Theatre Lovers Congregate at Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & CompanyOne of the hallmarks of the essential Berkshires summer experience is the fantastic season presented by Shakespeare & Company. Each year brings a series of performances that captivate audiences and allow them to witness the timeless brilliance of William Shakespeare. We at the Gateways Inn have a profound appreciation for Shakespeare & Company’s mission and what they bring to the community and have incorporated their work into the personality of our Inn. Read on to find out what makes Shakespeare & Company so special to the community in Lenox and the Berkshires as a whole.


Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by British expat Tina Packer. Packer saw a unique opportunity to combine the strengths of British actors’ skill with the spoken word and American actors’ adeptness with physical acting. After an initial residency at Edith Wharton’s estate, The Mount, the company moved to its current campus in Lenox in 2001.


Shakespeare & Company serves a purpose greater than just providing fantastic theatrical performances. Part of Shakespeare & Company’s mission is “to create a theatre of unprecedented excellence rooted in the classical ideals of inquiry, balance and harmony; a company that performs as the Elizabethans did — in love with poetry, physical prowess and the mysteries of the universe.”


Along with creating a world-class theatre company with Elizabethan ideals, Shakespeare & Company has educational programs to help foster a love of the arts in students and have a positive influence on young people in the community. This influence includes work with young actors and a special program called Shakespeare in the Courts, which collaborates with the Berkshire Juvenile Court and offers adjudicated young people an opportunity to grow and learn during probation.


Today the Shakespeare & Company Campus has three theatres on-site, with special performances held at other venues periodically. Named for its founder, the Tina Packer Playhouse is an air-conditioned, scaffold-and-canvas theatre that seats 413 audience members. The audience surrounds the thrust stage on three sides, creating a truly engaging experience. The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre also has a thrust stage and audiences of up to 197 can enjoy performance in this innovative space. The Rose Footprint Theatre is designed to resemble the Rose Playhouse, Shakespeare’s first theatre in London. It features bleacher seating beneath a large tent.



The Shakespeare & Company 2014 season will consist of several Shakespearean classics and four other amazing productions:

A Midsummer Night’s Dream | June 21st – August 30th

By: William Shakespeare

Directed By: Tony Simotes


The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) | July 4th – August 24th

By Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield

Directed By: Jonathan Croy


Henry IV, Parts I & II | August 2nd – August 31st

By: William Shakespeare

Directed By: Jonathan Epstein


Shakespeare’s Will | May 24th – August 24th

By: Vern Thiessen

Directed By: Daniela Varon


Julius Caesar | June 27th – August 30th

By: William Shakespeare

Directed By: Tina Packer


Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike | August 6th – September 14th

By: Christopher Durang

Directed By: Matthew Penn


The Servant of Two Masters | June 20th – August 23rd

By: Carlo Goldoni

Adapted and Directed By: Jenna Ware


Romeo and Juliet | July 17th – August 23rd

By: William Shakespeare

Directed By: Jonathan Croy



At the Gateways Inn, we have a profound love and appreciation for Shakespeare & Company and its place in our community. There’s no better way to cap off a night enjoying Shakespeare’s work than to retire to one of our luxurious guest rooms named after his heroines. Or visit our Lounge and Bar, featuring posters from past Shakespeare & Company productions. As an added bonus, the Gateways is the favored watering hole for Shakespeare & Company actors, so perhaps you can show your appreciation for their performance by buying them a drink. At Gateways, you’ll truly get a unique Berkshires experience with ties to Shakespeare & Company that will make your visit all the more enriching. Plan your stay today!



Photo by Kevin Sprague, courtesy Shakespeare & Company