Life Lessons from Shakespeare

Springfield playwright Dorothy Velasco’s latest play, Ladies Shakespeare Club, premieres Friday, Feb. 17, for a two-weekend run at Very Little Theatre’s intimate Stage Left.

The new comedy traces a group of women whose study of Shakespeare over more than four decades informs their relationship to everything from women’s rights to the pain and suffering that afflicts humanity.

Ladies Shakespeare Club is a timeless story about the bonds of sisterhood and friendship,” director Karen Scheeland says in a news release, adding that the play is “a touching story featuring a diverse cast of women that will entertain, and occasionally move you to tears.”

The cast includes Denise LaCroix, Zepha Wright, Jen Ferro, Christiana Dancer, Toni Mucker, Sarah de Leon and Aimee Okotie-Oyekan.

Velasco, who occasionally writes about local theater for Eugene Weekly, is a longtime playwright who has had more than 30 of her plays produced. She’s written a musical, Miracle in Memphis, published by Samuel French, and co-authored the screenplay of the 2006 feature film Raising Flagg, with Alan Arkin.

She says her inspiration for her new play was the Eugene Shakespeare Club, which has been meeting and discussing the Bard since 1909.

Performances are at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday, Feb. 17 and 18; 2 pm Sunday, Feb. 19; and 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday,  Feb. 23-25; and 2 pm Sunday, Feb. 26. Tickets are $15 at