Each year, the beloved Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Massachusetts offers a series of theatrical performances that captivate audiences with the timeless brilliance of William Shakespeare. Founded in 1978 by Tina Packer, the company strives to be a center for creativity and hopes to positively influence future generations through Shakespeare’s most famous works. The next time you visit the Berkshires, buy tickets to a show and see what this unique experience is all about!
Along with creating a world-class theatre company with Elizabethan ideals, Shakespeare & Company offers educational programs to help foster a love of the arts in students of the community. Programs like the Fall Festival of Shakespeare give youth the unique opportunity to perform their own rendition of a Shakespeare play at their high school, and the Riotous Youth summer program introduces young children to the language and ideas of Shakespeare. The company even works in conjuction with the Berkshires Juvenile Court System to give adolescent offenders the chance to study, rehearse, and perform Shakespeare as an alternative to more punitive consequences. No matter their age, gender, or status in society, Shakespeare and Company offers an enriching experience for all kids in the community.
Today, the Shakespeare & Company campus has three theaters on-site and features special performances at other venues throughout the year. Named after it’s founder, the Tina Packer Playhouse is an air-conditioned, scaffold-and-canvas theatre that seats 413 audience members. The audience surrounds the 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 performances in it’s intimate space. The Rose Footprint Theatre is designed to resemble the Rose Playhouse, Shakespeare’s first theatre in London, and features bleacher seating beneath a large tent.
Each winter and spring, a small team of Shakespeare & Company actors and teachers travel throughout the northeast visiting high schools, middle schools, colleges, and theaters to perform a 90-minute production of one of Shakespeare’s plays. The Northeast Regional Tour of Shakespeare began in 1982 and offers a choice of two plays: Macbeth and Twelfth Night. After the show, students can enjoy a 15-minute interactive talk with the performers and learn about the important relationship between the actors and the audience. The tour begins on February 24th, 2016 and will continue throughout the spring months. Be sure to check their online calendar for upcoming productions and shows!
After the curtains close, head back to the Gateways Inn and cap off your night in one of our luxurious guest rooms, named after Shakespeare’s famous heroines! Then visit our lounge and bar, which features a variety of posters from past Shakespeare & Company productions. As an added bonus, our Lenox bed and breakfast is a favored destination for the local actors, so you can even show your appreciation by buying them a drink. We guarantee you’ll have a one-of-a-kind Berkshires experience that will make your trip truly memorable!
For more information on things to do in Lenox, MA, download our free Berkshires vacation guide.
Photo Credit: lofilolo | Thinkstock