Tina Packer's Women of Will: The Complete Journey, the five play series that explores and deconstructs William Shakespeare's most famous female characters, will begin performances (Parts 1 - 5) April 5, 2013 at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street @ Washington Square South) it has been announced by the show's producer Sarah Hancock and its star/creator Tina Packer.
The five play series will run as follows, beginning April 5: Part 1 - Fridays at 8pm; Part 2 - Saturdays at 2pm; Part 3 - Saturdays at 8pm; Part 4 - Sundays at 2pm; Part 5 - Sundays at 7pm. Accompanying the marathon weekends, performed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, will be Women of Will: The Overview, which Ben Brantley of The New York Times called "Marvelous... subliminally erotic... an impassioned exploration of Shakespeare's heroines," and Jennifer Farrar of the Associated Press called "Boundless and irresistible," and that it "leaves you wanting more."
WOMEN OF WILL: The Complete Journey will preview the weekend of April 5, 6, 7 and will officially open the weekend of April 12, 13, 14, after which "The Complete Journey" will be performed every other weekend until June 2nd.
Directed by Eric Tucker, Women of Will stars Tina Packer and Nigel Gore. The design team is Valerie Bart (Scenic & Costume Design), Les Dickert (Lighting Design), Daniel Kluger (Sound Design), and Katharine Whitney (Production Stage Manager).
WOMEN OF WILL: The Complete Journey, in the course of five plays, will touch on 25 plays from the Shakespeare Canon, performing a total of 55 different scenes from: "The Comedy of Errors," "Titus Andronicus," "The Taming of the Shrew," "Henry VI Parts 1,2,3;" "Richard 3," "Romeo and Juliet," "The Merchant of Venice," "As You Like It," "Much Ado About Nothing," "Julius Caesar," "Twelfth Night," "Hamlet," "Troilus and Cressida," "Measure For Measure," "Othello," "King Lear," "Macbeth," "Antony and Cleopatra," "Pericles Prince of Tyre," "Coriolanus," "A Winter's Tale," "The Tempest," and "Henry VIII."
PART ONE: The Warrior Women, from Violence to Negotiation
It examines the early writings of William Shakespeare, his journey to becoming a playwright and actor, and the role of theatre in Elizabethan England. It includes the first plays Shakespeare wrote, and ends with the first major change in Shakespeare's attitude and portrayal of women.
PART TWO: The Sexual Merges with the Spiritual: New Knowledge
Beginning with Juliet, Shakespeare gains a deeper understanding of the relationship between women and men. He perceives that sexuality can be an intensely spiritual journey, just as spirituality can be expressed in sensual terms. Using "Romeo and Juliet" as a foundation, Part Two looks at the continuation of this sexual/spiritual story. Finally, the journey takes a different turn in "Measure for Measure," and finds its supreme illumination in "Antony and Cleopatra."
PART THREE: Living Underground or Dying to Tell the Truth
Part Three wrestles with the middle period of Shakespeare's writing life. Through the women in these plays, Shakespeare gives us a clearer picture of the constraints put upon them. Increasingly, Shakespeare's female characters articulate the truth about what they are seeing and feeling. If these women stay dressed as women, they go mad or die (either by murder or suicide). If, however, they disguise themselves as men, they're able to find their voices, organize those around them, and enact a play that ends happily.
PART FOUR: Chaos is Come Again, the Lion eats the Wolf
As Shakespeare enters a period of despair, he asks: what happens when women do not desire a different voice in society? What happens when they want the same power and goals as men?
PART FIVE: The Maiden Phoenix: the Daughter Redeems the Father
In Part Five, Shakespeare changes the story. His plays no longer follow the individual psychological development of the protagonists as the story line, but turn instead to myths and fairy tales. In these late plays Shakespeare finds a way to create a map leading the way out of the cycle of violence and into redemption and forgiveness. And it's the daughters and the artists who discover the way.