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Shakespeare & Company Announces New Book Launch

Shakespeare & Company Announces New Book Launch

Shakespeare & Company has announced the launch of a new book, Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence, co-written by Company Member Bella Merlin and Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer, with a special foreword by Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. Drawing on previously unpublished material - including notebooks, lectures, interviews, and rehearsal diaries - and the Company's newly collated historical archive, the book provides insight into the unique works of a theatre company, and sheds light on the role Shakespeare plays in our modern world. Published by Routledge in March 2020, Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence is now on sale. Beginning Wednesday, May 6, Shakespeare & Company will present a series of virtual events to promote this special book.

"As we currently feel the challenges of social separation, now could be the perfect time to read this book," said Merlin. "The work initially pioneered by Tina Packer and Kristin Linklater in 1978 - sustained and emboldened by Shakespeare & Company for over 40 years through Training, Education and Performance - heads straight to the heart of collective storytelling. I'm humbled, yet proud, to have been entrusted by Tina Packer, the late Dennis Krausnick, Kevin G. Coleman, and Allyn Burrows with telling the Company's collective story: it's arguably one of the biggest acts of love and service I've ever felt inspired to undertake."

Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence is the first comprehensive investigation into the internationally acclaimed company founded in 1978 in Lenox, Massachusetts, by actor-director Tina Packer and voice pioneer Kristin Linklater, with the transformative power of Shakespeare's language at its heart. The book poses the questions: Why act Shakespeare? What is his relevance in the twenty-first century? The answers to these compelling questions lie at the center of this highly accessible journey into Shakespeare & Company's aesthetics, pedagogy, and practice.

"My relief at getting the book out about the Training, Education and Performance methods of Shakespeare & Company is enormous," said Packer. "I hope others will be inspired and can use the knowledge we have put together over half a century to go even further! Theatre not only tells the stories of our lives; the training methods we practice hold secrets of the body and the brain: it is life itself."

Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence includes material on Shakespeare & Company's founding and early history, as well as its aesthetic, rooted in Elizabethan theatre principles of the Art of Rhetoric; Structure of the Verse; Voice and Movement; Clown; Fight; and Actor/Audience Relationship. Additionally, the book encompasses the vocational components of its Actor Training Intensives, practical pedagogy of its Education Programs, and insights into its unique approaches to Performance. Notably the book also explores the impact and legacy of its three lifetime founding members: Dennis Krausnick (Actor Training), Kevin G. Coleman (Education), and Tina Packer (Founding Artistic Director).

"This is a powerful book," said Burrows. "Not only is it a page turner that delves into a unique philosophy and methodology around Shakespeare training, it also makes a compelling case for why we should continue to hold theatre and theatre companies in the forefront of our collective desires. As beautifully outlined by Bella Merlin and Tina Packer, Shakespeare & Company has taken the words of its namesake playwright and put them into practice with one goal, to learn what it is to be human through the union of language, heart, and mind."

Routledge encourages "actors, directors, students, educators, scholars and theatre-lovers to read the book for practical acting strategies, inspirational approaches to theatre making and lively insights into the sustaining of a unique and robust theatre company that has been thriving for over 40 years."

Virtual Book Launch Events:

Wednesday, May 6 - Video Interview with Tina Packer and Bella Merlin, hosted by Allyn Burrows, sent via Shakespeare & Company's Newsletter and posted to Facebook at 11am EST.

Thursday, May 7 - Facebook Live with Bella Merlin and Tina Packer 4:00pm-4:45pm EST on the Shakespeare & Company Facebook page. Additionally, the Company will host Virtual Book-Give-Away, Copies will be signed and personalized by Packer. See Shakespeare & Company Facebook Page for Details and Entry information

Thursday, May 14 - Video Interview with Kevin G. Coleman, Tina Packer and Bella Merlin, hosted by Allyn Burrows, sent via Shakespeare & Company's Newsletter and posted to Facebook at 11am EST.

The book is available for purchase on Shakespeare & Company's website, the publishers website here, and on amazon books.

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