A Message from Artistic Director Allyn Burrows
Dear Friends of Shakespeare & Company,
You may know by now that Shakespeare wrote King Lear in the year of the plague of 1606.
Christopher Lloyd now plays the title character for us in the pandemic year of 2021. Shakespeare's ability to pen this historic piece during a lockdown seemed to point to the lengths of human resilience, creativity, and inspiration. If he could write Lear during a terrifying time, surely we would be able to call on our inner resources to focus and look beyond the uncertainty brought on by a pandemic.
And here we are, emerging from a period of despair into one of hope. Shakespeare might be smiling, perhaps in no small part because we get to share his words in person again with you, no screens and no masks, at least not outside.
Our offerings this summer run deep and rewarding, with Debra Ann Byrd's original piece, BECOMING OTHELLO: A Black Girl's Journey, and the 25th anniversary of Art by Yasmina Reza. Measure for Measure, a workshop production, hang by debbie tucker green, and the absurdist comedy The Chairs round out a very impactful season. Also, look for online work and streaming work with American Myth, Breath of Life, and The Approach, which demonstrate why that medium should stick around after its discovery out of necessity this past year.
A delicate navigation through restrictions and speculation was required to get to this point,
and even as of a few months ago, we weren't sure that we would pull this off. Yet as you read this, you may be sitting in The New Spruce Theatre, completed just before the season opened through the determination and support of so many who believed in the importance of getting the shows rolling again.
This amphitheater was imagined as a venue to fit the uncertain times, outside under the Berkshire skies. On all our stages, we'll continue bringing you stories that provoke insight, remembering that while there is much to celebrate there has been loss, and sorrow, and harm.
The wounds of social injustice are ever more apparent. We cannot come out of this pandemic and settle into a return to normal when we know now that normal was not truly normal. We won't forget how fortunate we are to be here, and we're filled with gratitude to
be able to bring you these works by these artists in this extraordinary time.
Shakespeare & Company is a professional live theatre company in the heart of the Berkshires, presenting a vibrant summer performance season featuring the works of Shakespeare in repertory with classic and contemporary plays. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, and is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program.