Shakespeare and Company’s 2018 Season

After a successful first season  as Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company, Allyn Burrows  announced the 2018 Season. Allyn spoke with us about the plays and the process of putting  a season together. He is  finalizing the casting, but  has excellent directors lined up and a variety of intriguing plays.  In addition to the plays by Shakespeare, the season includes contemporary plays that address  issues that reflect the season’s theme, Delight, Deceit and Desire.

While waiting for the new season to start, over the Valentine’s weekend Shakespeare and Company is offering a reading of Lovers’ Spat: Two directed by Allyn. It is a series of scenes performed by  members of the Company. There are only two performances, Saturday, February 17 at  7 pm,. and  Sunday, February 18 at 2 pm.

As with most theatres in our area, Shakespeare and Company has a variety of ways to make theatre affordable. Flex Passes are available until April 20. Berkshire residents receive a special discount.

Click below for our interview.

Shakespeare and Company’s 2018 Season Interview

Click below to see a video Allyn Burrows made of the season.

Shakespeare and Company Season Video

Click below for the website

Shakespeare and Company website

Thoughts About 2017 Season: J. Peter Bergman

As we look forward to the 2018 season, we reflect on last season.  Considering the season from Peter Bergman’s perspective always provides us with  insights into the plays and into theatre generally.  Peter probably sees as much theatre as it is possible to see.  He ranges from Massachusetts to Vermont, Connecticut and New York. He also gets to New York City once in a while to see what they have to offer. Large and small, professional and community theatres, new and classic plays are all part of his theatre experience. We benefit from his knowledge and understanding of theatre; what makes it successful and what falls short. When we  only knew Peter from his reviews, we found ourselves traveling to new and distant theatre companies based on his thoughtful, intriguing  analyse   s. Since we have been interviewing him in person, we  still do it.

Click below to listen to his summary of last season

Interview with Peter Bergman on 2017 Theatre.

Then click below to follow his reviews on Berkshire Bright Focus.

Berkshire Bright Focus

Barrington Stage 2018 Season

Cold winter days are made brighter by hearing announcements of  what  regional theatres will be producing during the summer. Besides enjoying deciding what to see, there is the opportunity to save money by buying tickets early as theatres offer various package deals. Check out Barrington Stage’s website as there is always a great deal going on as well as the plays.

Bob and I had the opportunity to hear Julianne Boyd, Artistic Director, talk about the upcoming season. The advantage of listening to her is that besides finding out what is being presented,  she offers information about what goes into developing a season.

Click below for the announcement

Julianne Boyd on Season 2018

Later she also talked about the 10 x 10 production which runs from February 15 to March 4 at the St Germain Theatre. These are ten delightful ten minute plays with the same actors performing in the different plays.

After you go to the website below, you might want to sign up for their E-newsletter for additional information throughout the season.

Barrington Stage Web Site

The Audience Perspective

As another year ends and we look forward to the new year, we realize that we have been discussing theatre for seven years on radio. We still have some programs from 2017 which we will post. In January we will begin the fourth year of our blog. There are programs from our early pre-blog radio days that are worth posting even though the particular productions are history. We look forward to posting some of them on the blog.

In that spirit, we are posting our first discussion about audience which was also the program when we went from a one half hour program to an hour program. Since we are no longer on radio, our blog interviews now vary in time , depending on a range of factors.  This blog when we first interviewed audience members was January 5, 2015. Click below to listen.

Theatre Audiences  Part 1

Theatre Audiences Part 2

Theatre Audiences Part 3

Theatre Audiences Part 4

M. Lee Alexander shared with us her experience becoming  an audience member in the article below. Dr.  Alexander teaches literature, composition, creative writing, and ESL at William and Mary College. Her research interests include popular culture, detective fiction, Inklings authors, burletta theatre, and mathematics as a theme in literature. Her poetry chapbooks Observatory (2007) and Folly Bridge (2011) were published by Finishing Line Press, and her full-length poetry book Spinning the Compass is due to come out with Aquillrelle Press this spring. Her hobbies include doing cryptic crosswords and going to the theatre. She resides in Williamsburg, VA with a house full of pets.

Click below to read her essay.

My Life in the Audience



Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

To add to the festivities of the holiday season, Shakespeare and Company is presenting a costumed staged reading of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.  With many of our favorite books, we imagine  life going on  after we close the book. The romance of Pride and Prejudice continues in this delightful play by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon. Jane Austen would be pleased to see her characters live   once again.

However, this reading has a short run from December 15 to 17. If you miss  the  performances,  Shakespeare and Company has  other presentations during the winter season which will please you. There will be a Winter Studio Festival of Plays January 13 – 14, 2018. Five plays will be read over the two days.

February 17-18, 2018  Lovers’ Spat Round Two will offer scenes from Shakespeare and other playwrights showing that  the course of true love never did run smooth.

Click on the link below as Bob and I discuss this.

Discussion of Christmas at Pemberley and other things

Then click on Shakespeare and Company’s website for further information.

Shakespeare and Company

The Twelve Days of Christmas

Each year The Dorset Players offer a show that brightens  the holiday season. This year they are presenting The Twelve Days of Christmas, a family friendly production with a cast primarily of children and a few adults. Putting together the participants of the  twelve days song is a challenge for this year’s partridge in a pear tree. She  gets some help from the audience. Having a cast primarily of children also presented challenges to Sheila Childs which she shares in our interview with her.

Click on the link below to hear about that and more.

Interview with Sheila Childs


Click on the link below to get tickets

The Dorset Players


The Mystery of Edwin Drood

The Mystery of Edwin Drood is  a delightful musical that Hubbard Hall is presenting on weekends until December 3. This is a new version of the play  written specifically for Hubbard Hall which is a perfect setting for it. As David Snider, the director of the play and the Executive and Artistic Director of Hubbard Hall explains in the playbill,  he heard that a theatre in Raleigh, North Carolina had done a shorter version of the play which David has admired since he saw it as a seventeen year old. He wrote the theatre and never heard from them. Instead, he received a phone call from Rupert Holmes. Holmes had written the play, the music and the lyrics. After a long telephone call, Holmes agreed to write a version which set the action at Hubbard Hall in 1895. Since his adopted name is Holmes,  the year 1895 has special significance for the playwright/composer.

The result is a delightful production in a setting that enhances the play. Charles Dickens wrote the book on which the play is based. Unfortunately, Dickens did not finish the book because he died. However, as in all the productions of this play, it is the audience who finishes it by voting on the villain. Each performance may be resolved differently, not only in terms of the killer but also who will be the couple who find love and happiness at the  play’s end.

Bob and I went to opening night. We not only enjoyed the production, but had a chance to talk with Mr. Holmes and some of the actors. You can click on our discussion below. You can also click on the Hubbard Hall web site for tickets. We have also included the interview which Joe Donahue had with Rupert Holmes and David Snider on WAMC.

Discussion of the Hubbard Hall Production

Hubbard Hall web site

Joe Donahue Interview

Opening Night with Rupert Holmes and David Snider