Tina Packer, founder and artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, is one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts. She created Shakespeare & Company in 1978 to be an American company of the highest standard that holds language at its center.
Born in England and trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, Tina was an associate artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company and performed in the West End and on BBC television. She has received more than 20 awards, honors, and fellowships, including Boston’s coveted Elliot Norton Award (twice), Guggenheim and Bunting fellowships, and Massachusetts’ highest cultural honor, The Commonwealth Award. In 2009, The Boston Globe called her “one of the state’s great figures.” She has directed nearly every Shakespeare play.
Packer’s business book, Power Plays: Shakespeare’s Lessons in Leadership, was published in 2000. Tales from Shakespeare, a retelling of Shakespeare plays for young people, appeared in 2004 and won the Parents’ Choice Award.
Packer’s recent onstage roles at Shakespeare & Company include: Queen Gertrude in Hamlet, Cleopatra in Antony and Cleopatra, and the title role in Shirley Valentine. She played Martha in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at The Publick Theatre in Boston last fall, and has upcoming engagements in spring and summer 2010 at Shakespeare & Company and in England.