Shakespeare & Company announces Book Launch

Shakespeare & Company: When Action is Eloquence by Bella Merlin and Tina Packer

LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company is excited to announce 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 Drawing on previously unpublished material – including notebooks, lectures, interviews, and rehearsal diaries – and the Company’s newly collated historical archive, the book provides insight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.

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.

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).

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:

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.

About Bella Merlin

Merlin is an actor, professor of acting at the University of California, Riverside, and the author of six books on acting, including The Complete Stanislavsky Toolkit and Facing the Fear: An Actor’s Guide to Overcoming Stage Fright.

About Tina Packer

Packer is the multi-award-winning founding Artistic Director of Shakespeare & Company, and has acted and/or directed all of Shakespeare’s plays as well as touring her original take on Shakespeare’s women, Women of Will. Her book of the same name was a New York Times Editor’s Choice.

About Shakespeare & Company

Located in the beautiful Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the leading Shakespeare festivals of the world. Founded in 1978, the organization attracts over 40,000 patrons annually. The Company is also home to an internationally renowned Center for Actor Training and award-winning Education Program. More information is available at

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