Schedule Features Two Premieres, Three Shakespeare Productions
(Lenox MA) – Shakespeare & Company has announced its lineup for the 2015 summer season, which includes three Shakespeare plays, Henry V, The Comedy of Errors and Hamlet, plus the Regional Premiere of Red Velvet by Lolita Chakrabarti, and the World Premiere of Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid, starring Tina Packer. In addition, thesummer season includes The Unexpected Man by Yasmina Reza, and opens with the provocative new play by Sarah Treem, The How and the Why. The summer season was announced today by Rick Dildine, his first as Shakespeare & Company’s new Executive Director.
“I’m very excited about the season ahead, the talent we have assembled, and the titles we are presenting,” said Dildine. “From the most intimate and unexpected encounters, to timeless themes of parenthood and leadership, our season will take audiences to many different places, historical and emotional; always with a focus on language.”
Shakespeare & Company’s summer season runs Memorial Day weekend through mid-September. In addition to the six mainstage productions this summer, the Company will present a run of Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World, written and directed by Kevin G. Coleman, under the tent at the Rose Footprint Theatre, and a production of Hamlet in the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home, directed by Jonathan Croy. The free and popular Fourth of July community event featuring the reading of the Declaration of Independence will also return to the schedule.
A number of special events were also announced this week:
April book signing event (exact date to-be-determined) celebrating the release of Founder Tina Packer’s book, Women of Will on April 7.
Broadway in the Berkshires returns once again, featuring Broadway’s brightest stars in a special, one-night-only performance to benefit Shakespeare & Company’s Education and Training programs. Producer and Company member Deborah Grausman teams up with Director Sam Scalamoni for this dazzling, much-anticipated summer event, set for August 3 at The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center.
Special limited engagement of Cry Havoc, written and performed by Stephan Wolfert, with two performances only on August 28 and 29.
Following is Shakespeare & Company’s official 2015 Summer Performance Season:
“The How and the Why,” by Sarah Treem
May 22 through July 26, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
From the writer/producer of House of Cards and In Treatment comes this smart-witted, sharp new play about men and women, love and conflict, genes and destiny. Directed by Nicole Ricciardi.
“Henry V,” by William Shakespeare
June 18 through August 23, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Starring Ryan Winkles
This epic tale chronicles the infamous journey of a disaffected prince to legendary king. Ryan Winkles stars in the title role, as a man who sets out to repair his broken nation, prove his worth and win the affections of the French princess. Directed by Jenna Ware.
“The Comedy of Errors,” by William Shakespeare
July 2 through August 23, Tina Packer Playhouse
Two sets of twins. One tiny island. Unlimited chaos. Shakespeare’s classic farce delivers a theatrical whirlwind of magic, music and mayhem involving mistaken identities, accidental seductions and daring heists. Directed by Taibi Magar.
“The Unexpected Man,” by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton
July 18 through September 6, Tina Packer Playhouse
A middle-aged man and woman sit opposite each other in a train compartment on a journey from Paris to Frankfurt. He is a world famous author; she, one of his biggest fans, carries his latest novel in her handbag and ponders the dilemma of reading it in front of him. From the creator of Art and God of Carnage, this illuminating drama explores themes of intimacy, celebrity and second chances. Directed by Seth Gordon.
“Mother of the Maid,” by Jane Anderson
Starring Tina Packer
July 30 through September 6, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Penned by Emmy Award-winning writer Jane Anderson (HBO’s Olive Kitteridge), this powerful, wry comedy follows the tale of Joan of Arc, as seen through the eyes of her mum who is doing her very best to accept the fact that her daughter is different. Parenthood, religion, sexuality and politics all play a role; Tina Packer stars as the Mother of the Maid. Directed by Matthew Penn. (rights pending)
(Jane Anderson’s Mother of the Maid was originally presented as a staged reading at the Berkshire Playwrights Lab during their 2014 summer season.)
“Red Velvet,” by Lolita Chakrabarti
August 6 through September 13, Tina Packer Playhouse
An imagined version of true events, Red Velvet is the story of Ira Aldridge, the first African-American actor to play Othello on the English stage in 1833. Fresh from his critically acclaimed performances in Tamburlaine (TFANA) and The Iceman Cometh (BAM), OBIE Award-winning actor John Douglas Thompson stars as Ira Aldridge. Directed by Daniela Varon.
“Cry Havoc,” by Stephen Wolfert
August 28 & 29, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Using Shakespeare’s timeless words, and a few of his own, Shakespeare & Company Training alumnus and US military veteran Stephan Wolfert performs an interactive play that weaves his own experience with some of Shakespeare’s most iconic military figures. A testament to the healing power of art and human resilience, this piece reveals how Shakespeare’s audiences wrestled with the same hopes and fears that occupy our modern lives. (rights pending)
OTHER STAGES AND SPECIAL EVENTS
The Declaration of Independence
July 4, Rose Meadow
Free family event, featuring Company actors, invited dignitaries and special guests reading our nation’s cherished symbol of liberty.
“Shakespeare and the Language that Shaped a World (SLaW),” by Kevin G. Coleman
July 10 through August 15, Rose Footprint Theatre
This fast-paced mashup of scenes, facts, sword-play and quotes from many of Shakespeare’s greatest plays is an accessible introduction to Bard and fun for the entire family. Directed by Kevin G. Coleman.
“Hamlet,” by William Shakespeare
July 16 through August 22, in the Dell at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home
Shakespeare’s masterpiece, performed ‘bare Bard’ style in a 90-minute performance outdoors at The Mount. Directed by Jonathan Croy.
“Broadway in the Berkshires,” Special Benefit Performance
August 3, The Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center
Produced by Deborah Grausman, Directed by Sam Scalamoni
Subscription packages for the 2015 performance season are on sale now; single tickets go on sale March 2. Shakespeare & Company will once again offer a 40% discount to Berkshire County residents. Both the Tina Packer Playhouse and the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre are wheelchair accessible and hearing-aid assisted. For more information, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 during regular hours or visit www.shakespeare.org.
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