Emmy Award-Winning Writer Jane Anderson’s
World Premiere Mother of the Maid Opens at Shakespeare & Company
Previews Begin July 30, Performances Run Through September 6
(Lenox, MA) – Shakespeare & Company presents the world premiere of Mother of the Maid, a powerful and wry drama by Emmy award-winning writer, producer and director Jane Anderson (Olive Kitteridge, Normal, The Baby Dance,It Could Happen to You), directed by Matthew Penn, and starring Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer. Mother of the Maid is the story of Joan of Arc, an icon of human history, realized from an entirely fresh point of view – her mother’s. Performances run in the Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre July 30 – September 6.
Parenthood, religion, sexuality and politics are all essential themes of Mother of the Maid, which follows the tale of St. Joan through the eyes of her long-suffering mum, who does her very best to accept the fact that her daughter is different. With visions from St. Catherine, and despite the protestations from her father, brother and Mum, Joan embarks on a journey to lead the French army against England.
“For me it is first a story of parenthood,” says director Matthew Penn. “What do you do when your child becomes someone different than the person you expected? When they love someone you didn’t think they would or could or should? What do you do when both ambition and celebrity wrap around your child as if predestined? At the center of this play is the boundless love that a mother feels for a daughter.”
S&Co. Founding Artistic Director Tina Packer takes on the title role of the mother, Isabelle Arc, and is reunited onstage with her real life son Jason Asprey, who plays Father Gilbert, and her Women of Will acting partner Nigel Gore, who plays Joan’s father Jacques (all three last performed together in Hamlet in 2008). The cast also features long time Company actor Elizabeth Aspenlieder and newcomers to the Company, Bridget Saracino as St. Catherine (also in The How and the Why), Anne Troup as St. Joan, and Nathaniel Kent as her brother Pierre. Mother of the Maid was originally presented as a staged reading at Berkshire Playwrights Lab during their 2014 summer season.
Tickets for Mother of the Maid are available online at www.shakespeare.org, or by calling Shakespeare & Company at (413) 637-3353 during box office hours. The Bernstein Theatre is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. Shakespeare & Company is located at 70 Kemble Street in Lenox, Massachusetts.
About Shakespeare & Company
Located in The Berkshires of Western Massachusetts, Shakespeare & Company is one of the largest Shakespeare Festivals in the country, founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. The Company develops and performs Shakespeare, classics, contemporary, and new plays of social and political significance, generating opportunities for collaboration between actors, directors and designers of all races, nationalities and backgrounds. Shakespeare & Company also reaches more than 45,000 students annually with innovative performances, workshops and residencies. For more information, visit www.shakespeare.org.
AT A GLANCE
Production: Mother of the Maid
Theatre: Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Playwright: Jane Anderson
Director: Matthew Penn
Cast: Elizabeth Aspenlieder, Jason Asprey, Nigel Gore, Nathaniel Kent, Tina Packer, Bridget Saracino and Anne Troup
Costume Designer: Govane Lohbauer
Set/Properties Designer: Patrick Brennan
Lighting Designer: James Bilnoski
Sound Designer: Alexander Sovronsky
Voice Coach: Elizabeth Ingram
Stage Manager: Laura Kathryn Gomez
Performance Dates: July 30 – September 6, Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre Opening/Press Night: Friday, August 7 at 8:00 p.m. Running time: Act I: 50 mins/Act II: 45mins plus one 15min intermission