Posted February 03, 2016 in Press Releases
SHAKESPEARE & COMPANY ANNOUNCES 2016 SUMMER PERFORMANCE SEASON
Schedule features three Shakespeare productions and a new configuration of the Tina Packer Playhouse
(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company has announced its lineup for the 2016 summer season, which includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus the Regional Premieres of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams, and Lauren Gunderson’s The Taming. Additional titles include Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production, Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, The Emperor of the Moon by Aphra Behn, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!"
“We’re very excited about the 2016 season and the talent we have assembled,” said Co- Artistic Director Ariel Bock. “The upcoming season highlights our traditional focus on
Shakespeare with two main stage productions, and demonstrates our continuing commitment to presenting contemporary works by a diverse group of playwrights – which in this case includes three women and a Cuban-American writer.”
The summer season will also introduce a new stage configuration in the Tina Packer Playhouse. Artistic Directors Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy announced plans to present performances in-the-round, offering a greater intimacy between performers and audience.
“The actor-to-audience relationship will be 360 degrees, which presents an exciting new dynamic for both actor and audience,” said Croy. “It will be so much more intimate—and this intimacy of the relationship with the audience supports dynamic personal interactions and our fascination with language.”
In addition to the main stage productions this summer, the Company will present Emperor of the Moon under the tent at the Rose Footprint and a 90-minute production of Twelfth Night in the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home. The free and popular Fourth of July Community Event featuring the reading of the Declaration of Independence returns to the schedule.
Shakespeare & Company will also participate in Shakespeare 400, a 2016 worldwide celebration marking the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death. This series kicks off on the Bard's birthday, April 23, with the Northeast Regional Tour’s Bare-bard presentation of Macbeth in the Tina Packer Playhouse. The Celebration continues on August 23, with an entire day devoted to the sweeping romance, political infighting, and groundling humor of Shakespeare's Henry VI plays.
Programming will continue into the fall and winter and includes a remount of the Company’s popular holiday show, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play directed by Jenna Ware, as well as monthly events from January through April 2017. Additional details about late-season and winter 2017 programming will be made available at a later date.
Following is Shakespeare & Company’s official 2016 Summer Performance Season:
TINA PACKER PLAYHOUSE
The Merchant of Venice
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tina Packer
July 1 – August 21
Featuring Jonathan Epstein
A perilous romance. A tragic history. An infamous wager. Shakespeare’s most controversial yet poignant play offers a visceral display of courtship, prejudice, money and revenge, ending ultimately in a choice between life and death. Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer re-unites with long time Company member Jonathan Epstein as Shylock, the Bard’s most memorable and highly charged outsider.
by Liz Duffy Adams
Directed by Alice Reagan
July 23 – September 4
Featuring Tod Randolph
The bawdy 1660s look a lot like modern day in this playful comedy about one chaotic night in the life of the poet, spy, and first female playwright, Aphra Behn. Determined to leave the spy trade behind and launch her new career, Ms. Behn must deliver a play by morning, a task complicated by an array of amorous distractions and scandalous revelations. Can she resist the charms of an infatuated actress, save the king, win a pardon, and write her masterpiece, all in one night?
The Two Gentlemen of Verona
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jonathan Croy
August 4 – September 4
Boy meets girl. Boy loves girl. Boy’s best friend meets girl and also loves girl. Hilarity ensues as love is professed, secret plans are made, and friendships are betrayed. This early romantic comedy takes a gleeful look at the fickle nature of young love and features one of Shakespeare’s most engaging comic heroines, two of his funniest clowns, and the best role ever for a dog.
ELAYNE P. BERNSTEIN THEATRE
by Lauren Gunderson
May 27 – July 30
In a hilarious red state versus blue state comedy, two political opposites spar in a strange hotel room under the watchful eye of a controlling beauty queen. This boisterous, all-female "power-play," loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, takes on America’s overheated political rhetoric, some surprising truths about our founding fathers, and the passions of three slightly insane women who just might be revolutionary geniuses.
New England Premiere
Ugly Lies the Bone
by Lindsey Ferrentino
Directed by Daniela Varon
June 16 – August 28
Featuring Christianna Nelson
Newly discharged and bearing deep physical and emotional scars from three tours in Afghanistan, Jess builds a virtual escape from her pain through an innovative new video game therapy. Her new perception of reality allows her to begin to restore her relationships, her life and, slowly, herself. Winner of the 2014 Joanne Woodward/Paul Newman Drama Award, this bracing drama explores recovery, redemption and the what it takes to survive.
by Stephan Wolfert
Directed by Eric Tucker
August 3 – August 13
Featuring Stephan Wolfert
In an inspiring 75 minutes, Stephan Wolfert recounts his own experience pre- and postmilitary service. Through the lines of Shakespeare’s most famous speeches and through his personal experiences, Wolfert explores our societal neurosis of war. The military recruits citizens and trains them to kill, but what does the “de-cruit” process look like? How do we relearn to live together? The performance is followed by an engaging discussion between actor, audience, and veterans that dares to explore these questions.
by Nilo Cruz
Directed by Daniel Gidron
August 18 – September 11
Featuring Annette Miller
This haunting work by the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of Anna in the Tropics explores the indelible power of memories and the resiliency of true love. A passionate, Jewish-Cuban young man seeks out a famous, reclusive novelist who, decades earlier, had lost her love aboard an ill-fated ship of Jewish refugees during World War II. Acclaimed and awardwinning actor Annette Miller vividly portrays this remarkable character.
by William Shakespeare
Directed by Jonathan Croy
July 14 – August 20
The Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home
2 Plunkett Street, Lenox, MA
Outdoors, fresh, and fast-paced, Shakespeare’s most rebellious and beloved comedy catapults audiences into a world of illusion, debauchery and mayhem. Amidst the Mount’s forest and foliage, audiences are transported to the mythical land of Illyria—alongside the recently shipwrecked, lusty Viola. The 90-minute frolic unravels a madcap mix-up of characters and offers a reunion of epic proportions.
The Emperor of the Moon
by Aphra Behn
Directed and Adapted by Jenna Ware
July 15 through August 20
When love strikes, chaos ensues and a coup of astronomic proportions is set. Sisters, suitors, servants, and a father obsessed with the moon set the stage for a stellar farce performed under the open-air tent. Ware's fast-paced, family-friendly adaptation of Aphra Behn’s Restoration comedy, based in Commedia dell'Arte, will offer audiences of every age a hearty dose of mayhem, music, and merriment.
Multi-show pass packages for the 2016 performance season go on sale February 16; single tickets go on sale February 23. Shakespeare & Company will once again offer a 40% discount to full-time, year-round Berkshire County residents. Both the Tina Packer Playhouse and the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre are wheelchair accessible and hearing-aid assisted. For more information on our summer performance season, Shakespeare 400 Events or our yearround programming, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.shakespeare.org.
About Shakespeare & Company
Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country. Founded in 1978 by Tina Packer, the organization attracts tens of thousands of patrons annually. The Company is also home to a renowned Center for Actor Training, as well as an award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.
Molly Clancy, Publicity Director
(413) 637-1199 ext. 145