Podcasts / Theater

Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company, talks to Michael Miller about the 2018 season, directing, acting and actors, and, of course, Shakespeare.

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Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company
Allyn Burrows, Artistic Director of Shakespeare and Company

 

With Shakespeare and Company’s Winter Studio Festival of Plays drawing to a belated conclusion, because of a fierce winter storm, and the press announcement of the 2019 season coming up, it seems a particularly opportune time to publish the Podcast of my interview with Artistic Director Allyn Burrows about the highly successful 2018 season.

With a severely pared-down, but fascinating Macbeth (only one guest at the banquet!) and a witty, engaging plein air As You Like It, and the ambitious selection of modern plays continuing the precedent of Allyn Burrows’ first season, it proved an exciting summer.

I missed Carey Crim’s Morning After Grace, but not any of the four superb productions that followed it. Ryan Winkles and Jonathan Epstein under Nicole Ricciardi’s direction made our hair stand on end in their toxic struggle in Strindberg’s Creditors in the version by the Scottish playwright, David Greig. Tina Packer brilliantly directed Malcolm Ingram and Tamara Hickey in Simon Stephens’ Heisenberg. Terrence McNally’s honest, moving account of the AIDS epidemic and its effects on the relationships of survivors and parents, Mothers and Sons received a nigh-perfect presentation under the direction of James Warwick, with unforgettable performances by Bill Mootos, David Gow, and Annette Miller. Taylor Mac’s Hir provided a bracing after-season, another, brutally honest treatment of gender and destructive family relationships. In this, Alice Reagan directed a virtuosic cast: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Adam Huff, John Hadden, and Jack Doyle in a play that required split-second comic timing.

In addition to his thoughts on these productions, Mr. Burrows shares some of his wisdom about directing, acting and actors, and, of course, Shakespeare. Theater-makers as well as audiences will find his thoughts profound and enlightening.

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Michael Miller, Editor and Publisher of New York Arts and The Berkshire Review, an International Journal for the Arts, was trained as a classicist and art historian at Harvard and Oxford, worked in the art world for many years as a curator and dealer, and contributed reviews and articles to Bostonia, Master Drawings, Drawing, Threshold, and North American Opera Journal, as well as numerous articles for scholarly and popular periodicals. He has taught courses in classics, the English language, and art history at Oberlin, Rutgers, New York University, the New School, and Williams. Currently, when he is not at work on The Berkshire Review and New York Arts, he writes fiction, pursues photography, and publishes scholarly work. In 2011 he contributed an introductory essay to Leonard Freed: The Italians / exh. cat. Io Amo L'Italia, exhibition at Le Stelline, Milan, and wrote the revised the section on American opera houses in The Grove Dictionary of American Music. He is currently at work on a libretto for a new opera by Lewis Spratlan, Midi, an adaptation of Euripides' Medea set in the French West Indies, ca. 1930.

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