One of my favorite places in Alabama is the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
Originally the Alabama Shakespeare Festival was located in Anniston, Alabama. ASF was a summer theater festival performing for 6 weeks during summer in an unairconditioned high school auditorium. In the early 1980s the festival was facing bankruptcy and board member Carolyn Blount took the problem to her husband Wynton Blount. In December 1985 the Carolyn Blount Theater opened and was the single largest donation in the history of American Theater. ASF is one of the few American theaters to remain financially stable and is the 6th largest Shakespeare Festival in the world. Over 400 performances are scheduled each year including 3 Shakespeare plays as well as plays for children and many others. Upcoming performances scheduled for 2010 are Harriet’s Return, All’s Well that Ends Well, Hamlet among others.
The theater is set in Blount Cultural Park, a 250 acre park in Montgomery which is also home to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. English style grounds and lake make the park bring a relaxing aspect to the otherwise busy city. There are two theaters at ASF. The Festival stage with 750 seats and the 250 seat Octagon is the more intimate theater of the two.
The performances at ASF never disappoint. I always enjoy a trip to Montgomery to see a production at ASF.
So have you visited the Alabama Shakespeare Festival? What performances have you seen? Did you enjoy your visit there? If you’ve never been I hope you will check it out and one day visit and enjoy one of the jewels of Alabama.
Some information for this post was gathered from ASF’s website. All photos were taken by Amy Nabors.