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Shakespeare And Co Ma Actor Touch Hands

Shakespeare & Company's Summer Training Institute Begins

Running May 29 - June 24

(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company's Summer Training Institute kicks off this week. The four week program provides young actors, ages 18-25, the opportunity to immerse themselves in the actor/audience acting approach and pedagogy of the Company. The Summer Training Institute is targeted for undergraduate theatre students, recent graduates, and early career acting professionals. This summer the program includes 45 participants from all over the United States, including the South, Midwest, New England and the West Coast.

"For most of these young actors, the opportunity for total immersion in classical Shakespeare actor training has never been within their reach," said Dennis Krausnick, Director of Training. "But when they arrive on the Lenox campus of Shakespeare & Company, they discover a community of like-minded young artists, and they leap into the training with all all their passion and rigor. It’s the opportunity of an artistic lifetime. And we’re honored to shepherd them through a training that has been honed by 40 years of experience with some the finest teachers in the country."

Through the Center for Actor Training, Shakespeare & Company’s founding artists and teaching faculty have developed a common artistic vocabulary and coherent approach to performing Shakespeare that provides a solid foundation for their work. Modeled after the Company's internationally acclaimed Month-Long Intensive, the Summer Training Institute provides young actors the opportunity to immerse themselves in Shakespeare six days a week for four weeks at the beginning of the summer performance season.

"I’m so looking forward to being introduced to Shakespeare & Company’s unique style of actor training," said 2018 Participant Kirsten Mulrenan. "I can’t wait to work with the amazing faculty and to learn how to best use all the tools I have as an actor, especially in the realm of freeing the voice and exploring the actor/audience relationship. Having just completed undergrad at a liberal arts college, I’m excited to take part in an intensive acting program in which I can fully dedicate myself. Friends and mentors who've done the Summer Training Institute call it a truly life-changing experience due to the massive personal and artistic growth they had undergone during the program, and that’s something I don’t think I could find anywhere else."

The program includes daily classes in Linklater voice work, movement, fight work, clown, Shakespeare text, Elizabethan Dance, and an in-depth exploration of the actor/audience relationship. In addition, participants attend Master Classes with the Company’s world renowned faculty, including founding Artistic Director Tina Packer. They engage with Company members in an inquiry of rehearsal methods and attend Shakespeare & Company rehearsals & performances.

"For over four hundred years actors have been in conversation with Shakespeare, following in the footsteps of the first players of these texts," said Andrew Borthwick-Leslie, Senior Faculty Member. "Each new generation of actors brings something original to this conversation. The Summer Intensive is a highlight for me because it brings new energy to the tradition. It’s a ‘virtuous circle’ where the passion of the faculty for classical acting and the eagerness and vigor of young artists beginning their careers meet and inform one another. It keeps me open and listening to the culture of a new generation of actors, directors, and producers. Their perspective always teaches me something deeper about the work. I can’t wait to see what happens."

Summer Training Institute Faculty includes Company Actors, Directors, Master Teachers from around the United States and Canada, and Shakespeare & Company Founders. The 2018 Master Teachers, led by Company co-founder and Director of Training Dennis Krausnick, include: Martin Jason Asprey (Text & Fight), Karen Beaumont (Movement), Ariel Bock, (Voice), Andrew Borthwick-Leslie (Text), Jenna May Cass (Text & Sonnet), Kevin Coleman (Text), Dave Demke (Voice & Text), Rebecca Goodheart (Wit), Susan Dibble (Movement), Ted Hewlett (Fight & Text), Tom Jaeger (Text), Tina Packer (Text & Masterclasses), Tori Rhoades (Movement & Text), Gwendolyn Schwinke (Voice), Michael F. Toomey (Clown & Text), Kevin Vavasseur (Text), Claire Warden (Text & Fight), Bob Wicks (Text), and Kristin Wold (Movement & Text). For bios and more information on this year's Faculty click here.

About the Center For Actor Training
The very heart of Shakespeare & Company is its professional actor training. The aesthetic of the Company was created within the training devised by Tina Packer and the Master Teachers, and it is through these programs that the aesthetic is continually investigated, redefined, and reinvigorated. Actors, directors, writers, and teachers from all over the world come to work with the Company’s faculty to train not only their voices and their bodies with a daily regimen of demanding classes, but also to delve deeply into their own imaginations, intellects, and emotional lives. Shakespeare & Company’s curriculum is internationally recognized as a deeply effective training experience for actors who aspire to bring their talent, intuition, and spirit to a higher level.

About Shakespeare & Company
Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at

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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.