Born in England, Tina Packer was trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, performed in regional theater, was an Associate Artist at the Royal Shakespeare Company, played in television series for the BBC and ITV, and arrived in the U.S. in 1974. She had a Ford Foundation Travel and Study Grant to research the visceral roots of Shakespeare’s plays, and traveled to India, Israel, Italy and the U.S.
Tina co-founded Shakespeare & Company in 1978 and has worked for the Company ever since. She has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays (some of them several times), acted in eight of them (never when directing) and has taught the whole canon at more than 30 colleges, including Harvard, M.I.T., and NYU. At Columbia University, she taught in the MBA program for four years, resulting in the publication of Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management with Deming Center for Quality Management at Columbia Business School Professor John O. Whitney for Simon and Schuster. For Scholastic, she wrote Tales from Shakespeare, a children’s book and recipient of the Parent’s Gold Medal Award. Tina was the subject of WGBH documentary Sex Violence and Poetry: A Portrait of Tina Packer, her book Women of Will was published by Knopf, and she has performed Women of Will with Company Artist Nigel Gore, in New York, Mexico, England, at The Hague (Netherlands), China, and across the U.S. Charlie Rose interviewed Tina about her book Women of Will and she spoke at a TEDx talk about Women’s Voices. Her directing work is currently being written about in a work entitled Shakespeare in the Theatre: Tina Packer by Katharine Goodland, and will be published by Bloomsbury-Arden for their Shakespeare in the Theatre Series.
Tina’s Shakespeare & Company acting credits include Shirley Valentine, Molly Ivins, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Mother of the Maid, and Volumnia, Gertrude, Cleopatra, and Edith Wharton several times. She’s the recipient of numerous awards and six honorary degrees, including the Commonwealth Award.