Shakespeare & Company returns to The Mount with outdoor performances of its northeast regional touring production of ’A Midsummer Night’s
Shakespeare & Company returns to The Mount with outdoor performances of its northeast regional touring production of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream,' directed by Jonathan Croy. (Courtesy of The Mount)

LENOX -- Shakespeare & Company is stepping out this summer with off-campus presentations at a barbershop in Pittsfield, Bard College at Simon's Rock, and The Mount, Shakespeare & Company's home from its founding in 1978 until its purchase in 2000 of its present site at 70 Kemble St.

Shakespeare & Company returns to The Mount with outdoor performances of its northeast regional touring production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream," directed by Jonathan Croy. The comedy is performed by a team of six Shakespeare & Company actor/teachers who spent the spring traveling to approximately 75 schools throughout the Northeast, performing a 90-minute version of Shakespeare's fanciful comedy.

The show will be performed in The Dell, a small amphitheaterlike setting behind The Stables. Performances are July 20 through Aug. 17.

"We are very happy to once again be offering family theater on the grounds," The Mount's executive director, Susan Wissler, said in a news release. "Working together with Shakespeare & Company and (artistic director) Tony Simotes seem(s) like a natural fit."

"It's hard to believe that it's been over three and a half decades since we first arrived at The Mount where founding artistic director Tina Packer directed me as (Puck) for our inaugural production," Simotes said in a news release.

"We thank The Mount for their help to make this
happen."

Pittsfield barbershop

In addition to The Mount, Shakespeare & Company will be performing in Pittsfield at Upstreet Barbers at 442 North St.


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and in Great Barrington in McConnell Auditorium at Bard College at Simon's Rock's Daniel Arts Center.

Upstreet Barbers will host the world premiere of Robert Sugarman's "Kaufman's Barber Shop," directed by Regge Life and starring Jonathan Epstein, Malcolm Ingram and Robert Lohbauer. Performances are Aug. 14 through Sept. 1.

The play focuses on three high-spirited men -- all one-time vaudeville performer wannabes -- who find themselves enmeshed in the lives of an immigrant Irish manicurist and an African-American shoeshine boy with literary aspirations.

"We've had various incarnations and readings of the play over the past few years as it's been developed and I am so happy it will finally be produced in our coming season," Simotes said.

On Aug. 23, William Coe Bigelow's "Leap Year" opens at McConnell Auditorium at Bard College at Simon's Rock, where it scheduled to run through Sept. 1.

Stephen Rothman is directing Karen Beaumont and Corinna May -- other cast menbhers will be announced shortly -- in this drama about a couple struggling to come to terms with the fact that their second-born child has Down syndrome and the difficult choices they face.

Meanwhile, back at 70 Kemble St., Shakespeare & Company has added four special programs to its season of fully mounted productions of Shakespeare and 20th century playwrights, talks, special events, and a "Broadway in the Berkshires" gala on July 8.

The additions:

n "None But the Lonely Heart: The Strange Story of Tchaikovsky and Madame von Meck" by Eve Wolf. Shakespeare & Company veterans Ariel Bock and Jonathan Epstein join New York's Ensemble for the Romantic Century in an original theatrical concert about Tchaikovsky's strange relationship with his patroness Madame von Meck that interweaves drama with live chamber music. Bernstein Theatre, July 18-Aug. 3.

n "Pearl," an opera in development by composer Amy Scurria and librettists Carol Gilligan and Jonathan Gilligan. Maureen O'Flynn and John Cheek perform in this work which tells Nathaniel Hawthorne's "The Scarlet Letter" from the point of view of Hester Prynne's now-adult daughter, Pearl. All proceeds from this Aug. 5 concert performance with piano in the Tina Packer Playhouse will benefit Shakespeare & Company's Actor Training Scholarship Program.

n "Les Faux Pas or The Counter Plots," director Jenna Ware's new adaptation of a farce by Molière that involves pirates, clowns, sword fights, and failed schemes. This show runs June 26 through Aug. 24 in the Rose Footprint Theatre.

n Dibbledance: Sway. New works by choreographer Susan Dibble performed by New York, Boston and Berkshire-based dancers in the Tina Packer Playhouse, Aug. 30 and 31.

For information about the season, got to shakespeare.org or call (413) 637-1199.