(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company is very pleased to announce its Shakespeare lineup for the 2018 summer season. Under the direction of Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Managing Director Adam Davis, the season will include three Shakespeare plays:Macbeth directed by Melia Bensussen, As You Like It directed by Allyn Burrows, and Love’s Labor’s Lost directed by Kelly Galvin. Season FLEXPasses go on sale this afternoon.
“I am ramped up to work on As You Like It this coming summer in the Roman Garden Theatre,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “My first involvement with this wonderful play was on the Mainstage at the Mount nearly 30 years ago! A specific historical and environmental setting can lend an expanded resonance to Shakespeare’s sublime language, and so it seemed fitting to set this piece in the Roaring Twenties, a time that, much like the events in this story, represented self-discovery, growth, and the throwing off of restraints!”
The Roman Garden Theatre, created last season for The Tempest ,will be re-configured for 2018’s As You Like It. Located adjacent to the Tina Packer Playhouse, the Theatre is an intimate outdoor performance space with comfortable bench and chair seating. As You Like It, directed by Allyn Burrows, will be performed at twilight from August 9 to September 2.
“I’m also excited to have Melia Bensussen in the director’s chair for Macbeth and to have Kelly Galvin at the helm for Love’s Labors Lost,” continued Burrows. “Both these women will bring their own unique brand of insight and humor to these productions, extending an intriguing variety of offerings next summer.”
Macbeth will be presented in the Tina Packer Playhouse, directed by OBIE Award-winning Director Melia Bensussen. One of Shakespeare’s most legendary works, the story captivates audiences through its ageless tale of prophecy, greed, power and ambition. Macbeth will run on the Company’s mainstage from July 3 to August 5.
“I’m thrilled to be working with Shakespeare & Company for the first time,” said Director Melia Bensussen. “As a long-time fan of the company, I’m looking forward to sharing a vision of Macbeth that brings the play into conversation with Edgar Allan Poe’s 19th Century – when Gothic horror stories haunted the boundaries between the outside world and the individual unconscious.”
The Company will also present a 90-minute family-friendly production of Love’s Labor’s Lost outdoors in the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home. Directed by Company member Kelly Galvin, the production will run July 10 – August 18.
“It’s a joy to return to Shakespeare & Company to direct one of Shakespeare’s most dazzling, witty, and spirited plays,” said Director Kelly Galvin. “I first came to The Mount with my grandmother when I was fourteen, and the ineffable magic of seeing Shakespeare in such an enchanted place has always stayed with me—it’s the perfect setting for this hilarious and sweet coming-of-age story, with its host of delightful characters and sparkling depiction of young love.”
Casting and titles for the Elayne P. Bernstein will be announced after the New Year. Shakespeare & Company’s Summer Season will begin Memorial Day Weekend. Following is the Company’s official 2018 Shakespeare Performance Season:
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Melia Bensussen
July 3 to August 5
Tina Packer Playhouse
A gripping tale of blind ambition and nefarious plotting by two of Shakespeare’s most notorious anti-heroes of all time, Macbeth is a deliciously shadowy thrill ride. When yearning and imagination collide in the darkest recesses of a passionate mind, there may be blood. If victims fall in the consumption of power, the conscience can devour itself from within. Peace and sleep do not come without a reckoning. Such is the eternal and towering reminder of this stunning classic.
As You Like It at twilight
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows
August 9 – September 2
Roman Garden Theatre (Outdoors)
Like the Roaring Twenties for this country, the Forest of Arden represented a world of possibilities for young Rosalind. Our brilliant adventurer escapes a threatening world of suppression, even death, and her exile represents a dramatic break between past and future as she traverses the forest and the prospect of new horizons. Menace gives way to hope, re-invention, poetry, and love, cooked up with a big dose of hilarious comedy!
Love’s Labor’s Lost
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kelly Galvin
July 10 – August 18
The Dell at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home (Outdoors)
Comical shenanigans erupt when Cupid’s arrow hits. Arrests are made, letters are switched, and four hapless men attempt to impress four discerning women through disguise. When the men’s tomfoolery is exposed, they insist that their expressions of love were genuine, but the ladies require them to wait a year to prove that their affections are sincere. Love’s labors may be lost for them, but it’s a win for us to watch the proceedings unfold! This fast-paced rapturous romp promises laughs for the whole family.
3-Show and 6-Show FLEXpasses will go on sale this afternoon, November 8th. FLEXpass Advantages include: 40% off regular ticket prices, ability to book shows and seats one week earlier than the general public, and a waiver of the exchange fees. Single Tickets for the 2018 performance season go on sale to members and groups on February 21; Seat and show selection for pass holders on February 28; tickets for the general public will be released on March 7.
Shakespeare & Company will once again offer a 40% discount to full-time, year-round Berkshire County residents (excludes Saturday nights, opening nights and previews). The Tina Packer Playhouse, Roman Garden Theatre and the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre are wheelchair accessible. For more information on our summer performance season, or our year round programming, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.shakespeare.org.
The Company’s winter season is currently underway, with the Fall Festival of Shakespeare in full swing and performances running November 16-18. Next month the Company presents 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 the Company brings back the Loves’ Spat for a Round Two Performance presenting scenes from famous Shakespeare Couples for valentine’s day weekend, February 17-18.
About Melia Bensussen
(Director) Obie-award winning director, also adapts and translates new works for the stage. She is thrilled to be directing at Shakespeare & Company for the first time. Most recent credits include A Doll’s House (Huntington Theatre), and the world premiere of Faithful Cheaters (Trinity Rep). Among other credits are numerous productions with Actors Shakespeare Project in Boston, as well as work at Merrimack Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC, Primary Stages, the Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, ATL/Humana Festival, People’s Light and Theatre Company (Barrymore nomination), and Playwrights Horizons. Raised in Mexico City, Melia is fluent in Spanish and has translated and adapted a variety of texts including her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding. She is currently working on a new version of Lorca’s Yerma to be workshopped at ACT in SF this winter. She is a recipient of Directing Awards by the Princess Grace Foundation, and the Drama League Directing Fellowship. Melia now serves as Chair of the Arts Advisory Board for the Princess Grace Foundation, and is Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College in Boston.
About Allyn Burrows
(Artistic Director) S&Co: The Tempest, God of Carnage, T.S. Eliot and his Love of Shakespeare, Or, King John, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry IV Pt 1, Measure for Measure, Betrayal, The House of Mirth, Love’s Labours Lost, Macbeth, and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). As Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Allyn directed productions of Romeo & Juliet, Pericles, Jon Lipsky’s Living in Exile, Richard II, and The Tempest, and performances there included The Winter’s Tale, Henry VI Part 2, Henry VIII, Twelfth Night, King Lear, and Richard III. He recently performed in Can You Forgive Her (Huntington Theatre), Breaking the Code (Underground Railway Theatre), Shipwrecked (The Lyric Stage), Oceanside, The Seafarer, Pursuit of Happiness, and The Homecoming (Merrimack Repertory Theater), and Five by Tenn (Speakeasy Stage). The 2006 Elliot Norton Award recipient for The Homecoming, King Lear, and Five by Tenn, Allyn also received the 2011 IRNE Award for Breaking the Code. Off-Broadway credits include Bug, Killer Joe, Louis Slotin Sonata, Closetland, and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd. He has worked regionally at The Actors’ Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, The Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include The Broad Squad, Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Against the Law, and on film in The Company Men, Julie & Julia, and Manchester by the Sea.
About Kelly Galvin
(Director) S&Co: The Clean House (reading), Fall Festival of Shakespeare 2008-2013,Bankside Preludes, Assistant to Tina Packer for All’s Well that Ends Well and Julius Caesar. WAM Theatre: Artistic Associate (2012-2014), The Last Wife, Blue Stockings (reading), Fresh Takes inaugural series curator and producer. Other: Southwest Shakespeare (Photograph 51), Boston Playwrights’ Theatre (Memorial), Boston University School of Theatre (The Cherry Orchard, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Duchess of Malfi, The Tall Girls). Assistant Directing: Bedlam NYC, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Boston Center for American Performance. Artistic Development & Directing Internship, Arena Stage. Directing Observership, Huntington Theatre Company. Training: MFA, Boston University. BA, Wellesley College.
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.