MONTGOMERY, ALA.: Artistic director Rick Dildine and executive director Todd Schmidt have announced the Alabama Shakespeare Festival’s 2019-20 season, featuring 13 productions.
“The stories we’ve chosen this season are inspired by our community, locally and regionally,” said Dildine in a statement. “Theatre is local and should reflect the dialogue and culture of its people. This season looks at our past, considers our present, and offers ideas for our future. With each season, our goal is to build community by engaging, entertaining, and inspiring people with transformative theatrical performances and compelling educational and community programs.”
“We’re excited to present a variety of dynamic and meaningful titles that celebrate the human experience,” said Schmidt in a statement. “There’s something for everyone—from comedies and theatre for young audiences to inspiring new works and impressive musicals.”
The season opens with Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline (Oct. 17-27), produced in partnership with Equal Justice Initiative. The play follows an inner-city public school teacher fighting to give her son opportunities that her students do not have. Ron OJ Parson will direct.
Next up is Barbara Robinson’s The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Dec. 5-29), directed by Greta Lambert, about mischievous children demanding to star in a church’s annual Christmas pageant.
The season will continue with Peter Rothstein’s All is Calm: The Christmas Truce of 1914 (Dec. 7-29), based on the true story of a temporary truce that brought troops from opposing sides of World War I together on Christmas Eve. Melissa Rain Anderson will direct.
Playing next will be Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat (Jan. 11-25, 2020), about a sister and brother whose boring afternoon turns chaotic when the Cat in the Hat appears.
Following will be Mat Smart’s The Agitators (Jan. 30-Feb. 13, 2020), about the historic relationship of Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony. Logan Vaughn will direct.
Next will be And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank (Feb. 9 and Feb. 15, 2020), by James Still. The multimedia play tells Anne Frank’s story, based on accounts from Holocaust survivors Ed Silverberg and Eva Schloss. Addie Gorlin will direct.
Following will be Kenneth Jones’ Alabama Story (March 5-22, 2020), about a controversy sparked by a 1959 children’s book depicting the marriage of a white and black rabbit. Dildine will direct.
Up next is Ruby: The Story of Ruby Bridges (March 6-22, 2020) by Christina M. Ham, produced in collaboration with Montgomery Public Schools. The play follows Ruby Bridges as a child navigating the civil rights movement in an all-white elementary school. Sarah Walker Thornton will direct.
Next will be Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (March 25-28, 2020), directed by Greta Lambert.
Following is Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors (April 16-26, 2020), adapted and directed by Sean Graney.
Playing next will be Lauren Gunderson’s I and You (April 23-May 3, 2020), about a chronically ill teenager working on a group project focused on a Walt Whitman poem. Dildine will direct.
Next will be Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (June 16-July 12, 2020), featuring a new book by Douglas Carter Beane.
Closing out the season will be Million Dollar Quartet (Aug.6-23, 2020), with book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux, about a recording session that took place in 1956 with Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Jerry Lee Lewis. David Ruttura will direct.
Alabama Shakespeare Festival is the largest professional theatre in Alabama, and programs one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the world.
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