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Shakespeare & Company Adds Four Contemporary Works to ‘Season of the Sapphire’ | theater arts

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Shakespeare & Company’s “Sapphire Season” will celebrate the reopening of the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater after a two-year pandemic-related closure.

LENOX – Shakespeare & Company will mark the reopening of the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater on May 6, following a two-year pandemic-related closure.

“The Approach,” a contemporary play by Mark O’Rowe, running May 6-29 at the Bernstein Theater, officially kicks off the company’s 45th season which runs through October 30.

The Bernstein Theater won’t be the only reopening celebrated by theatergoers this summer, as the company announced the long-awaited return of its concessions and gift shop. Shakespeare & Company will also celebrate the first anniversary of the opening of the New Spruce Theatre, its 500-seat amphitheater.

Shakespeare & Company offers a weekend of contemporary plays and comedy

In addition to “The Approach,” the theater company also announced three other contemporary works slated for the upcoming season: “A Walk in the Woods,” July 16-Sept. 4, open-air at the Roman Garden Theater; “Hymn,” from July 22 to August 28, in theaters at the Bernstein Theater; and “Golden Leaf Rag Time Blues,” Sept. 23-October 30, at the Bernstein Theater.

The four contemporary productions join previously announced works, “An Iliad”, from June 3 to July 3, in theaters at the Tina Packer Playhouse, and two classic productions – “Much Ado About Nothing”, from July 2 to August 14, in full aria at the New Spruce Theatre; and “Measure for Measure,” August 19 through September 18, inside the Tina Packer Playhouse.

Tickets for all six productions, priced from $37 to $82, are on sale now at the Shakespeare & Company box office by calling 413-637-3353, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Friday and online at FLEXpasses for three- and five-show packages are also available.

The company’s ‘sapphire season’, a nod to the traditional 45th anniversary gift, carries an additional theme: ‘Sigh no more…one foot in the sea and one on land’, symbolizing a way out of hard times. which, however, are still far behind. The theme is borrowed from “Much Ado About Nothing”.

Shakespeare & Company's 45th Season Celebrates the Reopening of the Elayne P. Bernstein Theater

“We are thrilled that this venue can serve present and future generations of theatergoers,” artistic director Allyn Burrows said in a press release, noting how the new outdoor theater pays homage to Greek amphitheatres and troupe’s debut, performing on the ground of Mt. “Now Shakespeare’s words echo among these spruce trees, as they did in the pines of the Mount and the lilacs of the Roman Garden Theatre.”

“The Approach,” written by O’Rowe and directed by Mark Farrell and Tina Packer, follows the story of Anna, Cora, and Denise, as they chat over coffee about their childhood together and middle age. booming, with a lot of things left unsaid. Through conversation, the three women lead us into their inner life. Listen carefully. What will they reveal to each other? And what does everyone have to hide?

“A Walk in the Woods”, written by Lee Blessing, will be directed by James Warwick. In this play, two superpower arms negotiators, a Russian and an American, meet informally in the woods on the outskirts of Geneva. The Russian, Botvinnik, is courteous and full of humor but also seasoned and cynical. His American counterpart, Honeyman, is curious and determined, hopeful about what can and must be achieved to keep the peace. Meeting over the seasons, the couple develop a friendship that belies the antagonisms of the world order.

“Hymn,” written by Lolita Chakrabarti, will be directed by Regge Life. This moving piece, filled with music, asks what it takes to be a good father, brother or son. It begins at a funeral, where two men meet. One knew the deceased, the other not. Benny is a loner with a wife and children, while Gil yearns to fulfill his potential. They form a deep bond, but cracks appear as they begin to realize that true courage comes in different forms.

“Gold Leaf Rag Time Blues,” written by Charles Smith, is the story of a young African American boy and an aging vaudevillian thrown together in circumstances beyond their control. Their unusual connection, discovered through stories and music, illustrates how our basic human needs and emotions can cross barriers of race, religion and age.

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