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Shakespeare & Company sets its summer

Shakespeare & Company will address sexual politics in a larger-than-usual way this summer, with productions of ''The Taming of the Shrew," a farcical ''sequel," and a regional premiere about Catholicism and sexuality highlighting the company's 2005 season.

''We're taking on sexual politics and how sex is used to manipulate and control people," says executive director Mark W. Jones. ''That's certainly one of our themes."

Kate and Petruchio duke it out in ''The Taming of the Shrew," directed by Daniela Varon, at Founders' Theatre, from July 8 to Sept. 3. It will run in repertory with the Bard's ''King John," an exploration of the use and abuse of power by political leaders and the Roman Catholic Church, which runs from July 21 to Sept. 3. Artistic director Tina Packer directs the company's first full-scale production of this play.

The smaller Spring Lawn Theatre opens with the regional premiere of ''Ice Glen," by local writer Joan Ackermann. The romantic comedy, set in the Berkshires, was inspired by the Spring Lawn Theatre, where it runs from June 3 to Sept. 4; Packer directs.

Two Edith Wharton one-acts, ''The Mission of Jane" and ''The Promise," adapted by Dennis Krausnick, follow, from June 25 to Sept. 4. Susan Dibble's ''DibbleDance" will also return.

Martin Moran's Obie Award-winning one-man show, ''The Tricky Part," about his seduction as a 12-year-old by an older male camp counselor at a Catholic summer camp and its impact on his adult life, runs Aug. 16-Sept. 4.

Shakespeare & Company has a number of outdoor offerings, including performances by its Young Company actors Aug. 24 and 26 at the tented Rose Footprint. The free Bankside festival, with poets, dancers, musicians, and clowns on Shakespeare & Company's grounds, runs July 4 to Sept. 3.

For tickets, call 413-637-3353 or visit

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