Shakespeare and Company

Likely the final piece that William Shakespeare penned alone, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter Miranda, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.

Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows directs The Tempest and it marks the inaugural production in the new Roman Garden Theatre. Here to tell us more are company members Nigel Gore, Tamara Hickey and Josh Aaron McCabe. 

Tamara Hickey and Thomas Brazzle in Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company
Stratton McCrady / shakespeare.org

We're at Tanglewood this morning and just a few miles away through the Berkshire beauty of Lenox lives another cultural gem, Shakespeare & Company.

Cymbeline is a rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve with wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love.

We are joined now by Tamara Hickey who plays Imogen in Cymbeline; Allyn Burrows, artistic director, at Shakespeare & Company; and Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company and Director of Cymbeline. The production also marks a personal milestone for Packer, who, after opening her production of Cymbeline, will have directed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.

Alan Cleaver/Flickr

The Berkshires theatre community is mourning the death of an actress and advocate for the arts who was killed by a truck this week. Local police are calling for help from the Massachusetts Department of Transportation to make sure something like this never happens again. 

Shakespeare & Company has announced its lineup for the 2017 summer season, which includes three Shakespeare plays: Cymbeline, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night's Dream; plus two Edith Wharton comedies, Roman Fever and the newly adapted The Fullness of Life.

Additional titles include the Obie Award winning 4,000 Miles by Amy Herzog; New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Recipient, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; and Tony Award Winner, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza.

This year marks the 40th Season at Shakespeare & Company -represents an opportunity to celebrate the company’s legacy. To tell us more we welcome Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Shakespeare & Co. Founder, Tina Packer. 

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."

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