Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

June 21, 2023

Preview: Shakespeare & Company, "Dear Jack, Dear Louise"

Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA
through July 30, 2023

Theatre folk are quite familiar with the name of the prolific, Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig. Those who know their theatre, but aren't necessarily onstage or backstage have likely been audience members at several of Ludwig's plays. Many of his works have become a standard part of the American repertoire. His 32 plays and musicals have been performed in more than 30 countries in more than 20 languages and are produced throughout the U.S. every night of the year.

In fact, I have been introduced to many of Ludwig's plays, most of which are comedies, here in the Berkshires; i.e. Baskerville, A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, Moon Over Buffalo, The Game's Afoot, and Love Letters. If you want laugh-out-loud entertainment I can't think of anything better than Baskerville. Buffalo and Afoot not nearly as boisterous are fun.. "Love Letters" intermingles comedy with drama, as Ludwig seems to have taken his characters on a more profound journey. 

Yet, I have never seen "Dear Jack, Dear Louise." The plot is emotional and dramatic -- far more

than any of his works listed above, as well as the 25 plays that I didn't list. The semi-biographical story is a recollection of Ludwig's parents.

"Dear Jack, Dear Louise" is the story of two strangers introduced through letters, kept apart by war, and drawn together through shared stories of their lives, hopes, and fears. The play is a touching look at life in 1942 complete with nods to music, theatre, and literature. "Dear Jack, Dear Louise" was inspired by the World War II courtship of Ludwig’s parents.

Shakespeare & Company's regular long-time actor/director and Producing Associate, Ariel Bock directs "Dear Jack, Dear Louise".