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June 17 – Becket
Jacob's Pillow Season Opener

June 16 - Spencertown
Twilight In The Garden

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Wassaic Project Summer Party

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Opening Night A Gala Event At Shakespeare & Company

Lisa Green reports from Lenox. “We don’t normally have a gala on opening night,” admitted Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Company’s founding artistic director on Sunday, July 10.  But The Merchant of Venice, with its controversial mix of bigotry and humor, gave the gala attendees plenty to discuss at the cocktail hour, intermission and the dinner that followed. This is the company’s 39th performance season (and the Bard’s 400th anniversary), and The Merchant of Venice is the first production presented in-the-round at the Tina Packer Playhouse. (“Very Elizabethan,” said Packer, who directed it). Following the performance, guests raised their glasses — filled with Portia’s Potion, the drink of the night — and toasted to the cast and team. Proceeds raised from the evening help fund Shakespeare & Company’s internationally recognized Fall Festival program, in which high school students mount productions of Shakespeare’s plays. Above, artistic directors Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy look on as Tina Packer thanks the donors for their support. 


Bella Merlin, who plays Nerissa in The Merchant of Venice, and Londoner Miles Anderson; Eda Sorokoff and Stephen Sorokoff of Broadway World.


Rhea Werner and Ken Werner, chair of the board of trustees; Kevin Coleman, S&Co.‘s director of education; Marjorie Shapiro and Barry Shapiro, vice chair of the board.


Govane Lohbauer, costume director; Mary Abbruzzese, Bob Lohbauer, weapons master; and Dan Abbruzzese; Kate Millonzi and Ariel Bock.


Katherine Barton, Hugo Malpeyre, a director in France; Elizabeth Aspenlieder, who served as associate director for this production; and Kris Stone, the set designer.


Fiber and mixed-media artist Wendy Rabinowitz and The Berkshire Eagle’s Jeffrey Borak, who was there to review the production; Kenneth Rainey, costume design assistant, with Noa Egozi, assistant director.


Betsy Lee Workman, who owns La Pace, now in Lenox; drama critic and playwright Terry Teachout and Hilary Teachout; and Arthur Oliver, who is a costume designer; New Yorkers Peter Smith and Gillian Smith.


Alice Anne Schwab, executive director of the Susquehanna Art Museum, Bob Garrett, Mim Warden, Asia Berger and Ted Berger.


Freelance journalist Ryan Leeds, Tina Packer and Pete Sanders; Guests enjoyed Portia’s Potion (named for the character in The Merchant of Venice), an elixir of Berkshire Mountain Distillers Premium Vodka, triple sec and cranberry juice, rimmed with golden sugar dust.

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Posted by Lisa Green on 07/11/16 at 10:11 AM • Permalink