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Shakespeare & Company Introduces Women of Will Directing Fellowship 


Shakespeare & Company Introduces Women of Will Directing Fellowship 


A program designed for early-career directors has been launched in honor of Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer

LENOX, Mass. – Shakespeare & Company of Lenox, Mass. has created the Tina Packer Women of Will Directing Fellowship, designed to further the development of early-career directors who identify as women and have a passion for Shakespeare.

Created in Packer’s honor, the fellowship was conceived and funded by actor and Shakespeare & Company training alumnus John Douglas Thompson, with matching funds from an anonymous donor. Additional gifts were also made by a group of women directors whom Packer mentored at Shakespeare & Company.

The Company will choose one Women of Will Fellow each year, who will be in residence at Shakespeare & Company throughout the rehearsal period of a Shakespeare production, helmed by an experienced woman director. The Fellow will observe and work as Assistant Director throughout the process. In 2024, she/they will assist director Kate Kohler Amory on The Comedy of Errors, June 10 – July 20, and will also have the opportunity to return for one week in August to observe Packer directing an enhanced reading of The Winter’s Tale.

Following their time at Shakespeare & Company, Fellows will continue to receive support through continued access to their Mentor Director, the members of an advisory committee of women directors, and other members of the Company.

“Fellows will join in creating a legacy of Women of Will mentoring others in the field, bringing a contemporary and culturally diverse female gaze to Shakespeare’s plays and the theater community,” said Thompson.

Applicants should have either completed their academic training or possess experience equivalent to at least four years of college. They should have at least two years of directing experience outside of an academic program, including experience directing Shakespeare. Candidates from historically underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply, as are theater practitioners who have worked professionally in other areas of theater and are expanding their careers into directing, and those reentering the field after a pause. “Early-career director” does not carry an age limit.

For more information and to apply, visit shakespeare.org. Applications are due by March 25. The inaugural Fellow will be selected by mid-April.

About Tina Packer
Founding Artistic Director

Tina Packer is the Founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company. She has directed most of Shakespeare’s plays, acted in seven, and taught the entire canon at multiple colleges and universities, among them Harvard, MIT, and Columbia. Packer was an Associate Artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and worked at the Royal Court and Aldwych Theatres in London, Leicester, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and other regional theaters, as well as for BBC and ITV television. Her original performance piece Women of Will has traveled across America as well as internationally. Packer resides in Stockbridge, Mass.

About Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.


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