Much as they did with last season's The Taming of the Shrew, Alabama Shakespeare Festival will run As You Like It in repertory and then take it on a month-long U.S. tour.
James Bohnen's mounting of William Shakespeare's comedy started previews Mar. 9 for an opening Mar. 12 and a repertory run through July 25. The tour, which hopes to include states in the South and Midwest, is planned for October.
Written in early 1600, As You Like It takes audiences on a voyage of identity and gender bending, loves wronged, lost and found. When Rosalind follows her exiled father into the forest, she wins the love of Orlando -- even though she's dressed as a man and his heart lies elsewhere.
Jim Conely composed the original music for this mounting, which features Sam Wellington, Carl Cofield, Heather Robison, Kathleen McCall and John Preston. Designers include Charles Caldwell (set), Beth Novak (costumes), Rachel Budin (lighting) and Bethany Tucker (sound).
Other Shakespeare comedies include The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night's Dream. *
In other ASF news, artistic director Kent Thompson renewed his contract in November 1998, agreeing to stay on another three seasons. Thompson, recently elected president of Theatre Communications Group, is enjoying his 10th season as artistic director of the Montgomery-based theatre. In 1991 he started the Southern Writers' Project (SWP), a play commissioning and development program intended to explore the South's diverse cultural heritage. The most prominent work to emerge from SWP has been Keith Glover's Thunder Knocking on the Door: A Blusical Tale of Rhythm and the Blues, which has played regional theatres throughout the country. That play won the 1997 Osborne Award (for an emerging voice) from the American Theatre Critics Association.
For tickets and information on As You Like It call (800) 841-4273.
-- By David Lefkowitz & Kenneth Jones