Shakespeare & Company to Open 47th Season with A BODY OF WATER by Lee Blessing

Running June 21-July 21.

By: Jun. 10, 2024
Shakespeare & Company to Open 47th Season with A BODY OF WATER by Lee Blessing
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Shakespeare & Company will open its 47th season on Friday, June 21 with A Body of Water by Lee Blessing, a comedic thriller presented outdoors at the Roman Garden Theatre through July 21.

A revised script staged only once before, Blessing's A Body of Water tells the story of Moss and Avis: a sophisticated and successful couple who wake up one morning in an isolated summer house. The setting is idyllic, but there's a problem - neither of them can remember who they are. A young woman named Wren arrives, and information starts to flood in. But will it help? Her explanations seem to only add confusion and the ensuing twists are at some turns comedic, and at others, terrifying.

Directed by James Warwick, who directed Blessing's A Walk in the Woods at Shakespeare & Company in 2022 the cast includes:

Caroline Calkins (Wren) has performed for 10 seasons at Shakespeare & Company, including in productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Time Stands Still, Love's Labor's Lost, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Emperor of the Moon, Henry V, and others. She has been a part of Shakespeare & Company's Education Program for many years, including directing for the Fall Festival of Shakespeare, performing in the Northeast Regional Tour, and teaching in its summer program for young actors, Riotous Youth.

Bella Merlin (Avis) has been working for more than 25 years in theater, film, television, and radio, and is a Distinguished Professor of Acting and Directing in the Department of Theatre, Film, and Digital Production at the University of California, Riverside. She is also an actor-trainer and the author of several books on acting. Her U.K. acting appearances include seasons at The National Theatre and many roles for the BBC. Her U.S. appearances include Jenny in the award-winning Mente Revolver by writer/film director Alejandro Ramirez; Margaret in Tina Packer's production of Richard III (Colorado Shakespeare Festival); and several roles at Shakespeare & Company including Eleanor (The Contention: Henry VI, Part 2), Ursula (Much Ado About Nothing), and The Queen and Arviragus in Cymbeline, among many others. Her solo play, Tilly No-Body: Catastrophes of Love opens the International Theatre Festival (Daejeon, South Korea) later this summer.

Kevin O'Rourke (Moss) is a SAG Award-winning actor (Edward Bader, Boardwalk Empire) and director, with additional television credits on Madam Secretary, Law and Order, The Sopranos, VEEP, and AMC's Remember Wenn, for which he earned a SAG nomination. His films include The Irishman, The Aviator, American Pickle, Vice Versa, and Freeheld. He has performed on Broadway in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Spoils of War, and Alone Together, as well as The City of Conversation at Lincoln Center, Outside Mullingar at The White Heron, The Night Alive at John Drew, and productions at Manhattan Theatre Club, The Public, Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, Arena Stage, Roundabout, Long Wharf, Primary Stages, and Baltimore's Centerstage. Locally, Kevin has both directed and performed with several area theaters and in 2005, founded the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab.

Previews are $10 less on Friday, June 21, and Saturday, June 22, at 7 p.m.; Opening Night is Sunday, June 23 at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at, or by calling the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

About Shakespeare & Company
Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.


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