LENOX, Mass. – Shakespeare & Company announces the cast of The Approach by Irish playwright Mark O’Rowe, to be staged at the Company’s Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre May 6 through May 29.

Co-directed by Mark Farrell and Shakespeare & Company’s Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, The Approach follows the story of Anna, Cora, and Denise as they converse over coffee about their shared childhoods and burgeoning middle-age, with much left unspoken. The cast includes:

Nicole Ansari

Ansari has worked on both stage and screen in Europe and the U.S., beginning at age nine in her native Germany on the cop-drama Tatort. In the U.S., she’s most known for playing Josiane in the HBO Original series Deadwood. Ansari has performed at the Public Theater in Vienna, Austria, on Broadway at the Bernhard B. Jacobs Theater, and in London’s West End, and has co-produced two feature films: Blumenthal, a comedy about New York Theater world starring her husband Brian Cox, and the thriller As Good As Dead with Andy McDowell. She co-produced and directed the web series Messy, which has recently garnered numerous awards including Best Director and Best Dramedy at the British Web Awards and Best Web Series at the NY International Film Awards. Ansari is the creator of ACTORS RISING, a program for actors and speakers merging the spiritual path with the Arts.

Elizabeth Aspenlieder

This is Aspenlieder’s 24th season at Shakespeare & Company, during which time she’s appeared in more than 40 productions including God of Carnage; Mother of the Maid (in which she originated the role of The Lady of the Court); Parasite Drag; Merry Wives of Windsor; Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and many others. She’s also appeared in productions staged by Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Simon’s Rock, Oldcastle, Barrington Stage, and other venues. In addition to addition to acting on stage, screen, and as a voice-over artist, Aspenlieder has also directed and produced, including producing an upcoming feature titled Mumbet, with Executive Producer Octavia Spencer.

Michelle Joyner

This will be Joyner’s second season at Shakespeare & Company. An alumna of Shakespeare & Company’s Center for Actor Training, she’s an actor, writer, and director who has appeared in several feature films and television shows such as Cliffhanger, Outbreak, Bones, and Quantum Leap. She acted and directed for the Berkshire Playwrights Lab Radius Festival and Theater Fest which premiered her play Asking for a Friend, and is a repeat performer on The Moth. Joyner leads The Long Table, a women’s writing group in L.A. and the Berkshires, and writes You Can Go Home Again, a column for the Berkshire Edge.

Generously co-sponsored by Steve Bader and Cathy Monoxelos, The Approach will be presented in person with tickets ranging in price from $37 to $67; preview performances are $10 less. 

Online, The Approach will be made available by live stream at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 14, and via recorded broadcast will be available Saturday May 21, at 7:30 p.m.; Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m.; Saturday May 28 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, May 29 at 3 p.m. Tickets for virtual performances are $27.

For more information and to purchase tickets, visit shakespeare.org or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

About Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.

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