In total, the Season includes three works of Shakespeare; a World Premiere and New England Premiere; a Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play-winner, and the reprise of a production that originated at Shakespeare & Company 20 years ago before heading to one of the longest Broadway runs in history.
Artistic Director Allyn Burrows said the season has been built around the theme Thieves of Love, lifted from a line from A Midsummer Night’s Dream and chosen to symbolize the many challenges all humans face in the pursuit of purpose, meaning, and joy.
“These past few years have been a reminder of our human desire to achieve resiliency,” he said. “As we strive to navigate through adversity, we hold tight to language to help us make sense of it all: the connections, the thievery, the love. Our aim is to welcome everyone back to find respite, humor, and meaning in the threads of the stories we’re offering.”
Slated to run from May 26 through December 17, Shakespeare & Company’s 46th season titles are:
Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise – New England Premiere
Directed by Ariel Bock
Outdoors at the Roman Garden Theatre
May 26 through July 30; Opening May 28
Sponsored by Natalie and Howard Shawn
Shakespeare & Company presents the New England Premiere of Tony Award-winning playwright Ken Ludwig’s Dear Jack, Dear Louise – the story of two strangers introduced through letters, kept apart by war, and drawn together through shared stories of their lives, hopes, and fears. A comedic and touching look at life in 1942 complete with nods to music, theater, and literature. Dear Jack, Dear Louise was inspired by the WWII courtship of Ludwig’s parents.
The Contention (Henry VI, Part II) by William Shakespeare
Directed by Tina Packer
Associate Directors: Kate Kohler-Amory and Sheila Bandyopadhyay
Tina Packer Playhouse
June 17 through July 15; Opening June 24
The first edition of Henry VI, Part II was printed in 1594 as “The firste parte of the Contention of the two famous houses of York and Lancaster.” Nearly 430 years later – and on the heels of King Charles III’s coronation – Shakespeare & Company has given the original Game of Thrones a modern abbreviation, as it explores themes of loyalty that remain timeless: strategic marriages, political treachery, religious unrest, and a measure of “comic sport.”
Commonly regarded as the strongest of the Henry VI trilogy, The Contention centers on the War of the Roses, a murder plot, and a rebellion that widens the divide between two houses.
Plays in Process
Outdoors at the Rose Footprint Theatre
July 16 (times and titles to be announced)
Returning for its second year, Play in Process offers a glimpse into the workings of what goes into the creation of plays – catching them in their early stages, when possibilities and challenges are discussed. Every performance of this one-day festival of plays-in-workshop will be accompanied by a talkback, with lively discussion encouraged.
August Wilson’s Fences
Directed by Christopher Edwards
Tina Packer Playhouse
July 22 through August 27; Opening July 27
Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and 1987’s Tony Award for Best Play, August Wilson’s Fences is set in the 1950s and is known as part of The American Century Cycle.
A moving study of emotional depth and the human condition, it follows the story of Troy Maxson – a working-class Black man struggling to provide for his family. His past includes the high of a promising career with the Negro Baseball League and the low of a prison sentence, while his present is complicated by resentment, regret, and the walls we build around ourselves.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by William Shakespeare
Directed by Allyn Burrows
Outdoors at the New Spruce Theatre
August 1 through September 10; Opening August 4
Athenians mix it up with the forest fairies in this raucous romp that features magical meddling, romantic tangles, and a play within a play for good measure. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved Comedies, A Midsummer Night’s Dream has been described by scholars as carnivalesque: pushing the plot forward through humor and chaos.
Golda’s Balcony by William Gibson
Directed by Daniel Gidron
Elayne Bernstein Theatre
August 5 through 20; Opening August 6
The world premiere of Golda’s Balcony was produced at Shakespeare & Company in May 2002 and went on to become the longest-running one-woman play in Broadway history. The inspiring story of Golda Meir – Russian immigrant, American school teacher, and fourth Prime Minister of Israel – returns, staged at the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre and featuring Annette Miller reprising her original performance. Eight performances will be staged.
Hamlet by William Shakespeare
A reading directed by Kevin G. Coleman
Tina Packer Playhouse
September 1 through 3
Murder plots and madness rule the day as Shakespeare & Company presents a reading of William Shakespeare’s tragedy Hamlet at the Tina Packer Playhouse. Three performances will be staged.
Tickets to these performances range in price from $17 to $82; preview performances are $10 less. FLEXpasses are also available now in three- and five-show packages; early-bird prices are valid from now until March 15, 2023. For more information, visit shakespeare.org.
Image caption: Shakespeare & Company’s 46th Season, dubbed Thieves of Love, will run from May 26 through October 22.
Additional photos are available upon request.
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.