Women of Will, a narrative combining trenchant analysis and riveting scenes, explores the themes of love, loss, freedom, control, violence, and power through the heroines of Shakespeare's text. Drawing on her knowledge as director, actor, and teacher, Packer traces the chronological evolution of Shakespeare's female characters and examines Shakespeare's own journey and growth as a writer from feckless misogynist in his youth to committed lover in his middle years to unrepentant feminist in his final years.
Based on her five-part theatrical performance of the same name (currently touring throughout the world), Women of Will combines the knowledge of performance, discussion, and debate with the dramatic tension stemming from the influences Shakespeare responded to in his life and from Packer's desire to show how powerful and distinct the women characters are in his plays. From Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing to Lady Macbeth to Paulina in A Winter's Tale and everyone in between, Women of Will gives a unique and exhilarating perspective on some of the most well-known classical texts in the English language.
©2015 Tina Packer (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.
We were privileged to see the live performance of this material a couple of years ago in Boulder. Tina and Nigel make the concepts live and make them relevant to today's world. For those familiar with the cannon, it brings a new perspective to many of the characters. For those with less experience with Shakespeare, in each case the presentation gives enough of the background to help those unfamiliar with the plays understand the relevant plot and character. This is a wonderful production written by a woman who has lived the material and performed by two great actors.
I cannot easily express how much I loved this book. It was recommended to me for research for a novel I'm writing but it turned out to be so much more. As stirring as theatre, illuminating, fascinating and occasionally mind-blowing. Thank you, Tina Packer. (And Nigel.) Halfway through, I went out and bought the book in hardcover, just to have it.
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