Free performance of “Women of Will” at Vanderbilt Feb. 3

Tina Packer and Nigel Gore bring Women of Will to Ingram Hall Feb. 3 (Photo courtesy of Shakespeare & Company)

Women of Will will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 3, at the Ingram Hall, Blair School of Music, on the Vanderbilt campus. The performance is free and open to the public. This two-person show examines the evolution of the heroine in Shakespeare’s writing.

Tina Packer, who plays all the female roles, is one of the country’s foremost experts on Shakespeare and theatre arts. She is the founder and artistic director of Shakespeare & Company, now one of the largest and most critically acclaimed Shakespeare Festivals in North America. Along with Massachusetts’ highest cultural recognition, The Commonwealth Award, she received Guggenheim and Bunting fellowships to create Women of Will.

The show combines the performance of scenes with the discussion of themes to create a dazzling and amazing piece of work. Parker believes that as Shakespeare developed as a playwright, his women increasingly became his artistic alter egos, marginalized figures who stood to the side of the power makers, observing and interpreting. Together, she and prominent Shakespearean actor Nigel Gore chronologically trace this evolution.

The performance is sponsored by the Vanderbilt departments of Theatre and English and the College of Arts and Sciences.