Book Signing with Shakespeare and Company’s Tina Packer
“WOMEN OF WILL: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays”
Saturday, July 25, 6pm
“Visceral and intellectual . . . A sparkling, insightful exploration of Shakespeare’s words and world.” —Kirkus Reviews
Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Company’s Founding Artistic Director launched her critically- acclaimed new book Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays last April and with a second printing already underway she continues to perform at book signing events locally and across the country. On Saturday, July 25th at 6pm Packer, and Women of Will acting partner Nigel Gore will be at Lauren Clark Fine Art, 25 Railroad Street in Great Barrington, MA performing snippets of scenes from the play and readings from the book. Please note: SPACE IS LIMITED.
Matthew Tannenbaum of The Bookstore in Lenox will provide copies of Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays which will be on-sale after the event.
“I am simply thrilled and honored to host Tina’s book signing event at the Gallery,” says owner Lauren Clark. “I have long admired Tina’s work and the extraordinary work Shakespeare & Company brings to the community year round. Both Tina and the Company are truly a Berkshire’s treasure.”
Packer has synthesized forty years of teaching, textual analysis, and stage experience into Women of Will: Following the Feminine in Shakespeare’s Plays, which charts Shakespeare’s evolution and his increasingly empathetic and nuanced portrayal of his female characters. It follows Shakespeare’s development from youth to enlightened maturity and explores the spiritual journey he undertook. Most importantly, Packer grapples not only with the language and the historical context of the plays but with them as they were and are actually performed. Packer posits that Shakespeare’s imagination, mirrored and revealed in his female characters, develops and deepens until finally the women, his creative knowledge, and a sense of a larger spiritual good come together in the late plays, making clear that when women and men are equal in status and sexual passion, they can—and do—change the world.
“In many ways I’ve been working on this piece for the whole of my artistic life,” says Packer. “I have to ask the question: why should a 21st century feminist spend her time with a dead white male? Well the answer is because I grow, expand, understand myself better with every play in the canon I immerse myself in, and have from the time I was a young actor to becoming a director and teacher.”
Packer began working on Women of Will as a stand-alone theatre piece in the early ‘90’s and over the years, through Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships, developed it into a five-part theatrical production covering five different phases of Shakespeare’s artistic life and the women who speak for him. With award-winning and long-time acting partner Nigel Gore, who plays both men’s and women’s roles in the production, Packer débuted the epic five-part series, directed by Eric Tucker (award-winning Bedlam Theatre Artistic Director) at Shakespeare & Company in 2010. The play, Women of Will continues to perform across the country and around the globe, including a recent and critically-acclaimed Off-Broadway stint. Packer and Gore can also be seen in Shakespeare and Company’s world-premiere of Mother of the Maid by Jane Anderson running July 30 – Sept. 6th in Bernstein Theatre.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Tina Packer is the Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company. She has directed most of Shakespeare’s plays, acted in seven, and taught the entire canon at multiple colleges and universities, among them Harvard, MIT, and Columbia. Packer was an Associate Artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company in England, and worked at the Royal Court and Aldwych theatres in London, Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other regional theatres, as well as for BBC and ITV television. She is the subject of the WGBH documentary Sex, Violence and Poetry: A Portrait of Tina Packer, and Helen Epstein’s biography The Companies She Keeps. She is the recipient of more than 30 awards, honors, and fellowships. In 1994-95 she received Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships to create and perform Women of Will. Tina holds honorary doctorates of letters from Emerson College, Trinity College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Salem State College to name a few. She was the 1999-2000 Arts Recipient of the Commonwealth Award, the state’s highest honor for excellence in the arts. In 2004 she was given the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Travel & Tourism Leadership Award. In 2001 Tina’s book, Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership & Management, co-authored with Columbia Business School professor John O. Whitney, was published by Simon & Schuster, she is also the author of the award-winning Tales from Shakespeare: Shakespeare’s Stories for Children, published in 2004 by Scholastic. The performance piece Women of Will has traveled across America as well as internationally. Tina is currently drafting two other books, one will document the aesthetic and teaching techniques of Shakespeare & Company, and the second book delves into the playing of Cleopatra and Tina’s life as an actress, director and 30 years as Artistic, Founder and President of Shakespeare & Company. She lives with her husband Dennis Krausnick in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.