2018-2019 New Festival Season | Alabama Shakespeare Festival
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2018-2019 Season

The 2018-2019 New Festival Season is engaging, collaborative, and focused on telling meaningful stories that celebrate the human experience. We are moving into a new stage of ASF’s history, where the shows resonate with the people in our community and respond to the times. For the first time in over 15 years, the Festival experience is back with multiple shows running in repertory.

This theatre is the community’s center; a place where all are welcome.
Join us in embracing our community – one story at a time.

Every Brilliant Thing

by Duncan Macmillan
with Jonny Donahoe

directed by Rick Dildine

September 29 – October 20, 2018

Through equal parts humor and empathy, Every Brilliant Thing tells the story of a young man who has lived in the shadow of mental illness. In an attempt to raise his mother’s spirits, he starts a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world—all of the reasons to want to live. As he grows up and has his own experiences with love, loss, and depression, the list evolves to serve as a lifelong reminder that joy can be found even in seemingly insignificant moments.

The Sound of Music

Music by RICHARD RODGERS
Lyrics by OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN II
Book by HOWARD LINDSAY and RUSSEL CROUSE
Suggested by “The Trapp Family Singers” by Maria Augusta Trapp

directed by Rick Dildine

November 15 – December 30, 2018
Festival Stage | 2 1/2 hours, plus intermission
Recommended ages 7+

The final collaboration between Rodgers and Hammerstein captures a personal tale of growth and hope. After causing disorder at the abbey, the young novice Maria is sent to be governess to Captain Von Trapp’s seven children. Maria enchants the entire family by teaching the children to sing and the captain to love again. This delightful musical will thrill audiences with its Tony®, Grammy®, and Academy Award® winning Best Score.

The Sound of Music is presented through special arrangement with R & H Theatricals: www.rnh.com

The Gospel of Luke

December 6 – December 30, 2018
Octagon Stage | 90 minutes, plus intermission
Recommended ages 7+

Actor Bruce Kuhn performs the Gospel of Luke with the passion and surprise of an eyewitness account. In a compelling ninety minutes, the tale comes alive with the urgency, fervor, and humor of someone who was there.

“A riveting, inspiring look at the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus that will appeal to people of all faiths and even the uncertain.” – The Island Packet

Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963

by Christina Ham

directed by Tangela Large

January 25 – February 13, 2019
Festival Stage | 1 hour, no intermission
Recommended ages 11+

Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, Cynthia Wesley, and Addie Mae Collins. Four little girls who are multitalented and filled with promise share their hopes and dreams against the backdrop of the Civil Rights Movement. Produced in collaboration with Montgomery Public Schools.

“What bothers me most is that their names have been virtually erased. They are inevitably referred to as ‘the four black girls.’” – Excerpt from Four Little Girls: Birmingham 1963 by Christina Ham

Nina Simone: Four Women

by Christina Ham

music by Nina Simone
directed by Lydia Fort

January 30 – February 17, 2019
Octagon Stage | 90 minutes, no intermission
Recommended ages 13+

Through storytelling and song, this production celebrates how Nina Simone helped define the sound of the Civil Rights Movement. Featuring powerful anthems such as “Mississippi Goddam,” “Old Jim Crow,” and “To Be Young, Gifted and Black,” Nina Simone: Four Women is a personal and provocative musical journey.

“Music can’t just be about the art, but it has to be an expression of the good, bad, and ugly in life.” – Excerpt from Nina Simone: Four Women by Christina Ham

Our Town

by Thornton Wilder

directed by Bruce Longworth

February 21 – April 27, 2019
Festival Stage | 2 hours, plus intermission
Recommended ages 11+

Our Town follows young lovers Emily and George and their neighbors through a life journey that delivers universal truths about what it means to be human.

“A masterpiece. Our Town is probably the finest American play ever written.” – Edward Albee 

Romeo and Juliet

by William Shakespeare
directed by Rick Dildine

February 28 – April 28, 2019
Festival Stage | 2 hours, plus intermission
Recommended ages 12+

Romeo is a Montague, and Juliet a Capulet—“star-crossed lovers” whose families’ long-standing feud has pitted neighbor against neighbor in a mid-20th-century American town. Shakespeare’s iconic story asks the question: What happens when a community fails its young people?

Winnie-the-Pooh

Theatre for Young Audiences

From the stories of A.A. Milne
Dramatized by le Clanché du Rand
Music by Allan J. Friedman
Lyrics by A.A. Milne and Kristin Sergel
Additional lyrics by le Clanché du Rand

directed by Neil David Seibel

March 3 – May 5, 2019
Festival Stage | 65 minutes, no intermission
Recommended ages 3+

Join Pooh, Piglet, Eeyore, and friends in this charming musical adaptation of A.A. Milne’s classic stories. Winnie-the-Pooh spends his days searching for honey, doing his exercises, and playing with his best friends. Adventures ensue as a new animal — a kangaroo — moves to the forest!

Steel Magnolias

by Robert Harling

directed by Rick Dildine

March 21 – May 5, 2019
Octagon Stage | 1 hour 45 minutes, plus intermission
Recommended ages 12+

The hilarious and heartwarming story of six Southern women who gather and gossip at the local beauty parlor. With wit, warmth, and intelligence, they rise to meet whatever challenges life sends their way.

This production features a live music preshow performance.

“Before the play or the movie existed, ‘steel magnolias’ was simply a description of Southern women. It means something that appears delicate and fragile but wields unexpected strength.” – Robert Harling, playwright

Into the Breeches

by George Brant


directed by Shana Gozansky 

April 4 – May 4, 2019
Octagon Stage | 2 hours 10 minutes, plus intermission
Recommended ages 12+

Montgomery, 1942: With the local playhouse’s director and actors off at war, the director’s wife sets out to produce an all-female version of Shakespeare’s Henry IV and Henry V. A hilarious and moving comedy about the transformative power of art.

Into the Breeches affirms “theater is not a relic, but about our lives today.” – Providence Journal

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare
directed by Greta Lambert

April 11 – April 25, 2019
Shakespeare Garden | 75 minutes, no intermission
Recommended ages 11+

One of Shakespeare’s most popular romantic comedies, As You Like It is a beguiling game of love, desire, and mistaken identity that revels in the pleasure of life.

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” (Act 2, Scene 7)

Buzz

by Susan Ferrara

directed by Carrie Preston

September 4 – September 15, 2019
Scene Shop AKA The Other Place | 90 minutes, no intermission
Recommended ages 13+

Charismatic director Mary Ann “Buzz” Goodbody was one of only five women directing in the UK in the 1970s. In 1975, she famously directed Ben Kingsley in the title role of Hamlet. Four days later, she was gone.

A world premiere production in an innovative space.

“My brother calls me Buzz ’cause I never stop moving.” – Excerpt from Buzz by Susan Ferrara

Hamlet

by William Shakespeare
directed by Eric Tucker

September 5 – October 6, 2019
Octagon Stage | 2 hours 45 minutes, plus intermission
Recommended ages 12+

NYC’s Bedlam Theatre in residence at ASF creates Shakespeare’s Hamlet with a company of four actors, in a production hailed as “invigorating,” “lively and brisk,” and “masterful” by critics.

“Acted with sublime ferocity… An experience so intense and concentrated that you’ll feel as though you were part of the action” – The Wall Street Journal

Saint Joan

by George Bernard Shaw

directed by Eric Tucker

September 12 – October 5, 2019
Octagon Stage | 2 hours 45 minutes, plus intermission
Recommended ages 12+

The epic story of a young farm girl who led an army and transformed a nation, staged brilliantly by four actors from Bedlam Theatre.

“One of the richest and most exhilarating nights you’re likely to spend at the theater for a long time…” – NYTheatre.com