WOMEN OF WILL Begins Performances Tomorrow Off-Broadway

Fifteen years in the making, preview performances for Tina Packer's Women of Will, her groundbreaking exploration of Shakespeare's canon through the eyes of his female characters. begin tomorrow (Tuesday, January 29) at The Gym at Judson (243 Thompson Street, at Washington Square South) in Manhattan. An official opening night of Women of Will is scheduled for Sunday, February 3rd, 2013. Eric Tucker ("Saint Joan") directs.

This production of Women of Will marks Ms. Packer's New York stage debut, both as an actress and a playwright.

"I am so pleased to finally have the opportunity to perform Women of Will in front of NYC audiences," stated Tina Packer. "It has been a long journey - partly because I spent the last 30-plus years building Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts and partly because Women of Will isn't just one play - its six separate plays, and I - along with my wonderful collaborators Eric Tucker and Nigel Gore - have been working tirelessly to fine-tune the work before our NY debut."
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."

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