A Timeless Collection of Stories, Culture, and Community

In the heart of the South, where the echoes of history and the spirit of storytelling intertwine, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) stands as a pillar and testament to the transformative power of the performing arts. From the charming appeal of the Shakespearean classics to the thrill of witnessing new stories unfold on stage, ASF is a place for people from all walks of life in every stage of living and learning.

ASF Sign

The History

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival originated in modest circumstances, with its inaugural performance in 1972 in a high school auditorium in Anniston, Alabama. This marked the inception of the summer theater project, a venture that propelled the theater to national acclaim despite facing financial constraints. In 1985, ASF opened its doors in Blount Cultural Park in Montgomery under Carolyn Blount Theatre. The $21.5 million performing arts complex later became the permanent home of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. This relocation not only marked a change in geography but also provided the capacity to produce at a level previously unseen in the South. 

ASF evening 2

The Influence

ASF has grown into a cultural powerhouse, producing 491 plays and musicals, fostering over 100 new scripts through the Southern Writers Festival, and accomplishing the remarkable feat of completing the entire Shakespearean canon. ASF's influence extends far beyond the footlights, broadening the cultural identity of the South by embracing a diverse repertoire, including classics, Shakespearean masterpieces, contemporary plays, musicals, and theatre for young audiences. The theater's commitment to education is evident in its programs, providing theatrical experiences to over one million students. The annual SchoolFest, a student-matinee program, continues to captivate the imaginations of nearly 35,000 students each year.

The beauty of ASF is not only in the performances within the walls of the theatre but also in the vibrant Shakespeare Garden and grounds. These spaces have witnessed the joyous celebrations of weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, reunions, and gatherings, becoming integral to countless personal stories. ASF is not just a place for thespians; it's a sanctuary for the community, a living testament to the power of shared experiences.

The Significance

After celebrating 35 monumental years in Montgomery, it's fitting to reflect on the significant impact of words, stories, and memories formed by the individuals who have been integral to the theater's success. From founders and patrons who have witnessed nearly five decades of productions to the multigenerational families who make ASF a cherished part of their shared experiences, the theater has become a touchstone for growth, connection, and celebration. It is where individuals and communities grow together, finding common ground and forging connections through the stories that come to life within its walls.

We honor the remarkable journey of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival from Anniston to Montgomery, celebrating the enduring legacy of a cultural gem that has not only stood the test of time but has also become an indelible part of Alabama's cultural identity. ASF is not just a theater; it is a living, breathing testament to the magic of storytelling, the resilience of the arts, and the unifying power of shared experiences. Alabama Shakespeare Festival is a place for you—for everyone.

 

Experience the unforgettable performances and be mesmerized by the magic of live theater at its finest. Secure your tickets now and become a cherished member of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's vibrant community of theater enthusiasts.

 

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