Weekend of Readings Celebrates Playwright Joan Ackermann at Shakespeare & Co.

Joan Ackermann

(LENOX, Mass.) –  Berkshire playwright Joan Ackermann will be feted with a weekend of staged readings of her works at Shakespeare & Company in “Joan Ackermann: One Playwright, One Weekend,” from Friday, March 17 through Sunday, March 19. Company actors and guest performers will explore the most beloved scripts of the prolific playwright, journalist, and screenwriter. All six readings will be directed by Ackermann and performed in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.
The weekend will include staged readings of “Zara Spook and Other Lures,” “Stanton’s Garage,” “The Batting Cage,” and “Ice Glen,” along with a collection of short plays and a world premiere script, all penned by Ackermann. “For me this is like a family reunion, getting acquainted with beloved old friends, characters who are as alive for me as the actors who inhabited them,” said Ackermann.

“Joan Ackermann is a Berkshire treasure of national renown whose nuanced plays give us an insight into human relationships that is unique,” said Shakespeare & Company artistic director Allyn Burrows. “We’re very fortunate to be able to serve up six of them in a single weekend, directed by the playwright herself, in what will surely amount to an Ackermann feast.”


Tickets are $25 general admission. $10 student tickets are also available for all performances. A multi-play pass is also available for a 50% discount for five or more shows. Tickets are on sale and can be purchased online at Shakespeare & Company or by calling the Shakespeare & Company box office at (413) 637-3353.

The Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre is wheelchair accessible.

Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts.


Elizabeth Aspenlieder stars in ‘Ice Glen’ by Joan Ackermann (photo Scott Barrow)

Schedule of Readings:


Friday March 17

7pm – Zara Spook and Other Lures by Joan Ackermann – Evelyn is a little woman with a big dream: she hopes to win the national women’s bass fishing tournament sponsored by Bassin’ Gal Magazine. The cast includes Ariel Bock, Deann Halpern, Mae Hedges, Ryan Marchione, Julie Webster, and Tom Whaley.


Saturday, March 18

1pm – Stanton’s Garage by Joan Ackermann – In a ramshackle garage miles from anywhere, two cars, both of which were en route to a wedding, await repairs. One is Ron’s, the ex-husband of the bride to be, a man who missed his divorce and certainly doesn’t want to miss his wife’s wedding. The cast includes Kevin G. Coleman, Annie Considine and Joan Coombs.


4pm –  Short Plays by Joan Ackermann – This collection of short plays features actors Danny Osman and MaConnia Chesser.


Kristin Wold

7pm – The Batting Cage by Joan Ackermann – In a Holiday Inn in romantic St. Augustine, Florida, two estranged sisters travel unlikely journeys as they struggle to regain their bearings after the loss of their much-loved third sister. The cast includes Caitlin Kraft and Tod Randolph.


Sunday, March 19

1pm – A World Premiere Script by Joan Ackermann – Ackermann’s newest script will be unveiled featuring actor Glenn Barrett.


4pm – Ice Glen by Joan Ackermann – In this touching period comedy, a beautiful poetess dwells in idyllic obscurity on a Berkshire estate with a band of unlikely cohorts, including an Irish cook, a lovesick gardener and an unlikely playmate. The cast includes Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Allyn Burrows, Jonathan Croy, Gillian Seidl, and Kristin Wold.



About Joan Ackermann
Joan Ackermann is a playwright, journalist, novelist, screenwriter and television writer, and together with co-founder Gillian Seidl has run Mixed Company Theatre in Great Barrington for thirty-six years. A Special Contributor to Sports Illustrated for seven years, she also wrote for Time, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Esquire, Glamour, Audubon and many other magazines. She has written over twenty plays which have been produced at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Circle Rep, The George Street Theatre, The Cleveland Playhouse, The Mark Taper Forum, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, The Guthrie, Shakespeare & Company, and The Vineyard Theatre in New York among other theatres. She adapted a play to film, “Off the Map,” which was directed by Campbell Scott and starred Sam Elliott and Joan Allen. Her young adult novel, “In The Space Left Behind,” published by Harper Collins, is about a teenage boy from Pittsfield.  She was one of the head writers on HBO’s Arli$$ for seven years. She has been a hiking guide at Canyon Ranch in Lenox for over twenty-five years where she currently teaches Tai Chi.


About Shakespeare & Company

Located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 30,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to Shakespeare & Company’s internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and nationally renowned and an award-winning Education Program.

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