You’ll find Shakespeare mixed into the seasons of many of Boston’s theaters—from its warhorses to its community projects—but these picks will bring you regular and reliable doses of the Bard all year long, whether you’re a connoisseur or you’re looking to finally overcome whatever dread of Elizabethan English your high school English teacher may have instilled in you.
By Bryce Lambert
Actors’ Shakespeare Project
Boston’s premiere Shakespeare company produces a full theater season of Shakespeare each year, consistently offering fresh perspectives on everything from familiar mainstays to relative obscurities. A talented resident company performs in some of Boston’s most unique and under-used theater spaces in inspired, intelligent productions that demonstrate an ardent love and understanding of Shakespeare’s plays. Watch for special events throughout their season.
The Donkey Show
2 Arrow St.
A merger of disco, Shakespeare, and something that apparently happens to donkeys in Tijuana, The Donkey Show sets the plot of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the A.R.T.’s re-invented club theater venue Oberon. Shakespeare aficionados be warned, you won’t find any of the Bard’s poetry here. Audiences either love it or hate it, but, considering its tremendous popularity among regular theater-goers, club kids, and bachelorettes, “The Donkey Show’s” spectacle is pleasing to the Studio 54 denizen in most of us.
Commonwealth Shakespeare Company
The Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s mission is to bring a free, first class Shakespeare production to Bostonians each summer, in the beautiful setting of the Boston Common. Pairing local actors with imported talent of national fame, Commonwealth Shakespeare’s family and picnic friendly productions draw large crowds during their summertime runs, so be sure to arrive early to claim your patch of grass.
Hyperion Shakespeare Company
A Harvard dramatic student organization dedicated to performing Shakespeare and other Early Modern plays, Hyperion usually produces two shows each year at various small venues on Harvard’s campus. They can be counted on for low priced (or free) tickets and smart, uncompromising productions. Be sure to check the HRDC calendar for Shakespeare by other Harvard student organizations.
Bryce Lambert blogs on the Boston arts scene at BostonLowbrow.com, offering the occasional review and commentary on local shows, concerts, and art exhibitions.