Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
Free Shakespeare On the Common: Romeo & Juliet
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allegra Libonati
July 19 – August 6
Parkman Bandstand on the Boston Common

Shakespeare on the Common

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Founding Artistic Director Steven Maler, is pleased to present its 22nd production of Free Shakespeare on the Common: William Shakespeare’s immortal drama Romeo & Juliet, directed by the brilliant up-and-coming director Allegra Libonati. Performances are free of charge, and will take place on the Boston Common, near the Parkman Bandstand. Lead Sponsor: Babson College

Performance dates: July 19 – August 6. Tuesday – Saturday performances at 8pm; Sundays at 7pm (Off Mondays). There will be one 3pm matinee performance on Saturday, August 5.

How to attend: 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 of doomed teenage love, Romeo & Juliet. The Capulet and Montague families have been engaged in a multi-generational feud, causing much distress and havoc in the city of Verona; but when young Romeo, son of the Montagues’, meets Juliet, the daughter of the Capulets’, their immediate love blossoms and accepts no barriers, with tragic results.

Allegra Libonati most recently directed the highly-acclaimed production of The Rake’s Progress at Boston Lyric Opera. As the Resident Director at the American Repertory Theater, her productions include the The Pirate Princess, The Light Princess, Hansel and Gretel, and The Snow Queen. She recently returned from Beijing, China where she directed and adapted a new immersive adventure production, Peter Pan’s Neverland. She directed outdoor theater for twelve seasons at the Summer Theatre of New Canaan including Legally Blonde (12 Broadway World Nominations) Hairspray (9 Broadway World Nominations), South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Carousel, Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet, Taming of the Shrew, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and H4 (an original adaptation of Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2). She has made Boston her home and guest teaches at Harvard University. She is a member of Tut’Zanni Company and a graduate of NYU and CMU.

The design team includes Allegra’s collaborators for The Rake’s Progress at the BLO, set designer Julia Noulin-Mérat (also Our American Hamlet at CSC), and costume designer Neil Fortin, as well as lighting design by Jamie Roderick, sound design by David Remedios, choreography by Peter DiMuro, and fight direction by Angie Jepson Marks.

Complete casting announcement will be made shortly.

Free Shakespeare on the Common is made possible each year through a combination of grants, sponsorships, and donations collected through the Friends Section program. Individuals can reserve a chair at a performance of Romeo & Juliet with a donation of $60-75 per chair, with all proceeds going directly towards the costs of the production. Chairs may be reserved through July 18–before the season begins–with a donation of $60. Once performances begin on July 19, the minimum donation requirement increases to $75. To book, visit commshakes.org or call 617-426-0863.

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, Audio-Described, and Open-Captioned performances will be announced closer in July. Anyone needing special accommodations is encouraged to contact CSC in advance. These requests should be emailed to Audience Services Manager Stephen Reinstein at sreinstein@commshakes.org or call CSC’s main line during regular business hours at 617-426-0863.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), best known for its annual free performances on Boston Common, is a non-profit theater organization founded in 1996, dedicated to presenting vital and contemporary productions of William Shakespeare and other dramatic works to the people of Greater Boston, and to exploring Shakespeare’s work with youth in innovative and creative ways. CSC’s Free Shakespeare on the Common, winner of multiple Elliot Norton and IRNE awards, has served over one million audience members over its 22-year history, and has become a beloved summer tradition enjoyed by nearly 75,000 people annually. In 2013, CSC became the Theatre-in-Residence at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and has been able to expand its offerings beyond the annual Boston Common production. Recent productions include Happy Days with Brooke Adams and Tony Shalhoub in the fall of 2014, the world premiere of Jake’s Broder’s Our American Hamlet with Jacob Fishel; and Beckett in Brief, an evening of Samuel Beckett short plays starring Will Lyman. CSC fulfills its educational mission with actor-training programs for pre-professional and professional actors through the summer Apprentice program and CSC2, which recently presented Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed by CSC Associate Artistic Director Adam Sanders, to over 2,000 area students at the Carling-Sorenson Center in May. To learn more about these programs, visit commshakes.org.


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