• This event has passed. Check out other things to do instead.

Watch Shakespeare under the stars on Boston Common

The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company performs "Much Ado About Nothing."

An aerial shot of a Shakespeare on the Common performance.

Call it much ado about something. The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company is back with its free annual al fresco productions. The Parkman Bandstand on Boston Common comes alive as this summer’s troupe takes on William Shakespeare’s classic comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” as directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian.

One of the Bard’s most popular and frequently performed plays, this comedic romp also touches upon some serious themes (trust and betrayal, power and privilege, gendered expectations around chastity and violence). Sit on a blanket under the stars (perhaps with a DIY picnic) and watch the plot unfold around two couples — Beatrice and Benedick, who publicly proclaim their disdain for each other but yet fall madly in love; and naïve Hero and Claudio, who fall quickly in love only to be thwarted and then reunited. Plot twist — this production is set in the ’90s instead of the 16th century.


“I’m delighted that Commonwealth Shakespeare will continue the beloved tradition of Shakespeare on the Common for a 26th season!” said Boston Mayor Michelle Wu in a press release about the performance. “We’re lucky to have an active, vibrant arts community in our City, and organizations like CSC that help break barriers and expand access to live theater. I look forward to attending this summer’s production, and I encourage all of Boston to support and enjoy our amazing theater scene.”

Performances begin at dusk, with the exception of Sunday, Aug. 7, which will be at 4 p.m.

See More Events