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Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Performances Of THE TEMPEST On The Boston Common

The production will star Shakespearean actor John Douglas Thompson in the role of Prospero.

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Announces Performances Of THE TEMPEST On The Boston Common

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) and Artistic Director Steve Maler, together with the City of Boston and Mayor Kim Janey, have announced the Company's plans to return to live performance this summer with its 25th anniversary production of Free Shakespeare on the Common. This year's offering is THE TEMPEST, starring the great Shakespearean actor John Douglas Thompson in the role of Prospero.

Mayor Janey commented: "Shakespeare on the Common has been a vital part of Boston's summer arts programming for decades, and I'm thrilled to see this tradition continue to provide free and accessible entertainment to Boston's residents and visitors. As we move forward with the reopening process and work toward building a newer and better Boston, this is a great way to support Boston's arts sector while also providing safe and equitable opportunities to engage in the arts."

"After a long difficult period, we are thrilled to be returning to live performances!" said Steve Maler. "It's so important to us to bring the arts back, welcoming all of Boston to see world-class performers for free on the Boston Common."

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. Audience members (over the age of 2) will also be required to remain masked while on-site. The production will remain free, but due to expected capacity constraints, attendees will be asked to register ahead of time. Registration will open the week of June 21st.

Lauded by critics, John Douglas Thompson has been extolled by the New York Times "as one of the most compelling classical stage actors of his generation." Thompson was last seen on Broadway in King Lear in the role of Earl of Kent to Glenda Jackson's Lear. In 2018, he co-starred in the two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of Rodgers & Hammerstein's musical Carousel. He also starred in the Huntington Theatre Company's Man in the Ring, (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards). In 2017, he appeared in the titular role of the American Conservatory Theater's production of Shakespeare's Hamlet and he co-starred in the highly publicized Public Theater's Shakespeare in the Park production of Julius Caesar (Caius Cassius). Thompson received rave reviews for his role as Becker in August Wilson's Broadway play 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 Theatre. Other Broadway credits include A Time To Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac with Kevin Kline, and Julius Caesar with Denzel Washington. His Off-Broadway credits include: The Iceman Cometh with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Tamburlaine at Theater for a New Audience (Obie and Drama Desk Awards); Satchmo at the Waldorf (Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle Award, and the NAACP Theatre Awards) at the Westside Theater, ACT, Wallis Center for the Performing Arts, Long Wharf Theater; King Lear with Sam Waterston at The Public Theater; Macbeth (title role); Othello (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Joe A. Callaway Award) at Theatre for a New Audience; The Forest with Dianne Wiest at Classic Stage Company; The Emperor Jones at The Irish Repertory Theatre (Joe A. Callaway Award and 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 with Kate Mulgrew at Hartford Stage; Red Velvet, Othello, Richard III, King Lear, and Mother Courage with Olympia Dukakis at Shakespeare & Co.; Jesus Hopped the 'A' Train at The Wilma Theater (Barrymore Award); and productions at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, American Repertory Theater and Yale Repertory Theatre. Thompson's television credits include "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks", "Bull", "Person of Interest", "Madam Secretary", "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU". His film credits include Steven Soderbergh's Let Them All Talk with Meryl Streep, Candace Bergen, Dianne Wiest and Lucas Hedges, Conviction, Wolves, The Bourne Legacy, Glass Chin, Michael Clayton, Midway, and Malcolm X. Upcoming film releases include 21 Bridges with Chadwick Boseman and Sienna Miller and 355 with Jessica Chastain, Diane Kruger, Penelope Cruz and Lupita Nyongo. He is a Fox Fellow recipient; the 2015 Samuel H. Scripps Award for extraordinary commitment in promoting the power of language in classical and contemporary theatre; and a recipient of the 2013 Robert Brustein Award for sustained excellence in American theater.


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