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In 1978, a company of young actors settled in Lenox in a Gilded Age mansion that had run to seed. They lived and performed there together as a close-knit ensemble under the artistic eye of Tina Packer. In those relaxed times they could perform A Midsummer Night’s Dream in the garden, climbing trees and calling from the roof in the moonlight — or sail through The Tempest, running up the rigging along the terrace and riding the house like a ship in a storm.

They also set in motion the restoration of the house — Edith Wharton’s home in the first years of the 20th century. They adapted her stories for short plays in her drawing room. The Mount became its own museum about the year 2000, and the theater company moved across town to a campus near the sprawling Berkshire ‘Cottage’ of Springlawn.

They have now celebrated 40 years of theater in the Berkshires — Twelfth Night on a deserted Coney Island, Bare Bard performances of Shakespeare with intensity and a small cast, and contemporary performances of new work. They have also become known for their actor training programs and work in the schools … and today’s young actors return to The Mount in the summer for an outdoor performance on the lawn.