Alabama Shakespeare Will Mount Three World Premieres With Local Flavor in 2010-11; Jasmine Guy Among Artists

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10 May 2010

Rodney Clark will return as Coach Bear Bryant in ASF's 2010-11 season.
Rodney Clark will return as Coach Bear Bryant in ASF's 2010-11 season.
Phil Scarsbrook
Alabama Shakespeare Festival will stage three world-premiere productions of plays set on its home turf — Montgomery, AL — in the 2010-11 season.

The ten-show 25th anniversary season also features three "encore" productions, including the return of the hot-selling Bear Country, the story of Alabama football coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

A Shakespeare comedy (Much Ado About Nothing, opening March 9, 2011) and tragedy (Julius Caesar, opening Feb. 2, 2011) will play in rep with Ron Hutchinson's Moonlight and Magnolias, a comedy about the writing of the movie "Gone With the Wind" (April 28-May 29, 2011).

ASF has partnered with the Alabama Tourism Department to mark the American Civil War's Sesquicentennial with two world-premiere plays:

  • Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's The Flagmaker of Market Street (Feb. 4-March 19, 2011) "follows the story of true-life Montgomery store owner George Cowles, who walks a fine line catering to the Confederacy while holding secret Unionist meetings in his back room. When George is asked to create the first Confederate flag, he has to make a choice between upholding his convictions and living a lie."



  • Jeffry L. Chastang's Blood Divided (Feb. 18-March 20, 2011) concerns teenager Willie Baldwin, who is "enchanted by the passionate rhetoric of secessionist William Lowndes Yancey," and "is increasingly disgusted by his father's more moderate views. As tension grows between Willie, his family and longtime friend freedman James Hale, Willie's rash behavior has unforeseen consequences."

    Performances of both Civil War shows will be available in the same weekend on Feb. 25-27, March 4-6, March 11-13, and March 19 -20.

    The ASF season begins Sept. 24-Oct. 3 with the previously announced world premiere of Pearl Cleage's The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at A Celebration of its First One Hundred Years. It's billed as "a joyous and irreverent romp through Montgomery's black debutante society during the 1960s and features television, film and Broadway star Jasmine Guy." This is a co-production with Atlanta's Alliance Theatre.

    The 2010-11 season also includes Bettye Knapp's adaptation of The House at Pooh Corner (Sept. 22-Oct. 22) and a return of the hit holiday musical Peter Pan by Mark Charlap and Carolyn Leigh (Nov. 19-Dec. 31).

    ASF's Octagon stage's biggest hit, Michael Vigilant's Bear Country, will play Jan. 13-23, 2011. Rodney Clark will reprise his role as legendary University of Alabama head coach Paul "Bear" Bryant. This limited engagement will be restaged in ASF's Festival Theatre.

    Menopause: The Musical, a previous hit for ASF, concludes the season July 8-24.

    For more information, call (800) 841-4273 or visit www.asf.net.

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    The Alabama Shakespeare Festival 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.