(Lenox, MA) — Shakespeare & Company is excited to announce a very successful 40th Anniversary Season. Between May and October 2017, the Company sold more tickets per performance than during any other period of its 40-year history. The full run of The Tempest, which inaugurated the newly constructed outdoor Roman Garden Theatre, was at capacity. To meet popular demand, the Company added performances to 4000 Miles, Intimate Apparel, and God of Carnage.
“We are thrilled that our 40th Anniversary Season turned out to be such a smashing success,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “We are immensely grateful to our supportive Board, our dedicated staff and crew, the brilliant actors who graced our stages, the insightful directors who brought these stories to life, and most of all, to the loyal audience members who showed up in record numbers to make these artistic endeavors meaningful and worthwhile.”
Under the direction of Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Managing Director Adam Davis, the Company’s 40th Anniversary Season, coined as a year of Mischief, Magic and Music, included three Shakespeare plays: Cymbeline, The Tempest, andA Midsummer Night’s Dream; plus two Edith Wharton comedies, Roman Fever and the newly adapted The Fullness of Life. Additional titles included the Obie Award winning 4000 Miles by Amy Herzog; New York Drama Critics Circle and the Outer Critics Circle Recipient, Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; and Tony Award Winner, God of Carnage by Yasmina Reza. In celebration of the Company’s 40th Season the summer program also included a special August event series, Storytellers and Songwriters.
The Company’s work offstage was equally dynamic. Throughout the year, more than 50,000 young people immersed themselves in Shakespeare though their award-winning Education Program of in-school residency, tours, and workshops on the Lenox campus. To meet high demand the Company added summer sessions, and increased faculty to accommodate more students into existing programs. The Company also prepared hundreds of aspiring and professional actors, directors and writers through their renowned Center for Actor Training—both stewarding a 400-year tradition of Shakespeare and developing new voices, with all major programming at capacity.
“I want to congratulate and thank our Artistic Director, Allyn Burrows, for putting together a fabulously successful season, as well as all the artists, staff and volunteers who made it happen,” said Board Chair Ken Werner. “I also want to thank all our Board members who stuck through some challenging times to get us to where we are today. I’m already looking forward to next season.”
Community outreach for the Company has also seen steady growth. This season the Company hosted the Lenox 250th Anniversary Parade, introduced We Hold These Truths at the annual 4th of July Community Celebration, held a benefit performance for recent hurricane victims, and welcomed participation in the Mass Cultural Council’s EBT Card to Culture program, the most comprehensive effort of its kind in the nation to open doors to arts and cultural experiences for low-income families.
“Shakespeare & Company is proud to be part of the Berkshire Community,” said Managing Director Adam Davis. “We are dedicated to building pride in Lenox, and enthusiasm for the collective Berkshire experience.”
Additionally, the Company’s Ruby Gala, celebrating 40 years of bringing world class theatrical productions and education to Berkshire County. Co-chaired by Michael Miller and Deborah Ryan, the Benefit Celebration was the most successful in the Company’s history, raising over $150,000 for the Company’s Training, Education, and Performance Programs. The Company’s Communication Department was also recognized at the 1Berkshire Trendsetter Awards for its Comprehensive Marketing Campaign of 2017.
The momentum continues into a busy winter season. In addition to the Fall Festival of Shakespeare next month, the Company will present a staged reading of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon playing December 15-17, followed by a Winter Studio Festival of emerging and established playwrights January 13-14, and in closing the 2017 Season, by popular demand will bring back the Loves’ Spat for a Round Two Performance presenting scenes from famous Shakespeare Couples for valentine’s day weekend, February 17-18.
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, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to Shakespeare & Company’s internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and nationally renowned and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at www.shakespeare.org.