The stage lights come on again as Artistic Director Tony Simotes kicks off a celebratory season in honor of the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth with Shakespeare’s Will, directed by Daniela Varon and featuring Kristin Wold. This provocative one-woman play by Canadian playwright Vern Thiessen imagines the bold and unapologetic journey of Shakespeare’s enigmatic wife, Anne Hathaway, and the couple’s unconventional courtship and marriage. Performances run in Shakespeare & Co.’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox from Saturday (May 24)–August 24.
450 years after his birth, Shakespeare’s works continue to survive and his popularity continues to accelerate with uncountable works of scholarship, criticism and literature that he has inspired. No other artist has ever had so much written about him, but the facts we have about William Shakespeare of Stratford are surprisingly few… and the facts we have about his wife, Anne Hathaway, are even fewer. Married to the greatest wordsmith of all time, Hathaway may well have been illiterate; no words of hers survive. However, we do have Shakespeare’s last will and testament, amended in March, 1616, about a month before his death.