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4 Tips for Attending Shakespeare on the Commons

July 26, 2016 by Chris Bell
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Bostonians are very into tradition (and rightly so!) Whether it be cheering on the Red Sox at Fenway Park or the annual St. Patrick’s Parade, the people of Boston live for tradition big and small. 

One of their more artistic traditions is the annual Shakespeare on the Commons, now going into its 21st year. These free performances by Commonwealth Shakespeare Company attract thousands of people to the Boston Commons every summer. 

Should you find yourself heading over for some Shakespearean fun, here are some things to make your trip that much more enjoyable.

Go in a group.

Happy friends drinking beer and having fun at the picnic.

It’s always fun to go out with a big group, but at Shakespeare on the Commons, it’s also pretty practical. If you bring some friends with you, there will always be someone to watch the stuff if you need to get up and go to the bathroom. And with all those extra hands, carrying your gear will be a breeze. Plus, the more people that come, the more snack options you’ll have.

Bring plenty of supplies.


Being outside in the summer is amazing, but you’re also going to need to bring all the right stuff so you can enjoy the play in comfort. Your responsible friends can bring essentials like water, sunscreen, and bug spray. Your fancy camping friends can bring the blankets and cool outdoor chairs. All that’s left for you is to bring some snacks to share.

Come fashionably early.

Shakespeare on the Commons
Photo Credit: Facebook.com Commonwealth Shakespeare Company

Seating space will fill up pretty quickly, but there aren’t many bad viewing spots in The Commons. That being said, consider coming about an hour early to claim the best spot and set up your site. You’ll certainly get some Vitamin D while you wait, and you can definitely get a head start on relaxing.

Don’t be in such a rush.

Relaxing at an evening festival

Some people in the crowd will immediately race for the T as soon as the show ends, or sometimes even before the actors have finished taking their bows! You don’t need to sprint off to be part of a public transit traffic jam, though. You’ll only end up waiting in long lines for a crowded train, and who wants that after an amazing summer night outdoors? Enjoy the night, finish up those snacks you brought, and ease over to the T after the lines have died down. You won’t regret it.