LENOX, Mass. – Shakespeare & Company is happy to announce the launch of a November Reading Series held virtually, November 5 – November 22, 2020.

“These are enormously engaging plays by Richard Wesley, Kermit Frazier, and Lydia R. Diamond,” said Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. “It’s important for us to enrich the dialogue around diversity, equity and inclusion by continuing to bring forward the voices and stories of Black playwrights. We’re pleased to be able to offer them in this online format.”

The November Reading Series running virtually November 5 – 22 includes three cutting edge plays exploring race and the american dream. Autumn by Drama Desk Award-winning playwright Richard Wesley directed by Regge Life (Topdog/Underdog, God of Carnage), Kernel of Sanity by Kermit Frazier also Directed by Life, and Smart People by Lydia R. Diamond Directed by Aimee K. Michel. Hope Rose Kelly will be Stage Manger for all three productions.

November Reading Series

AUTUMN by Richard Wesley

Directed by Regge Life

November 5–8

Franklyn Longley is a veteran big-city mayor who’s in line to become the first black governor of his state – until his godson is tapped by the party to run instead. As a new generation of black politicians comes forward, they must learn there is a price to pay in order to realize their ambitions. This gripping political drama explores the conflicts that arise when aspirations collide across generational, racial, and gender divides.

KERNEL OF SANITY by Kermit Frazier

Directed by Regge Life

November 12–15

In a small Midwestern city in the late 1970s, a young actor, on his way from New York to California, takes a detour for a surprise visit to a veteran actor - an actor he’s worked with in only one play but to whom he’s found himself inexorably, if nearly unwittingly, attached. In a taunt, tense 90 minutes, three people – a black man, a white man, and a white woman – clash over their contradictory senses of marginalization and betrayal and their contrasting perceptions of illusion and reality.

SMART PEOPLE by Lydia R. Diamond

Directed by Aimee K. Michel

November 19–22

It is the eve of Obama’s first election. Four of Harvard University’s brightest – a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist – are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives. Lydia R. Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics.

Tickets for the November Reading Series

To register online or for more information visit shakespeare.org. Registration is free but the Company encourages a suggested donation of $15 or more to Shakespeare & Company.

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. Learn more at www.shakespeare.org.

Shakespeare & Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the Mass Cultural Council.

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