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Storytellers & Songwriters

A Celebration of Shakespeare & Co's 40th Season

In the mid-19th century, famed British actress Fanny Kemble, just divorced from her overbearing husband, Pierce Butler, settled down in the congenial milieu of Lenox. Kemble, who had been the toast of two Continents during her stage career, had launched on a more pleasing—to her—career of giving wildly popular readings of Shakespeare.

Today, this tradition of storytelling is alive and well at Shakespeare & Company, which, in celebration of its 40th season is presenting a special August event series, Storytellers and Songwriters
This series continues on weekends until August 26th. All pieces will be performed in the Tina Packer Playhouse at 8:30PM.

Each event will explore various characters through solo performances by veteran company artists, many including live music and original compositions from acclaimed musicians and songwriters.

"At Shakespeare & Company we celebrate language, connections, and community," said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. "In this unique series of performances, we celebrate the human spirit through music and the spoken word."

Artists performing the solo pieces include Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Allyn Burrows, Nehassaiu deGannes, Jonathan Epstein, Nigel Gore, John Hadden, Tina Packer, and Tod Randolph.

The stories will be interlaced with musicians and songwriters who have a deep appreciation of poetry reminiscent of Shakespeare. Special musical guests include Kris Delmhorst, Michi Wiancko, Bobby Sweet, Vikki True, and the BSO Tanglewood Music Center Fellows.

The remaining schedule includes Door of No Return by Nehassaiu deGannes, which explores the multicultural legacies of New England, August 18th; In Light of Jane by Joan Ackermann, read by Tod Randolph with musical guest Kris Delmhorst, telling the story of a lighting designer who visits an empty theatre space two years after a devastating loss, August 19th; Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck, featuring Elizabeth Aspenlieder with musical guest Vikki True and original recorded compositions by the BSO Tanglewood Music Composer Fellows and telling the hilarious and heartbreaking story of a single mother's journey of self-discovery, August 20th; Women of Will, by Tina Packer with Nigel Gore, exploring how, by examining passion and intrigue through women's eyes, Shakespeare developed as a human being, August 25th; and Travels with the Masked Man, by John Hadden with musical guest Bobby Sweet, a one-man show based on Hadden’s book Conversations with a Masked Man: My Father, the CIA, and Me, August 26th.

The Storytellers & Songwriters series will be performed in the Tina Packer Playhouse. Tickets are available online at, or by calling Shakespeare & Company's box office at 413-637-3353. Tickets range from $20 to $50.

Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox.