Tina Packer, founding director of Shakespeare & Company, is arguably one of the foremost experts on Shakespeare. She has directed over 50 Shakespeare productions and other new and contemporary works including world premieres.
She has played countless roles, most recently in her own unique work Women of Will, The Complete Journey. Spanning five parts, at two hours apiece, this work chronicles the female characters in Shakespeare's canon.
Packer was an associate artist with Britain's Royal Shakespeare Company and also worked for the BBC and ITV. As artistic director of the Boston Shakespeare Company, she directed Master Harold and the Boys, Rat in the Skull, and Observe the Sons of Ulster. At regional theatres, Packer has directed Richard III, King John, Measure for Measure, Hamlet, Othello, Scheherezade, and The Winterís Tale. In 2011, she channeled the late Molly Ivins into performing a one-woman show, Red Hot Patriot: The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins.
She is the subject of a WGBH documentary, Sex, Violence and Poetry: A Portrait of Tina Packer, and a biography, The Company She Keeps, by Helen Epstein. Packer is the recipient of numerous awards, honors, and fellowships; and has lectured extensively. Her book, Power Plays: Shakespeare's Lessons in Leadership & Management, was published in 2001, and her award-winning book, Tales from Shakespeare, was published in 2004. She is currently drafting three other books. Along with lecturing and directing at Columbia, Harvard, MIT, and Brandeis, Packer continues to spearhead a project to reconstruct a historically accurate 1587 Rose Playhouse, where Shakespeare's plays were first performed, in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Packer holds honorary doctorates of letters from Emerson College, Trinity College, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and Salem State College.