made her laugh.

Rilyn Gardner
First Lady/Mopsa
Rilyn Gardner
First Lady/Mopsa

Rilyn Gardner – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Nights Dream (Stage2). Marblehead Little Theatre: Gypsy. West Valley Arts: Footloose. Sundance Mountain Resort: Mamma Mia. Renaissance Now: A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Noorda Center for the Performing Arts: Cabaret, She Loves Me, Much Ado About Nothing. UVU Black Box Series: The Merchant of Venice, The Yellow Boat. 

Chloe Boyan
Second Lady/Dorcas
Chloe Boyan
Second Lady/Dorcas

Chloe Boyan – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2 and ARC); Oregon Shakespeare Festival: Leader of the Women in Lysistrata at The Green Show; Oregon Cabaret Theatre: Christmas Past in A Christmas Carol, U/S in The Play that Goes Wrong and The Full Monty; Chloe has also appeared in new plays at In Confidence Club, New York Theatre Festival, and Catalyst Theatre Festival at UC Davis. Chloe received a BFA in Acting from Southern Oregon University and was an Apprentice with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in 2023. www.chloeboyan.com

Anne Borzner
Doctor/First Gentleman
Anne Borzner
Doctor/First Gentleman

Anne Borzner  – Commonwealth Shakespeare Company: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Stage2), Julius Caesar (Apprentice Repertory Company 2023). Chatham Community Players: Nevermore Lenore. College of the Holy Cross: She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms, Once in a Lifetime, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Education: College of the Holy Cross.

 

Eviva Rose
Mamillius
Eviva Rose
Mamillius

Eviva Rose is thrilled to return for a second summer with Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, after debuting last summer in the role of Young Macduff in Macbeth. Previous credits include Charles Wallace in A Wrinkle in Time and Duckling in Make Way For Ducklings, both with Wheelock Family Theater.

Creative Team

Bryn Boice
Director
Bryn Boice
Director

Bryn Boice is an award-winning director, educator, actor, and producer, as well as CSC’s Associate Artistic Director and Director of Education & Training. Also for CSC, Bryn helmed Universe Rushing Apart: Blue Kettle & Here We Go – two Caryl Churchill one-acts – which garnered her the Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Director, Large Theatre. Other recent Boston-area credits include: The Sound Inside and The Children (both Elliot Norton nominated for Outstanding Production, Speakeasy Stage); The Book of Will, Into the Breeches! (Elliot Norton nom. for Direction and Production, Hub Theatre Company); Tall Tales from Blackburn Tavern, Gloria (Gloucester Stage); The Half-Life of Marie Curie (The Nora Company); Admissions (The Gamm Theatre); Last Night at Bowl-Mor Lanes (Greater Boston Stage Company); an all-female production of Julius Caesar for Actors’ Shakespeare Project; and a number of Apprentice Repertory Company and Stage2 productions for CSC. New York, regional and other Boston credits as an actor and/or director include work with Asolo Repertory Company, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, Anthem Theatre Company, Okoboji Theatre, InProximity Theatre, Theatre Row, Martha’s Vineyard PAC, Monomoy Theatre, Caroline’s on Broadway, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Before turning full-time to CSC, she taught at Salem State University, where her wide-ranging experience allowed her to teach Voice for Performance, Applied Stage Movement, Public Speaking, Directing, Acting III (Early Realism), Dramatic Theory & Criticism, and Dialects, among others. MFA in Directing, Boston University. MFA in Acting, Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training (FSU). Member AEA. For more information visit www.brynboice.com

 

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.

 

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.

When are the performances?

The summer 2024 production of The Winter’s Tale will run from July 16 – August 4.  Performances on Tuesday through Sunday evenings at 8pm.  On Saturday, August 3, the performance begins at 6pm. There are no performances on Mondays.

What is the running time of The Winter's Tale?

2 hours with one 15 minute intermission.

What ages are appropriate for The Winter's Tale?

The Winter’s Tale is considered one of Shakespeare’s romances, or ‘problem plays’. This is because it holds both tragedy and comedy together in its plot. Deep-seated jealousy, a false sense of betrayal, and desire for revenge are among the themes that the play explores, in addition to a child and mother dying, child abandonment, false imprisonment, pick-pocketing–and being pursued by a bear (while exiting.) For these reasons, we encourage you to consider whether this play may be appropriate for young children. We always recommend parents/teachers/guardians to read the play script and/or screen an earlier free performance if they are unsure.

Are there special performances or considerations for patrons with disabilities?

The Winter’s Tale will feature on-site accessible services to patrons with mobility challenges, those who are deaf, hard of hearing, and blind.

Our Services
  • American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreted Performances
  • Audio Described Performances
  • Sound Enhancement Devices
  • Large Print and Braille Programs
  • Open Captioning

Accessible Seating for wheelchairs or for those with mobility challenges 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 $100.

  

Assisted Listening Devices are available at each performance. Visit the Information Booth to obtain equipment.

Accessibility Performances

Accessibility Performance dates for all of our performances can be found on the performance page for each production.

For Audio Described Performances: 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.

Where are the performances?

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

MBTA

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.

Where should I park?

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

How much are tickets?

All performances of Shakespeare on the Common are FREE and open to the public (with no reservation 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.

The following discounts are available:

We are proud to participate in the Card to Culture program, a collaboration between Mass Cultural Council and the Department of Transitional Assistance, Massachusetts Health Connector, and Women, Infants & Children (WIC) Nutrition Program, by breaking down financial barriers to cultural programming.

Use Code: Card2Culture to redeem!

EBT: For Shakespeare on the Common: Tickets are free + free rental chairs (normally $10) to EBT card holders. Limit of 4 per family. Stage2 Community Performances: Free to all EBT participants.

WIC: For Shakespeare on the Common: Tickets are free + free rental chairs (normally $10) to WIC card holders. Limit of 4 per family. Stage2 Community Performances: Free to all WIC participants.

ConnectorCare: For Shakespeare on the Common: Tickets are free + free rental chairs (normally $10) to ConnectorCare card holders. Limit of 4 per family. Stage2 Community Performances: Free to all ConnectorCare participants.

See the full list of participating organizations offering EBT, WIC, and ConnectorCare discounts.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is also proud to welcome families of The Wonderfund, for MA DCF Foster Children and their Families with Free Chair Rentals to our Common production using code WONDER.

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 checking our Social Media accounts, @CommShakes.

Are there chairs?

A limited number of lawn chairs are available for rent in advance when you make your reservation.  Chair rentals are $10 and can be reserved here. You can retrieve your chair(s) at the rental booth. After the performance, simply leave your chair(s) set up and our staff will retrieve them.

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 (most typical camp-style chairs) 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.

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. For more information, click HERE.

Is there food?/Can I bring my own?

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 or the food trucks available on-site at some performances. Alcohol is not permitted on the Boston Common. Water and Cookies can be purchased at our merchandise stand.

What else should I bring?

Attendees are encouraged to bring a blanket to sit on, a light sweater, mosquito repellent, and an umbrella if the forecast calls for rain. If you plan to arrive early, please do not leave your blanket or chair unattended.

Are there restrooms?

Yes, portable toilets are located near the tennis courts.

Is there merchandise available for purchase?

We will be offering a selection of merchandise including CSC logowear, and limited-edition The Winter’s Tale-specific items!

How can I support Free Shakespeare on the Common?

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.

Can I smoke on the Common?

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

What else can I do in the city?

Get more ideas on what to do on the Boston Travel Guide.

Are masks required?

Masks are recommended for patrons while they are roaming about the Common.


Featured Photo: ID: "Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Presents", "The Winter's Tale By William Shakespeare" "Directed By Bryn Boice" "July 16 - August 4, 2024 Free on Boston Common" all in text. "Can Time Heal?" in text across an image of Omar Robinson, Marianna Bassham, and Nael Nacer (PC: Nile Scott Studios).

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