Alabama Shakespeare to Stage Three New Plays, Les Miz and Two by Shakespeare in 2008-09

News   Alabama Shakespeare to Stage Three New Plays, Les Miz and Two by Shakespeare in 2008-09 Alabama Shakespeare Festival will give full world-premiere productions to three scripts developed in its Southern Writers' Project. The 2008-09 season is the first time so many new plays will have bowed at the Montgomery, AL, resident theatre.

The coming season was announced May 15.

The three new works are:

  • The Furniture of Home by Osborn Award-winning Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, author of Gee's Bend. In it, "four characters struggle to make sense of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in the small coastal town of Bayou LaBatre, Alabama — a hard-hit area that escaped the awareness of most of the nation. It will play March 8–April 5, 2009, in the Octagon Theatre.
  • The Fall of the House by Robert Ford, "a time-shifting tale of a mystic whose life and influence weave through 150 years of extraordinary lives, including a young African-American architect and famed 19th-century storyteller Edgar Allen Poe. It will play April 19-May 17, 2009, in the Octagon Theatre.

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  • Bear Country, ASF's commission of a new play by the company's chief operating officer Michael Vigilant (a longtime playwright and lyricist). It focuses on "legendary University of Alabama football coach Paul W. 'Bear' Bryant." It will play Jan. 11–Feb. 15, 2009, at the Octagon Theatre. ASF will also present a major resident production of Boublil and Schönberg's Les Misérables July 12-August 16, 2009, in the Festival Theatre. Resident theatres that have staged the international hit in the past season have experienced a flood of new theatregoers.

    The 2008-09 ASF season also includes Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors and Othello, as well as Charles Morey's adaptation of The Three Musketeers — all in the repertory season at the Festival Theatre from April through June.

    The children's production will be Joseph Robinette's adaptation, Charlotte's Web.

    Kicking off the season in September is Marion J. Caffey's musical revue Three Mo' Divas.

    A Christmas Carol: The Musical, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Lynn Ahrens, plays during the holidays.

    For more information call (334) 271-5353 or visit www.asf.net.

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    ASF had a boom season in 2007-08: The holiday production of Peter Pan became the best-selling production in ASF history. Peter Pan is closely followed by Menopause the Musical and Disney's Beauty and the Beast as the top three most successful shows at ASF — all having been produced within the past two years.

    ASF audiences have increased from 117,965 in 2004-05 to 164,335 in 2006-07.

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    The Alabama Shakespeare Festival, under the guidance of artistic director Geoffrey Sherman, is among the largest Shakespeare theatres in the world. Designated as The State Theatre of Alabama, ASF has been located in Montgomery since 1985 when it moved from Anniston as a result of Mr. and Mrs. Wynton M. Blount's gift of a performing arts complex set in the 250-acre Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park.