Join The Alabama Shakespeare Festival at Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery

    From Hamlet to performances inspired by Edgar Allen Poe, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival at Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery, Alabama is a festive time for all. Each year the festival produces 14 world-class productions, including three works of William Shakespeare, one of which is Hamlet that is scheduled for this season. The remainder are classics of the stage and much loved works by playwrights like Moliére, George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, and Eugene O'Neill, along with musicals and new works commissioned by the Festival.

    The festival was originally located in Anniston in an unairconditioned high school auditorium, and held only a summer theatre festival. Today, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is held on the grounds of the beautiful Blount Cultural Park, and is the sixth largest Shakespeare festival in the world.

    Among the highlights: This season at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, which will be just as exciting as the last are performances such as The Fall of the House, by Robert Ford. The spirit of Edgar Allan Poe haunts this mind-bending new play that brings together magic, betrayal, forbidden love, tragic accidents, secret documents and familial bonds that span 150 years. This production is recommended for mature audiences only due to mature language and themes.

    William Shakespeare's classic, All's Well That Ends Well takes the stage from April throughout Mid May. In All's Well That Ends Well, Helena is smart, brave, talented, and she's in love with a man who's just not that into her. Just how far is she willing to go to win his heart? This play is recommended for ages 10 and over because of mature themes.

    Hamlet is also suggested for ages 10 and over because of some violence and mature themes, and tells the tale of Denmark's sweet prince suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune as he seeks to avenge the murder of his father, poisoned by Hamlet’s conniving uncle. The bodies pile up as his revenge takes its toll on the innocent as well as the guilty.

    Also scheduled at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is Peter Shaffer's Lettice & Lovage about the exuberant, eccentric Lettice Douffet. She's a tour guide given to exaggerating history to entertain her charges. Lotte Schoen is a buttoned-up, by-the-book boss brought in to fire her. Their confrontation leads to an unlikely friendship filled with drama, laughter and an accidental near-beheading. This very witty, very British comedy is tailor-made for fans of the BBC. Suggested for ages 10 and over.

    Cowgirls, by Betsy Howe, with Music and Lyrics by Mary Murfitt, is set for June, and takes on a fun, musical adventure with Jo Carlson, who is gonna lose the family saloon unless she raises a lot of cash, fast! To do it, she's accidentally hired an all-girl trio of classical - not country - musicians for her Grand Reopening. Now she's gotta help them find their inner cowgirls in just 24 hours. Y'all won't want to miss this very funny musical, featuring such original songs as "Don't Call Me Trailer Trash," "Honky Tonk Girl" and "Saddle Tramp Blues." Recommended for ages 10 and over.

    Performances For Children: The Alabama Shakespeare Festival host the Children's Theatre and SchoolFest each season. The widely acclaimed student matinee programs have entertained and educated over 36,000 school children each season from throughout the region. On Saturdays during the entire season, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival will present Theatre in the Mind, a free adult humanities program featuring lectures, author talks, and actor discussions designed to help audiences learn more about the plays. In conjunction with the University of Alabama, ASF educates students through Master of Fine Arts programs in acting, stage management, and theatre administration. These students work and train at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival while earning MFA degrees.

    Montgomery is home to many festivals and fun attractions to enjoy. We hope you enjoy you visit as much as we did!

    By Leroy Worley

    Getting There:

    To order season subscription packages or check on tickets and group discounts for the Alabama Shakespeare Festival call the ASF Box Office toll-free at 1-800-841-4ASF or (334) 271-5353 locally of visit www.asf.net.