The Taster

by Joan Ackermann
directed by Tina Packer
originally produced at Shakespeare & Company, Lenox, MA.
July 29, 2010 through September 4, 2010

About the Premiere Production:

“The King: How do you taste? The Taster: How do you live? How do you love?”
The Taster is a mystical and magical play steeped in a love for the tastes of language and literature, food and love. In the late Middle Ages, Octavio Pilars is a humble man with a precarious occupation—official food taster for a Basque King. The King worries he will never produce an heir. His Queen desperately wishes to give him one. In the present day, Henry, a failed banker spends his nights translating the King and Queen’s story from an ancient text and desperately seeks nourishment in the simple wisdom of the King’s Taster, a man gifted not only in the art of tasting, but of the selfless service to others. His wife Claudia an opera singer is stranded by the gap which has grown between them and wonders why Henry spends his days translating an obscure play about a boorish King and his beloved food taster. As the couple wonders whether or not they will ever find their way back to each other, a backdrop of two different centuries emerges propelling the characters on interwoven journeys as they seek to find their way, and their voice.

Artistic Statement

Creative Team:

Director: Tina Packer
Set Design: Yoshi Tanokura
Lighting Design: Christopher Thielking
Sound Design: Scott Killian
Costume Design: Govane Lohbauer

Additional Funders:

The production was generously underwritten by Dr. Donald and Phoebe Giddon. Shakespeare & Company had commissioned the playwright for this play, with underwriting provided by Bobbie Hallig and Bob Norris.

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