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Henry VI Part 2 Rehearsal with Tina Packer
May 2, 2015 at 11:00 am–12:00 pm
Actors’ Shakespeare Project is working with international Shakespeare luminary Tina Packer who returns to ASP to direct Henry VI, Part 2. The Open Rehearsal is an up-close-and-personal opportunity to witness the rehearsal process, hear a short talk by Tina, engage in a Q&A session, and enjoy a light reception. Tina Packer is one of the most engaging and respected directors, teachers and actors of Shakespeare worldwide. The award-winning Actors’ Shakespeare Project has a track record of stellar community engagement, innovative education programs, and acclaimed artistic work. For this show, ASP is partnering with Suffolk to perform at The Modern Theatre, located in easily accessible Downtown Crossing, a hub of cultural activities. This setting is prime for all lovers of theatre, culture, and the arts. We partner with local bakeries for our reception, and invite school partners, artists, and theater lovers to come together and enjoy this extraordinary experience with ASP.
Tina Packer (Director) is one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts and, though it is debatable, she probably has directed more Shakespeare productions than any other woman in the world. She is the founder and Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company, now one of the largest and most critically acclaimed Shakespeare Festivals in North America, located amidst the Berkshire hills of Massachusetts in the village of Lenox. Packer founded Shakespeare & Company in 1978 with the goal of creating a classical American Shakespeare company of the highest standard that holds language as the center of the theatrical experience. It is rooted in the ideals of the Elizabethans: inquiry, passion, love, poetry, physical prowess, balance, and harmony. Honoring the human being is fundamental to this aesthetic, and finding the regenerative moment in acting and teaching are the skills demanded of Company members. Packer is directing Actors’ Shakespeare Project’s Henry VIII this winter and directed ASP’s Troilus & Cressida in 2011. Born in Wolverhampton, England, Packer trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, was an Associate Artist with the R.S.C., and performed in the West End and in over 20 productions for BBC and ITV television. She received the 1992 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Direction in Boston, the 1996 Boston Theatre Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, and recently the 2001 Elliot Norton Award for Continued Excellence in Theatre. Along with Massachusetts’ highest cultural recognition, The Commonwealth Award, she received Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships for her own performance piece exploring Shakespeare’s women, Women of Will: parts I, II and III. She is the subject of Helen Epstein’s biography, The Companies She Keeps, and the WGBH film, Sex, Violence & Poetry: a Portrait of Tina Packer, and the recipient of more than 18 awards, honors, and fellowships. In 2001, Tina Packer’s book, Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership & Management, co-authored with Columbia Business School professor John O. Whitney, was published by Simon & Schuster and spent several weeks on the Business Best-Seller charts. Her children’s book, Tales from Shakespeare, won the Parents’ Choice Award following its publication by Scholastic in 2004. Theatre professionals from all over the world have either trained, directed, or worked with Packer and Shakespeare & Company. On stage, whether it is with elementary school students, Harvard business school graduates, film celebrities, or her own company of artists, Tina Packer trains actors to free their voices, speak their own truths, and connect each moment of personal discovery to create an epiphany. Her approach to theatre is summed up in the following quote: “This is the transformative power of theatre, based on humanity’s ever-present need to tell personal stories of survival and enlightenment. The actor’s job is to speak that which cannot be spoken.”