The New York premiere of Tina Packer's Women of Will - a groundbreaking exploration of Shakespeare's canon - written by Ms. Packer and directed by Eric Tucker ("Saint Joan") will begin preview performances on January 27 prior to an official press opening of February 3 and running through June 2 Off-Broadway at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street), it has been announced by the show's producer Sarah Hancock and its creator/star Tina Packer.
"I am so pleased to finally have the opportunity to perform Women of Will in front of NYC audiences," stated Tina Packer. "It has been a long journey - partly because I spent the last 30-plus years building Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts and partly because Women of Will isn't just one play - its six separate plays, and I - along with my wonderful collaborators Eric Tucker and Nigel Gore - have been working tirelessly to fine-tune the work before our NY debut. There is a special joy for me to be able to play the parts I missed because I was building Shakespeare & Company - parts in plays I have directed, but now can approach again from the inside not looking from the outside."
A true tour de force performance, Women of Will, is the masterful summation of Shakespeare & Company Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer's 40-plus years spent investigating all things Shakespeare; it is an engrossing exploration of the Bard's art and psyche through his female characters, and portrayed by two of Shakespeare's greatest modern interpreters - Ms. Packer and Nigel Gore. If Shakespeare had "bonus content," this would be it. Women of Will explores the Bard's characters, focusing on the "women of will," from Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" to Viola in "Twelfth Night" and everyone in between, giving a unique and exciting perspective on some of the most well-known classics in the English language.
Additionally, Ms. Packer's Women of Will: The Complete Journey - her fully-expanded, five part, in-depth exploration of Shakespeare will be presented in marathon weekends, every other week later this season. More details on Women of Will: The Complete Journey will be announced at a later date.
Directed by Eric Tucker, Women of Will stars Tina Packer and Nigel Gore. The design team for Women of Will is: Valerie Bart (Scenic & Costume Design), Les Dickert (Lighting Design), and Daniel Kluger (Sound Design).
WOMEN OF WILL was developed during a 15-year period while Tina Packer was Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, where both Women of Will and Women of Will: The Compete Journey received their world-premiere productions.
Subsequently, Women of Will has been presented in the Boston area, by The Nora Theatre Company; the Denver area, by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; and most recently in Prague, Czech Republic, presented by The Prague Shakespeare Festival.