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Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Inc.

 In Residence at Babson College, 231 Forest Street, Sorenson Center
 Babson Park, MA 02457
[P] (617) 426-0863
[F] --
http://commshakes.org/
info@commshakes.org
Joanna Rothman
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INCORPORATED: 1996
 Printable Profile (Summary / Full)
EIN 04-2947682

LAST UPDATED: 06/19/2017
Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes

Summary

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Mission StatementMORE »

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions that are presented free of charge to Boston's diverse communities, and to educating Boston's youth not only about Shakespeare but also about their own potential for creativity.

Mission Statement

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions that are presented free of charge to Boston's diverse communities, and to educating Boston's youth not only about Shakespeare but also about their own potential for creativity.

FinancialsMORE »

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2016 to Sept 30, 2017
Projected Income $1,292,133.00
Projected Expense $1,290,653.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Apprentice Program
  • Free Shakespeare on the Common
  • Indoor Productions and Staged Readings
  • Stage2

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

For more details regarding the organization's financial information, select the financial tab and review available comments.


Overview

Mission Statement

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) is dedicated to performing the works of William Shakespeare in vital and contemporary productions that are presented free of charge to Boston's diverse communities, and to educating Boston's youth not only about Shakespeare but also about their own potential for creativity.

Background Statement

Since 1996 Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC) has presented free professional outdoor productions of Shakespeare to Boston audiences during the summer months. Now in its 22nd season, 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. Performing annually on the Boston Common -- centrally located, handicapped accessible and accessible to all by public transportation -- CSC has become one of the most attended annual arts events in Boston. An average night on the Common attracts 5,000 patrons with weekends drawing crowds of nearly 10,000 Bostonians and visitors. In 2016 CSC welcomed 75,000 patrons to Free Shakespeare on the Common's "Love's Labour's Lost."


Impact Statement

In 2016, we:


 

  • Welcomed over 2,000 middle and high school students to our Stage2 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Sorenson Center for Babson College.
  • Provided free, high-quality Shakespeare as part of Free Shakespeare on the Common for upwards of 75,000 greater Bostonians with our 2016 production of “Love’s Labour’s Lost.”
  • Fully expanded to a year-round theater Company as the Theater in the Residence at Babson College through our partnership with BabsonARTS.

 

In 2017, we:

 

  • Presented the world premiere of “Our American Hamlet,” a new play written by LA-based actor and playwright, Jake Broder.
  • Presented a trio of plays by Samuel Beckett called “Beckett in Brief,” which received critical high-acclaim.
  • Hosted our most successful fundraising gala in our 22-year-history, raising $175,000  

 


Needs Statement

  • Our current contract as the Theatre in Residence at Babson College ends on August 31, 2018, and we are focused on securing a permanent place on Babson's campus.
  • In the past 5 years, our annual budget has been steadily growing about 10% each year to now nearly $1.3 million with 70% coming from fundraising efforts. We are carefully restructuring our funding model to ensure sustainability. 
  • We are also working on growing our earned revenue in order to ensure we are less dependent on contributed revenue, which can often be unpredictable. In January 2017,  we hired a seasoned Director of Marketing to expand our audience membership at Babson College as well as increase our earned revenue through ticket sales and sponsorships. 
  •  Our current website is not set up to keep with the fast moving world of technology, namely because it is not mobile-friendly, which can make ticket purchasing and giving donations very challenging. A new website will cost us about $20,000.
  • In addition, we also need to keep up with our expanding organization's technological hardware needs, including new computers, iPads, and a server. In total, the costs run about $35,000.

CEO Statement

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Board Chair Statement

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Geographic Area Served

In a specific U.S. city, cities, state(s) and/or region.
Boston, Metrowest, Massachusetts, New England

Organization Categories

  1. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Theater
  2. Arts,Culture & Humanities - Arts Education
  3. -

Independent research has been conducted on this organization's theory of change or on the effectiveness of this organization's program(s)

No

Programs

Apprentice Program

The CSC Apprentice Program is an intensive summer training for young actors who are actively pursuing a career in theater. This eight-week program, taught by CSC faculty, supports the work in the rehearsal room through classes in voice, movement and text analysis. At the beginning of the program, we work with each apprentice to identify personal goals and track these goals together with faculty and staff throughout the summer. Apprentices bring their work and enthusiasm to audience engagement work on the Boston Common, where they perform in The Greenshow (engaging our audiences prior to curtain) and support our front-of-house duties. Finally, Apprentices have the opportunity to perform in two fully-staged Shakespeare productions that tour to venues throughout the greater Boston area. Summer 2016 venues included the Boston Center for the Arts, the Newton Hyde Center, the Arlington Center for the Arts, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Budget  $70,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Population Served College Aged (18-26 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term success includes:
  •  identifying funding for scholarships for 2018 Apprentice applicants
  • expanding our Apprentice program
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term success includes:
 
  • expanding the number of Apprentices who enroll in the program
  • identifying funding for scholarships for students who may not be able to afford the $2,500 fee.
  • expanding our Apprentice Alumni program to keep in touch with past participants and cultivate future CSC2 and Equity actors 
  • expanding Apprentice Showcase performances
Program Success Monitored By  We survey our Apprentices at the end of the summer to get their feedback on the program.
Examples of Program Success  In 2016, we had 24 Apprentice program participants. We have enrolled 30 students in 2017, which provides us with additional revenue from tuition as well as more students to perform in our Apprentice Showcases. We also received modest funding from the Newton Cultural Council to help underwrite our outdoor performances in Newton as part of the Apprentice Showcase.

Free Shakespeare on the Common

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company presents award-winning, professional productions of Shakespeare for three weeks every summer on Boston Common.  These performances are outdoors and completely free of charge.  By blowing the doors off the theatre and eliminating the financial barriers to entry, Free Shakespeare on the Common has introduced thousands of people to the magic of live theatre, drawing approximately 75,000 people every summer. Since its debut in 1996, Free Shakespeare on the Common has become a highlight of the summer season in Boston and enjoys the enthusiastic support of Mayor Walsh and other city officials as well as the general public.  
Budget  $400,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  According to our 2016 audience survey, 50% of our audience comes from a household income of less than $50,000 and are aged 44 or younger. This skews very differently than traditional theater audiences, so we are achieving our goal of providing accessible theater to underserved communities.
Program Long-Term Success  For 22 seasons, we have provided free theater to over 1 million audience members. 
Program Success Monitored By  We survey our audiences electronically during and after each of our 18 performances, and also provide paper surveys during each performance. We use the responses to help make modifications and improvements to the next summer's performance. We also carefully review social media and press for feedback and critical acclaim. Finally, we capture "word of mouth" feedback at our Information Table at Free Shakespeare on the Common.
Examples of Program Success  After 22 years, our audiences at Free Shakespeare on the Common continue to grow. According to our 2016 survey, about 1/3 of respondents report that they would not be able to attend our performances if it were not offered for free.

Indoor Productions and Staged Readings

Since becoming the Theater in Residence at Babson College in the fall of 2013 and gaining access to Babson’s Sorenson Center for the Arts (which houses two theaters: a 441-seat mainstage and flexible black box space), CSC been able to expand the number of productions and programming offered--moving the company away from being a “summer only event” and towards being a more traditional theatre company with year-round programming. CSC presents several staged readings series, including Shakespeare and Leadership, Shakespeare and the Law, and Theater in the Rough.

Our 2016/2017 season includes/d:

  • Theater in the Rough: K2
  • The world premiere of "Our American Hamlet"
  • Shakespeare and Leadership: Othello
  • Beckett in Brief - a trio of plays by Samuel Beckett
  • Shakespeare and Leadership
Budget  $105,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success 
Short term success includes:
  • Engagement of the Metrowest community
  • Increasing attendance at performances at the Sorenson Center for the Arts at Babson College
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term success includes:
  • Long term contract (5-10 years) as the Theatre in Residence at Babson College. Our contract is up for renewal in August 2018.
  • Increased attendance by the Babson community, including students, staff, faculty, alumni, and parents.
  • Fully embedded into the fabric of Babson College
  • Engagement of the Metrowest community
Program Success Monitored By  We survey our audiences, namely through our e-newsletters, periodically for feedback. We also look at critic reviews for artistic feedback. We also look at increased ticket sales or reservations, as some of our events at Babson are offered at no cost, as a measure of success.
Examples of Program Success  Our production of Beckett in Brief received rave reviews! And, our 2016 presentation of Shakespeare and the Law was attended by upwards of 250 people, surpassing past year's attendance.

Stage2

The Company fulfills its educational mission with training programs for pre-professional, early-career actors through CSC2. The CSC2 Company is a core of 12 actors who in addition to filling the ensemble roles in Free Shakespeare on the Common, also perform in Stage2, our Shakespeare program geared towards middle and high school students.

 

Our education program, Stage2, provides the opportunity for middle and high school students to attend high-quality Shakespeare productions. It is a perfect supplement for students already reading Shakespeare in their curriculum or as a first time introduction. We focus on themes and stories told by this next generation of actors that will resonate with next generation of theater goers. We also offer supplemental in-school workshops. In May our cohort from CSC2 will perform Julius Caesar to upwards of 2,500 students and educators. 
 
In May 2017, we presented "Julius Caesar" as our Stage2 production and in May 2018 we will offer "MacBeth.” We welcomed 2,000 middle and high school students and educators to Julius Caesar.
 
 
Budget  $35,000.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years)
Program Short-Term Success 
Short-term success includes:
 
  • selling out our student matinees in 2016
  • nearly selling out student matinees in 2017 (we added 2 more)
  • engaging Everett High School and Boston Collegiate Charter School in year-long intensive in-school programs in preparation for a visit to see "Julius Caesar."
Program Long-Term Success 
Long term success includes:
  • engaging 3,000 students and educators
  • expanding our matinee program due to popularity of the program
  • expanding our in-school workshops
  • funding to provide busing and cover ticket expenses for schools who do not have the means to attend
Program Success Monitored By  We survey all students and educators that attend our Stage2 productions in order to ensure we are fulfilling our goals. We used the feedback we received in 2016 to make important changes in 2017, which included adding more matinees and tweaking our ticket prices.
Examples of Program Success  See short term success.

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's main event is of course, the summer production of Shakespeare on the Common.  But did you know that we have a robust schedule of year-round programming as well?  We hope to see you at one of the following events!

American Voices - A script-in-hand reading series of classic American plays focusing on the power of the spoken word. These single-night engagements explore the power of the voice and the actor's craft and create an authentic relationship between performer and audience in an intimate and accessible environment.  Past performers have included Academy Award-winning actor Chris Cooper, Burn Notice star Jeffrey Donovan, and True Blood's Rutina Wesley.

 
Shakespeare and the Law - One of the most unique events in Boston!  Local judges, attorneys, and politicians perform a staged reading of a Shakespearean play and then form a panel to discuss the legal issues addressed in the text.  Past participants have included former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card, former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Kerry Healey, and Raytheon Senior Vice President Jay Stephens. 
 
Shakespeare & Leadership - CSC announces the launch of a new project in pertnership with the Boston Lawyers Chapter of the Federalist Society and McCarter and English: Shakespeare & Leadership.   Taking a cue from the long tradition of Shakespeare and the Law, this staged reading performed by renowned business leaders will be followed by a panel discussion exploring the complex push and pull between the governing and the governed.
 
School Workshops - CSC brings professional theater artists into Massachusetts schools, making Shakespeare come alive in a classroom setting. Programs for high-schoolers range from a one-day workshop to a 6-week residency and are appropriate for English, speech or drama classes.  With every decade more and more complications are heaped onto our modern conception of Shakespeare’s works.  But it is the status of Shakespeare’s plays as plays that trumps all else.  “The play’s the thing,” says Hamlet. It is a tool: a means to an end, and that end is performance.  Performance is at the heart of every play in the Complete Works.  To pick up Hamlet without regard for its implied performative ends, is to greatly misunderstand and misuse the text.

Management


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Steven Maler
CEO Term Start Mar 1996
CEO Email smaler@commshakes.org
CEO Experience

Steven Maler is the founding Artistic Director of Commonwealth Shakespeare Company (CSC), which presents free productions of Shakespeare on the Boston Common.  His CSC production of Twelfth Night won the Elliot Norton award for Best Production, his production of A Midsummer Night's Dream won the Norton Award for Outstanding Director, his production of Suburbia for the SpeakEasy Stage Company won the Norton Award for Best Production, and his production of John Kuntz’s Starf***ers won the Norton Award for Best Solo Performance. Starf***ers was presented in the New York International Fringe Festival and won the Best Solo Performance Award.

He recently directed the critically-acclaimed production of All’s Well That Ends Well on Boston Common for CSC, seen by nearly 100,000 people.  Recent projects include the new musical Without You, written by and starring Anthony Rapp, which was seen at the City Theatre of Pittsburgh, the New York Music Theater Festival and in Seoul, South Korea.

Other productions include Othello starring Seth Gilliam, The Taming of the Shrew starring Jennifer Dundas, Hamlet starring Jeffrey Donovan, Macbeth starring Jay O. Sanders, Henry V starring Anthony Rapp, Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo And Juliet, As You Like It, Julius Caesar, and The Tempest for CSC; the American Premiere of Peter Eötvös' operatic treatment of Tony Kushner’s Angels in America and Thomas Ades’Powder Her Face for Opera Boston; Enrico Garzilli’s Michelangelo for Opera Providence; Turn of the Screw for The New Repertory Theatre; Santaland Diaries and Porcelain for the SpeakEasy Stage Company; Top Girls and Weldon Rising for The Coyote Theatre; and The L.A. Plays by Han Ong for the American Repertory Theatre, where he was the Artistic Associate for New Plays.  He is a graduate of the American Repertory Theatre Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University where he directed Woyzeck, Pericles, The Duchess of Malfi, and Ghosts.

Co-CEO --
Co-CEO Term Start --
Co-CEO Email --
Co-CEO Experience --

Former CEOs and Terms

Name Start End
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Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Ms Heather Darrow Director of Marketing --
Abigail Rollins Managing Director --
Ms. Joanna Rothman Director of Development --

Awards

Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --

Affiliations

Affiliation Year
-- --
Member of state association of nonprofits? No
Name of state association --

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --

Collaborations

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CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 6
Number of Part Time Staff 2
Number of Volunteers 197
Number of Contract Staff 133
Staff Retention Rate % 83%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 141
Other (if specified): Contract staff changes annually
Gender Female: 5
Male: 3
Not Specified 141

Plans & Policies

Organization has Fundraising Plan? Under Development
Organization has Strategic Plan? Under Development
Years Strategic Plan Considers --
Management Succession Plan --
Business Continuity of Operations Plan --
Organization Policies And Procedures No
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistle Blower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy --
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
State Charitable Solicitations Permit --
State Registration --

Risk Management Provisions

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Reporting and Evaluations

Management Reports to Board? Yes
CEO Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation and Frequency No N/A

Governance


Board Chair Mr. David Friedman
Board Chair Company Affiliation Boston Red Sox
Board Chair Term Oct 2014 -
Board Co-Chair --
Board Co-Chair Company Affiliation No Affiliation
Board Co-Chair Term -

Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
Ms. Anika Agarwal Tufts Medical Center Voting
Ms. Christy Cashman Saint Aire Voting
Mr. David Friedman Boston Red Sox Voting
The Hon. Nancy Gertner Harvard Law School Voting
Mr. Irwin Heller Mintz Levin Voting
Mr. Tad Heuer Foley Hoag Voting
Mr. Will Lyman Actor Voting
Mr. Steven Maler Commonwealth Shakespeare Company Voting
Mr. Sam Mazzarelli marlo marketing/communications Voting
Mr. Kier McDonough Brigos Capital Management Voting
Ms. Joan Moynagh Radcliffe Institute Voting
Mr. Scott Oran Dinosaur Capital Partners Voting
Mrs. Susan Poduska President, The Poduska Family Foundation Voting
Mr. Bryan Simmons Arcus Foundation Voting
Mr. Scott Utzinger Crawford Management Fund Voting

Constituent Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
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Youth Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Advisory Board Members

Name Company Affiliations Status
-- -- --

Board Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 1
Caucasian: 12
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 5
Male: 9
Not Specified 0

Board Information

Board Term Lengths --
Board Term Limits --
Board Meeting Attendance % --
Written Board Selection Criteria Yes
Written Conflict Of Interest Policy No
Percentage of Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage of In-Kind Contributions --
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes

Standing Committees

  • Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
  • Finance
  • Trusteeship

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

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Financials


Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2016 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2015 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2014 (%)

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Revenue $1,072,587 $1,297,758 $1,128,684
Total Expenses $1,040,862 $1,271,572 $1,105,707

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$302,152 $417,941 $299,837
Government Contributions $62,395 $109,263 $56,981
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local $62,395 $109,263 $56,981
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $148,204 $203,517 $143,416
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $325,996 $366,324 $372,707
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $154,365 $144,694 $156,104
Revenue In-Kind $74,429 $50,704 $99,002
Other $5,046 $5,315 $637

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Program Expense $488,016 $751,568 $535,300
Administration Expense $473,935 $436,440 $489,706
Fundraising Expense $78,911 $83,564 $80,701
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.03 1.02 1.02
Program Expense/Total Expenses 47% 59% 48%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 12% 10% 12%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Total Assets $254,212 $253,838 $220,341
Current Assets $177,412 $198,828 $141,661
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $94,150 $125,501 $118,190
Total Net Assets $160,062 $128,337 $102,151

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
-- --

Financial Planning

Endowment Value --
Spending Policy --
Percentage(If selected) --
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
How many months does reserve cover? --

Capital Campaign

Are you currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Purpose --
Campaign Goal --
Capital Campaign Dates -
Capital Campaign Raised-to-Date Amount --
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? --

Short Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.88 1.58 1.20

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2016 2015 2014
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments

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Foundation Comments

Financial summary data in the charts and graphs above are per the organization's audited financials.
 
This organization was under the umbrella of a larger nonprofit prior to the financials posted and, as such, does not have independent financials available, for the fiscal years prior to 2009.

Documents


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.

Impact

The Impact tab is a section on the Giving Common added in October 2013; as such the majority of nonprofits have not yet had the chance to complete this voluntary section. The purpose of the Impact section is to ask five deceptively simple questions that require reflection and promote communication about what really matters – results. The goal is to encourage strategic thinking about how a nonprofit will achieve its goals. The following Impact questions are being completed by nonprofits slowly, thoughtfully and at the right time for their respective organizations to ensure the most accurate information possible.


1. What is your organization aiming to accomplish?

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2. What are your strategies for making this happen?

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3. What are your organization’s capabilities for doing this?

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4. How will your organization know if you are making progress?

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5. What have and haven’t you accomplished so far?

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