The Alabama Shakespeare Festival to Open its 2012 Repertory Season with THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, April 13 and HENRY VIII, April 19

March 09, 2012
Contact:
Meg Lewis
Director of Marketing & Communications
(334) 271-5326
Email: mlewis@asf.net

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival to Open its 2012 Repertory Season
with THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, April 13 and HENRY VIII, April 19

ASF Comedy Hits THE THIRTY NINE STEPS and TRAVELS WITH MY AUNT
Reopen on April 22

Five Extreme Play Packed Weekends Available in April and May!

Montgomery, AL -
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival will roll merrily into its repertory season when William Shakespeare’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor opens on April 13 followed by Henry VIII on April 19. In addition to the openings of these two Shakespearean works, two hilarious comedies The Thirty Nine Steps and Travels My Aunt will reopen for the second half of their runs on April 22. ASF’s Extreme Weekends, in which theatre lovers can see all four repertory shows Friday through Sunday are available April 20-22 and 27-29 as well as May 4-6, 11-13 and 18-20.

Tickets are available by calling 800.841.4273, visiting on line at www.asf.net or at the ASF box office located at 1 Festival Drive in the heart of Montgomery’s beautiful Blount Cultural Park. All four shows are offered in the British Invasion membership discount package, which includes perks and benefits.

In William Shakespeare’s comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor (April 13-May 18) a down on his luck knight, Sir John Falstaff, concocts a scheme to woo two married women in an attempt get at their husband’s money. But the women get wind of Falstaff’s scheme and hatch their own plan to thwart the wayward knight. The play is directed by Diana Van Fossen.

Shakespeare’s Henry VIII will be performed on the ASF stage for the first time, April 19-May 20. In this fast moving and entertaining adaptation directed by Robert Richmond, the conniving Cardinal Wolsey maneuvers money and power to himself--and his rivals to the chopping block—all while keeping favor with the king. But when Henry seeks to divorce his queen so that he can marry the beautiful Ann Boleyn, Wolsey finds himself playing on both sides of the executioner’s ax. This adaptation under Richmond’s direction won nine nominations at the Helen Hayes awards including Outstanding Resident Play and Outstanding Director. The James MacArthur Award for Outstanding Supporting Actor went to Louis Butelli who appears in this production.



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Patrick Barlow’s adaptation of John Buchan’s The 39 Steps returns to the Festival stage and Travels with My Aunt to the Octagon stage, April 22-May 19. Both plays enjoyed teaser runs at ASF in February. In The 39 Steps four actors play 140 roles in this long-running Broadway smash. Richard Hannay’s dull life becomes anything but when he meets up with a mysterious and beautiful female spy. When she is murdered in his home an organization called The 39 Steps goes hot on his trail. The play is directed by ASF’s associate director Nancy Rominger.

Giles Havergal’s adaption of Graham Greene’s comedy classic Travels with My Aunt also features four actors playing multiple roles in a delightful global comedy adventure. In the story Henry Pulling’s life is turned upside down at his mother’s funeral when he is reunited with his long lost and eccentric Aunt Augusta. The two begin an around the world adventure in which they encounter spies, smugglers thieves—and a long held family secret. Travels with My Aunt is directed by ASF’s producing artistic director Geoffrey Sherman.

ASF’s company of repertory actors, several of whom will be performing in three of the four repertory plays, consist of Jennifer Barnhart (The Merry Wives of Windsor), Brik Berkes (The 39 Steps, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), James Bowen (Travels with My Aunt, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), Louis Butelli (The 39 Steps, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor) , Timothy Carter (Travels with My Aunt, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor),  Rodney Clark (Travels with My Aunt, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), Paul Hebron (Travels with My Aunt, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), Wilbur Edwin Henry (The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry VIII), Peter Simon Hilton (The 39 Steps, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), Greta Lambert (Henry VIII), Sophia Priolo (Henry VIII), Vanessa Morosco (The 39 Steps, Henry VIII, The Merry Wives of Windsor), Jackson Thompson (The Merry Wives of Windsor) and Cheri Lynne VandenHeuvel (The Merry Wives of Windsor).

Also performing with the repertory company in the Shakespearean plays will be members of ASF’s professional Intern Company. They include Laura Bozzone, Bliss Griffin, Craig Hanson, Collin Meath, Jay McClure, Ivan Perez, Candace Scholz and Johnny Viel.

The 39 Steps and The Merry Wives of Windsor are stage managed by Jen Nelson Lane and Travels with My Aunt and Henry VIII are stage managed by Cheryl Hanson.

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is among the largest Shakespeare theatres in the world. Designated as The State Theatre of Alabama, ASF has been located in Montgomery since 1985 when it moved from Anniston as a result of Mr. and Mrs. Wynton M. Blount’s gift of a performing arts complex set in the 250-acre Wynton M. Blount Cultural Park. This program/project has been made possible by grants from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
                                         
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