(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company is thrilled to announce its Shakespeare lineup for the 2019 summer season. Under the direction of Artistic Director Allyn Burrows and Managing Director Adam Davis, the season will include three Shakespeare plays: Twelfth Night directed by Burrows, The Merry Wives of Windsor directed by Kevin G. Coleman, and The Taming of the Shrew directed by Kelly Galvin. Season FLEXPasses go on sale Tuesday, November 13th.
“If we’ve learned anything in the last couple of years it’s that language and its effect on us is extremely powerful,” said Burrows. “Is it just me or are we as a society on guard and on edge, and could use some relief and release from the cacophony? That is why our next season is about celebrating who we are as human beings. Twelfth Night is a passionately expressive play, Merry Wives of Windsor is a rollicking romp. The Taming of the Shrew asks some crucial questions about how we treat each other. That’s the beauty of Shakespeare: when things get crazy, he seems to reach across the ages with a grin to offer reassurance.”
Twelfth Night will be presented in the Tina Packer Playhouse, directed by Burrows. A rich, affecting, and deeply funny story of longing, love, and laughter which paints Shakespeare at his peak; Twelfth Night will run on the Company’s mainstage from July 2 to August 4.
“Having been in this play a few times as an actor, I’m eager to visit Illyria as a director,” continued Burrows. “Shakespeare is at the top of his game with this piece, there’s so much desire, mischief, and sublime language that one can’t help but lean into it and strive to learn what Shakespeare was saying about humanity in general. I’m also excited to have Kevin Coleman back in the director’s chair for one of the Company’s mainstage Shakespeare’s, and to have Kelly Galvin return to The Mount for Taming of the Shrew. They each bring a great sense of humor and insight into the relationships of each play.”
The Roman Garden Theatre will be re-configured to further enhance the audience experience for 2019’s The Merry Wives of Windsor. Located adjacent to the Tina Packer Playhouse, the Theatre is an intimate outdoor performance space with comfortable bench and chair seating. Merry Wives will be performed at 5pm from August 8 to September 1. With this production, Coleman, one of the Company Founders and the current Director of Education, returns to the mainstage to direct for the first time in nearly a decade.
“In Shakespeare’s town of Windsor bad behavior actually carries consequences,” said Coleman. “Whaddya know? Never underestimate the power of women such as the merry wives to exact justice in good fun and give a devil his due.”
The Company will also present a 90-minute family-friendly production of The Taming of the Shrew outdoors in the Dell at The Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home. Directed by Company member Kelly Galvin, the production will run July 9 – August 17.
“I’m excited to be back at the Mount, which is such an inspiring and illuminating place to experience Shakespeare’s plays,” said Galvin. “The Taming of the Shrew is full of surprises. It’s an explosive look at love, identity, and power that will be an adventure to let loose in the Dell. I’m especially eager to discover how Shrew speaks to contemporary questions about gender, love, and partnership, and how the world of Shakespeare’s rowdy, raucous comedy speaks to our own.”
Casting and additional titles will be announced after the New Year. Shakespeare & Company’s Summer Season will begin Memorial Day Weekend. Following is the Company’s official 2019 Shakespeare Performance Season:
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows
July 2 to August 4
Tina Packer Playhouse
Gasping on the shores of Illyria after a shipwreck which cast her brother into the raging sea, Viola finds solace disguised as a boy in the service of Duke Orsino, for whom she falls hard. Orsino is smitten with idea of love in the person of Lady Olivia, who has recently lost her own brother and couldn’t be more underwhelmed by his affections. Olivia’s uncle, Sir Toby Belch, and his crew find great delight overturning the household with their raucous antics and song while driving the penultimate of stuffed shirts, Malvolio, nuts. A rich, affecting, and deeply funny story of longing, love, and laughter which paints Shakespeare at his peak.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kevin G. Coleman
August 8 – September 1
Roman Garden Theatre (Outdoors)
Sir John Falstaff vastly underestimates the Merry Wives in the town of Windsor as he hatches a frothy scheme to drain their bank accounts and drive their husbands insane with jealousy. Antics ensue as Falstaff (a favorite character of Queen Elizabeth herself!) overestimates his own ability to dupe good people and pull off his scheme of deceit. With the Merry Wives of Windsor, a comedy perfectly suited to our garden theatre setting, Shakespeare proves that the best human foibles are the ones we can laugh at.
Taming of the Shrew
By William Shakespeare
Directed by Kelly Galvin
July 9 – August 17
The Dell at the Mount, Edith Wharton’s Home (Outdoors)
Smart, passionate, and mad as hell, Kate wants nothing to do with marriage or men. But in Padua, marriage and money are the name of the game, and Kate’s younger sister Bianca is the ultimate prize. Alas for Padua’s vying bachelors, Bianca can’t marry ‘til her sister gets hitched. So when the wild renegade Petruchio arrives in Padua in search of a wife (and her dowry), he and Kate collide in a battle of wills that could change the rules of their world forever. Shakespeare’s explosive and provocative comedy stirs up questions about love, power, identity, and wealth, compelling us to examine the rules of our world and the roles we play inside it.
3-Show and 6-Show FLEXpasses go on sale next Tuesday, November 13th. 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 2019 performance season go on sale to members and groups on February 12; Seat and show selection for FLEXpass holders on February 19; tickets for the general public will be released on February 26.
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 Company also continues its commit to the EBT Card to Culture Program, offering a $5 performance ticket to all EBT Cardholders. The discounted tickets can be reserved over the phone, online and in person at Box Office. Cardholders will be required to show card at the Box Office when picking up tickets, and processing fees will also be waived.
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 15-18. Next month the Company presents a costumed staged reading of Pride and Prejudice playing December 14 – 16, followed by a Winter Studio Festival of emerging and established playwrights January 19 – 20.
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 Kevin G. Coleman
(Director of Education, Board of Trustees, Fight Director, Founding Member of Shakespeare & Company) Kevin is one of Shakespeare & Company’s artistic and administrative leaders. He works in the Performance and Training departments as an actor, teacher and director, and oversees the mission of the Education department. Kevin teaches text analysis, stage combat and clown, and has been a guest teacher or director at MIT, Harvard, L.S.U., Stanford, Q.U.T.- Brisbane, Lincoln Center, the Folger Library, Shakespeare Festivals in both Stratfords, and the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, UK. Kevin is the Theatre Director at the Austen Riggs Center where he has directed over 30 productions. In 2016, Kevin was Runner-Up for the Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education.
About Kelly Galvin
(Director) Kelly has worked as a director, teacher, and actor with Shakespeare & Company since 2008. Most recently with S&Co she directed Love’s Labor’s Lost and taught and directed for the Young Company Summer Conservatory Program. She served as Artistic Associate for WAM Theatre from 2012-2014, where she directed The Last Wife and produced the inaugural Fresh Takes Reading Series. Regionally, she has directed for Southwest Shakespeare, Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, The Theater at Woodshill, and the Boston University School of Theatre. She has assisted for The Guthrie, Asolo Repertory Theatre, and Orlando Shakespeare, received a Directing Fellowship with Asolo Rep, and completed Directing Internships with Arena Stage, Bedlam, and the Huntington Theatre Company. Kelly holds an MFA from Boston University and a BA from Wellesley College.
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.