William Shakespeare

Shakespeare & Company presents William Shakespeare's madcap comedy, “The Merry Wives of Windsor” directed by founding company member and Director of Education, Kevin G. Coleman. “The Merry Wives of Windsor” runs from August 8 to September 1 outdoors in the Roman Garden Theatre.

The play begins when 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.

This summer, Saratoga Shakespeare Company celebrates its 19th season with two of Shakespeare’s greatest works in two different venues: "King Lear" in Historic Congress Park and "The Tempest" on the grounds of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

Both productions deal with themes of stormy family relationships, human frailty, revenge, and redemption.

Building on last year’s successful collaboration, Saratoga Shakespeare begins the season joining forces with SPAC and Radial Arts to present Poetry in the Pines, bringing a new, innovative and music-filled production of "The Tempest" on the SPAC grounds. Performances will take place at the Reflecting Pool on Friday, July 19 at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. and on Saturday, July 20 at 11 a.m.

"King Lear" opens the following week with performances on Tuesday, July 23 through Saturday, July 27 and Tuesday, July 30 through Saturday, August 3. All performances will be at 6 p.m. in Congress Park, Saratoga Springs, on the Alfred Z. Solomon Stage.

We we welcome Saratoga Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Lary Opitz (who is playing King Lear); and production Directors Marcus Dean Fuller ("The Tempest") and Wesley Broulik ("King Lear").

Shakespeare & Company is currently presenting William Shakespeare’s "Twelfth Night" directed by Company Artistic Director, Allyn Burrows. This classic showcases a rich, affecting, and deeply funny story of longing, love, and laughter which paints Shakespeare at his peak. Performances run through August 4th in the Tina Packer Playhouse.

This production of "Twelfth Night, or What You Will" unfolds in a mutable landscape of yearning and surprises, set in a dance hall on a boardwalk by the seashore in 1959. It Is the story of what arises from a shipwreck, the madness of love, and that shipwreck called love.

Helmed by Burrows who has previously acted in three different productions of "Twelfth Night" including the mainstage production at Shakespeare & Company in 1991 joins us this morning. Two of the actors join us as well - Miles Anderson (Malvolio) and Bella Merlin (Maria.)

Shakespeare & Company’s 2019 summer season is now under way – opening last night and running through October 13, 2019. Under the theme,"The Strings of the Heart," the season includes Shakespeare's “Twelfth Night,” “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” “The Taming of the Shrew,” and, in aspecial work-shop production of “Coriolanus.”

The contemporary plays this season are the Pulitzer Prize finalist “The Waverly Gallery” by Kenneth Lonergan; Tony Award nominated play “The Children” by Lucy Kirkwood; Pulitzer Prize winner “Topdog/Underdog” by MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient Suzan-Lori Parks; and “Time Stands Still” by Obie Award winner Donald Margulies.

Allyn Burrows is Shakespeare & Company’s Artistic Director.

This weekend, the Broadway revival of Terrence McNally’s “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” begins previews at The Broadhurst Theatre starring Tony, Grammy and Emmy Award winner Audra McDonald and two-time Academy Award nominee Michael Shannon.

Originally produced more than 30 years ago Off-Broadway, “Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune” is one of McNally’s most popular plays. It centers on a waitress and a short order cook whose first date turns into a one-night stand and moves - if haltingly - toward a new relationship as they reveal themselves to each other.

Obie Award winner Arin Arbus directs, making her Broadway debut. 

Berkshire Theatre Group performs in "Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure for elementary school students at the '62 Center at Williams College in Williamstown.
STEPHANIE ZOLLSHAN - THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE

BTG PLAYS! 2018-2019 Touring Show is "Showtime with Shakespeare: A Magic Tree House Adventure," based on "Magic Tree House: Stage Fright on a Summer Night" by Mary Pope Osborne, book and lyrics by Jenny Laird and Will Osborne, music and lyrics by Randy Courts and directed by Travis Daly.

Widely regarded among parents, teachers, and librarians for its power to instill a passion for reading, Mary Pope Osborne's award-winning "Magic Tree House" series is an international phenomenon that has sold over 143 million books worldwide since its debut in 1992 and has been translated into 33 different languages in over 30 international markets.

We are joined by Mary Pope Osborne, Will Osborne, and Travis Daly.

Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts was founded in 1978 to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence in Performance, Training, and Education. This season, Shakespeare & Company has presented productions of The Bard’s “Macbeth,” “Love’s Labours Lost,” and “As You Like It” – the last of which runs through September 2.

Terrence McNally’s “Mothers and Sons” began performances last night and opens officially on Sunday and Shakespeare & Company’s production of Simon Stephens’ “Heisenberg” opens tonight.

We are joined by Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, Artistic Director Allyn Burrows, and Director of “Mothers and Sons,” James Warwick.

Stephen Greenblatt, the award-winning Shakespeare scholar, has looked once more at the Bard’s works that have inspired him during a time that concerns him.

His new book is “Tyrant.” In it he illuminates the ways in which Shakespeare delves into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.

The Saratoga Shakespeare Company is presenting two summer productions in Congress Park in downtown Saratoga Springs, New York.

The bard’s “As You Like It” directed by Elizabeth Carlson-Guerin, and “Henry IV, Parts 1&2,”directed by David Girard. This is a Season of Transformation and celebrates Saratoga Shakespeare’s eighteenth summer season of free outdoor theater.

David Girard join us now along with Saratoga Shakespeare Company’s Artistic Director Lary Opitz and actors Gwynedd Vetter-Drusch and Kevin McGuire.

company of a HV Shakespeare production on the hill at Boscobel
Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Facebook page

The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival is under way which includes two Shakespeare classics, "Richard II" and "The Taming of the Shrew," alongside David Farr’s adaptation of "The Heart of Robin Hood," and the world premiere of Seth Bockley’s "Rip Van Winkle; or, Cut the Old Moon into Stars, the first-ever mainstage commission by HVSF, featuring 40-plus members of the Hudson Valley community alongside a cast of 4 professional actors.

The season will also feature the HVSF Conservatory Company in an original clown piece, "The Sea-Maid's Music," devised and directed by Zachary Fine.

Davis McCallum is The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's Artistic Director.

The Woodstock Shakespeare Festival, celebrating its 22nd Anniversary, will stage the bard’s beloved tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” this summer. The production will run on Woodstock’s outdoor Elizabethan stage every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from July 27 through September 2.

Bird-On-A-Cliff Theatre Company co-founders and artistic co-directors David Aston-Reese and Elli Michaels have run the Woodstock Shakespeare Festival since its beginning 22 years ago and they join us this morning along with “Romeo and Juliet” director, Christopher Martin.

This season, Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusettes will be exploring themes of Delight, Deceit, and Desire. The season includes three Shakespeare plays: “Macbeth,” “As You Like It,” and “Love's Labor's Lost;” plus the New England Premiere of “Morning After Grace” by Carey Crim; “Creditors” by August Strindberg adapted by David Greig; “Heisenberg” by Laurence Olivier Award winner Simon Stephens; “Mothers and Sons” by Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally; and “HIR” by Pulitzer Prize finalist Taylor Mac.

A Midsummer Night's Dream - The BSO
Winslow Townson

On Saturday, August 5 at Tanglewood, The Boston Symphony Orchestra presents one of the best-known musical works inspired by Shakespeare - Mendelssohn’s incidental music to A Midsummer Night’s Dream - in a specially designed production adapted by stage director Bill Barclay, first performed with the BSO at Symphony Hall in Boston in early 2016 as part of the BSO’s three-week Shakespeare celebration honoring the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death.

Bill Barclay joins us to tell us more.

Likely the final piece that William Shakespeare penned alone, The Tempest tells the story of Prospero, a betrayed duke and magician bent on justice and revenge until he sees, through his daughter Miranda, the power of love and forgiveness. The events of the story unfold amidst the elements of the island, a perfect fit for a Berkshire evening in the open air of the Roman Garden Theatre.

Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows directs The Tempest and it marks the inaugural production in the new Roman Garden Theatre. Here to tell us more are company members Nigel Gore, Tamara Hickey and Josh Aaron McCabe. 

Powerhouse Theater
Vassar College/ Tamar M. Thibodeau

Vassar College and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater Training Program challenges young theatre artists to look at their art in new and meaningful ways while they explore boundaries by living, breathing, and creating theater with peers and professionals alike. To learn more we are joined by Max Reuben and Emily Mendelsohn.

Reuben is a playwright, director, sometimes-actor, and founding member of AGGROCRAG – a Brooklyn-based theater company dedicated to creating original plays. At Vassar he directs and composes Soundpainting -- which is performed Thursdays in July in The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center.

Mendelsohn is a Brooklyn-based director who is adapting and directing William Shakespeare's Hamlet which is running July 14-16 in the Environmental Cooperative at The Vassar Barns.

Tamara Hickey and Thomas Brazzle in Cymbeline at Shakespeare & Company
Stratton McCrady / shakespeare.org

We're at Tanglewood this morning and just a few miles away through the Berkshire beauty of Lenox lives another cultural gem, Shakespeare & Company.

Cymbeline is a rarely performed story of intrigue and deception in the face of steely resolve with wild plot twists, mistaken identities, and a heart-rending quest for love.

We are joined now by Tamara Hickey who plays Imogen in Cymbeline; Allyn Burrows, artistic director, at Shakespeare & Company; and Tina Packer, Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company and Director of Cymbeline. The production also marks a personal milestone for Packer, who, after opening her production of Cymbeline, will have directed all 37 plays in the Shakespeare canon.

Bedlam’s latest production is Cry Havoc! As the company’s website states: Bedlam creates works of theatre that reinvigorate traditional forms in a flexible, raw space, collapsing aesthetic distance and bringing its viewers into direct contact with the dangers and delicacies of life.

In Cry Havoc! Stephan Wolfert recounts his own experiences of military service, weaving his personal narrative with lines from some of William Shakespeare’s most famous speeches. Pulling from The Bard’s war narratives to work through the trauma of the military experience. The one-actor production is directed by Bedlam co-founder Eric Tucker. Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA presented the show last summer - it is currently running at the New Ohio Theatre Off-Broadway in New York City through April 23rd.

Wolfert and Tucker are both military veterans, and Bedlam’s outreach program invites other veterans to meet - every Monday - to explore the writing and performance Shakespeare - and to be mindful in a shared space with other veterans. To relate their experiences to the literature and drama -- and to each other.

Stephan Wolfert joins us to tell us more about the outreach program and Cry Havoc!

Audrey Kupferberg: London Theater Celebrates Anniversaries

Aug 26, 2016

William Shakespeare died 400 years ago, and theaters all over the world are commemorating the death of the Bard of Avon with productions of his works.  This summer, London venues offered quite a variety of Shakespeare’s plays.  


  Drama League and Drama Desk Award nominee Julia Coffey has joined the company of The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival to take over the roles of Rosalind in As You Like It, and Mariana and Mistress Overdone in Measure for Measure.

Staged in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY and framed by stunning Hudson Valley views, As You Like It runs in rep through August 27th, and the final performance of Measure for Measure’s will be on August 28th.

(Left to right) Stacey Yen, Nance Williamson and Maria-Christina Oliveras in Macbeth
T. Charles Erickson


  Fair is foul, and foul is fair -- more fair than usual in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s production of Macbeth - now running in repertory at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.  The fairer for having a cast of only three actors, and all three -women.

Lee Sunday Evans directs Maria-Christina Oliveras, Nance Williamson, and Stacey Yen in the production and we are joined by two-thirds of the trio, Maria-Christina and Stacey, to talk about the production.

  This Summer, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival presents productions of The Bard’s Measure for Measure, As You Like It, and Macbeth in repertory in the tent at Boscobel House and Gardens in Garrison, NY.

Davis McCallum and Annie Purcell join us.

Davis is Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s Artistic Director, he has been in the position for two full seasons. The award winning director has also directed this summer’s production of Measure for Measure -- which stars Annie Purcell as Isabella. Her Broadway credits include The Coast of Utopia, Dividing the Estate, and Awake and Sing!.

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 and since then they’ve been presenting world-class classical and contemporary theater with a focus on none other than The Bard of Avon in Lenox, MA.

The season includes three Shakespeare plays: The Merchant of Venice, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and Twelfth Night, plus Regional Premieres by three women playwrights: of Or, by Liz Duffy Adams; The Taming by Lauren Gunderson and Ugly Lies the Bone by Lindsey Ferrentino, a bracing drama fresh from an acclaimed Off-Broadway production.

Additional titles include Sotto Voce by Pulitzer Prize-winner Nilo Cruz, and the return of Stephan Wolfert in Cry "Havoc!", and a new adaption of Aphra Behn’s Emperor of the Moon by Jenna Ware.

Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy are serving as co-interim Artistic Directors at Shakespeare & Company. They join us along with Daniella Varon who is directing Ugly Lies the Bone

 In his new book The Year Of Lear: Shakespeare In 1606, James Shapiro offers a portrait of one of the most inspired moments in William Shakespeare's career, the extraordinary year he completed King Lear and then went on to write the two other great tragedies Macbeth and Antony and Cleopatra. Shapiro, a preeminent Shakespeare scholar and author of the previous books, A Year in the Life of Shakespeare: 1599 and Contested Will sheds new light on these plays by placing them in the context of their time.

  Julius Caesar, a beautiful and popular girl from a wealthy family has been selected as the ‘face’ of Rome Preparatory Academy, an elite all girls boarding school. She will be the president of the student council and represent the school at both fund raising and social events, including Homecoming, over which she will preside as queen. Although well liked, Caesar's sense of entitlement and hubris are resented by other students. ---- If that sounds familiar but some the details seem new – you’re keeping up with us just fine.

The Theatre Department at SUNY New Paltz is staging a production of William Shakepeare’s Julius Caesar set in a girls’ boarding school.

This re-imagining of The Tragedy of Julius Caesar asks the audience to consider violence on a more personal level by eliminating the safe distance of history and putting the weapons in the hands of young people.

'Hamlet' At TheRep

Apr 17, 2015

  “The play's the thing.” – and in this case, the play’s the play that quotation comes from.

Capital Repertory Theatre in Albany, NY is producing William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Hamlet and there will be something rotten in the state of Denmark on the CapRep stage through May 10th.

Broadway’s Kevin McGuire directs. Kevin is the Founding Artistic Director of the Theatre Company at Hubbard Hall and while there he’s directed Hamlet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Two Gentlemen of Verona, as well as over 50 other plays and musicals.

  In our series, Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities we check in with the Humanities Councils throughout our 7-State area to discuss important ideas and why they do indeed matter.

This morning we welcome NY Humanities and James Shapiro, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. James joins us to discuss Shakespeare’s Shakespeare's legacy and how he has been read in America.

Jim Levulis / WAMC

Theater enthusiasts can add another event to the typically busy schedule of cultural attractions in the Berkshires this summer.