Art in action: A conversation with Shakespeare & Company’s Kevin Coleman

Lenox — “We don’t audition people for roles in our programs,” says Shakespeare & Company Education Director Kevin Coleman. “We play theatre games with them. If we’re looking for Ophelia, for example, instead of casting someone who looks the way we imagine Ophelia looks, we choose several interesting people from what they do in these games, [...]

Aphra Behn: The brilliant playwright nobody knows

Lenox — Once upon a time, there was an ambitious, hard-working woman named Aphra Behn —- or Aphra Johnson, or Cooper, or Amis, or…? She worked as a spy for Charles II in Antwerp or Surinam — or maybe not. She was a widow — or perhaps she never actually married the Dutchman, Johan Behn — [...]

Review: ‘Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike,’ Chekhov in ‘Berkshire’ County

Kevin Sprague Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jim Frangione and Matt Leonard, in Christopher Durang's 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.' At Shakespeare & Company through September 14. A fine-tuned ensemble brought Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award winning homage/satire of Chekhov’s works to life last night at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox. “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and [...]

Brecht’s Mother Courage at Shakespeare & Co.

Aug. 2, 2013 performance reviewed by Ann St. Clair When the lights go up on an allusively radical, nearly-bare stage (designed by Patrick Brennan) at the Tina Packer Playhouse at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, we are plunged into Bertold Brecht’s concept of war as a complex, completely human endeavor. And when Anna Frieling ironically [...]

Review of Shakespeare & Company’s The Liar

Christmas is long past, but Shakespeare & Company has given us an early Valentine, The Liar, a sparkling, hilarious adaptation by David Ives of Pierre Corneille’s only comedy. It is directed by Dennis Coleman, whose thirty years of acting, teaching, theatre training, and directing have been honored nationally as well as by the Commonwealth of [...]

The Invention of Air Revisited

Recent upheavals in the Middle East remind me of an interesting non-fiction book, The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson that came out several years ago.  The protagonist, Joseph Priestly was a brilliant scientist, a dissenting Christian minister, a questioning philosopher, and a friend and supporter of Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and democracy.  Besides discovering [...]