Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

August 1, 2012

Shakespeare & Company at age 35

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA
by Shera Cohen

The following are 35 reasons to love Shakespeare & Company.
  1. Tina Packer – the dynamic founder of S&Co.
  2. Tony Simotes, who has taken the helm as Tina slows down
  3. “The Tempest” – with a new, feminine take (thru 9/12)
  4. Ensemble acting at its best
  5. Elizabethan language made understandable
  6. Modern plays (even world premiers) are produced
  7. Theatre adaptations of stories and novels
  8. “Tartuffe” – a rollicking Moliere under a tent (thru 8/25)
  9. The kids in the audience who “get” Shakespeare
  10. At least four plays/ activities in a single day
  11. “Cassandra Speaks” – story of Dorothy Thompson (thru. 9/2)
  12. The Studio Series – weekly staged play readings
  13. The same actors who spout “Tempest” character’s words in the matinee and “Lear” in the evening performance, and they never get mixed up
  14. “Tale of the Allergist’s Wife” – an irreverent comedy (thru  9/1)
  15. Friendly cast who honestly appreciate audience comments
  16. Wednesday Q&As – after the plays with actors & directors
  17. The lovely indoor, air-conditioned Founders Theatre
  18. The cozy, also air-conditioned Bernstein Theatre
  19. Parasite Drag” – a gripping drama (thru. 9/2)
  20. The actors applaud the audience
  21. Behind the Scenes Tours – see costume & scene shop & more
  22. Great gal actors: Merritt Janson, Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Kristin Wold & more
  23. Great guy actors: Jonathan Croy, Kevin Coleman, Jonathan Epstein & more
  24. Up & coming actors: Ryan Winkles, David Joseph, and more
  25. Author! Author! – Sunday morning series by well-known authors
  26. “Satchmo at the Waldorf” – Louis Armstrong comes to life (8/22 – 9/16)
  27. Founders’ Talks – world-class thespians impart their knowledge
  28. Free Stuff – Preludes & Riotous Youth by acting students
  29. Josie’s Tavern – quick goodies & drinks at Founders
  30. Volunteers – top notch, polite, and they even act
  31. Costumes & coifs for all eras
  32. Music –Shakespeare didn’t write it, but would love
  33. Fall Season – this venue does not close up after Labor Day
  34. Winter Season – this venue doesn’t even close up after Christmas
  35. Website – and a great, colorful website to learn a whole lot more