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“Shakespeare & Co’s ‘Women of Will’ Commands Attention in New York Debut ”
“After thrilling New York audiences with the Overview for the past two months, Packer and company will now offer ‘The Complete Journey,’ the complete edition of all five Parts over a period of three days, starting this Friday, April 5. The plays follow Shakespeare chronologically from his earliest works, as Packer outlines his growth and development as a playwright, as well as changing preoccupation with the role of women in his plays, who play ever more powerful roles, for good or ill, in his work.”
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Charlie Rose

“Tina Packer, founder of Shakespeare & Co.”
“Tina Packer has lived and breathed Shakespeare for over five decades. Her insight into his work runs the full gamut. She has played countless roles and taught the canon at colleges across the country.”
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Charlie Rose2013-03-27T11:25:36-04:00

Women of Will’s Tina Packer Offers a Dazzling Look at Shakespeare’s Leading Ladies”
“Renowned Shakespeare expert Tina Packer discusses her favorite characters and explains why girl power is at the heart of her new Bard-centric show Women of Will.”
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Broadway.com2013-03-27T11:23:49-04:00 Review

Original Article

Women of Will — Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival

Book my trip to Lenox, Massachusetts. After seeing, and hearing, the magic Tina Packer, can conjure using primarily language, movement, and attitude, I want to see anything theatrical in which she has a hand, including her work at the seasonal Shakespeare & Company repertory she founded in the Berkshires decades ago.

Luck, and probably the wisdom of artistic director Patrick Mulcahy, brought Packer, in tandem with actor Nigel Gore, to the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, where the pair is turning Packer’s show, “Women of Will” into a demonstration, and lesson, of how to maximize the brilliance the Bard provides and make it thrillingly immediate.

Packer begins by presenting the identical text from “The Taming of the Shrew” in three different ways that show the choices available to an actor and director in staging an early Shakespearean work that has become controversial because of the means by which Petruchio tames Katherine — starvation, ridicule, stubbornness — and Katherine’s crowning speech, “I do not know why women are so simple.” Each way Packer delivers her lines is exciting. You are brought into the heart of the play and the scene being enacted. Interpretation can depend on making one slight decision about emphasis, and shrewish or tame, Kate can be merry or sardonic about her treatment and how it influences her tone and expression. She can be straightforward, or she can be cynical, saying what she wants Petruchio to hear, and one-upping her sister and other recent brides, while hinting at the iron fist within the velvet glove. Packer is just plain masterful as she shows you various Shakespearean heroines she says illustrate the five stages in the Elizabethan’s progression as a playwright. Kate begins a pageant that includes Margaret of Anjou from the “Henry VI” trilogy and “Richard III,” Juliet from “Romeo and Juliet,” Desdemona from “Othello,” Lady Macbeth from “Macbeth,” Rosalind from “As You Like It,” and Marina from “Pericles” among others. With the versatile British accent, Packer is liquid of tongue and can simultaneously reveal the poetry and dramatic matter within a Shakespearean phrase. Liste