Four New Plays in Southern Writers' Project Festival Are Set in Alabama

News   Four New Plays in Southern Writers' Project Festival Are Set in Alabama
Alabama Shakespeare Festival's sixth annual Southern Writers' Project Festival of New Plays May 16-18, shedding light on five new scripts, boast four that are set in Alabama.

The Montgomery, AL, festival "celebrates the Southern storytelling tradition" with concert readings of brand-new plays, live music, a fully-staged performance of the world premiere of Mark Saltzman's Huntsville, AL-set Rocket City, a ten-minute play slam/music jam, a poetry slam featuring Sharrif Simmons of "Russell Simmons Def Poetry" and a special appearance and book signing with noted playwright Pearl Cleage.

This year's readings include:

  • Bear Country by Michael Vigilant (ASF's chief operating officer). "Absorb 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 — Paul 'Bear' Bryant [of the University of Alabama]."
  • My Last Days as Roy Rogers by Pat Cunningham Devoto. "Ten-year old tomboy Tabitha 'Tab' Rutland comes of age in 1950s Alabama in an unforgettable confrontation with human frailty, injustice and the healing power of love."


  • The Furniture of Home by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder (Osborn Award winner and author of Gee's Bend). "In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, residents of Bayou LaBatre, Alabama, struggle to rebuild their lives and homes."
  • Preparations by Jeffry L. Chastang (winner of Kennedy Center Award for New American Play for Full Circle). "Five [Alabama] sisters return to their Southern home for their church's annual lawn party. Tensions surface with family revelations in this tale of African-American familial and generational conflict."
  • Nobody by Richard Aellen. "A provocative musical story based on the lives of Bert Williams and George Walker, African-American comedians who contrarily broke racial barriers by portraying racial stereotypes." For more information on the weekend and packages, call the ASF box office at (800) 841-4ASF or visit


    The nationally-acclaimed, award-winning Southern Writers' Project was founded in 1991 as an exploration and celebration of the South's rich story-telling tradition. Today SWP commissions, develops and produces new plays that explore Southern issues and the African-American experience. Through SWP, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival seeks to fulfill its mission of creating theatre that speaks specifically to the people of the region. Endowed by an anonymous donor, the Southern Writers' Project is supported nationally by grants from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, and locally by the Central Alabama Community Foundation.

    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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