Bear Country, an Alabama Hit About "Bear" Bryant, Gets Extra Week

News   Bear Country, an Alabama Hit About "Bear" Bryant, Gets Extra Week
 
Never underestimate the box-office potential of a local hero. That's the news from Alabama Shakespeare Festival, where its new memory play about University of Alabama coach Paul "Bear" Bryant is such a hit that a week has been added.
Rodney Clark as Bear Bryant
Rodney Clark as Bear Bryant Photo by Phil Scarsbrook

The world premiere of Mike Vigilant's biographical Bear Country will now play to Feb. 22 at ASF's Octagon Stage, where more than 7,300 theatregoers have been seated since the Jan. 9 first preview. The play has reached 150 percent of its projected income goal and had the highest sales day on record for the Octagon stage, bringing in $12,408 the day after its Jan. 11 opening. "A very few scattered single tickets are available for the remaining shows in the original run," an ASF spokesperson told Playbilll.com.

The play "highlights the wit and wisdom of a man who rose from the child of dirt poor sharecroppers to become the standard by which college football coaches are judged."

ASF commissioned Vigilant to write the play as part of the theatre's Southern Writers' Project. It received its first reading in the 2008 Festival of New Plays and has been workshopped over the past six months. As research, Vigilant consulted some of Bryant's past players and friends of the Bryant family while writing the play.

Tim Rhoze directs a cast that includes Rodney Clark as Coach Bryant, plus Gregory Jones, John Patrick Hayden and Yaegel T. Welch.

For more information visit www.asf.net.

John Hayden as Coach Cowan, Greg Jones as Young Bear Bryant and Rodney Clark as Bear Bryant
John Hayden as Coach Cowan, Greg Jones as Young Bear Bryant and Rodney Clark as Bear Bryant Photo by Phil Scarsbrook
Today’s Most Popular News: