Olympia Dukakis to play “Mother Courage” in 2013 at Shakespeare & Company

Editors Note: On August 5, 2013 we posted a review of Mother Courage at Shakespeare & Company in Berkshire on Stage [click here].

Lenox, MA – If there is anyone who is ready to play the classic role of Mother Courage, it is Olympia Dukakis. She has tackled the role of the infamous Brecht heroine four times to date.

Today, Shakespeare & Company and Artistic Director Tony Simotes announced the first title out of the gate for its 2013/2014 performance season: Bertolt Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children starring Academy Award winner Olympia Dukakis in the role of Mother Courage, directed by Tony Simotes. The production marks the second consecutive collaboration between Simotes and Dukakis, and her brother Apollo Dukakis, who will also be a featured player. The trio teamed up for last summer’s critically acclaimed production of The Tempest, which also featured OBIE Award winner Rocco Sisto, and sold out its entire run in Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer Playhouse.

Mother Courage and Her Children will open next summer in the Tina Packer Playhouse. The dates for the run will be announced this December, along with Shakespeare & Company’s other mainstage productions, which will include at least two Shakespeare titles and a few other surprises and special engagements. At that time, a special ticket package will be offered for all mainstage productions.

“I’m absolutely ecstatic to have Olympia join us again for our 36th Season. Our collaboration on The Tempest proved to be a successful one both artistically and personally. It was another chapter in our rich history together, and I’m excited to continue writing that history next summer. Olympia has an infectious energy that inspires one’s artistic soul. She’s a dear friend and mentor. I’m eager to explore the depths of this fascinating play with her and Apollo, and once again share her immense talent with our audiences. – Tony Simotes

S&Co. will continue to offer a wide range of discount options for its 2013/2014 Performance Season, including discounts for groups, students, senior citizens, military, teachers and the very popular 40% Berkshire Resident Discount. To receive our current Fall & Winter brochure, or inquire about our Fall & Winter lineup of shows, call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353 or visit www.Shakespeare.org. S&Co. also offers customized group visits, which may include artist talkbacks, tours, catered events, and interactive opportunities. To learn more contact the Group Sales office at (413) 637-1199, ext. 132.

The Play is a Classic, Brilliantly Artful, yet Solidly Down-to-Earth

Considered by many to be the greatest play of the 20th Century, Mother Courage and Her Children is set against the backdrop of the Thirty Years War and follows the fate of Mother Courage, an artful canteen woman with the Swedish Army, intent on keeping her business and family alive amid the destruction of war. Mother Courage and Her Children still resonates today as a profound insight into the moral implications of war.

Dukakis reflected on her mainstage experience, when she played Prospera under the direction of Simotes. The production also was fortunate to include Dukakis’ brother Apollo Dukakis as Gonzalo. “I had a terrific time last summer exploring The Tempest with Tony and the amazing cast and crew,” says Dukakis. “I consider Shakespeare & Company one of my artistic homes – a place of artistic support and enthusiasm. I jumped at the chance to get in the room with Tony and my brother again.”

S&Co.’s campus continues to buzz with its training and education programs already underway with the Fall Festival of Shakespeare and The Conservatory at Shakespeare & Company, who are in rehearsals for King John. In December, the Company’s traditional revival of David Sedaris’ irreverent Christmas memoir, The Santaland Diaries, will enjoy its final season of fun in the Bernstein Theatre. Finally, in March 2013, the contemporary and classic merge in David Ives’ new adaptation of Pierre Corneille’s famous farce, The Liar. Visit www.Shakespeare.org for tickets and more information about upcoming productions.

“This season went from a game-changer for us to a dynasty,” says Managing Director Nicholas J. Puma, Jr. “We had tremendous momentum when we opened in May and we’ve only picked up steam over the course of the fall. Our performances continue to thrill and inspire—our recent production of Satchmo at the Waldorf played to sold-out houses for its entire run and our current show, The 39 Steps, just hit 115% of its target with two weeks of performances to go.”

Earlier in the summer, the Company announced that it had met the $6 million goal of the 35th Anniversary Season Campaign, which included a $2 million challenge grant by the late Elayne P. Bernstein requiring the Company to raise the remaining $4 million in contributions. The 35th Anniversary Season Campaign will retire the Company’s short and long term debt. Shakespeare & Company is currently focusing on completing the $1 million Tina Packer Fund for Shakespeare & Company that was launched in honor of Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer and which has raised more than $540,000 to date. The Fund was set up to create a capital and operational reserved for Shakespeare & Company and will further strengthen the Company’s financially.

“To sustain and enhance the quality of our work in this tough economy is no small feat,” adds Puma. “I credit Tony Simotes, our staff and our Board of Trustees for their tireless work and enduring imagination. Financially, we are in a strong place going forward. The Company now sits at 110% of its 35th Season target, which we close out at the end of March 2013). I can confidently speak on behalf of the entire Company when I say how excited we are about the future of this organization.”

“This season has truly been one of rebellion and revolution,” continues Simotes. “With the world premiere of Cassandra Speaks, a one-woman show about the revolutionary and rebellious journalist Dorothy Thompson; the honoring of Tina Packer, our revolutionary Founding Artistic Director, at our 35th Season Gala Celebration where we renamed the Founders’ theatre in her name.

“Our 35th Season also featured the East Coast premiere of the hard-hitting Parasite Drag by Mark Roberts, the New England premiere of Satchmo at the Waldorf, a new play by Terry Teachout starring OBIE Award winner John Douglas Thompson about a man who unquestionably revolutionized jazz music: Louis Armstrong. We’re so proud of the work we’ve done and the productions we’ve staged, and to have our patrons share in that enthusiasm is incredibly inspiring.”

One thought on “Olympia Dukakis to play “Mother Courage” in 2013 at Shakespeare & Company

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