Shakespeare and Company

Allyn Burrows
Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare and Company in Lenox named a new artistic director last week after a period of leadership change. Allyn Burrows was with the company from 1989 to 2006 as an actor and board member. Since 2010 he’s been Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston. In September 2014, Rick Dildine started as executive director with Shakespeare and Company; two months later, a founding member left the organization. Dildine abruptly departed in March 2015 and days later three board members resigned. Burrows spoke with WAMC News about why he rejoined Shakespeare and Company.

Allyn Burrows
Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts has named a new artistic director after a period of leadership change.

Most Shakespearean scholars – of which I am not – classify The Merchant of Venice as a comedy. This play was written following a period when William Shakespeare became known for his popular portrayals of English kings.

A perilous romance. A tragic history. An infamous wager.

Shakespeare’s most controversial yet poignant play, The Merchant of Venice, offers a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, money and revenge, ending ultimately in a choice between life and death.

Shakespeare & Company’s Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer reunites with longtime Company member Jonathan Epstein as Shylock, the Bard’s most memorable and highly charged outsider. Tamara Hickey plays Portia in the production. 

Brexit - Tina Packer

Jun 24, 2016

  One of our favorite Brits, Tina Packer - founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA -  joins us to share her thoughts and feelings on the Referendum of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union.

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

  Fresh from their starring roles in Cymbeline at the Delacorte Theater in New York, real life couple Lily Rabe and Hamish Linklater will appear together at Shakespeare & Company in a special Staged Reading of Shakespeare's great historical tragedy Richard III, to benefit the Company's performance, training and education programs.

This special event will take place on Saturday, October 10 at 2 p.m. in the Tina Packer Playhouse. Ms. Rabe will portray Queen Elizabeth, opposite Mr. Linklater who is cast in the title role. The reading will be directed by Co-Artistic Director Jonathan Croy.

Hamish Linklater and Jonathan Croy join us.

  Legendary talk show host, Broadway actor and three-time Emmy Award Winner Dick Cavett will be on hand to host the one-night-only Shakespeare & Company Benefit Performance of Broadway in the Berkshires on Monday, August 3 at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington, MA.

Cavett has been nominated for eleven Emmy awards (the most recent in 2012 for the HBO special, Mel Brooks and Dick Cavett Together Again), and won three. He is a master interviewer. He started at ABC in 1968, and also enjoyed success on PBS, USA, and CNBC.

He has appeared in movies, TV specials, and several Broadway shows including Into the Woods, The Rocky Horror Show, Otherwise Engaged. His most recent book is: Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic moments, and Assorted Hijinks – a collection of his online opinion column, written for The New York Times since 2007.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "The How and the Why"

Jun 26, 2015

Friction and discomfort are apparent from the moment Rachel tosses her backpack on a chair in the classic Ivy League office of Professor Zelda Kahn.  They are meeting for the first time, on the eve of a major biology conference.  The edginess on the part of both women continues throughout The How and the Why – the play now on stage at Shakespeare & Company.  This tension colors and, indeed, “grows” the play.

  Tina Packer is one of the world's leading authorities on Shakespeare's work and the Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA.

She'll be delivering the 19th Annual Burian Lecture on April 13th at SUNY Albany, sponsored by the Department of Theatre and co-sponsored by the NYS Writers Institute. In the lecture she'll discuss her new book, Women of Will: The Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

A founding member of Shakespeare & Company who left the organization in November is taking on a leadership role with Berkshire Theatre Group.

Facebook: Berkshire Theatre Group

A founding member of Shakespeare & Company who left the organization in November, is taking on a leadership role with Berkshire Theatre Group.

Facebook: Shakespeare & Company

It has been a tumultuous few weeks for Shakespeare & Company. In early March, executive director Rick Dildine abruptly resigned to return to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis as artistic and executive director. That was just six months after he came to Lenox.

Facebook: Shakespeare & Company

Turmoil seems to be the play that’s currently on stage at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. A week after its executive director split six months in, three leaders of the board of trustees are resigning from their posts.

Facebook: Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company’s director is returning to his previous post in St. Louis months after joining the organization.

Facebook: Shakespeare & Company

Just like its neighbor to the north the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Shakespeare & Company is launching its 2015 season under new leadership.

Rick Dildine started as executive director for the Lenox-based company in September having previously served as artistic and executive director of the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Dildine spoke with WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Jim Levulis about the upcoming season, which typically draws about 60,000 people.

    Shakespeare & Company currently presents the comedy thriller Private Eyes written by Steven Dietz and directed by Jonathan Croy. Private Eyes runs weekends only in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre September 20 – November 9.

In the play, Theatre and life intertwine when actors Matthew and Lisa, a happily married couple, find the truth nearly too impossible to uncover. The cast features Company artists Caroline Calkins and Luke Reed and they join us now along with director, Jonathan Croy.

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A founding member of Shakespeare & Company says he is leaving the Lenox-based theater group next month.

Kevin Sprague Photography

  OBIE Award-winning playwright Christopher Durang sets his newest comedy in a Pennsylvanian farmhouse, where Vanya and his adopted sister Sonia find their lives turned upside down when their narcissistic movie star sister, Masha, shows up with her prized and much younger boyfriend Spike. This Tony-award winning homage to Chekhov unleashes a healthy dose of mayhem and hilarity over the course of a weekend when sibling rivalries, regrets, hopes and dreams are revealed.

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike is currently running in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. The production is directed by Matthew Penn who joins us along with Elizabeth Aspenlieder who plays Masha.

When classifying a humorous play, we generally label it into one of two categories: comedy or farce.  In comedy we recognize people or events to which we can relate, understand and even laugh at ourselves.  Farce, on the other hand, is an exaggerated humor or ridiculous action, leading us to laugh at what is being said and performed on the stage with little relationship to our lives or personal behavior.

  Shakspeare and Company is a cultural - and physical - neighbor to Tanglewood. Located in Lenox, MA, Shakespeare and Company was founded in 1978.

  This summer they present the Bard’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV, Parts I & II, The Servant of Two Masters, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar along with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged); Shakespeare’s Will; and Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.

Tony Simotes, Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company and director of this season’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream joins us, as does Tina Packer, Jason Asprey, and Nigel Gore. Tina has directed Jason and Nigel in a pared down ‘bare Bard’ production of Julius Ceasar - in which 7 actors play all the roles.

Herbert Wolff Reviews "Shakespeare's Will"

Jun 29, 2014

Today theater reviewer Herbert Wolff looks at the Shakespeare and Company production of "Shakepeare's Will,"  playing now through August 24 at the Bernstein Theater.

GoFundMe.com: Save Shakespeare At Taconic

Facing a funding cut, parents and students from a Pittsfield high school are in the midst of a fundraising campaign in hopes of maintaining their presence at an annual theater festival.

   A divorced couple, Elyot and Amanda are honeymooning with their new spouses in the South of France. By chance they meet across adjoining hotel balconies, and without concern for scandal, their new partners, or any memory of what drove them apart in the first place, Elyot and Amanda rekindle their former tempestuous relationship.

    The Beauty Queen of Leenane at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA is directed by Matthew Penn (making his debut with the Company). It features the indomitable Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, long-time Company actor Elizabeth Aspenlieder, and newcomers Edmund Donovan and David Sedgwick.

Steeped with razor sharp wit, humor and humanity, The Beauty Queen of Leenane runs through September 15 in the Bernstein Theatre.

Set in the small village of Leenane, County Galway in Ireland, the play tracks the dysfunctional relationship between a mother and daughter who are locked in a dance of mutual loathing, which may prove more durable than any love. Irish writer Martin McDonagh has become one of the most powerful voices writing for stage and screen, and his critically acclaimed career began with a Tony Award-winning debut, The Beauty Queen of Leenane.

Bob Goepfert Reviews Mother Courage

Aug 10, 2013

Credit Shakespeare and CompanyOlympia Dukakis as Mother Courage in Mother Courage and Her Children.Edit | Remove

Theater reviewer Bob Goepfert takes a look at the Shakespeare and Company production of "Mother Courage and Her Children."

    Considered by many to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th Century, Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children is set against the backdrop of the Thirty Years War and follows the fate of Mother Courage, an artful canteen woman with the Swedish Army, intent on keeping her business and family alive amid the destruction of war.

Mother Courage and Her Children still resonates today as a profound insight into the moral implications of war. The show is running in the Tina Packer Playhouse as part of Shakespeare and Company’s season through August 25th.

The production is directed by Shakespeare and Company’s Artistic Director, Tony Simotes and features Olympia Dukakis, Apollo Dukakis, and John Douglas Thompson.

  On Monday evening August 5th, Maureen O'Flynn and John Cheek - leading singers from the Metropolitan opera - will be among the performers in the return performance of the new opera Pearl, which is a modern retelling of The Scarlet Letter from the viewpoint of the daughter of Hester Prynne – now with new music and a new ending.

The project was initiated by the conductor Sara Jobin, a Berkshire resident and the first woman to conduct the San Francisco Opera, the composer is Amy Scurria and the libretto, written by Carol Gilligan and her son Jonathan Gilligan, based on her play, The Scarlet Letter, which was commissioned and produced by Shakespeare & Company in 2002.

Joining this morning, Librettist Carol Gilligan, Music Director and Producer Sara Jobin and soprano Maureen Flynn.

Kevin Sprague

    A master class with famed opera singer Maria Callas is an intimidating affair. Just ask Sophie, her first “victim” in Terrence McNally’s Tony Award-winning Master Class – now being presented by Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA.

McNally takes us inside Callas’ infamous sessions, which she conducted late in her career. Callas regales us with the details of her illustrious and controversial professional life, encouraging her pupils to take notes. Master Class prompts the question so often posed by artists: What is the price of fame?

Actress Annette Miller embodies Callas in a true tour de force performance. Miller was last seen at Shakespeare & Company’s 35th Season hit, The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife. She and Elizabeth Aspenlieder join us - she is the Communications Director and an Artistic Associate at Shakespeare & Company.

Kevin Sprague

  The Liar was originally penned by the classic 17th Century playwright Pierre Corneille, in 1664. The play as all of the ingredients of a perfect French farce - a tangled web of lies, misdirected advances, and the unmistakable confusion of love.

Shakespeare and Company is producing an adaptation by award-winning American playwright, David Ives, which merges the iambic humor of classic verse with a contemporary twist.

We are joined by director Kevin G. Coleman and actors David Joseph and Alexandra Lincoln.

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