(Year-round; repertory April 13 – May 20, 2012) From humble beginnings as a summer festival of classical theater held in a stuffy high-school auditorium, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival has become a year-round feast of new plays and musicals, revues, revivals, and, yes, Shakespeare, performed in a two-theater complex situated in the English-style Blount Cultural Park, overlooking a beautiful lake. The Southern Writers’ Project: Festival of New Plays keeps the Montgomery-based ASF true to its heritage by developing the work of Southern dramatists and culminates each year in a three-day event that includes food, fun, and the world-premiere production of a new play.
But the event atmosphere doesn’t stop there. ASF has interesting programs throughout the season, such as Saturday Theatre in the Mind lectures that delve into the background of ASF’s plays, Stage Side Chats with ASF staff, and pre-show Bard Talks with the resident dramaturg about ASF’s Shakespeare productions (all free).
Attend opening-night receptions if you’d like to mingle with the cast post-show, or if you prefer something more informal, just sit back and listen to the live music in the lobby before each performance. And to really make your festival experience complete, providing the weather is good, reserve a gourmet picnic basket through the box office, then enjoy a wonderful meal in the park before your show (be sure to order at least three days in advance).
Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame Information
- Public Transportation: Poor
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Performances/Programs: Alabama Shakespeare Festival produces approximately 14 shows per year with four shows running in repertory in April/May. The performance schedule is generally Tuesday–Sunday
- Admission: $25–$42. Discounts are offered for patrons 25 and under
- Group Discounts: Discounts for groups of 10 or more
- Subscription/Memberships: Multiple subscriptions are offered. The most popular options include the Create Your Own pass (four, five, or six vouchers) $144–$216; Ultimate Musical Pass (all three musicals) $152; Premium $291; and Festival Pass $168
- Educational/Community Outreach: Alabama Shakespeare Festival offers numerous educational programs (camps, classes, seminars, student matinées, etc.). Some require a fee, while others are free.