Brian Dennehy, John Douglas Thompson, Kathleen Chalfant & Sam Waterston Set for Berkshire's LINCOLN'S FAVORITE SHAKESPEARE Tonight

Kate Maguire, Artistic Director of Berkshire Theater Group and Donna Hassler, Executive Director of Chesterwood, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, announce Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare at the Fitzpatrick Main Stage tonight, August 14 at 4pm. A reception immediately follows at Chesterwood. The benefit performance, presented by both organizations, includes the opportunity to attend a twilight reception at Chesterwood, the newly-restored studio where Daniel Chester French created the seated figure of Lincoln for the Memorial in Washington, D.C.

A quartet of noted actors: Brian Dennehy, John Douglas Thompson, Kathleen Chalfant, and Sam Waterston, donating their performances to the event, will present scenes and soliloquies known and loved by Abraham Lincoln.

Assembled and annotated by noted scholar Harold Holzer, author and editor of over 40 books about Lincoln, the program is inspired by the 16th President's lifelong love of Shakespeare. The program is produced and directed by Gordon Hyatt.

Tickets to Lincoln's Favorite Shakespeare are on now for: $100 for the performance at The Fitzpatrick Main Stage and reception at Chesterwood; $50 for the performance only. Call the BTG Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield 413-997-4444. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain. Tickets can also be purchased online at

Mr. Holzer, who will narrate, discovered that the President attended twelve or more theater productions while in office-Lincoln's love of the Bard began while crossing the Illinois plains by railroad as a prairie lawyer. He and his wife Mary often exchanged lines from their favorite plays. Mr. Lincoln, Holzer observed, was especially fond of actors Edwin Booth, the noted tragedian, and James Hackett, the outstanding Falstaff of his era.

Brian Dennehy appeared in Death Of A Salesman (Tony and Drama Desk awards), in Eugene O'Neil's A Touch Of The Poet, Long Day's Journey Into Night (Tony Awards in 2003) and The Iceman Cometh, in Chicago. Iceman will open again in New York later this fall. John Douglas Thompson has appeared on Broadway in A Time To Kill, Cyrano and Julius Caesar. Off Broadway portraits include SatchmoAt TheWaldorf (Outer Critic, Lucile Lortel, Drama League and Drama Desk nominations), Macbeth and Othello (Theatre for a New Audience), The Emperor Jones (Irish Rep), Richard III and Othello (Shakespeare & Company, Lenox). He will appear this fall in the title role of Tamburlaine at Theater for a New Audience.

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