‘Learned Ladies’ Opens with Flurry of Activity, Including Talk by Poet Laureate Richard Wilbur

Enrico Spada and Kelly Galvin in 'The Learned Ladies'

Photos by Kevin Sprague/Courtesy Shakespeare & Company

(LENOX, Mass.) – Founding Shakespeare & Company artistic director Tina Packer’s production of Molière’s farce The Learned Ladies opens this weekend with a special brunch, a talkback with The Learned Ladies translator and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and U.S. Poet Laureate  Richard Wilbur, and a colorful display of costumes and vintage clothing that span the centuries called 300 Years of Ladies on Top, curated by Shakespeare & Company costume director Govane Lohbauer.

While Packer has been busy with her much lauded and acclaimed production of Women of Will all fall and winter, The Learned Ladies marks her first production as a director with the Company since leading the critically acclaimed Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Joan Ackermann’s The Taster in 2010. Packer directed The Learned Ladies in the Company’s inaugural season in 1978, and joins forces with assistant director Jenna Ware (director of Molly Ivins, The Venetian Twins, The Amorous Quarrel) on the current production. The cast of Learned Ladies, which runs through Sunday, March 25, 2012, includes Jules Findlay, Kelly Galvin, Dana Harrison, Stephanie Hedges, Jennie M. Jadow, Daniel Joeck, Alexandra Lincoln, Brittany Morgan, Ehren Remal, Enrico Spada, and Ryan Winkles.

Dana Harrison and Brittany Morgan in 'The Learned Ladies'

Shakespeare & Company hosts its annual Valentine’s Brunch before the show on Sunday, February 12, at 11:30 am, with a meal created by executive chef Ron Werth, featuring romantically inspired entrees and a selection of indulgent desserts. Special musical performances by company actors and guests including crooner David Joseph.

Brunch alone is $40; brunch and the 2 pm matinee of The Learned Ladies are $60. Brunch begins at 11:30 am and runs until 1:30 pm in The Bernstein Studio 2, at 70 Kemble Street.

Ticketholders for the 2 pm matinee performance of The Learned Ladies will be treated to a special talkback with two-time Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States Richard Wilbur. With nearly a dozen translations from Molière alone, Wilbur specializes in 17th-century French comedies and has received numerous awards for his translations and poetry. His translation of Tartuffe has become the standard bearer of the English version of the play. Wilbur composed the translation of The Learned Ladies that Tina Packer uses for the current production and for the original 1978 Shakespeare & Company production at The Mount. Wilbur will be on hand to talk about the play and his work as he reminisces with Packer after the show.

Stephanie Hedges in 'The Learned Ladies'

Also, on Sunday, February 12, the Jane Iredale Lobby just outside of the Bernstein Theatre will feature a special costume exhibit produced by company costume director and designer Govane Lohbauer. Costumes on display will include select company pieces from the past 35 years, which span three centuries of designs, as well as pieces from the company’s antique collection, including stunning vintage dresses generously donated by Carolyn and Eli Newberger.

“The collection in 300 Years of Ladies on Top reflects the strength and style of women over three centuries,” says Lohbauer. “It’s been a wonderful process pulling everything together and a great excuse to go down the memory lane of some of the most exquisite designs from the company’s 35 year history.  We hope to expand the exhibit over time but are very happy to be able to share this sampling with our audiences now.”

Box Office: 413. 637.3353, Shakespeare & Company





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