Alabama Shakespeare Theatre Names Sherman New Artistic Director

News   Alabama Shakespeare Theatre Names Sherman New Artistic Director
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival announced June 9 that Geoffrey Sherman will join the Montgomery-based company as producing artistic director.

Over the past decade, British-born Sherman has made Michigan his home, serving as artistic director of Meadow Brook Theatre in Rochester and then free-lancing before becoming artistic director of BoarsHead Theatre in Lansing.

ASF board chairman Young Boozer said in a statement, "After a thorough search process which brought in over 40 applicants from all over the nation, we are happy to say that in Geoffrey Sherman we have found the best choice for ASF. We look forward to a fresh new era under his leadership, built upon the legacy of Kent Thompson."

Outgoing ASF producing artistic director Thompson said, "I am delighted that ASF has picked such a talented stage director as its new artistic director. Geoffrey brings such a wealth of experience in new plays, as well as Shakespeare and the classics. He's very bright, personable and witty, and I know audiences, artists and the community will embrace him as the next leader of ASF."

Sherman attended Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London as an actor (the same school that Kent Thompson attended) then went on to the University of Bristol to study directing. At ASF he has been a guest director of Tom Stoppard's Arcadia, Willy Russell's Shirley Valentine, and Shakespeare's tragedy Coriolanus, currently at ASF.

"I am delighted to work with a company that is devoted, as I am, to producing theatrical classics as well as new works," Sherman stated. "I am dedicated to leading this theatre in continued service to Montgomery, the surrounding community and all of Alabama. ASF is one of the best theatres in the country. Every element of the theatre from technical support through design and performance is superb." Sherman has been responsible for the world and national premieres of scores of plays — from David Hare's Knuckle to Alice Childress' Moms. At Michigan's Meadow Brook, he introduced audiences to Tom Stoppard and other new-to-the-venue writers, meeting resistance with audiences who had not been exposed to contemporary voices. He also served as artistic director of Off-Broadway's Hudson Guild Theatre and Oregon's Portland Repertory Theatre.

His work as a guest director has been seen at over 40 theatres on both sides of the Atlantic.

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.

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