SANTA CRUZ, Calif. – The Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) has awarded the 2022 Ellen Stewart Career Achievement Award in Professional Theatre to Tina Packer, founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Mass.

The Ellen Stewart Career Achievement in Professional Theatre Award is named for American theater director and producer Ellen Stewart (1919 – 2011) and is awarded annually to an individual primarily based in professional theater, honoring a career of distinguished service to the field. 

ATHE Executive Director Aimee Zygmonski lauded Packer for her work, noting that it has “inspired generations of actors and spectators.”

“Tina Packer’s Shakespeare & Company develops and performs classical and contemporary works, houses one of the largest theater-in-education programs in the Northeast, and offers year-round actor-training opportunities,” said Zygmonski. “She has developed transformative  training methodologies, and for four decades, been an advocate of collective storytelling, both nationally and in her local community.”

According to the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Ellen Stewart Career Achievement Awardees are recognized for superlative contributions to the field over the span of a career and exhibit significant selfless service; serve as authentic role models to peers and students; are original thinkers whose work has established new frames of reference; are instrumental in nurturing careers of others; are proven, effective advocates for the field, and known for supporting multiculturalism and diversity in theater and education. Honorees were announced at ATHE’s annual conference, held July 28-31, 2022.

For more information on the ATHE, Shakespeare & Company, and Tina Packer, visit or

About the Association for Theatre in Higher Education 

ATHE is a comprehensive non-profit professional membership organization that strives to promote and advance the practice of theater and performance in higher education. Founded in 1986, ATHE works with diverse individual and organizational members, ranging from college and university theater departments to administrators, educators, graduate students, and theater practitioners. ATHE also provides intellectual and artistic new knowledge about the performing arts while cultivating vital alliances with other scholarly and creative disciplines that are linked with professional and community-based theaters.

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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