Shakespeare & Co. Celebrates The Bard’s Birthday [Berkshire on Stage]

April 20th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara
Graphic design by Kevin Sprague.

Graphic design by Kevin Sprague

Each year Shakespeare festivals around the globe celebrate the birthday of our greatest playwright with special events. And at 7pm on Saturday (April 22), Shakespeare & Company in Lenox joins in the movement, hosting the Northeast Regional Tour’s production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the Tina Packer Playhouse. A reception with the cast will follow the performance.

“The Bard’s birthday celebration is an event for the whole family,” said Director Jonathan Croy. “With an exhilarating 90-minute performance, followed by a reception with the artists, and, of course, a slice of birthday cake, it is a great way to add a little magic and mischief to your evening.”

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of the Bard’s most performed plays. The plot involves four lovers lost in the woods and a group of rude mechanicals who have set out to put on a play. Very quickly, they all become entangled in a dream world. The Fairy Kingdom is at odds, spells are cast and the devilish sprite Puck weaves his mischief amongst the mortals, but is all fair in love and war?

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Advertisement

REVIEW: “Emilie: La Marquise du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

April 5th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara
Kim Stauffer and Suzanne Ankrum as the dead and the dying Emilie. Photo by Enrico Spada.

Kim Stauffer and Suzanne Ankrum as the dead and the dying Emilie. Photo by Enrico Spada.

Review by Macey Levin

Emilie: La Marquise Du Chalet Defends Her Life Tonight by Lauren Gunderson is receiving a high-energy remounting by WAM Theatre at Shakespeare & Co.’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox. It was previously performed in 2013 in a highly praised production. The original WAM cast has reunited to once again bring an electric piece of theater to a Berkshire stage.

Emilie du Chalet died at the age of 42 in Paris in 1748. She had built a career for herself that was unheard of for a woman as a physicist, a mathematician, a translator, an author and, though married, the famed Voltaire’s mistress. When Emilie greets us at the very opening of the play, she has just passed away. She proceeds to tell us of her life in order to define the kind of woman she was so that history and we will remember her.

Married to a military man who is often away fighting in France’s wars, she indulges her passion for physics to the detriment of her daughter. She also indulges her need for Voltaire, the famed scientist/philosopher. Her initial relationship with him is on a professional level as they work through various mathematical problems in preparation of a book. Due to his romantic escapades she offers him the use of a rural house and joins him there as his lover.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

“Lovers’ Spat” @ Shakespeare & Co. This Weekend [Berkshire on Stage]

February 17th, 2017, 2:00 pm by Sara
A Lovers’ Spat can take many forms.

A Lovers’ Spat can take many forms.

Shakespeare & Company is pleased to announce Lovers’ Spat: Shakespeare’s Famous Couple’s Encounters on Saturday (February 18) at 7pm and Sunday (February 19) at 2pm. Company actors and guest performers explore the complexities of love in staged readings featuring Shakespeare’s most notorious couples’ loving, fighting, scheming and wooing. Lover’s Spat is directed by Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and performed in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in Lenox.

“The best part of quarreling is making up,” said Allyn Burrows. “On this Valentine’s weekend we do the quarreling, and you do the making up, or making out, or making your sweetheart laugh.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Shakespeare & Company Announces Its 40th Anniversary Season [Berkshire on Stage]

February 16th, 2017, 2:15 pm by Sara
Illustrations by Kevin Sprague

Illustrations by Kevin Sprague

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox has announced its line-up 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.

“Marking this 40th Season at Shakespeare & Company represents a thrilling opportunity for us to celebrate our company’s legacy, to take stock of where we are, and to look forward to an exciting future,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “Our robust 2017 programming highlighting the Bard is expanded to include special musical guests and contemporary women writers. We heartily invite people to make our grounds a destination to picnic, and enjoy a true Berkshire theatrical experience, including our new outdoor theatre in the Shakespeare’s Garden.”

The new Garden Theatre, located directly across from the Tina Packer Playhouse, is an intimate outdoor performance space with comfortable seating. This summer the space will be home to The Tempest, performed in-the-round at dusk. The Company will also present a 90-minute production of A Midsummer’s Night Dream outdoors in the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home. The popular Fourth of July Community Event, featuring the reading of the Declaration of Independence, will also return this summer.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Shakespeare & Co.’s Winter Studio Festival of Plays [Berkshire on Stage]

January 10th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara

Shakespeare & Company presents its Winter Studio Festival of Plays on Saturday & Sunday (January 14 & 15). This weekend of staged readings will showcase a diverse array of playwrights and feature both emerging and established actors. All performances will take place in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre on the Shakespeare & Company campus in Lenox.

“We are thrilled to be able to produce readings of both new plays and enduring classics,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “Sharing the powerful language of these influential writers in the off-season is important to keep the home fires burning. The Studio Festival gives actors and audiences an opportunity to connect and engage more intimately while exploring these provocative scripts.”

The Winter Studio Festival titles include St. Petersburg: 1913 by local playwright (and former UAlbany theater professor) Robert Sugarman; Susan Smith Blackburn Award Winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl; OBIE Award winning dark comedy, Curse of the Starving Class by Sam Shepard; Beyond the Veil by Berkshire native Emily Devoti; and Anton Chekhov’s classic The Cherry Orchard. Each reading will be followed by a post-show discussion.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

This Week: “It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

December 14th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Jennie M. Jadow, Ryan Winkles and Sarah Taylor in It’s A Wonderful Life (photo:  Enrico Spada)

Jennie M. Jadow, Ryan Winkles and Sarah Taylor in “It’s a Wonderful Life” (photo: Enrico Spada)

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox brings back the popular show It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, a beloved holiday classic adapted from the original 1946 film. Directed by Jenna Ware and featuring Company actors Jonathan Croy, Jennie M. Jadow, David Joseph, Sarah Jeanette Taylor and Ryan Winkles, the production runs from Wednesday-Sunday (December 15-18) in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

Adapted by Joe Landry from the original screenplay by Frances Goodrich, Albert Hackett, Frank Capra and Joe Swerling, the play is set in a radio studio on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1946, when five radio personalities are live, on-air, retelling the story of George Bailey, who goes on an “other-worldly” journey with “angel, second class” Clarence at his side to show him what the world would’ve been like if he had never been born. The play is presented with live sound effects and rapid character changes from all the actors who also perform radio jingles, and popular holiday and Christmas songs reminiscent of the time.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Finn Wittrock to Star in Shakespeare & Co.’s “Hamlet” Reading [Berkshire on Stage]

September 21st, 2016, 3:00 pm by Sara
Finn Wittrock

Finn Wittrock

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox will present a staged reading of William Shakespeare’s masterpiece, Hamlet, at 7pm on Saturday, October 8. Featuring Finn Wittrock – of American Horror Story and The Big Short – and other special guests, the reading will be presented in the Tina Packer Playhouse, and will be directed by Kevin G. Coleman, Shakespeare & Company’s Director of Education and a 2016 Tony Award nominee.

A star of stage, film and television, Finn Wittrock grew up with the Company. As a child he appeared in many of the Company’s outdoor Shakespeare productions at The Mount, as well as with Jonathan Epstein in Richard III at the Duffin Theatre in 1999.

Most recently, Wittrock was seen in the Oscar nominated film The Big Short, in which he starred opposite Brad Pitt, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale and Steve Carell. Wittrock has been a part of the critically-acclaimed series American Horror Story for the last two seasons and he was nominated for an Emmy for his season four portrayal of Dandy Mott. This fall, Finn will be seen with Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in the film La La Land for Lionsgate. Upcoming theatrical productions include Othello with Daniel Craig and David Oyelowo directed by Sam Gold and The Glass Menagerie with Sally Field.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

THEATER REVIEW: “Or,” @ Shakespeare & Co. [Berkshire on Stage]

August 3rd, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Tod Randolph and Allyn Burrows in ‘Or,’ at Shakespeare & Company, 2016. Photo by Ava G. Lindenmaier.

Tod Randolph and Allyn Burrows in ‘Or,’ at Shakespeare & Company. Photo by Ava G. Lindenmaier

Review by Macey Levin

Aphra Behn is considered to be the first professional woman playwright, having been paid for her first play The Forc’d Marriage in 1670. Her plays, novels and poems were criticized for having too many references to sex and gender equality. There is a great deal of conjecture about her life including the possibility that she was never married to a merchant named John Behn. Having had an earlier career as a spy with a dubious reputation makes her a dramatic subject for a fictionalized, hilarious play by Liz Duffy Adams titled simply Or, at Shakespeare & Co.’s Tina Packer Playhouse in Lenox.

After a prologue and an opening scene that places her in debtor’s prison, the bulk of the play occurs in Behn’s apartments during the course of one night. Several people call on her while she is attempting to write her first play. Through talk about sex, arguments, talk about sex, conversations, talk about sex, displays of wit and a lot of back story, we learn of her adventurous life, but more, we learn of her courage and determination in an age when a woman was not allowed to have a place in the world other than in her home.

Her visitors include King Charles II who has been recently restored to the throne of England and for whom she spied on the Dutch during the second Anglo-Dutch War, the actress Nell Gwynne, a fellow spy William Scot who may also have been working for the Dutch, and the eccentric widow Lady Davenant who produced Behn’s first play. There are several threads of relationships and stories that bind these people together. The recounting of the plot though relatively simple could tend to be convoluted since the interaction of the characters is quite involved. In this production the story is easy to follow because the acting is so wonderful.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Cartoonist John CaldwellThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantCaffe LenaHolly & EvanJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysAdvertise on Nippertown!Hudson SoundsLeave Regular Radio BehindThe LindaThe Sanctuary For Independent Media