Alabama Shakespeare Festival Announces 2019-2020 Schedule

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Artistic Director Rick Dildine and Executive Director Todd Schmidt have announced the 2019-2020 Festival Season, which features 13 productions.

The season opens with Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline, which explores the state of American education and is produced in partnership with Equal Justice Initiative.

During the holidays, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 take to the stages.

In the new year, ASF’s fellowship company presents Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat and And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the Story of Anne Frank.

The festival continues with compelling stories based on actual events: The Agitators, Alabama Story, and Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges (a collaboration with Montgomery Public Schools). Springtime at ASF brings Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream to the garden and The Comedy of Errors to the main stage, along with the not-to-be-missed I and You by Lauren Gunderson (currently the most produced playwright in the United States).

Summer musicals return to ASF in 2020, with Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella followed by Million Dollar Quartet.

Here is the complete schedule:

Pipeline: October 17 – October 27, 2019
By Dominique Morisseau, directed by Ron OJ Parson

Omari’s parents send him to a private boarding school far from the failing neighborhood school where his mother teaches, so why is he suddenly threatened with expulsion, even prosecution? Dominique Morisseau’s insightful play pursues the quest for answers and explores how fraught yet crucial the minefield of learning is in today’s society. Produced in partnership with Equal Justice Initiative.

The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: December 5 – December 29, 2019
By Barbara Robinson, directed by Greta Lambert

In this hilarious holiday classic, a couple struggling to put on a church Christmas pageant is faced with casting the Herdman kids – probably the most mischievous and troublesome kids in history. You won’t believe the mayhem – and the fun – when the Herdmans collide head-on with Christmas!

All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914: December 7 – December 29, 2019
By Peter Rothstein, directed by Melissa Rain Anderson
A remarkable true story from the Western Front, Christmas, 1914. In a silence amid the combat, a German soldier steps into No Man’s Land singing “Stille Nacht.” Thus begins an extraordinary night of camaraderie, music, and peace told in the words and songs of the men who lived it.

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat: January 11 – January 25, 2020
From the moment his tall, red-and-white-striped hat appears, his mischievous antics begin! With some tricks (and a fish) and Thing Two and Thing One, with the Cat in the Hat, the fun’s never done!

The Agitators: January 30 – February 13, 2020
By Mat Smart, directed by Logan Vaughn
The Agitators examines the friendship and occasional rivalry between two American champions of freedom and equality – Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, then known as revolutionaries, now seen as icons. Theirs is a story of defiance, rebellion, and revolution. They agitated the nation. They agitated each other. They changed the course of history.

And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank: February 9 & February 15, 2020
By James Still, directed by Addie Gorlin
And Then They Came for Me is a multimedia play that features footage of interviews of Holocaust survivors Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg alongside enactments by live actors of Eva’s, Ed’s, and Anne Frank’s experiences. Part oral history, part action, part remembrance, it is acclaimed by audiences and critics in productions worldwide.

Alabama Story: March 5 – March 22, 2020
By Kenneth Jones, directed by Rick Dildine
In 1950s Montgomery, Alabama, a fight over a controversial children’s book – in which a black rabbit marries a white rabbit – pits one courageous librarian against a segregationist state senator. Meanwhile, childhood friends reunite, only to be caught up in the political and racial tensions of the time. Inspired by true events, this drama explores tests of character and emotions that reshaped our nation.

Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges: March 6 – March 22, 2020
Adapted by Christina M. Ham, directed by Sarah Thornton
Ruby Bridges was six years old when the civil rights movement came hammering at her door – choosing her as the first African-American child to integrate an all-white elementary school in the South. This play with music explores a little girl’s unbeatable courage in the face of adversity as she helped lead a movement up the front steps and into the classrooms of her elementary school in New Orleans. Produced in collaboration with Montgomery Public Schools.

William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream: March 25 – March 28, 2020
Adapted and directed by Greta Lambert
Deep in a wondrous forest, it’s a wild night for all as we dive into Shakespeare’s unforgettable vision of ludicrous longing, lively language, and lasting love. Let your heart delight in this hilarious and magical romance that proves the course of true love never did run smooth.

William Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors: April 16 – April 26, 2020
Adapted and directed by Sean Graney
Innovative director Sean Graney reinvents Shakespeare’s classic comedy about two sets of twins separated at birth. In this contemporary adaptation, six actors perform 20 characters, reshaping Shakespeare’s masterpiece of mounting confusion. The Comedy of Errors is a not-to-be-missed theatrical event full of energetic slapstick and lyrical comedy.

I and You: April 23 – May 3, 2020
By Lauren Gunderson, directed by Rick Dildine
The unexpected bursts into Caroline’s bedroom in the form of her classmate Anthony, carrying waffle fries, Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, and poster board for an English project due tomorrow. Her sarcasm bred of homebound illness confronts his committed, athletic zeal, as their unlikely friendship slowly deciphers Whitman’s essence in this funny, engaging play with a surprising twist.

Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella: June 16 – July 12, 2020
Music by Richard Rodgers | Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
New Book by Douglas Carter Beane | Original Book by Oscar Hammerstein II
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella is the Tony Award-winning musical from the creators of South Pacific and The Sound of Music that delights audiences with its surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale. A hilarious and romantic experience for anyone who has ever had a dream.

Million Dollar Quartet: August 6 – August 23, 2020
Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, directed by David Ruttura
Million Dollar Quartet recounts a legendary night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and Johnny Cash participated in a star-studded jam session at Sun Records in Memphis. A venerable rock concert where audiences relive the glory days of early rock ‘n’ roll, the score features major hits performed live onstage by legendary characters. Don’t miss your chance to be a fly on the wall of fame!

Subscriptions are on sale now. Visit the ASF Box Office (open Monday – Saturday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.), call 334.271.5353, or go online: Single tickets will go on sale on August 15.

— Information from Alabama Shakespeare Festival


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