The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is returning to its stages for its 50th season. Much of last year’s season had to be canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Artistic Director Rick Dildine and Executive Director Todd Schmidt have announced the 2021-2022 festival season, which features nine productions.
“It’s time to come back together. The long intermission is finally coming to a close,” Dildine said. “Plus, it’s a milestone year we are coming into: our 50th anniversary season! On July 12, 1972, in Anniston, Alabama, ASF had its inaugural season. I knew the 50th anniversary would be a year marked with celebration, but I didn’t realize it may very well be our most defining. Almost all of the shows have never been performed at ASF.”
“I am thrilled with the new season and the diversity of the shows we are creating. And for the opportunity to bring the community together for live performances of professional theater in Montgomery,” said ASF Executive Director Todd Schmidt. “We look forward to seeing our wonderful audience again at ASF and will be taking every precaution to ensure their safety.”
SEASON 50 PRODUCTIONS
Shoebox Picnic Road Side: Route One*: Sep. 16-26, 2021
Written by Deneen Reynolds-Knott
In 1955, a Black family travels by caravan on Route One from Harlem to visit their matriarch in Littleton, North Carolina. Knowing they were unlikely to be served by eateries along the way, the family prepared a feast placed in shoeboxes lined with tin foil. They’ve pulled over to picnic on the road’s shoulder. This is your invitation to join them, hear the stories of the food in their picnic, and enjoy some classic Southern cuisine.
Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol: Dec. 3-24, 2021
Adapted by Greta Lambert
ASF favorite Greta Lambert is a one-woman tour de force as she takes on more than a dozen roles to bring this beloved holiday classic to life. You’ll be mesmerized as Greta brings this beloved and heartwarming holiday classic to life and transports you back to a magical evening in Victorian England to enjoy the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and his encounters with Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future.
Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella: Nov. 27, 2021-Jan. 2, 2022
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.
Macbeth: Feb. 3-24, 2022
By William Shakespeare
Dunsinane’s power couple embarks on a blind ambition tour of betrayal and bloodletting when Scottish nobleman Macbeth is told by witches that he will become king one day. This supernatural battle between fate and will is one of the Bard’s most action-packed tragedies.
Little Shop Of Horrors: Mar. 3-Apr. 3, 2022
Music by Alan Menken | Lyrics and a Book by Howard Ashman
In this deviously delicious sci-fi rock musical, meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names “Audrey II” (after his coworker crush). This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivorous plant promises unending fame and fortune to the down-and-out Seymore as long as he keeps feeding it … . From the Tony and Oscar award-winning creators of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, and The Little Mermaid.
Freedom Rider*: Apr. 8-24, 2022
Written by Ricardo Khan in collaboration with Kathleen McGhee-Anderson, Murray Horwitz, Nathan Louis Jackson, and Nikkole Salter
In May 1961, four young students join others aboard a southbound bus in Washington, DC, to challenge segregated spaces in interstate travel. They ended up changing themselves and the nation forever. Inspired by real events, this powerful play – sometimes funny and ultimately uplifting – celebrates the heroic and watershed journey of these young people.
Until the Flood: Apr. 14-May 1, 2022
Written by Dael Orlandersmith
Pulitzer Prize finalist Dael Orlandersmith explores the social uprising in Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of teenager Michael Brown. Pulling from her extensive interviews with Missouri residents, Orlandersmith crafts a stunning theatrical experience that must be seen. The Chicago Tribune called it “palpably compassionate” and raved that it “achieves a great beauty by bringing us together rather than driving us apart.”
Marvelous Wonderettes: May 24-Jun. 26, 2022
Written & Created by Roger Bean
This smash Off-Broadway hit takes us to the 1958 Springfield High School prom, where we meet and learn about the lives and loves of Betty Jean, Cindy Lou, Missy, and Suzy: four girls with hopes and dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. When the Wonderettes reunite to perform at their 10-year reunion, we learn about the highs and lows the girls have experienced in the past decade and are charmed to find that no matter what life throws their way, they will conquer it together. Featuring more than 30 classic 50s and 60s hits, including “Lollipop,” “Dream Lover,” and “Lipstick on Your Collar.”
American Mariachi: Jul. 27-Aug. 21, 2022
Written by José Cruz González
Family, tradition, progress, and the freedom to dream big are at the center of this hilarious and big-hearted musical. Lucha spends her days caring for her ailing mother. Yearning to break free from her life’s monotony, she comes up with a wild idea: an all-girl mariachi band. But it’s the 1970s, and girls can’t be mariachis … or can they? Follow Lucha and her spunky cousin as they hunt for bandmates, dodge disapproving relatives, and bring Mom along for the ride. Will the band come together?
Subscriptions are on sale now at ASF.net or by calling the ASF Box Office at (334) 271-5353. Single tickets will go on sale on August 23 for Shoebox Picnic Roadside and for all other season productions on September 15.