The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1203 Thursday, 24 May 2001
Date: Wednesday, 23 May 2001 12:08:22 EDT
Subject: 12.1196 Re: Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Comment: Re: SHK 12.1196 Re: Alabama Shakespeare Festival
Jack Heller wrote:
"Now, I'd like to get listmembers' assessments of the Alabama
Shakespeare Festival, perhaps in comparison with other festivals and
American Shakespearean places."
I'd like to chime in and say that after my first trip to ASF from
Florida, I've decided to make it an annual trip for as long as possible.
The trick for me is trying to see as many plays in one long weekend as
is humanly possible.
The facilities are really lovely, including the spacious grounds. There
is a Shakespeare garden and there are statues of Puck and other
characters spread around. I have found the staff to be exemplary, and
have recommended their stand-by technique to a friend who's a box office
I made the trip in 1999 specifically because they were doing "Troilus
and Cressida," and Shakespeare productions in Florida have really only
afforded access to the Big Ten Plays or so, over and over. Like others,
I'm looking forward to the opportunity to see "King John," especially
with John Preston playing the Bastard, and Ray Chambers as John. (Too
bad Paul Hebron is not playing Hubert, though; after his Gloucester last
year in Lear, I thought he'd be perfect for that role.)
With "KJ" and "Midsummer," they are doing "Julius Caesar," and in
addition to "Relative Values," Wilde's "An Ideal Husband" is on as well.
There's a sixth play, "The Negro of Peter the Great," which is, I
believe, a premiere.
We did think the "AYLI" of two seasons ago was fairly lackluster, and
the lavish 30s musical of "Twelfth Night" -- though very enjoyable --
was missing the early melancholy that makes the play work for me.
However, the handsome production of "Richard III" in '99, and a
thought-provoking version of "T&C", got me hooked. If one aims at the
right weekends in June, one can see five or six plays in three days. ASF
is even offering an "Extreme Weekend" this year, which is June 29-July
By the way, Philip Pleasants is known to both Montgomery and Cincinnati
audiences; I believe he's done rep seasons in both cities for years. I
noted he's barely in the cast lists online this year; as a senior member
of the company he may be finding it necessary to take it easy.
Enjoy your time at ASF, Jack. I'd love to hear your impressions of it,
either here or by Email.
Peace and joy,
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