Tina Packer (actor/playwright) is the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. She has directed most of Shakespeare’s plays (some of them several times), acted in seven of them (never when directing) and taught the whole canon one way or another at over thirty colleges in the U.S., including Harvard, M.I.T. and NYU. At Columbia, she taught in the M.B.A. program for four years, resulting in the publication of her piece, Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management with Deming Professor John Whitney. For Scholastic, she wrote Tales from Shakespeare, a children’s book and recipient of the Parent’s Gold Medal Award. She began her career in England, having trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, where she won the Ronson Award for most Outstanding Actor. Following this, she became an associate artist of the Royal Shakespeare Company, performing at Stratford, in the West End, and on tour. She has worked at The Royal Court in London; Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leicester, Coventry and Hornchurch repertory companies. For BBC Television, she played Dora to Ian McKellen’s David Copperfield, was a love interest for Patrick Troughton’s Doctor Who (which she has never lived down), and also performed in several other TV plays and series. She came to the U.S. in 1974 when the Ford Foundation funded an eleven-month project for her to research the visceral roots of Elizabethan theater with five master teachers (Kristin Linklater, John Barton, B.H. Barry, John Broome, Trish Arnold), fifteen actors, and three managers. Out of these projects led by Tina throughout England and the US, her work has translated into the aesthetic and practical methods that Shakespeare and Company is based on, and still practices to this day. Tina then received two grants from the Ford Foundation to travel the world, looking at the relationship of mind, body, sacred texts, stand-up comedy, voice, and actor–audience relationship in her studies. The current company was founded in 1978 at Edith Wharton’s derelict mansion in Lenox, far from the cities of New York and London. Tina has returned to acting from time to time, most notably as Edith Wharton and a two-year stretch as Shirley Valentine, playing in Lenox, Boston and Louisville, and Lettice in Lettice and Lovage. For the Boston Shakespeare Company, she directed a season of twelve Irish plays, including the U.S. premiere of Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching towards the Somme. She has received the state of Massachusetts’s highest honor, The Commonwealth Award, and has six honorary degrees (which gives her great pleasure as she never went to regular college). During the mid-90’s, Tina conceived the idea for Women of Will, and subsequently received grants from the Guggenheim and Bunting fellowships to fund the project. This collaboration resulted in its first incarnation, at that time. In 2009, desperate to get back to WoW, Tina gave up the artistic directorship—though Shakespeare & Company remains her creative home and passion. She began work, first with Nigel Gore and then joined by Eric Tucker, to bring Women of Will to its present form of one Overview and five separate performances. This is Tina’s seventh creative collaboration with Nigel (including playing George and Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) and she would like to acknowledge the power of their work together over the past six years. The book of Women of Will will be published by Knopf next year. Women of Will marks her New York debut as an actor and a writer.
Nigel Gore (actor) will be returning to the Colorado Shakespeare Festival in summer of 2013 to play the title role in Macbeth and Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He received the Eliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor for his portrayal of George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the Publick Theatre in Boston. Recent work includes Richard in Richard III at Colorado Shakespeare Festival; Squeers, Hawke in Nicholas Nickleby at Lyric Stage Boston (Eliot Norton Outstanding actor nomination); Claudius in Hamlet at Prague Shakespeare Festival; Volumnia in Coriolanus at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, UK; Mark Antony in Antony and Cleopatra; Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (both with Shakespeare & Co.). Film: Last Knights. TV: seasons two and three of Brotherhood on Showtime. Mr. Gore is a founding member of AUREA, a performance ensemble whose mission is to explore the relationship between music and the spoken word. He is a published poet.
Eric Tucker (director) – Off Broadway: Saint Joan (NY Times, Back Stage critics pick), The Libertine, The Belle of Belfast, 86’d. Off-Off Broadway: Closer, The Libertine, 16 East. Regional: Hamlet (with William Hurt, Stella Adler Theatre, Los Angeles); Mate (The Actors’ Gang, L.A.); Macbeth (nominated Best Overall Production and Best Director by LA Weekly); Uranium + Peaches (with Ed Asner, L.A.); Pinter’s Mirror, Bad Dates, Women of Will: The Complete Journey (Shakespeare and Co., Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Prague Shakespeare Festival, The Nora Theatre); Women of Will: The Overview (Shakespeare and Co. and Mercury Theatre in Colchester, England); Twelfth Night, Romeo and Juliet (Trinity Repertory Company); Saint Joan (L.A. Critics Circle top 10); Antony and Cleopatra, Hamlet, Measure for Measure (Redlands Shakespeare Festival); Man of La Mancha, Sanctuary (North American premiere, Veterans Center for the Performing Arts); Watership Down (world premiere, Burning Coal); Macbeth, Closer (The Gamm); The Voyage of the Carcass (world premiere, Brown Playwrights Festival); Angels in America Parts I & II, The Tempest, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III (Beowulf); The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (University of Utah). Eric’s Shakespearean acting roles include Hamlet, Iago, Henry V, Macbeth, Romeo, Malvolio, Orsino, Prince Hal, Master Ford, Benedick, Orlando, Laertes and Demetrius. Eric’s production of Shaw’s Saint Joan will return for another Off-Broadway run in February of 2013, running in rep with Hamlet, and then move to the Olney Theatre outside Washington D.C. Eric received his M.F.A. from the Trinity Rep Conservatory, and has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity since 1996. He resides in New York City, where he is the artistic director of Bedlam Theatre. Eric’s versions of St. Joan and Hamlet are currently performing at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre to enormous critical acclaim.
Les Dickert (lighting designer) designs for a diverse range of live performance, spanning contemporary and Shakespearean theater, modern dance, classical ballet and international performance art. Recent projects include Assisted Living/Good Sports 2 (Yvonne Rainer/Kunsthaus Bregenz), The Nutcracker (Boston Ballet) and Issac’s Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre). Broadway: Wrong Mountain (assistant), High Society (assistant). Off Broadway: Atlantic Theater, Rattlestick Theater, P73, Theatre Row, Ensemble Studio Theatre, InViolet Rep, others. Regional: Shakespeare & Company, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Geva Theater, Perseverance Theater, Syracuse Stage, Triad Stage, Arden Theater, others. Dance: White Oak Dance Project, San Francisco Ballet, Boston Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Tulsa Ballet, Joffrey Ballet. International: Centre Pompidou, La Scala and the National Ballets of England, Denmark, Australia, Belgium, Canada and Russia. Upcoming: Achilles Heels (Martha Graham Dance Company), Clybourne Park (Pioneer Theater). Mr. Dickert is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
Valérie Thérèse Bart (costume and scenic designer). Off Broadway: debut. Off-Off Broadway: Say You Heard My Echo (costume design; Jesse Jou, dir.), Song of a Convalescent Ayn Rand Giving Thanks to the Godhead in the Lydian Mode (costume design; Michael Rau, dir.), Anna: Love in the Cold War (Josh Kashinsky, dir.), Goodbye New York, Goodbye Heart (scenic design; world premiere; Oliver Butler, dir.). Regional: The Guthrie Theater, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arts Emerson and Yale Repertory Theater: The Servant of Two Masters (costume design; Christopher Bayes, dir.); Yale Repertory Theater: Pop! (scenic design; world premiere; Mark Brokaw, dir.). Theater: Atlantic Theater Acting School: In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play (costume design); Rider University: A New Brain (costume design); New London Barn Playhouse: The Drowsy Chaperone (costume design; BT McNicholl, dir.),Guys and Dolls (costume design; Robert Sella, dir.); Yale School of Drama: Uncle Vanya (costume design; Ron Van Lieu, dir.), The Tempest (scenic design), The Robbers (costume design). Opera: NYU Steinhardt School of Music: Die Fledermaus, Brahm’s Liebeslieder (costume design; Michael Rau, dir.). Awards: finalist of the New Hampshire Theatre Awards in Best Costume Design category for The Drowsy Chaperone (2011); nominee for the Connecticut Critics Circle Awards in Outstanding Scenic Design for Pop! (2010); recipient of the Leo Lerman Graduate Fellowship in Design (2010); recipient of the Marvin Sims Memorial Fellowship Award for Young Designer of Color (2006). Training: M.F.A., design, Yale School of Drama. www.valeriebart.com.
Daniel Kluger (sound designer). New York: Tribes (Barrow Street Theatre), House for Sale (Transport Group), A Supposedly Fun Thing…after David Foster Wallace (Daniel Fish), The Common Pursuit (Roundabout), A Map of Virtue (13P), Lidless (Page73), There Are No More Big Secrets (Rattlestick), The Temperamentals (Daryl Roth), Enjoy! (The Play Company), Jailbait (Cherry Lane), Uncle Vanya, Ivanov, Platonov, The Seagull (Brian Mertes, Lake Lucille), On the Levee (LCT3—conductor, pianist), Dov & Ali (The Playwrights Realm). Regional: Pig Iron Theatre Company, People’s Light & Theatre, The Arden Theatre Company, Virginia Stage Company, Two River Theatre Company, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, American Players Theatre, Great Lakes Theater Festival. www.danielkluger.com.
Katharine Whitney (production stage manager) is honored to be working with Women of Will. Favorite credits include Rent (Michael Greif), The Best of Everything, The Gallatin Theatre Troupe, Illusions of Grandeur—A Magic Show and work with Jujamcyn Theaters. Proud member of AEA. Graduate of NYU, Gallatin. Thanks to GGx5, MDCC, friends, family and Henry.
Dale Heller (publicist) is founder and president of Heller Highwater LLC, a communications company located in the heart of New York City at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. At Heller Highwater we provide a full array of communications services, including public and media relations, media training, speech writing and strategic consulting to our performing arts and entertainment, non-profit and hospitality clients. Current and recent clients include Page 73 Productions, the non-profit Making Books Sing, the commercial Off-Broadway production of Tina Packer’s Women of Will, Slant Theatre Project, the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project, the Off-Broadway transfer of Fault Line Theatre’s From White Plains, the non-profit Artists Collective for Social Change, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, Barefoot Theatre Company, etc. For more information about Heller Highwater LLC, please visit www.HellerHighwaterPR.com.
Sarah Hancock (producer) currently serves on the boards of the American Repertory Theater, Shakespeare & Company and the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. For the A.R.T. Board, Sarah serves in a number of pivotal roles: she currently heads the Conflict of Interest and Compensation committees, and is also a member of the Finance and Strategic Planning committee. She passionately shares the A.R.T. mission of expanding the boundaries of theater. She serves as treasurer of Shakespeare & Company and is chair of the Finance committee for Kripalu. Ms. Hancock began her career as a software engineer for IBM, Wave Systems and Programart.
Adam Fitzgerald (general manager) is the artistic director of kef theatrical productions and a founding partner of Fifty2&Nine. General management credits include Michelle Clunie’s Us, Wendy Beckett’s A Charity Case and Modotti and the NY premiere of Chekhovek. In NYC, Adam directed the critically acclaimed Methtacular! (Time Out NY critics pick), Killing Women (with Lisa Brescia), Lyric Is Waiting (all with kef), Getting the Business (Rachel Reiner Productions) and the premiere of Friends and Relations, among others. Adam also served as a directing fellow at Playwrights Horizons. Regional directing credits include John Patrick Shanley’s Defiance at Playhouse West (Critics Circle Award noms, director, production) and The Santaland Diaries at the Home Made Theater. With Fifty2&Nine, Adam wrote and directed the winning PSA for the “Think B4 You Speak” campaign (GLSEN, TalentHouse, Brett Ratner), directed the pilot episode of the web series Conversations w/My Ex and the year-end appeal video for Playwrights Horizons. www.directorfitz.com.