Shakespeare & Company plots day-long 'Henry VI' marathon

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LENOX >> A day-long marathon of work derived from and inspired by Shakespeare's "Henry VI" plays is set for Tuesday on Shakespeare & Company's stages and in its studios.

The six-part reading series begins at noon and sessions continue through 10 p.m.

Through staged readings and movement pieces the company's artists will examine themes of gender, violence, religion, power and politics in a special program designed to connect Shakespeare's plays with our own modern political drama.

The one-day event includes some free sessions in addition to the six-part reading series.

"Shakespeare's 'Henry VI' is some of the best Shakespeare text you've never heard — except 'first thing we do let's kill all the lawyers,' people quote that line a lot," "Henry VI" curator Jenna Ware says in a news release.

"These three plays are politics at their worst. With a weak leader, people are driven by an incessant need for power, control and revenge, and in all that struggle there are individual people trying to do what's right, trying to do their best. It's easy to see how this time period spawned the character of "Richard III" – in these plays we get to see the 'winter of our discontent'."

• "Brown Bag": Discussion of "Henry VI" stories, Playhouse Tent (free). 11 a.m.

• Part One: "Tygre's Heart"/"A Pair of Molehills." Tina Packer Playhouse. Noon

• Part Two: Pre-Show Exploration (Riotous Youth)/"The Maid." Rose Footprint. 1:30

• "A Moving Experience": Local artist Audrey Pugh's sound and movement piece performed to portions of the audio recording of "Henry VI, Part 2," Shakespeare Garden (free). 2:45

• Part Three: "The Red and the White"/"Jack Cade's Rebellion" (Excerpt 1). Rose Footprint. 3:15

• Part Four: — "Jack Cade's Rebellion" (Excerpt 2)/"Queen Meg." Tina Packer Playhouse. 4:45

• Part Five: "Jack Cade's Rebellion" (Excerpt 3)/"Worse Than Wolves." Tina Packer Playhouse. 7:30

• Part Six: "Jack Cade's Rebellion" (Excerpt 4)/"The Boys of York." Tina Packer Playhouse. 8:30

• Post-Show Cabaret: — "Henry VI (abridged but not backwards)." Tina Packer Playhouse Lobby and Tent (free). 10:15

Complete ticket information: 413-637-3353; shakespeare.org.


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