(LENOX, Mass.) – Renowned actor and director Allyn Burrows, a long-time member of Shakespeare & Company, has been named the company’s new artistic director, putting to an end a long period of uncertainty at the top of the theater company that began with the resignation of company founder Tina Packer as artistic director in 2009. Since then, the company has seen a revolving door of interim directors, experimentation with other forms of company leadership, and the controversial dismissal of previous artistic director Tony Simotes, who many felt was doing a bang-up job in the position.
The company’s press release about the appointment of Burrows follows:
“This is a watershed moment for Shakespeare & Company,” said board chair Ken Werner. “Allyn is one of the most lauded and exciting actors and directors both in Boston and nationally and we are extremely fortunate to have him take over the artistic leadership of our Company. He is someone who is well known to us, and our search for a new artistic director could not have turned out better. I extend my deep gratitude to our interim artistic directors, Ariel Bock and Jonathan Croy, who did a superlative job over the past two seasons.”
Founder Tina Packer added, “As we approach the Company’s 40th season, we could not be more pleased with Allyn’s selection. He has extensive experience as an actor, a director and in leading an organization. His knowledge of Shakespeare is deep. Many of us have collaborated with him in the past and found his work inspiring. He brings new energy and we all look forward to working with him.”
Burrows stated, “I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected for this major position heading one of the country’s preeminent theatre companies, one where I have had the privilege to work for many years. Shakespeare & Company has earned a national reputation for excellence in performance, training, and education, and I applaud the great things which the Company has accomplished. I look forward to building on this and working alongside so many talented professionals. We are at critical juncture in history where Shakespeare shows us how we need to be human beings and honestly hold the mirror up to nature. I’m eager to get his words and those of other great writers out to the world from the stages of Shakespeare & Company, starting with our upcoming public reading of ‘Hamlet’ and, fittingly, ‘It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play’.”
Allyn Burrows, an Eliot Norton Award winner, is a graduate of Boston University. He has performed in film, television, Off-Broadway, and regionally, and has served as Company member, artistic associate and board member at Shakespeare & Company. He has been the artistic director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston since 2010 where he was instrumental in that company’s growth and artistic success. He resides in Medford, Mass., with his wife, actress Tamara Hickey, and their daughter. He will relocate to the Berkshires and will be full-time at Shakespeare & Company as of this January.