Valentine’s Weekend with a Pulitzer Prize Winner and Shakespeare & Company

Enrico Spada (Clitandre), Ryan Winkles (Trissotin, background), Kelly Galvin (Henriette). Photo by Kevin Sprague.

Some of us may sneak over to the Chocolate Springs Cafe in Lenox for a gorgeous bite of chocolate for our Valentine this weekend, but…then what? Back to the same old winter routine?

If you are more apt to enjoy an insightful line of Molière than a trite greeting on a Valentine’s card, then Shakespeare & Company may be just the place to spend Valentine’s Day.

You’ll have a few laughs and lots of fun watching Tina Packer’s newest production of The Learned Ladies, and you will also have a chance to have a super Brunch, and trade thoughts with the Berkshire’s own double Pulitzer Prize winner and America’s national poet, Richard Wilbur. The following is a complete rundown as provided by the company.

Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer’s production of The Learned Ladies – Molière’s masterful and frothy farce – kicks it up a notch with a weekend chocked full of not only outrageous comedy but delicious and decadent brunch fare, and a special Talkback treat with The Learned Ladies translator and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate of the United States, Richard Wilbur.

But wait there’s more! S&Co. Costume Director Govane Lohbauer also joins the weekend festivities with the launch of 300 Years of Ladies on Top – a colorful display of costumes and vintage clothing that span the centuries. The Learned Ladies runs February 3 through March 25 in S&Co.’s Bernstein Theatre. Press Opening is Saturday, February 11 at 7:00 pm. The Valentine’s Celebration the following day, Sunday, February 12.

Tina Packer

Tina Packer Sets the Mood

While Packer has been busy with her much lauded and acclaimed production of Women of Will all fall and winter, The Learned Ladies marks her first production as a director with the Company since helming the critically acclaimed Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Joan Ackerman’s The Taster in 2010. Packer directed The Learned Ladies in the Company’s inaugural season in 1978, and joins forces with Assistant Director, Jenna Ware (director of Molly Ivins, The Venetian Twins, The Amorous Quarrel to name a few), on the current production.

Richard Wilbur

Richard Wilbur is a national treasure

Packer is delighted to welcome back Richard Wilbur a dear friend, and translator of Molière’s masterpiece who worked with Tina on the production in 1978. You are invited to join them this Valentine’s Weekend and raise a glass with Packer, Wilbur, costume director Govane Lohbauer and the actors from The Learned Ladies who will all be ‘brunching it’ up Valentine’s style before the show!

Valentine’s Brunch: Berkshire lovers celebrate their good fortune at the annual Valentine’s Brunch before the show on Sunday, February 12, at 11:30am and enjoy a scrumptious meal created by the theatre company’s executive chef, and foodie extraordinaire, Ron Werth. Their brunch features romantically inspired entrees and a wonderful selection of indulgent desserts, all for $40, including a delicious selection of both wines and non-alcoholic beverages. Special musical performances by Company actors, and guests including the dulcet sounds of our favorite crooner, David Joseph, will be at the ready to accompany the brunch event.

Valentine’s Package Deal: Make a day of it—enjoy both brunch and the 2:00pm matinee of The Learned Ladies ($60 per person). Brunch begins at 11:30am and runs until 1:30pm in The Bernstein Studio 2, located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, MA. Then at 2pm, head into the theatre to see our outrageous comedy of manners, The Learned Ladies. This could be the Valentine’s experience that lingers forever in our memory. Call for reservations (413) 637-3353, or visit www.shakespeare.org

Valentine’s Brunch Menu

Soups: Carrot and Ginger Soup, Split Pea Soup
Entrée Choices: Beef Tenderloin, Pork Tenderloin, Chipotle Chicken Breasts. Traditional brunch fare includes Rosemary Roasted Potatoes, Sautéed Asparagus, and sumptuous Bacon and Egg dishes.
Salads: Spring Greens and Arugula Salad, Shrimp Cocktail, Quinoa Salad, Soba Noodles Salad. Waffle Bar with fresh Blueberry & Strawberry Toppings and, of course, delicious Whipped Toppings.
Desserts: Homemade Truffles, Chocolate Covered Strawberries, and selection of Fresh Fruits.

Talkback with Pulitzer Prize winner and Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur

Ticker holders for the February 12th 2pm matinee performance of The Learned Ladies will be treated to a special talkback with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, Richard Wilbur. With nearly a dozen translations from Molière alone, Mr. Wilbur who specializes in 17th century French comedies, and has received numerous awards for his translations and poetry. His translation of Tartuffe has become the standard bearer of the English version of the play He composed the translation of The Learned Ladies which Tina Packer uses for the current production—and for the original S&Co. 1978 production at The Mount. Wilbur will be on hand to talk about the play and his work as he reminisces with Packer after the show. See links for Mr. Wilbur’s biography: http://www.english.illinois.edu/maps/poets/s_z/wilbur/bio.htm

300 Years of Ladies on Top

Also, on Sunday, February 12, the Jane Iredale Lobby just outside of the Bernstein Theatre will feature a special costume exhibit produced by Company Costume Director and designer Govane Lohbauer. Costumes on display will include select Company pieces from the past 35yrs – which span three centuries of designs, as well as pieces from the Company’s antique collection, including stunning vintage dresses generously donated by Carolyn and Eli Newberger.

Peacocks on Parade: Govane Lohbauer's extravagant costumes add a lot of color and a little foppery to the production of The Learned Ladies.

“The collection in 300 Years of Ladies on Top reflects the strength and style of women over three centuries,” says Lohbauer. “It’s been a wonderful process pulling everything together and a great excuse to go down the memory lane of some of the most exquisite designs from the Company’s 35 year history. We hope to expand the exhibit over time but are very happy to be able to share this sampling with our audiences now.”

About The Learned Ladies

Before the world was populated by thousands of blogs and op-ed columns, intellectual discourse was mostly a face-to-face affair. Cut to 17th century France and enter the literary salon of Philaminte, a place of intense discussion on matters of philosophy, literature, science, and—in true French fashion—the heart. Her daughter Henriette longs to marry her love Clitandre, but Philaminte and the other ladies of the house are keener on the more articulate, brash, and learned Trissotin. With no help from her meek father, Henriette fights for her right to be with the person she really loves, despite his lack of intellectual façade. In this ultimate clash of intellect and emotion, can the heart trump the mind?

“I’m delighted to be directing one of my favorite Molière’s in our winter season. The energy this ensemble brings to the stage is infectious. This piece challenges all their comedic skills. To play comedy and Molière in particular, you need to vibrate at a very high frequency, moment by moment—even if your character seems calm and composed. Molière provides a feast of language and wordplay which is at the core of all the work we do here at Shakespeare & Company. This play is a comedy but it’s also about the powers of the heart perverted by the arrogance of the intellect. It demonstrates that the essence of comedy is a tightly constructed story that maintains fidelity to its own internal logic—however twisted it may be. In the midst of all the chaos we find the heart of this play.” – Tina Packer

Executive Summary

PRODUCTION: The Learned Ladies

THEATRE: Elayne P. Bernstein Theater

PLAYWRIGHT: Molière
DIRECTOR: Tina Packer
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Jenna Ware
CAST: Jules Findlay, Kelly Galvin, Dana Harrison, Stephanie Hedges, Jennie M. Jadow, Daniel Joeck, Alexandra Lincoln, Brittany Morgan, Ehren Remal, Enrico Spada, Ryan Winkles

SET DESIGNER: Patrick Brennan
COSTUME DESIGNER: Govane Lohbauer
WARDROBE: Mary Readinger
LIGHTING DESIGNER: Stephen D. Ball
SOUND DESIGNER: Michael Pfeiffer
STAGE MANAGER: Kate Johnson

Performance Dates

 

THE LEARNED LADIES

   

Friday, February 03, 2012

7:00

Preview

Saturday, February 04, 2012

7:00

Preview

Sunday, February 05, 2012

2:00

Preview

Friday, February 10, 2012

7:00

Preview

Saturday, February 11, 2012

2:00

Preview

Saturday, February 11, 2012

7:00

Press Opening

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2:00

BRUNCH

Friday, February 17, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2:00

 

Friday, February 24, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

2:00

 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

2:00

 

Friday, March 2, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

2:00

 

Friday, March 9, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

2:00

 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, March 11, 2012

2:00

 

Friday, March 16, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, March 17, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

2:00

 

Friday, March 23, 2012

7:00

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

2:00

 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

7:00

 

Sunday, March 25, 2012

2:00

Closing

 

 

See, hear and discover S & Co.: http://www.shakespeare.org/blog

One thought on “Valentine’s Weekend with a Pulitzer Prize Winner and Shakespeare & Company

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