Photo Flash: First Look at Tina Packer's WOMEN OF WILL Off-Broadway

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Fifteen plus years in the making, the NY premiere of Tina Packer's Women of Will, her groundbreaking exploration of Shakespeare's canon through the eyes of his female characters opens officially on Sunday, February 3, 2013, after having begun previews on January 29, at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street, at Washington Square South) in Manhattan. Eric Tucker ("Saint Joan") directs. This production of Women of Willmarks Ms. Packer's New York stage debut, both as an actress and a playwright. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the production in the photos below!

If Shakespeare had "bonus content," this would be it. Women of Will explores the Bard's characters, focusing on the "women of will," from Beatrice in "Much Ado About Nothing" to Viola in "Twelfth Night" and everyone in between, giving a unique and exciting perspective on some of the most well-known classics in the English language. A true tour de force performance, Women of Will, is the masterful summation of Shakespeare & Company Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer's 40-plus years spent investigating all things Shakespeare; it is an engrossing exploration of the Bard's art and psyche as seen through the eyes of his female characters, and portrayed by two of Shakespeare's greatest modern interpreters - Ms. Packer and Nigel Gore.

Directed by Eric Tucker, Women of Will stars Tina Packer and Nigel Gore. The design team for Women of Will is: Valerie Bart (Scenic & Costume Design), Les Dickert (Lighting Design), Daniel Kluger (Sound Design), and Katie Young (Production Stage Manager).

"Tina's erudition, her courage, her determination, I have always admired. But more than anything, her love of Shakespeare has both moved and inspired me," - Academy Award Winning actress Olympia Dukakis. Shakespeare & Company Founding Artistic Director, Tina Packer, is arguably one of the foremost leading experts on Shakespeare in the world. For Shakespeare & Company, Ms. Packer has directed over 50 Shakespeare productions, as well as contemporary works. She has acted opposite the likes of John Barton, Peter Hall, John Schlessinger, Sir Ian McKellan, Paul Scofield, Janet Suzman, Ian Richardson to name a few. Over the years, she has been the recipient of over 20 awards, honors and fellowships - including: the Ronson Award; Guggenheim and Bunting Fellowships; the 1999-2000 Arts Recipient of The Commonwealth Award; etc. She has authored two books "Power Plays: Shakespeare's Lessons in Leadership and Management," and "Tales From Shakespeare." And she is the subject of the WGBH documentary "Sex, Violence and Poetry: A Portrait of Tina Packer," and Helen Epstein's biography "The Companies She Keeps."

Ms. Packer's Women of Will: The Complete Journey - her fully-expanded, five part, in-depth exploration of Shakespeare will be presented in marathon weekends, every other week later this season. More details on Women of Will: The Complete Journey will be announced at a later date.

WOMEN OF WILL was developed during a 15-year period while Tina Packer was Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts, where both Women of Will and Women of Will: The Compete Journey received their world-premiere productions.

Subsequently, Women of Will has been presented in the Boston area, by The Nora Theatre Company; the Denver area, by the Colorado Shakespeare Festival; and most recently in Prague, Czech Republic, presented by The Prague Shakespeare Festival.

Scheduled January 29 through June 2, Women of Will performs Tuesdays at 7:00pm, Wednesdays through Fridays at 8:00pm, Saturdays at 2:00pm and 8:00pm, and Sundays at 3:00pm at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street, at Washington Square South). Tickets are $40 during preview performance from January 29 through February 2; $75 General Admission post opening. For tickets and more information, visit www.WomenOfWill.com.

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