More Shakespeare Than Ever in Lenox This Summer as Tony Simotes Announces S&Co 2014 Season [Berkshire on Stage]

January 29th, 2014, 1:00 pm by Sara
The extensive campus of Shakespeare & Company

The extensive campus of Shakespeare & Company

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.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


After the Show: Burns and Murray Talk About the 24 Hour Theatre Project [Berkshire on Stage]

April 18th, 2012, 12:30 pm by Sara
Gail Burns and Larry Murray talk about the 24 Hour Theatre Project

Event: The 24 Hour Theatre Project with WAM Theatre and MOPCO at Shakespeare & Company, Lenox MA on April 14, 2012.

Gail Burns: This looks like it is going to be a new adventure, sharing our after-show conversations with the whole world.

Larry Murray: I’m glad we are starting with a winner, which I think this second iteration of the 24 Hour Theatre Project turned out to be. Five women playwrights – Cindy L. Parrish, Rachel Siegel, Kelli Newby, Kat Koppet, and Liz Duffy Adams – wrote five new short plays, and with the help of dozens of actors, directors, stage managers and other theatre people managed to get them on stage before a paying public in less than 24 hours. It is an incredible feat, especially considering the pressure cooker atmosphere that must prevail.

Gail: I was invited to be a playwright on this project (What an honor!) and declined (Stupid ass!) because I wasn’t sure I could write anything coherent under all that pressure – and I knew I couldn’t do it between 7 pm and 7 am! So as a writer sitting there thinking “Damn! Those could have been my lines getting all the laughs!” I was really, really impressed with the caliber of the scripts. I would have drunk too much coffee and cried all night.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Coming To Shakespeare & Company in 2012: Lear, Tempest, Satchmo, Red, Allergist’s Wife, Tartuffe, More [Berkshire on Stage]

January 11th, 2012, 1:30 pm by Sara
John Douglas Thompson as “Satchmo”, a new play by Terry Teachout. (photo by Kevin Sprague)

John Douglas Thompson as “Satchmo”, a new play by Terry Teachout. (photo by Kevin Sprague)

Tony Simotes was in an ebullient mood today as he played ringmaster for Shakespeare & Company’s news briefing on his 2012 season selections. For their 35th Year, Simotes will have the feisty company mixing up the classics with some hot new properties to stretch the troupe’s creative muscles. Remarking on a friend’s observation that it seems the coming Summer will see lots of old standards like A Chorus Line and Fiddler on the Roof populating the region’s major theatres, he reminded everyone that “Nobody does older plays than us!”

Olympia Dukakis to take on Prospero in “The Tempest”

With both Shakespeare’s Tempest and King Lear on the docket for 2012, drama will be king at the Company’s 412 mainstage Founder’s Theatre. Simotes will direct The Tempest with the incomparable, Academy Award-winning actress Olympia Dukakis as Prospero, along with a staggering list of other talented actors. They include her brother Apollo Dukakis, who plays Gonzalo, Rocco Sisto who reinvents his Caliban (this three time OBIE Award winner and S&Co. founding member played Caliban in a past production at S&Co.) and Kristin Wold, who will reprise her role as Ariel which she played here in 2001.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Dennis Krausnick Takes on King Cymbeline Dec. 16-17 @ Shakespeare & Company [Berkshire on Stage]

December 13th, 2011, 2:00 pm by Sara
Dennis Krausnick is seen above in a photo by Kevin Sprague

The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company will offer a winter production of Cymbeline, featuring Shakespeare and Company founder and Director of Training, Dennis Krausnick, in the title role. Performances will be on December 16 and 17 2010. Dennis Krausnick is seen above in a photo by Kevin Sprague, taken for his Lear Project several years ago.

The Story of Cymbeline

A princess who longs to be with her true love, a contriving stepmother, and a wise king who is led astray; Cymbeline was listed in the First Folio as a tragedy, but is now classified by many scholars as a romance, sharing this distinction with a handful of Shakespeare’s late plays such as Pericles for their mystical and redemptive final acts. Written by Shakespeare in 1609, Cymbeline plumbs the depths of family dysfunction as tensions grow when King Cymbeline’s daughter, Imogen, marries the modest Posthumus instead of Cloten, the son of her stepmother Queen. Meanwhile, the vindictive and divisive Queen conspires to murder Imogen and her father Cymbeline, thus paving the road for Cloten to take the throne. Posthumus is consequently banished by the King and Imogen runs away—in true Shakespearean fashion—disguised as a boy.

Cymbeline learns of his wife’s murderous conspiracy and longs for the return of his beloved daughter. In her wanderings, Imogen finds her two brothers, who were kidnapped at birth. Fate continues to align the stars of Cymbeline, Imogen, and Posthumus, ultimately leading to a long-awaited reconciliation. Beyond the convoluted plot, Cymbeline is a story in which the characters are subjected to the harsh trials of fate, but ultimately their faith and goodwill lead to a redemptive reunion.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

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