Summer 2014 Preview by Larry Murray
Tony Simotes, artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, revealed their upcoming 2014 season in the Berkshires, as he and the organization have redoubled their commitment to performing works by Shakespeare. There’s a tempting array of other theatrical fare as well, the common denominator being witty, intelligent writing and creative staging.
As always, Simotes has planned a provocative and ambitious lineup for the company’s 37th summer performance season. Replete with Shakespeare, modern works, premieres and special events, the new year will honor the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.
“450 years later Shakespeare’s plays are still fresh and remarkably relevant to today’s audiences,” says Simotes. “Our 37th season is especially celebratory as we mark Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday and reimagine some of his greatest plays that have become signature pieces for us over the years. A perennial favorite of Shakespeare’s work, the magical and vibrant comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream was our first Mainstage production in 1978 and gets a fresh take as it unfolds during the jazz age in America along the Mississippi Delta. As comedy heats up the Playhouse, another one of our signature pieces, Julius Caesar, hits the Bernstein boards. Filled with political intrigue and betrayal, founding artistic director Tina Packer brings us this ‘bare Bard’ Caesar, with only 7 actors playing all the roles. Fans of outdoor theatre will be thrilled by our second consecutive year back at the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s home, and our limited summer run of the timeless love story of Romeo and Juliet, also performed in our ‘bare Bard’ style and by our 6-actor Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare troupe. Last year we committed to bringing the History Cycle to life and we deliver on that promise on the Playhouse stage with both parts of Henry IV – condensed into one action and drama-packed evening.”