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Shakespeare & Company Announces Sense and Sensibility for the Holidays

Shakespeare & Company Announces Sense and Sensibility for the Holidays

“To wish was to hope, and to hope was to expect”
― Jane Austen, Sense & Sensibility

(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company proudly presents a costumed reading of Sense and Sensibility, written by Kate Hamill based on the novel by Jane Austen. The lively reading is directed and staged by longtime Company member and Producing Associate Ariel Bock. This funny, warm-hearted classic tale will have a special limited run from December 14 - 15 in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre. Additionally, the Company will host a festive holiday event with a private reading of Sense and Sensibility, cocktails, and hors d’oeuvres on Friday, December 13.

"Delving into Jane Austen’s work at this time of year is a welcome antidote to these short, cold winter days," said Director Ariel Bock. "Sense and Sensibility explores the humor and eccentricity of our relationships with faithful and faithless friends, caring and not-so-caring family members, lovers, and would-be lovers – and asks us how we experience true happiness. Is it through wise, prudent judgment or impulsive, romantic passion? The opportunity to look at the complicated and joyous ties that bind us through Austen’s insightful observation and luminous wit with a stellar cast and a lively script by Kate Hamill is something I truly look forward to!"

The Company's family-friendly holiday performance is a fast-paced reading, where all of the wit and romance of Jane Austen's classic tale come delightfully to life. This playful new adaptation follows the fortunes, and misfortunes, of the Dashwood sisters—sensible Elinor and hypersensitive Marianne—after their father's sudden death leaves them financially destitute and socially vulnerable. Set in gossipy late 18th-century England, with a fresh female voice, the play is full of humor, emotional depth, and bold theatricality. Sense and Sensibility examines our reactions, both reasonable and ridiculous, to societal pressures. When reputation is everything, how do you follow your heart?

“This is the third year we’ve visited Jane Austen’s wonderful characters, following Christmas at Pemberly and then Pride and Prejudice," said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. "The delightful people who populate Sense and Sensibility make for a heartwarming entree into the holiday season!"

Tickets for Sense and Sensibility are $25 for Adults and $10 for Students. They are now available in person, online at, or by calling Shakespeare & Company’s box office at (413) 637-3353. The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is listening assisted and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, Massachusetts. The production is sponsored by The Considine-Leary Foundation.

David Bertoldi: Edward Ferrars, Mrs. Ferrars
Jordan Cobb: Margaret Dashwood, Ann Steele
Joan Coombs: Mrs. Jennings
Rory Hammond: Elinor Dashwood
Jennie M. Jadow: Mrs. Dashwood, servant
Tom Jaeger: John Middleton
David Joseph: Willoughby, John Dashwood
Zoë Laiz: Fanny Dashwood, Lucy Steele
Madeleine Rose Maggio: Marianne Dashwood
Gabriel Vaughan: Colonel Brandon

Production: Sense and Sensibility
Playwright: Kate Hamill
Director: Ariel Bock
Set Designer: Patrick Brennan
Lighting Designer: Katie Ward
Costume Designer: Govane Lohbauer
Stage Manager: Fran Rubenstein
Sound Consultant: Amy Altadonna

Holiday Event
On Friday, December 13th the Company hosts a private reading of Sense and Sensibility and offers a festive evening of cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and silent auction with the artists. Premium seating for this special event is $100 in the center section, and regular seats are $75. All proceeds benefit Shakespeare & Company’s life-changing education programs which inspire more than 50,000 young people each year.

Special Evening Schedule:
5:30pm - Cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, and silent auction
7:00pm - Costumed reading of Sense and Sensibility
8:30pm - Champagne toast and dessert reception with the artists.

About Ariel Bock
Ariel Bock is the current Producing Associate and longtime Company actor at Shakespeare & Company. Recent credits include, S&Co: Mom (Ugly Lies the Bone); Mistress Quickly (Henry IV pts 1&2); Goneril (King Lear); Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing); Elizabeth (Richard III); Audrey (As You Like It); Hippolyta (Midsummer Night’s Dream); The Nurse (Romeo and Juliet); Mistress Quickly (Merry Wives of Windsor); Paulina (The Winters Tale,) Ruth (Private Eyes), the Woman (Laughing Wild); Arlene (Off the Map). At Mixed Company: Ramona (Zara Spook and Other Lures) and Eileen (The Cripple of Inishmaan). With the Ensemble for the Romantic Century in NYC: Nadezhda VonMeck (None But the Lonely Heart), as well as Fanny Mendelsohn, Emily Dickinson, Sonia Tolstoy and Anna Akhmatova. A Designated Linklater Voice Teacher, she has been on the faculty of Dartmouth College and MIT.

About Kate Hamill
Kate Hamill is an actor/playwright. Wall Street Journal’s Playwright of the Year, 2017. Her work includes her play SENSE AND SENSIBILITY (in which she originated the role of Marianne)—Winner, Off-Broadway Alliance Award 2016; Nominee, Drama League Award; 265+ performances off-Broadway. Other plays include VANITY FAIR at the Pearl Theatre (in which she originated the role of Becky Sharp; Nominee, Off-Broadway Alliance Award 2017), PRIDE AND PREJUDICE at Primary Stages and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (originated the role of Lizzy Bennet; Nominee, Off-Broadway Alliance Award). Her plays have been produced off-Broadway, at A.R.T., Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Guthrie, Seattle Rep, Dallas Theater Center, PlayMaker’s Rep, Folger Theatre (8 Helen Hayes Award nominations; Winner, best production—S&S), Arvada Center and others; upcoming productions at Shakespeare Theatre of DC, A.C.T., Trinity Rep, Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Pittsburgh Public, Kansas City Rep, Dorset Theatre Festival and more. Upcoming world premieres: LITTLE WOMEN at the Jungle Theater and Primary Stages; MANSFIELD PARK at Northlight Theatre. She is currently working on new adaptations of “The Odyssey” and “The Scarlet Letter,” as well as several new original plays (PROSTITUTE PLAY, IN THE MINES, LOVE POEM). Kate was one of the top 20 most-produced playwrights in the country this season.

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 40,000 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 gratefully acknowledges the support of Mass Cultural Council.


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.