Performances Run May 23 – July 14
“An exquisite blend of humor and sorrow.”—Broadway News
(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company‘s season opens Memorial Day Weekend with Pulitzer Prize finalist The Waverly Gallery by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer. This powerful story sheds a heartrending and humorous light on the effects of senility on a family. Performances run from May 23rd – July 14th in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.
Once a vibrant lawyer, Greenwich Village activist and family matriarch, Gladys Green has run a charming boutique art gallery on Waverly Place for decades. Now she stands to lose its tenancy, as her world shrinks through loss of memory and hearing. As told from her grandson’s perspective, we watch Gladys’ family struggles to cope with her fading faculties. Lonergan takes audiences on a poignant multi-generational journey, and shows us how humor can come in unexpected places.
“The Waverly Gallery is a very insightful, very funny, and very painful play,” said Director Tina Packer. “It deals with something we are all going to have to face, whether we like it or not: getting old and losing our minds. Lonergan has woven a story from his own life and experience, similar to the play, everyone in his family rallied round his Grandmother, as she moved from being a women active in the world– politically, socially, and personally– to someone who could no longer follow the conversation. Like Gladys’ her desire to remain active is as necessary as breathing, and her denial of reality deeply affected the lives of everyone around her.”
Helmed by acclaimed Director Tina Packer and Associate Director Michelle Joyner, the cast features Shakespeare & Company veterans: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, David Bertoldi, David Gow, Annette Miller, and Michael F. Toomey. The creative team includes Juliana von Haubrich (Set Design), James W. Bilnoski (Lighting Design), Elizabeth Rocha (Costume Design), and Brendan Doyle (Sound Design).
“My interest is The Waverly Gallery is centered around my interest in Tina Packer– being by her side in the rehearsal room after many years apart is truly a gift,” said Joyner. “The fact that the play we are tackling is such a gem, so effective and wisely and wryly observed makes it all the better! Naturally I find the subject very relatable, as the daughter and the mother are characters that resonate with both Tina and I. Aging parents and mortality are definitely very much on my mind.”
“The play is about time and how we meet the challenges that face us: the themes are common to all of us,” continued Packer. “As we have begun rehearsing the play, we all find ourselves telling stories of our families, reflecting on the qualities of our own lives. I hope you find it as deeply moving as we have, that there is humor and grace even when there is no cure.”
Tickets for The Waverly Gallery are available online at shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company’s box office at (413) 637-3353. Previews are May 23 – 25, and seats are discounted by $10. The show runs from May 26 – July 14 tickets are $25 – $65, student and resident discounts are available. The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble St. in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Under the theme, “The Strings of the Heart,” the Company’s 2019 season also includes Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Taming of the Shrew, and, in a special work-shop production, Coriolanus. Contemporary plays this season include the Tony Award nominated play The Children by Lucy Kirkwood; Pulitzer Prize winner Topdog/Underdog by MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient Suzan-Lori Parks; and Time Stands Still by Obie Award winner Donald Margulies.
AT A GLANCE
PRODUCTION: The Waverly Gallery
PLAYWRIGHT: Kenneth Longergan
DIRECTOR: Tina Packer
ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR: Michelle Joyner
SET DESIGNER: Juliana von Haubrich
LIGHTING DESIGNER: James W. Bilnoski
COSTUME DESIGNER: Elizabeth Rocha
SOUND DESIGNER: Brendan Doyle
STAGE MANAGER: J.P. Elins
GLADYS GREEN: Annette Miller*
ELLEN FINE: Elizabeth Aspenlieder*
DON BOWMAN: David Bertoldi
DANIEL REED: David Gow*
HOWARD FINE: Michael F. Toomey*
MAY 23 – JULY 14
Press Nights: Sunday, May 26 at 3pm or Saturday, June 8 at 7:30pm
Thursday, May 23 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Friday, May 24 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Saturday, May 25 – 7:30 PM (preview)
Sunday, May 26 – 3:00 PM (opening / press night)
Friday, May 31 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 1 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 2 – 3:00 PM
Friday, June 7 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 8 – 7:30 PM (press night)
Sunday, June 9 – 3:00 PM
Friday, June 14 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 15 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 16 – 3:00 PM
Friday, June 21 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 22 – 7:30 PM
Sunday, June 23 – 3:00 PM
Thursday, June 27 – 7:30 PM
Friday, June 28 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, June 29 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, June 30 – 3:00 PM
Friday, July 5 – 3:00 PM
Saturday, July 6 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, July 7 – 7:30 PM
Friday, July 12 – 3:00 PM
Saturday July 13 – 3:00 PM
Sunday, July 14- 3:00 PM (closing)
About Tina Packer:
Founding Member (Founding Artistic Director, Director The Waverly Gallery) She has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays (some of them several times), acted in eight of them (never when directing) and taught the whole canon at over thirty colleges, including Harvard, M.I.T. and NYU. At Columbia University, she taught in the M.B.A. program for four years, resulting in the publication of Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management with Deming Professor John Whitney for Simon and Schuster. For Scholastic, she wrote Tales from Shakespeare, a children’s book and recipient of the Parent’s Gold Medal Award. Most recently Tina’s book Women of Will was published by Knopf and she has been performing Women of Will with Nigel Gore, in New York, Mexico, England, The Hague, China, and across the US. Acting credits include: Shirley Valentine, Molly Ivins, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Mother of the Maid; and Volumnia in Coriolanus. She’s the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Commonwealth Award.
About Michelle Joyner
first season (Associate Director, The Waverly Gallery) Michelle has recently returned to the Berkshires after 3 decades on the west coast where she enjoyed a prolific career as an actor, screenwriter, director and storyteller. She started her training at one of the first S&Cos winter intensives, and continued voice training with Kristen Linklater. Michelle worked as an Asst. Dir. to Tina Packer at The LA Women’s Shakespeare Co. in the following decade. She recently co-directed The Valentines Surprise Show with Allyn Burrows, and acted in Caroline in Jersey at The Winter Studio Festival. She acted and directed for The Berkshire Playwrights Lab Radius Festival and Theater Fest which premiered her play Asking for a Friend. Michelle is a repeat performer on The Moth and other story events, and leads The Long Table, a women’s writing group in LA and The Berkshires. She writes You Can Go Home Again, a column for The Berkshire Edge. Michelle is thrilled to be by Tina Packer’s side once more. www.michellejoyner.com
About Kenneth Lonergan
first season (Playwright, The Waverly Gallery) NYC: The Starry Messenger (New Group), Lobby Hero (Playwrights Horizons, Drama Desk Best Play Nominee, and Outer Critics Circle Best Play Nominee), The Waverly Gallery (Williamstown Theatre Festival, Promenade; Pulitzer Prize finalist), and This Is Our Youth (Drama Desk Best Play Nominee). Lobby Hero (Olivier Award Nominee for Best Play) and This Is Our Youth have also received productions on London’s West End. He co-wrote the film Gangs of New Yorkwhich garnered a WGA and Academy Award nomination for Best Original Screenplay. His film You Can Count on Me, which he wrote and directed, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Screenplay, won the Sundance 2000 Grand Jury Prize and The Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, the NY Film Critics Circle, and LA Films Critics Circle, Writers Guild of America. The film Margaret, which he wrote and directed, is being released this fall. He is a member of Naked Angels.
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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 www.shakespeare.org.