Will Call #64: MCLA presents Tartuffe, Shakespeare & Co.’s 2018 line-up of Billy’s works

December 1, 2017

PLUS a sneak peek (well, more of a sneak listen) to our 1st place storyteller Jennifer Holey telling her tale about “Little Creatures” at the inaugural batch of the new Berkshire Yarn Mill’s live story event!

Sandy McKnight's Pop Clique provided welcome acoustic tunage for the first storytelling event of the new "Berkshire Yarn Mill," launched Wednesday night at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams.
Sandy McKnight’s Pop Clique provided welcome acoustic tunage for the first storytelling event of the new “Berkshire Yarn Mill,” launched Wednesday night at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams.


The Spirit Shop, 280 Cole Avenue, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
The Spirit Shop, 280 Cole Avenue, Williamstown, Massachusetts.

Today is Friday, December 1st, 2017, and you’re listening to Episode 64 of Will Call, here at the Greylock Glass. I’m your host, Jason Velazquez, and I have to say welcome to all our listeners, and thanks for tuning in. I am so pleased to announce that this episode is sponsored by the newest supporter of the Greylock Glass, The Spirit Shop of Williamstown, located at 280 Cole Avenue, purveyors of fine wines, a masterfully curated selection of domestic and imported beers, local hard ciders, and a full range of liquors—if you check your cabinet and find your holiday entertaining supplies lacking, a trip to the Spirit Shop, might just be the solution you’re looking for.

“Canon and Variation,” by Twin Musicom, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

This episode features two great conversations about Berkshires theatre, both performances that are being staged right now as well as productions that are coming up in 2018. We speak first with Laura Standley, Associate Professor, Theatre – Acting and Directing at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts about the 2017 / 2018 Season entitled, “We the People.” We explore Molière’s “Tartuffe,” which enjoys a much-anticipated opening this weekend at the Venable Theatre on The MCLA campus. The link to tickets and more information is, of course, in the shownotes.

We’re also thrilled to finally have our long-awaited conversation with Shakespeare & Company’s artistic Director, Allyn Burrows, who is feeling pretty pleased with the outcome of the 2017 season, his first at the 40 year old Lenox institution. We talk about how the 2018 line-up of Shakespeare works came together, and how developments in staging locations have generated new enthusiasm for outdoor performance. No amount of prying would get him to reveal other titles from next year’s roster, but he assures us that we won’t have to wait too much longer.

Some of you probably heard about the launch of the new Berkshire Yarn Mill storytelling project this past Wednesday, November 29th. Actually, I know some of you heard about it, because some of you were there. The Greylock Glass began this initiative to help promote live storytelling in North County, and our first monthly batch of yarns, spun at SereniTea Café and Bar in North Adams, was a huge success. We’ll hear a sampling from the winning story later, but right now, let’s go to our conversation with Laura Standley of MCLA’s Fine and Performing Arts Department.


Affiliate Link.
Affiliate Link.

“Tartuffe,” by Molière
Presented by the MCLA Department of Fine and Performing Arts
December 1 –10

We speak about this complex work of satire with Laura Standley, Associate Professor, Theatre (Acting and Directing), who explained that this was a perfect choice for the 2017–2018 season, entitled, “We the People.”




Laura Standley, Associate Professor of Theatre—Acting and Directing; photo by Dennise Carranza.
Laura Standley,
Associate Professor of Theatre—Acting and Directing; photo by Dennise Carranza.


Laura Standley holds a BA in Theatre from University of Central Oklahoma and an MFA in Acting from University of California Irvine. She has studied under master teachers Robert Cohen, Dudley Knight, Annie Loui, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Ragnar Friedank, Joanna Merlin, Barney O’Hanlon, Lenard Petit, Ted Pugh, and Fern Sloan. Recent collaborations include Passage (work in progress) with Kickwheel Ensemble Theater, as well as Howard Barker’s Scenes From an Execution and David Ives’ The Liar with Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park. New York directing credits include Reckless Season (New Works Reading Series), Pump Boys and Dinettes, Lobby Hero, and Burn This, all with Ground Up Productions. Favorite academic directing credits include bobrauschenbergamerica,Romeo and Juliet, Mud and The Successful Life of 3 by Maria Irene Fornes, Angels in America,Hedda Gabler, and the punk rock version of Steven Berkoff’s Agamemnon.


Laura has taught at University of North Carolina – Charlotte, Stony Brook University, Chapman University, and University of California, Irvine. She is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Actors Equity, Voice and Speech Trainers Association, Association of Theatre Movement Educators, and the Michael Chekhov Organization. Laura is fascinated with the intersection of movement, action and the theatre experience. Her work incorporates classical theatre, body-based disciplines, and the use of dance choreography techniques in preparing performance. Laura continues to be inspired by this work in meaningful ways and is constantly looking for new forms of making theatre.

Thoughts on Shakespeare & Co.’s 40th season with Allyn Burrows…

…and a look forward to the 2018 line-up of Shakespeare works.


About Allyn Burrows

Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company, photo by Olivia Winslow.
Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company, photo by Olivia Winslow.

As Artistic Director of  Shakespeare & Company, The Tempest, God of Carnage, T.S. Eliot and his Love of Shakespeare, Or, King John, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV Pt 1, Measure for Measure, Betrayal, The House of Mirth, Love’s Labours Lost, Macbeth, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

As Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Allyn directed productions of Romeo & Juliet, Pericles, Jon Lipsky’s Living in Exile, Richard II, and The Tempest, and performances there included The Winter’s Tale, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VIII, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Richard III. 

He recently performed in Can You Forgive Her (Huntington Theatre), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway Theatre), Shipwrecked (The Lyric Stage), Oceanside, The Seafarer, Pursuit of Happiness, and The Homecoming (Merrimack Repertory Theater), and Five by Tenn (Speakeasy Stage). The 2006 Elliot Norton Award recipient for The Homecoming, King Lear, and Five by Tenn, Allyn also received the 2011 IRNE Award for Breaking the Code. Off-Broadway credits include Bug, Killer Joe, Louis Slotin Sonata, Closetland, and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd.

He has worked regionally at The Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include The Broad Squad, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Against the Law, and on film in The Company Men, Julie & Julia, and Manchester by the Sea.

Learn more about Rosalind and other women who populate Shakespeare’s works.

Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare's Plays, by Tina Packer. Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, by Tina Packer (affiliate link). “Rosalind: A Biography of Shakespeare’s Immortal Heroine,” by Angela Thirlwell (affiliate link).

By William Shakespeare
Directed by Melia Bensussen
July 3 to August 5
Tina Packer Playhouse

A gripping tale of blind ambition and nefarious plotting by two of Shakespeare’s most notorious anti-heroes of all time, Macbeth is a deliciously shadowy thrill ride. When yearning and imagination collide in the darkest recesses of a passionate mind, there may be blood. If victims fall in the consumption of power, the conscience can devour itself from within. Peace and sleep do not come without a reckoning. Such is the eternal and towering reminder of this stunning classic.

As You Like It at twilight
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows
July 10 – August 18
Roman Garden Theatre (Outdoors)

Like the Roaring Twenties for this country, the Forest of Arden represented a world of possibilities for young Rosalind. Our brilliant adventurer escapes a threatening world of suppression, even death, and her exile represents a dramatic break between past and future as she traverses the forest and the prospect of new horizons. Menace gives way to hope, re-invention, poetry, and love, cooked up with a big dose of hilarious comedy!

Love’s Labor’s Lost
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kelly Galvin
July 11 – August 20
The Dell at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home (Outdoors)





Lydia Barnett-Mulligan, as Mary Bennet, in Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley; photo by Olivia Winslow.
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