Parties & Openings
December 7 - Lenox
Berkshire United Way
December 7 - Red Hook
Bard's Winter Songfest
December 4 - Lenox
Berkshire Creative Sparkle
Shakespeare & Company Has A Friend in Olympia Dukakis
Cultural correspondent Bess Hochstein reports: One day after Tanglewood’s James Taylor lovefest paralyzed traffic in Lenox, Shakespeare & Company delivered its own traffic-stopping event as theater fans queued up August 31—a Monday night!—to catch Academy Awawrd-winning actress Olympia Dukakis in a one-night-only first reading of television writer William Coe Bigelow’s debut play, Leap Year. The reading—a fundraiser for Shakespeare & Company’s Capital Campaign and a major effort toward raising $1.2 million to receive an $800,000 Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant—was a reunion of sorts. Artistic director Tony Simotes studied acting with Dukakis at NYU in the 1970s, along with fellow founding S&Co members Dennis Krausnick and Kevin Coleman; Simotes and playwright Coe were classmates at NYU; and Dukakis brought her Lear Project to S&Co in 1998, performing the role of Lear with Tina Packer as the Fool, in a production directed by Krausnick. Dukakis was surrounded by friends and admirers at the post-performance reception. The event was slated for S&Co’s new Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre in the Production and Performing Arts Center—the reason for the Capital Campaign—but ticket demand was so high that the reading was moved to the larger Founders’ Theatre. Had the evening had a theme song, Dukakis could have sung JT’s “You’ve Got a Friend” given her ability to fill the house and, one would hope, the capital campaign donation envelopes.
Playwright William Coe Bigelow and Bridget Karlin; Shakespeare & Company founder Tina Packer with Robert & Silvia Schechter
Olympia Dukakis with Tony Simotes and Elizabeth Aspenlieder.
Margaret Keller, Stephanie Iverson, and Berkshire Museum board member Mary Huth; S&Co stalwarts Annette & Michael Miller.
Actors Miriam Hyman, who’s in The Dreamer Examines His Pillow (through September 6) with David Adkins, and Corinna May.
Actress Diane Prushka, who performed in the reading, with and S&Co capital campaign director Bonnie Stevens; Gordon & Carole Hyatt, a member of the S&Co board of trustees.
Nerissa Bardfeld and Leslie O’Brien; Ingrid MacGillis and Shakespeare & Company development director Ute DeFarlo
Gordon Travers, chairman of The Mount, with Maria Nation & Roberto Flores of Good Dogs Farm in Sheffield.