Shakespeare & Company Presents Shake It Up: A Shakespeare Cabaret, July 2 – 7


Shakespeare & Company Presents Shake It Up: A Shakespeare Cabaret, July 2 – 7


LENOX, Mass. – Shakespeare & Company continues its 47th season with Shake It Up: A Shakespeare Cabaret at the Tina Packer Playhouse from Tuesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 7.

A celebration of Shakespeare-influenced music, text, and storytelling for those both new to or familiar with Shakespeare, this devised production was co-created by Jacob Ming-Trent and Shakespeare & Company’s Artistic Director Allyn Burrows. It transforms the playhouse into an upscale club, complete with cafe tables, signature cocktails, and chandeliers. Ming-Trent features as both an actor and musician in Shake It Up, while Burrows directs.

“Shakespeare was the original rock and roller,” said Burrows. “Or if he wasn’t, his friends certainly were. Just as music washes over the landscape, Shakespeare’s poetry permeates our lives in ways we may not even be aware of.

“Mashing Shakespeare’s words and songs that they influenced can create an alchemy worth exploring,” he continued, “and stir up a lot of fun in the process.”

Sponsored by Steve and Cathy Bader, five performances of Shake It Up: A Shakespeare Cabaret will be staged; 7 p.m. performances will be held on Tuesday, July 2; Wednesday, July 3, and Saturday, July 6, with matinee performances on Thursday, July 4 at 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, July 7 at 1 p.m.

Tickets are $50, and seating is general admission, and tickets are $50.

For more information, visit, or call the Box Office at (413) 637-3353.

Photo Caption: Shakespeare & Company presents Shake It Up: A Shakespeare Cabaret at the Tina Packer Playhouse from Tuesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 7 — a celebration of Shakespeare-influenced music, text, and storytelling for those both new to or familiar with Shakespeare.

Cast and Musicians

Jacob Ming-Trent
(Co-Creator / Actor / Musician)
TV: White Famous, Showtime (series regular), Watchmen, HBO (series regular), Ray Donovan, Showtime (Recurring), Feed the Beast, AMC (recurring). Also seen on, Only Murders in the Building, WU-TANG: An American Saga, New Amsterdam, God Friended Me, High Maintenance, and several more. Film: Superfly, Forty-year-old Version, Snakes, R#J, Possession of Hannah Grace, The Bygone, Julie Taymour’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and others. Broadway: Shrek the Musical (Original cast), Hands on a Hardbody, (Original Cast). Off Broadway: The Harder They Come, Public Theatre, Lortel nomination Alchemist, Mammon, Redbull theater, Lortel nomination Merry Wives, Falstaff, Public theater, Drama Desk nomination Father Comes Home from the Wars, Public theater, Lortel Award. Twelfth Night, Sir Toby, Public Theater. Cymbeline, Public Theater. Mother Courage, CSC. Merchant of Venice, TFANA. Midsummer Night’s Dream, TFANA. Widowers Houses, Epic Theater Ensemble. Tempest, Public Theater. On the Levee, Lincoln Center.

Jennifer Apple
(Actor / Musician)
Broadway Tour: The Band’s Visit (Original Cast). Regional: The Band’s Visit (Huntington Theater/SpeakEasy Stage, Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Lead Performance); Detroit ‘67, Romeo & Juliet (Chautauqua Theater Company); A Walk on the Moon, A Christmas Carol (American Conservatory Theater); title of show (Bridge Production Group); Theory of Relativity (Goodspeed Musicals); Fiddler on the Roof (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival & CFRT). TV: Law & Order: SVU, New Amsterdam. ACT MFA: Clickshare, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Good Woman of Setzuan, Motherfucker with the Hat, Lungs. Education: MFA in Acting from the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, CA. Jennifer is the host of the Empowered Artist Collective Podcast and an Acting Coach who specializes in MFA/BFA auditions, finding monologues, and audition prep.

Gregory Boover (he / him)
(Actor / Musician)
S&Co: Claudio (Much Ado), Feste (Twelfth Night), Fenton/Slender (Merry Wives), Silvius/Amiens (As You Like It), Young Men (Macbeth), Iago (Othello ed. tour), Bottom/Demetrius (Midsummer ed. tour), Leo (4000 Miles), Scaramouch (The Emperor of the Moon), Macduff/ Duncan (Macbeth ed. tour), Musician/ Composer (An Iliad), Greg (SLaW), Polonius/Horatio (Hamlet ed. tour), Nurse/Friar (R&J ed. tour), Ensemble (The Tempest), Damis (Tartuffe). He has worked with many theaters across the Northeast, including The Majestic Theater, Catskill Mountain Shakespeare, Urbanite Theatre, The Theater at Woodshill, The Umbrella Stage Company, WAM Theatre, Emergent Ensemble Theater, The Theatre at Monmouth, Looking Glass Theater (NY), Hampshire Shakespeare, and more. Greg has directed/taught in the education programs at Shakespeare & Company for years, serves on the faculty at Community Access To The Arts in Great Barrington MA, and produces his own independent music and artwork. Training: S&Co Intensive; (BA) UMass Amherst; UKent Canterbury.

Johnny Irion
Johnny Irion’s new album Sleeping Soldiers of Love is one his most exciting collaborations ever, where he was joined by the staggeringly creative, and multi-talented, skills of Jeff Bridges, Patrick Sansone of Wilco, The Chatham Rabbits, Mike Mills of REM, Griffin Goldsmith of DAWES, and many others. Stand Up That Mountain The award-winning novel inspired this work. Recorded in his studio in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the full album is scheduled for release on August 9th, 2024. The first single and the video for Sleeping Soldiers of Love will be available on May 14, 2024, VIA Blackwing Music, a great supporter of music in education. I hope you enjoy this as much as we loved creating it.

Jennie M. Jadow (she / her)
(Actor / Musician)
Jennie is a Company Member of Shakespeare & Company and a proud part of their nationally recognized Education Department. An actress with extensive regional acting credits, Jennie’s work has been seen at S&Co, WAM, Barrington Stage Company, Berkshire Theater Group, Jacob’s Pillow, and Mixed Company. Jennie is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and completed her MA in Movement Therapy and Counseling with a primary focus on the treatment of adolescents with psychiatric diagnosis. When not acting or teaching she can be found with her incredible family, to whom she is deeply grateful for all of their love and constant support.

Jim “Chetz” Keegan (he / him)
Jimbo is in his fiftieth year of performing music in 2024! He has played bass guitar and guitar in many, many groups based in the Berkshires, the Pioneer Valley and the Greater Boston areas. He has toured the U.S. and Canada, performed extensively in Florida and on the East Coast. A native New Englander (and Berkshire boy), he studied music and business at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Ben Kohn
Benny Kohn is a Berkshire based pianist/singer/composer. Benny joins forces with many local artists spanning a variety of genres (Jazz, Blues, Funk, R&B, Popular, Rock) including Wanda Houston, Ed Moran, Andy Wrba, Gina Coleman, Glori Wilder, The O-tones, Samirah Evans, Hot Sauce, Chantell McFarland, The Rejuvinators, Rev Tor and many others. Benny can also be found leading his own combos and playing Solo.

Raya Malcolm (she / her)
Raya Malcolm is an actor and musician based in the Capital Region and is thrilled to make her Shakes & Co. debut! Some regional credits include: Capital Repertory Theatre: Hermia (Midsummer Night’s Dream). Great Barrington Public Theatre: Rosie (Things I Know To Be True), Bobby (Breakwater). Stages On the Sound: Ophelia (Hamlet, a workshop), Sam (Dad the Snowman). Berkshire Playwright’s Lab: Lena (Lena Levitates). Central Square Theater: March Girl/Swallow (Matchless & The Happy Prince). Saratoga Shakespeare Company: Juliet (Romeo & Juliet), Poins (Henry IV: Parts I & II). Boston Playwright’s Theatre: Daisy (Rhinoceros). Raya is also an Associate Artistic Director of Troy Foundry Theatre and makes up 1/3rd of local, indie-folk trio, Hold On Honeys, who recently won an Eddy Award for Best Folk Artist of the Year. Raya happily lives in Troy, NY with her yoga mat and many houseplants.

Merlin McCormick
Merlin is a performer and screenwriter originally from Raleigh, North Carolina and is excited to be in the Berkshires this summer. Merlin made his Shakespeare & Company debut in the Northeast Regional Tour of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His other favorite credits include: Viola (National Black Theatre Festival), Millie in Trouble in Mind (Clarence Brown Theatre), and Hero and Claudio in Much Ado About Nothing (Starling Shakespeare) Training: MFA from University of Tennessee Knoxville.

Conor Meehan (he / him)
Conor Meehan is a versatile drummer currently based in western Massachusetts. As an in-demand sideman, Conor has appeared on over 50 recordings and has toured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Europe, Japan and Brazil. Since 2005, he has held the position “Artist Associate of Jazz Drums” at Williams College and has also served as a clinician at numerous summer institutes including Jazz in July at UMass and Interplay Jazz Workshop. Conor’s comfort playing a wide range of styles, from straight-ahead jazz, to rock, R’n’B, samba and everything in between, has led to opportunities to work with artists across many genres, including Dr. John, Charles Neville, The Boston Pops, Brian MacNight, Honeyhoney, Ted Rosenthal Trio, John Medeski, David Spinozza, The Midtown Men, Reggie Workman, Albert Cummings, Jeremy Pelt, Heiruspecs, Sonya Kitchell, Samirah Evans, Whiskey Treaty Roadshow, Andy Suzuki & The Method, Norma Miller, Berkshire Symphony among many others.

Jaclyn Stevenson (she / her)
This is Jaclyn’s first season as a performer with Shakespeare & Company, and her third as its Director of Marketing & Communications. Recent credit as a performer or speaker include: A Conversation with Best-selling Author Terry Hayes (The Mahaiwe); Poet 47, The Very Large Poem (WordxWord at The Mount); feature violin at Bousquet Mountain Jam and The Iron Horse with Shakedown, and feature violin, PVPA Dance Company. Additional credits include television: Songwriter, singer, and violinist, Undressed, Mtv. Albums: feature violin, Piano Planet, Derrick Cummings; singer and violinist, Pass the Sombrero, Singer Bad Dancer; feature violin, Matinee, Rob Cushing, and singer/violinist, the Cape Cod Musicians’ Social album.

About Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.


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