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“Wonderful cast, wonderful setting”

Shakespeare & Company
Ranked #3 of 24 things to do in Lenox
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Located in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country, founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. The organization attracts more than 60,000 patrons annually, with a core of over 150 artists and more than 30 full-time staff. The Company develops and performs Shakespeare, classics, contemporary, and new plays of social and political significance, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. Shakespeare & Company embraces the core values of Shakespeare's work: collaboration, commitment to language, visceral experience and classical ideals, expressed with physical prowess and an embodied contemporary voice. The Company offers one of the most extensive actor training programs by a regional theatre in the country, where professionals from all over the world come to train with the Organization known for its original, in-depth, classical training and performance methods. Shakespeare & Company is also home to an award-winning and nationally recognized theatre-in-education program, one of the largest the Northeast; it reaches more than 45,000 students annually with innovative performances, workshops and residencies.
Reviewed 16 August 2011

We bought Groundling seats for multiple performances. Seats are just $15 each, and are in the front row. The Founder's Theatre is small, so it's great being right at the front. We saw "Hound of the Baskervilles", which was hilarious, "As You Like It", and a a disappointing performance of "Two Gentlemen of Verona". We also took the 2-hour "Behind the Scenes" tour. Food is available, but expensive. You are probably better off bringing your own.

A nice way to spend some time while in the Berkshires.

Thank thaifoodfan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 - 211 of 213 reviews

Reviewed 20 July 2011

Shakespeare & Company consists of a complex of several buildings, including three small theaters, set on lovely grounds in the Berkshires. My husband and I have been attending dramatic productions there for a couple of years, enamored with the intimacy of the theater as all seats are quite close to the performance, the staging and the acting. This July has been no different.

"The Two Gentlemen of Verona" is being presented in the Berkshire Theater. We were hesitant as the actors are interns in the summer program, but were glad we took the gamble. The production was most enjoyable, and having intern actors keeps the price of the tickets down somewhat.

We returned another day to see "The Venetian Twins" in the Rose Footprint Theater, which is a covered outdoor theater. Again, all seats are close to the performance;seating is provided, either lawn chairs or cushioned bench, but not pre-assigned. This muscial production, spoken in modern english, is madcap fun for the whole family, just about any age; the staging is unique with lots of action. Children from about 10 years and up would understand much of the plot and enjoy it. The physical antics and colorful costumes should hold some dgreee of attention for younger children. For the most part, this cast does not have strong singing voices, but that does not detract from t he performance. There one exception to this, David Joseph, who plays the male lead roles. What a wonderful acting job he does as the twins; and his voice brings downt he house when he sings; superb. About 1 1/2 hours and only $10 a seat.

We were also on the grounds when a troupe of actors performed some excerpts from Shakespeare's works outside, on the patio of the Founder's Theater; this is to give the public a taste of what is performed inside that theater. About 1/2 hour of fast paced action and dialogue, full of talent. What fun! How educational! And there is no charge.

The theaters are about a 15 -20 minute drive north of Great Barrington, MA, about 30 minutes from Hillsdale, NY; there is plenty of free parking. Enjoy!

3  Thank PokeyPaddler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 August 2010

Shakespeare & Co. specializes in productions of Shakespearean drama but also of commissioned contemporary plays in their three theaters in the heart of the artsy Berkshire town of Lenox, Massachusetts. Yesterday I saw an incredible production of Richard III for $35 for a seat in the 2nd row immediately right of the stage -- I was practically onstage with the actors. Incredible value for amazing art.

2  Thank eafinct
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 August 2010

We had the pleasure of seeing Shakespeare's "A Comedy of Errors" recently at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Ma, one of the premier Shakespeare performance centers in the U.S. It was performed by the talented young actors who make up the Performance Intern Program. The play is a delightful romp, and the performances were crisp and polished. Comic timing is a strong suit for this troupe, and in addition they brought a refreshing energy and enthusiasm to this tale of two sets of twins, masters and their servants, who, unbenownst to each other, end up in the same city, with hilarious results. As with all Shakespeare & Company productions, the actors did honor to the language of the play, while infusing it with some clever contemporary touches, like the introduction created by the director. Our family group aged, 12-92, were enthralled. See it! It runs through September 4.

Thank Connecticutraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2010

We booked at $45 (for two people) online for the Shakespeare Company's Comedy of Errors version of the play by Shakespeare.

At the online booking we made a mistake to book the wrong date so we called. The seats we rebooked were cheaper than the original ones as they were not as good but the phone rep woudl not reimburse the price differebce as he wanted to charge us for the change of our mistake.

When we arrive dat the theater it turned out that the stage and the tgheatre were tiny, maybe no large than for about 120 viewers.

Also, the online booking system as well as the phone employee informed us that the best seats were not available. Lo and behold when we were all seated it turned out that half of the place was empty and those were mainly the very best seats which we were not allowed to book!

And finally, when the play strated we really though we were in the wrong place. This play was no Shakespeare, but a totally revised version in 19th century period dress and decorum although the language still seemed to atch teh 16th century version.

The quality of play was ok, but rather amateurish. I suspect these were students. So where are the professionals?

My conclusion from thsi experience is that the Shakespeare Company is a very amateurish run operation, misleading its customers into being something better which they are not and misleading them about seat availability, also distorting Shakespeare's work which merits a better treatment..

And I have not even addressed yet their failed attempt to have a play at the Gilded Age home Ventfort Hall in Lenox, where they wanted to offer us the 'opportunity' to pay $25 a person for a one-person play by a student of their 'company', while we two were the only two scheduled viewers. They should be paying us for the opportunity such a beginner gets. We did not take them up on that 'opportunity' of course.

I do not recommend spending your dollars or time on them.

Thank dedhamfoodie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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