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Organization DBA --
Former Names --
Organization received a competitive grant from the Boston Foundation in the past five years Yes



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, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015
Projected Income $1,147,827.00
Projected Expense $1,147,663.00

ProgramsMORE »

  • Shakespeare on the Common
  • Summer Academy
  • Tour of the Parks

Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

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


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 sixteenth season, “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 2010 CSC’s production of Othello performed to a record-break of 111,000 people.

Impact Statement

Accomplishments in 2012:

 1. We presented a critically-acclaimed and well-received production of Coriolanus.  CSC saw the one millionth audience member at Shakespeare on the Common during its 17th season.

2. In 2012, CSC expanded its year-round education initiatives in Everett High School with The Public Poet as a new in school program.  CSC also started partnerships in the Chelsea and Charlestown Boys and Girls Clubs introducing Shakespeare and theatre to youth as a new afterschool program.  

3. CSC collaborated with Boston Landmarks Orchestra on the Esplanade for the first time on August 29, 2012 presenting short scenes of Shakespeare's text alongside incidental music performed by the orchestra. 

4. Most recently, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Suffolk University co-produced the world premiere of Robert Brustein's The Last Will at the Modern Theatre This production was the final installment of Suffolk University's Distinguished Scholar in Residence Robert Brustein's trilogy about the life of William Shakespeare.  The Last Will was also Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's first ticketed, indoor production in its history.


Goals for 2013:

1. CSC is looking to engage another full-time, seasoned fundraising professional in the development department to improve the organizations infrastructure.  This goes hand in hand with expanding fundraising efforts as CSC continues to grow.

2. Deepen connections with the Shakespeare on the Common audience by offering a more comprehensive disability access program.  CSC has had one ASL interpreted performance of Shakespeare on the Common since its beginning.  Our goal this year is to expand disability access to the visual and hearing impaired and to restructure our seating area on the Common to be more accommodating to those with mobility limitations.

3. CSC will continue to foster new collaborations and partnerships with a number of organizations to expand artistic vision in the arts community.



Needs Statement

1. CSC needs to raise $700,000 a year to meet its operating budget.  Our mission-driven free programming limits our earned revenue potential and creates a unique model that requires increased contributed income to meet our annual expenses.  Government support covers less than 5% of our annual budget; we rely on the support of foundations, corporate sponsors, and individual donors to keep our programs going year after year.
2.  CSC needs a strategic plan to focus its board and staff and be able to effectively meet the challenges of the next five years.  Cost = $50,000.
3. CSC's year-round staff consists of 3 full-time and 3 part-time employees, plus 3 interns.  We need to convert these part-time positions to full-time in order to maintain productive and efficient operations.  Cost range = $13,000 to $128,000 plus benefits.
4. We need to purchase the items we currently rent to build the infrastructure for Shakespeare on the Common, including a trussing system, a decking system, a generator, cabling, and dressing room trailers.  Cost = $25,000/year for four years.
5. CSC is in need of a permanent and viable rehearsal space.  Throughout the year, CSC looks for space to hold classes, auditions, rehearsals, and educational programming.  Cost = $15,000/year.



CEO Statement


Board Chair Statement


Geographic Area Served

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



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, Shakespeare on the Common has introduced thousands of people to the magic of live theatre, drawing approximately 100,000 people every summer.  To enhance these performances, CSC also presents free jazz concerts, nightly educational lectures, senior matinees, and a full day of family-friendly programming.   Since its debut in 1996,Shakespeare on the Commonhas become a highlight of the summer season in Boston and enjoys the enthusiastic support of Mayor Menino and other city officials as well as the general public.  
Budget  $301,814.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Population Served General/Unspecified
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Summer Academy

CSC’s Summer Academy attracts the very best aspiring young theater practitioners offering the opportunity to participate in a rigorous training program.  The Academy is divided into two age groups: the Apprentice Program for college-aged students and the BARDS program for high-school students.  Students in both programs take classes in Acting, Movement, and Voice & Speech, all taught by some of Boston’s most highly-esteemed theatre professionals. The Apprentice Program also offers a unique opportunity to work alongside theatre professionals, performing for thousands in Shakespeare on the Common as well as in our outreach program Tour of the Parks.  Both programs are tuition-based; opportunities for financial aid are available.
Budget  $29,114.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theater Arts Instruction
Population Served Adolescents Only (13-19 years) US& International
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program Success  --

Tour of the Parks

This program tours free, family-friendly Shakespearean performances to neighborhood parks in the Greater Boston area, with the goal of exposing underserved youth to the magic of live theatre.  CSC is aware that cost is not the only barrier to attending a Shakespeare performance,.  The pieces created for Tour of the Parks are accessible to a young audience, engaging, and performed by actors similar in age to the target audience.  Drawing actors from the Summer Apprentice Program, Tour of the Parks offers practical experience for young performers, while showing them that it is never too early to start giving back through their craft.
Budget  $23,286.00
Category  Arts, Culture & Humanities, General/Other Theatrical Performances
Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) Families Adults
Program Short-Term Success  --
Program Long-Term Success  --
Program Success Monitored By  --
Examples of Program 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.


CEO/Executive Director Mr. Steven Maler
CEO Term Start Mar 1996
CEO Email [email protected]
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
-- -- --

Senior Staff

Name Title Experience/Biography
Nicole Leonard Director of Development --
Abigail Rollins General Manager --


Award Awarding Organization Year
-- -- --


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

External Assessments and Accreditations

External Assessment or Accreditation Year
-- --



CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments


Staff Information

Number of Full Time Staff 4
Number of Part Time Staff 5
Number of Volunteers 197
Number of Contract Staff 65
Staff Retention Rate % 75%

Staff Demographics

Ethnicity African American/Black: 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander: 0
Caucasian: 0
Hispanic/Latino: 0
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 74
Other (if specified): Contract staff changes annually
Gender Female: 6
Male: 3
Not Specified 65

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


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


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
Mr. Jarrett Barrios American Red Cross 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. 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
Ms. Beth Myers The Shawmut Group 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
-- -- --

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: 13
Hispanic/Latino: 1
Native American/American Indian: 0
Other: 0
Other (if specified): --
Gender Female: 6
Male: 10
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

  • Finance
  • Trusteeship

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


Foundation Comments



Revenue vs. Expense ($000s)

Expense Breakdown 2013 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2012 (%)

Expense Breakdown 2011 (%)

Fiscal Year Oct 01, 2014 to Sept 30, 2015
Projected Income $1,147,827.00
Projected Expense $1,147,663.00
Form 990s

2013 990

2012 990

2011 990

2010 990

2009 990

Audit Documents

2013 Audited Financials

2012 Audited Financials

2011 Audited Financials

2010 Audited Financials

2009 Financial Compilation

IRS Letter of Exemption

IRS Letter of Determination

Prior Three Years Total Revenue and Expense Totals

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Revenue $993,767 $670,320 $862,599
Total Expenses $983,502 $710,364 $793,455

Prior Three Years Revenue Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$173,092 $200,030 $315,440
Government Contributions $17,300 $39,700 $34,166
    Federal -- -- --
    State -- -- --
    Local $17,300 $39,700 $34,166
    Unspecified -- -- --
Individual Contributions $148,514 $155,002 $193,971
Indirect Public Support -- -- --
Earned Revenue $260,419 $69,449 $63,611
Investment Income, Net of Losses -- -- --
Membership Dues -- -- --
Special Events $253,330 $187,660 $114,091
Revenue In-Kind $141,112 $18,474 $141,219
Other -- $5 $101

Prior Three Years Expense Allocations

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Program Expense $460,920 $349,773 $371,093
Administration Expense $458,926 $304,118 $375,581
Fundraising Expense $63,656 $56,473 $46,781
Payments to Affiliates -- -- --
Total Revenue/Total Expenses 1.01 0.94 1.09
Program Expense/Total Expenses 47% 49% 47%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue 11% 10% 7%

Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Total Assets $144,748 $118,521 $211,241
Current Assets $111,496 $63,178 $160,242
Long-Term Liabilities $0 $0 $0
Current Liabilities $65,574 $49,612 $102,288
Total Net Assets $79,174 $68,909 $108,953

Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
1st (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
John W. Henry Family Foundation $50,000.00
2nd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
Klarman Family Foundation $50,000.00
3rd (Source and Amount) -- --
-- --
The Boston Foundation $25,000.00

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 2013 2012 2011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities 1.70 1.27 1.57

Long Term Solvency

Fiscal Year 2013 2012 2011
Long-term Liabilities/Total Assets 0% 0% 0%

CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments


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.


Other Documents

No Other Documents currently available.


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