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Packer Awarded Lifetime Achievement Award by Shakespeare Theatre Association
01:00PM / Friday, February 15, 2019
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Shakespeare & Company's founding artistic director, Tina Packer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Shakespeare Theatre Association. (Photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Company)

LENOX, Mass. — Shakespeare & Company's founding artistic director, Tina Packer, was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by The Shakespeare Theatre Association.

She received the Douglas N. Cook Lifetime Achievement Award while attending the 2019 STA Conference in Prague. The award honors STA members who have made and are still making significant contributions to the field of Shakespeare Theatre.

"It was one of the greatest pleasures of my life to introduce Tina for the presentation of the Cook Award at the Lobkowicz Palace at the STA annual banquet in Prague," said STA Executive Director Patrick Flick. "The first sentence of my introduction was, 'This year, the Douglas N. Cook Award goes to the woman who founded Shakespeare & Company.' I didn't get any further into my speech as the entire room broke into a roaring applause. Tina Packer is a woman who needs no introduction. I am proud to call her my friend and colleague."

"Tina has been a profound inspiration to countless actors and directors for decades," Shakespeare & Company Artistic Director Allyn Burrows said. "She shares her expertise, expansive knowledge, and deep love of the 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 to STA for this worthy recognition of her."

Packer, who is the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, has directed all of Shakespeare's plays, some several times, acted in eight of them, and taught the whole canon at more than 30 colleges, including Harvard, M.I.T. and NYU. At Columbia University, she taught in the M.B.A. program for four years, resulting in the publication of "Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership and Management with Deming Professor John Whitney" for Simon and Schuster. For Scholastic, she wrote "Tales from Shakespeare," a children’s book and recipient of the Parent’s Gold Medal Award. Most recently her book "Women of Will" was published by Knopf and she has been performing "Women of Will" with Nigel Gore, in New York, Mexico, England, The Hague, China, and across the United States. She's the recipient of numerous awards and honorary degrees, including the Commonwealth 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. 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 no better ambassador for Shakespeare than Tina Packer and no better recipient of the STA Lifetime Achievement Award."

STA is a 27 year-old member service organization that convenes annually to provide support and mentorship as well as share best practices with colleagues from within the United States and internationally. Membership currently includes 124 theatres and 30 associate members. STA's national and international focus ensures a diversity of mission, vision and values within the organization and international membership includes Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Georgia, Italy, South Korea, and others. STA holds a conference at one of its member theaters to share information directly relating to the production of Shakespeare’s plays. Conference agendas are built around a theme and include tracks for artistic, managerial, educational, and board-level leadership.

"The selection of Tina for this award had nothing to do with age or stage in her career, but rather the impact her life and work has had on so many others," Flick said. "Her grace onstage 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 has inspired so many of us.  Hers is the essential spirit of the Douglas N. Cook award personified."

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