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Shakespeare & Company’s Tina Packer honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

Tina Packer is a force of nature," said Guy Roberts, Founding Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC). “She has influenced and inspired generations of theatre makers and theatre goers. I can think of a no better ambassador for Shakespeare..." -- Guy Roberts, Founding Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company.

In a recent ceremony in Prague, Shakespeare & Company’s founding Artistic Director Tina Packer was given the Shakespeare Theatre Association’s Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award. The Shakespeare Theatre Association (STA) is a 27-year-old national and international service organization which supports mentorship and best practices in Shakespeare production and training around the world. It comprises 124 theatres and 30 associate members in Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Italy, South Korea, and the United States.

While introducing Packer to a standing ovation, STA Executive Director Patrick Flick said, “The selection of Tina for this award had nothing to do with age or stage in her career, but rather [in] the impact her life and work has had on so many others. Her grace on stage and off, her willingness to share of herself sans reservation with not only STA colleagues, but with students and other actors, and her sense of herself in the world have inspired so many of us. Hers is the essential spirit of the Douglas N. Cook Award personified.”

Packer has directed all of Shakespeare’s plays, some several times, and acted in eight of them. She has taught the entire canon at over thirty colleges, including Harvard, MIT and NYU. At Columbia University, she taught in the M.B.A. program for four years, culminating in the publication by Simon and Schuster of Power Plays, Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management together with Deming Professor John Whitney. She also wrote Tales from Shakespeare, a children’s book and the recipient of the Parent’s Gold Medal Award. Most recently, Packer’s book Women of Will was published by Knopf. She has performed Women of Will with Nigel Gore in New York, Mexico, England, the Hague, China, and across the U.S. Tina Packer is the recipient of numerous other awards and honorary degrees, including a Massachusetts Commonwealth Award.

“[This woman] is a force of nature,” said Guy Roberts, Founding Artistic Director of the Prague Shakespeare Company (PSC). “She has influenced and inspired generations of theatre makers and theatre goers. Tina has been a major part of the Prague Shakespeare Company for many years and we hope many more to come. I can think of a no better ambassador for Shakespeare…”

“Tina has been a profound inspiration to countless actors and directors for decades,” said current Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “She shares her expertise, expansive knowledge, and deep love of craft freely, and for that we can all count ourselves the luckiest of beneficiaries. Most of all it is a joy to be in her Company: because she is a humanist in the truest sense of the word! Many thanks to the STA for this worthy recognition of her.”

Shakespeare & Company is one of the foremost Shakespeare festivals in the world. Founded in 1978 by Tina Packer, Kevin G. Coleman, and the late Dennis Krausnick, it attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and an award-winning Education Program.

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