Tina Packer and Nigel Gore sit in a booth in a Boulder restaurant discussing “Women of Will.” Packer’s five-play cycle about William Shakespeare’s female characters begins a run at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival on Thursday.
Their conversation illuminates the British actress-turned-American-theater dynamo’s journey from artistic director and founder of the highly regarded Shakespeare & Company, in Lenox, Mass., back to acting in a work of remarkable breadth and depth.
But the pair’s banter also gives a tantalizing hint of their onstage chemistry soon to be on display in Boulder.
“Women of Will” mixes a sort of captivating lecture with vivid, vigorous acting to produce an erudite yet entertaining artistic history.
Theater. Dance. Visual art. Opera. Classical music. Colorado has a full schedule of high-minded events to occupy your eyes, ears and soul this summer. Here, our culture critics offer up a “must” list of the season’s most promising offerings — for everyone in the family.
“Women of Will”
Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Several performances in July and August
Not only is the Colorado Shakespeare Festival staging the Bard’s “Richard III,” but it’ll pull off a coup when it presents Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer’s five-play cycle that considers the ways the female characters in Shakespeare’s work changed over time but also how they changed the playwright. Colorado Shakespeare Fest is the first group to stage the full cycle outside of Massachusetts.
If you are out and about seeing that film Anonymous – or if you are vaguely interested in the authorship question – go to the Shakespeare Institutes blog: 60-minutes.bloggingshakespeare.com and see the range of comments. Tina does one of them but there’s a whole range, including Janet Suzman, Harriet Waters, Greg Doran, Simon Callow, plus lots and lots of scholars. It’s pretty irrefutable, you’ll find. In any case there’s lots of interesting stuff about the plays and times.
And you can send it on to others as a short-cut when they ask you what you think about “who wrote Shakespeare?”
The Colorado Shakespeare Festival is going back to producing five plays in 2012 — nine if you count “Women of Will,” an extraordinary, five-part tour of Shakespeare’s female characters that’s written and performed by Tina Packer, the founder of Shakespeare & Company in Lennox, Mass.
While she’s at it, she’ll direct her scene partner, Nigel Gore, in “Richard III,” spicing up a varied 55th season that also includes Ken Ludwig’s “Treasure Island”; perhaps the world’s most popular modern farce, “Noises Off“; and, in a festival first, a co-production of “Twelfth Night” that will play 32 performances at the Arvada Center before it opens Colorado Shakes’ summer season in Boulder.
But the big news for 2012 is “Women of Will,” which Packer so far has performed in full in only two cities. She will present the two-hour “overview” version at Colorado Springs TheatreWorks nightly from Nov. 9 to 13 (719-255-3232).