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John Douglas Thompson to star in Shakespeare on the Common’s ‘Tempest’

John Douglas Thompson will portray the sorcerer Prospero this summer in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company's production of “The Tempest’’ on Boston Common.Steven G. Smith for The Boston Globe

The renowned Shakespearean actor John Douglas Thompson will portray the island sorcerer Prospero this summer in Commonwealth Shakespeare Company’s production of “The Tempest’’ on Boston Common.

Marking the 25th anniversary of CSC’s Free Shakespeare on the Common series, “The Tempest’’ will be helmed by founding artistic director Steven Maler and is scheduled to run July 22-Aug. 9.

CSC announced Friday that it will pay the actors, designers, stage managers, and core technical and production staff involved in “The Tempest’’ even if it is postponed, a nod to the uncertainty surrounding all upcoming public events due to the coronavirus pandemic. The company’s statement cited a desire to “provide a level of economic stability for the team committed to bringing joy to the people of Boston this summer.’’


Thompson has won acclaim for his performances of Shakespeare as well as numerous other roles in New York and at regional theaters, including Cambridge’s American Repertory Theater and Lenox’s Shakespeare & Company. His 2018 portrayal of boxer Emile Griffith, living out his days in a haze of dementia in Michael Cristofer’s “Man in the Ring'' at Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, earned Thompson the Elliot Norton Award as outstanding actor from the Boston Theater Critics Association.

Nora Eschenheimer, who delivered a performance of fire and wit last summer as the princess Imogen in CSC’s “Cymbeline,’’ will play Miranda, Prospero’s daughter, in “The Tempest.’’ The cast will also include such notable Boston-area actors as John Kuntz, as Trinculo; Nael Nacer, as Caliban; Remo Airaldi, as Antonio; Fred Sullivan Jr., as Stephano; and Michael Underhill, as Ferdinand.

Don Aucoin can be reached at Follow him @GlobeAucoin.