Shakespeare & Co. Takes “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” Outdoors [Berkshire on Stage]

July 11th, 2017, 3:00 pm by Sara

“The course of true love never did run smooth.” – Act 1, Scene 1

Shakespeare & Company presents William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, directed by Jonathan Croy and Douglas Seldin, and performed outside at The Dell at The Mount in Lenox. This magical favorite, presented by Shakespeare & Company’s Northeast Regional Education Tour and Riotous Youth Faculty, runs from today (July 11) through Saturday, August 19.

“I honestly believe that this is the most perfectly constructed comedy ever written,” said Croy. “Shakespeare gives us several perfectly balanced stories filled with characters that are filled with passion, both whimsical in their extremity and absolutely recognizable. The language is delicious, and the range of comedic style is astonishing. From Oberon’s high wit to Bottom’s well-intentioned malapropisms; the mistaken identities in the effects of the love potion and in Bottom’s transformation; the way that the charming pathos and silliness of the Mechanicals opens into the broad genius of Pyramus and & Thisbe, Midsummer is an absolute buffet of comedy and promises to be an unforgettable adventure for the whole family.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.


ShakesCo Offers “Twelfth Night” @ The Mount [Berkshire on Stage]

July 14th, 2016, 2:00 pm by Sara
Last year at the Dell at the Mount, Luke Reed gave us a memorable Hamlet (photo: Elizabeth Aspenlieder)

Last year at the Dell at the Mount, Luke Reed gave us a memorable “Hamlet” (photo: Elizabeth Aspenlieder)

Shakespeare & Company continues to roll out its 39th season with Twelfth Night, opening tonight (Thursday, July 14). Directed by Jonathan Croy, Shakespeare’s rebellious comedy plays at the Dell-Outdoors at The Mount: Edith Wharton’s Home through Saturday, August 20.

Outdoors, fresh and fast-paced, this popular comedy catapults audiences into a world of illusion, debauchery and mayhem. Amidst the forest and foliage, audiences are transported to the mythical land of Illyria – alongside the recently shipwrecked and lovelorn Viola. This 90-minute frolic unravels a madcap mix-up of characters and offers a reunion of epic proportions.

“There’s something magical about seeing a play at The Mount,” says veteran director Jonathan Croy. “Many people bring picnics and sit on that beautiful hillside in the open air, watching fight call or chatting with the actors before the show. I’ve seen conversations begun during the nightly Talkback continue well after the show was done. There’s a different energy, a ‘communal’ spirit that reminds me of the old days, when we performed down by Edith’s mansion under the stars.”

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Short Stories on Stage: “Quicksand” and “The Looking Glass” Come to Life at the Wharton Salon [Berkshire on Stage]

August 21st, 2013, 1:15 pm by Sara
Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in The Quicksand. Photos by Kevin Sprague.

Ava Lindenmaier and Ariel Bock in “The Quicksand.” Photos by Kevin Sprague.

Every August the Wharton Salon pops up in the Stables Theatre at the Mount and continues the happy tradition of staging Edith Wharton’s works at her beloved Berkshire home. For this, their fifth season, the company has commissioned adaptations of two of Wharton’s short stories, neither of which has been staged in Lenox before: The Quicksand, adapted by Alison Ragland and directed by Catherine Taylor-Williams, and The Looking Glass, adapted by Elaine Smith and directed by Daniela Varon. These two stories were selected because they represent two very different stages in Wharton’s life as a woman and as a writer.

The Quicksand was first published in 1902, the year Wharton (1862-1937) turned 40 and the year she and her husband took up residence in the newly-built Mount. Already a successful writer but a few years away from the composition and recognition of her major works, at the turn of the 20th century Wharton was entering middle-age trapped in a loveless marriage to a man sinking ever deeper into the clutches of mental illness.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

Review: “The Inner House” at the Wharton Salon in Partnership with The Mount [Berkshire on Stage]

August 24th, 2012, 1:00 pm by Sara
The Inner House features Tod Randolph as Edith Wharton. At The Mount in Lenox, August 15-26, 2012.

The Inner House features Tod Randolph as Edith Wharton. At The Mount in Lenox, August 15-26, 2012.

By Gail Burns and Larry Murray. For the Berkshire-Capital region’s most comprehensive listing of theatre offerings visit

Gail Burns: This is your first time at a Wharton Salon, now do you understand why it sells out at most performances, and why it is so exciting theatrically?

Larry Murray: Yes, and more than that, the biggest benefit is that I understand Edith Wharton (1862-1937) a whole lot better than I did before. I think Dennis Krausnick’s adaptation of Wharton’s autobiography A Backward Glance gave me a far greater understanding of the writer from her earliest years to old age. Incorporating a few of her poems and letters gave us insights into her Inner House which was substantial.

Gail: I have read A Backward Glance and a biography of Wharton, and Krausnick has done an excellent job of telescoping a long and full life into 75 minutes of theatre. The Inner House is an accurate portrait of Wharton.

Larry: Tod Randolph took a spill last week, but proved to be the trouper.

Gail: She is indeed! Although we had been warned that she might perform seated much of the time I throught she moved naturally, even sitting on the floor and rising again. Her obvious injury was on the left side of her face, although much had been done with make-up and bandages to normalize her appearance. Luckily Arthur Oliver has costumed her in the fashion of the turn of the 20th century, so she is covered from chin to toe to wrist and any other injuries are well hidden. Of course we saw her very soon after her fall. Time will work its healing magic.

Click to read the rest at Berkshire on Stage.

LIVE “Autre Temps…” @ The Mount, Lenox [GailSez]

August 23rd, 2011, 3:30 pm by Sara
Franklin Ide (James Goodwin Rice) and Mrs. Lidcote (Diane Prusha) ponder what awaits them in America as they cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary at the start of "Autres Temps..." (photo: David Dashiell)

Franklin Ide (James Goodwin Rice) and Mrs. Lidcote (Diane Prusha) ponder what awaits them in America as they cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary at the start of "Autres Temps..." (photo: David Dashiell)

If you love Edith Wharton (1862-1937), as I do, then you will adore the latest Wharton Salon offering – Dennis Krausnick’s adaptation of her 1911 short story Autres Temps… But I am fully aware that not everyone loves Wharton, and that women are more disposed to like her work than are men. I guess I am trying to say is that Wharton wrote Chick-Lit and this is the theatrical equivalent of a Chick-Flick. Wharton was also very much a woman of her time and socio-economic status, which meant that she didn’t tackle life’s difficult issues head on, but obliquely, giving everything the calm and genteel sheen of oil spread on troubled waters.

It is this latter effect that Krausnick captures so beautifully in his stage adaptations of her work. Like a glacier gliding slowly but inevitably forward, Wharton’s characters roll heedlessly over the hub-bub of life, often causing great pain and destruction, but doing so in a bone-chilling silence. If you are looking for action and adventure, you will never find it in the Wharton Salon.

Although the story is celebrating the centennial of its publication, director Catherine Taylor-Williams has dared to shift the time period of the play from Wharton’s own time to 1962. This is a first for the Wharton Salon, and indeed I believe for all the adaptations of Wharton’s work that have been presented at The Mount since Shakespeare & Company took up residence in 1978.

Click to read the rest of this story at GailSez.

Be Here Now: Pearl Fryar @ the Mount, 7/17/11

July 15th, 2011, 10:00 am by Greg

There’s gardening.
There’s green thumb gardening.
And there’s the kind of gardening art that Pearl Fryar does.

It’s certainly no exaggeration to use the word “art” in describing the dazzling topiary work of the self-taught gardener. He calls his work “living sculpture,” and no doubt about it, he puts the culture in horticulture. Of course, you already know that if you’ve ever visited the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden in Bishopville, South Carolina. Or if you’ve watched the inspirational 2006 film documentary, “A Man Named Pearl.”

Fryar will be at the Mount in Lenox on Sunday for two sessions (11am & 1:30pm) of “Love, Peace and Goodwill: A Talk and Demonstration with Topiary Artist Pearl Fryar,” in which he’ll discuss his work and demonstrate how his designs take shape. Tix are $20.

Then from 5-7pm on Sunday, the Mount will host a reception – including champagne and food by Mezze Catering – highlighted by an auction featuring four of Fryar’s specially designed topiary plants, as well as a number of other items. Tix are $55.

All proceeds from the talk/demonstrations, as well as the reception/auction will benefit the Lift Ev’ry Voice Festival.

Be Here Now: Berkshire WordFest @ The Mount, 7/23-25/10

July 22nd, 2010, 9:55 am by Sara

Francine Prose, Garrison Keillor (photo: Andrew Harrer Bloomberg News Landov) and Ruth Reichl

Francine Prose, Garrison Keillor (photo: Andrew Harrer Bloomberg News Landov) and Ruth Reichl

The inaugural Berkshire WordFest, a celebration of the words and ideas of contemporary writers, kicks off this weekend at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s historic home and gardens in Lenox.

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