Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler, is pleased to present its 23rd season of “Free Shakespeare on the Common:” William Shakespeare’s drama Richard III, directed by Steven Maler and starring Faran Tahir. Performances are free of charge, and will take place on the Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand.
Performance dates: July 18 – August 5. Tuesday – Saturday performances at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm (Off Mondays). There will be one 3pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 4.
Press opening: Wednesday, July 25 at 8:00pm
Tickets: Performances are free and open to the public. A limited number of “Friends’ Section” reserved chairs are available for $60-75 donation per chair. For more information and to reserve chairs visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863. For Weather updates on performance nights, call the CSC weather hotline, (781) 239-5972.
One of Greater Boston’s most beloved traditions, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s “Free Shakespeare on the Common” takes up residence once again with Shakespeare’s drama Richard III. This searing drama chronicles the ruthless ascension of a king and the devastation he leaves in his wake as he gains power over the realm.
The Company includes Faran Tahir* as Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Deb Martin* as Queen Elizabeth, Brandon Whitehead* as Stanley, Fred Sullivan, Jr.* as the Duke of Buckingham, Bobbie Steinbach* as Queen Margaret, Remo Airaldi* as George, Duke of Clarence, Brendan O’Brien as Richard, Duke of York, Michael Sáenz as the Bishop of Ely/Cardinal Bourchier, Sarah Sinclair as the Duchess of York, Libby McKnight* as Lady Anne, Mark Torres* as Hastings, Richard Noble as King Edward IV, and Seamus Doyle as Prince Edward. The Ensemble playing multiple roles is composed of CSC2 actors Claire Alexander, Ross Barron, Tyshon Boone, Marge Buckley, Bailie de Lacey, Kody Grasset, Stephanie Resnick, Billy Saunders, Jr., Felix Teich. Michael Underhill, Susannah Wilson, and Jaine Ye. The design team includes set and lighting designer Eric Southern, costume designer Jessica Pabst, sound designer Nathan Leigh, and fight director Angie Jepson.
Now entering its 23rd season, CSC’s “Free 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 and 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 75,000 people to our shows on the Boston Common, and over the past 22 years CSC has performed for over 1 million audience members.
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company staff is equipped to assist patrons of all abilities. A limited number of tall chairs, accessible seating areas, assisted-listening devices, and Braille & large print programs are available at each performance. Dates for ASL-Interpreted and Audio-Described, performances will be announced closer in July. Anyone needing special accommodations is encouraged to contact CSC in advance. These requests should be emailed to our Audience Services staff at email@example.com or call CSC’s main line during regular business hours at 617-426-0863.
This production of “Free Shakespeare on the Common” was made possible by Babson College (Lead Sponsor); WGBH, Xfinity and Ovation TV (Platinum Sponsors); Ricardo Rodriguez and Michael Kelley – Ricardo Rodriguez & Associates(Gold Sponsor); Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Massachusetts Cultural Council, The Boston Globe, and the National Endowment for the Arts (Silver Sponsors); Improper Bostonian, Highland Street Foundation, Downtown Boston Business Improvement District, and Mix 104.1(Bronze Sponsors); and with support from the Boston Cultural Council and Boston Parks and Recreation.