Local News: Special Valentine's Day Performance of Tina Packer's Women of Will

Posted by: Staffon 2011/2/7 12:40:00 1527 reads Special Valentine's Day Performance of Tina Packer's Women of Will to Benefit PSF & CTC productions of
King Lear & As You Like It


On February 14th, 2011, the Prague Shakespeare Festival and Classical Theatre Company will present Houston with a special Valentine's Day gift: Tina Packer's groundbreaking exploration of Shakespeare's canon: Women of Will. A true tour-de-force of performance, discussion, and just a bit of crowd participation, Women of Will showcases Packer's 30-odd years of deep investigation into all things Shakespeare--covering the full breadth of Shakespeare's romantic comedies and passionate dramas...

The Boston Globe says of Women of Will. "Drawing on her lifetime of acting in and directing Shakespeare's plays, Packer combines the performance of scenes with the discussion of themes to create a dazzling and illuminating piece of work. For anyone who cares about women, Shakespeare, or especially women in Shakespeare, it's not to be missed." The New York Times says: "Ms. Packer glows...[a] lively and illuminating tour."

Women of Will performs for one night only: Valentine's Day, Monday, February 14th, 2011, at 7:30p.m. at Stages Repertory Theatre.

All proceeds from this special performance benefit the Classical Theatre Company and Prague Shakespeare Festival upcoming productions of King Lear and As You Like It.

Tickets for the benefit are $50 and include a special Valentine's Day champagne and dessert private reception with Tina Packer following the performance. Tickets for the performance only are available for $25. Contact the Box Office at (713) 963-9665 or to order tickets and make reservations.

"If you want to know what Shakespeare really thought about the power structures of the world, you should look at what his women are talking about!" Packer says. "By focusing on the feminine in Shakespeare, you see him progress from callow youth to wise seer. You see how the warrior women progress toward peace. If you want to know how the sexual merges with the spiritual, who better to tell us than William Shakespeare himself? The title itself has several meanings: obviously 'Will' in the sense of William Shakespeare. By looking at the women in the order in which Shakespeare wrote them, we can see how his attitude towards women changed over the years-and it did profoundly," Packer says. "But 'will' also means will power or the will to power, and so we look at how women use power or how it is used against them. Finally, 'will' in Elizabethan English means sexual desire, or even the sexual parts. We will be examining how sexual desire is used in the plays. We'll not be looking at the parts," Packer adds with a laugh.

This special benefit performance of Women of Will is sponsored by PZ Adventures Inc. with the support of Stages Repertory Theatre, Classical Theatre Company and the Prague Shakespeare Festival.

TINA PACKER
Tina Packer is the Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company. She trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she won the Ronson Award for Most Outstanding Performer. In Britain, she was an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, performed in the West End, and acted with repertory companies in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leicester, and Coventry. She also worked for the BBC and ITV television companies and in film. As an actor, she worked with John Barton, Peter Hall, John Schlessinger, Ian McKellan, Paul Scofield, Janet Suzman, and Ian Richardson, among others. At Shakespeare & Company, Tina has directed 48 productions, including Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, Coriolanus, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV part 1, and most recently, All's Well That Ends Well, the world premieres of Summer, adapted from Edith Wharton by Dennis Krausnick, The Fly-Bottle by David Egan and The Scarlet Letter by Carol Gilligan. As an actor she played Cleopatra in Antony & Cleopatra, Gertrude in Hamlet, Lettice in Lettice and Lovage, Edith Wharton, and Shirley Valentine numerous times to critical acclaim. As Artistic Director of the Boston Shakespeare Company, she directed Master Harold and the Boys, Rat in the Skull, and Observe the Sons of Ulster. At regional theatres, Tina has directed Richard III, King John, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Othello, Scheherezade, and The Winter's Tale. 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. In 1994-95 she received Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships to create and perform her unique trilogy of work, Women of Will. Tina holds honorary doctorates of letters from Emerson College, Trinity College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Salem State College and Westfield State. She was named 1998 Woman of Achievement by the Berkshire Business & Professional Women's Organization. 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. She is the recipient of more than 20 other awards, honors, and fellowships, and has lectured or been the keynote speaker at over 30 colleges and universities. Tina and Shakespeare & Company actors have collaborated with various regional theatres and symphonies, including the Boston Pops 1999 concert, Brush Up Your Shakespeare, for PBS-TV. 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. Two years ago Scholastic published her most recent book, the award-winning Tales from Shakespeare, Shakespeare's stories for children. She is drafting another book that documents the aesthetic and teaching techniques of Shakespeare & Company. Along with lecturing and directing at Columbia, Harvard, and M.I.T., Tina continues to spearhead the international effort to reconstruct a historically accurate 1587 Rose Playhouse, where Shakespeare's plays were first performed, in Lenox, MA.

LOCATION:
Stages Repertory Theatre, Houston, Texas

Cast:
Tina Packer, Nigel Gore

Date:
Monday, February 14th, 2011 @ 7:30pm

Tickets:
$50 including post show champagne and dessert reception with Tina Packer

$25 performance only

Phone:
(713) 963-9665


Website:
www.classicaltheatre.org
www.pragueshakespeare.org

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