Alabama Shakespeare Festival Comes to Pickens County

Actors from the touring troupe of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival answering questions after the play on January 10. Shown from left: Dane McMichael, Tony Pelligrino, Eduardo Ruiz, Tyshon Boone, Toree Alexandre, Katrina Clark, Chris Marth, and Sigrid Wise.

BY GENA HUFF, Editor

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) touring troupe made an appearance in Pickens County January 10 for a presentation of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Eight actors filled 17 roles, doing quick changes and characterizations while delving into the language that is Shakespeare.

The ASF production set the play in the Appalachians, but the original was set in France and a forest called the Forest of Arden. “Shakespeare combines many of his favorite comic devices and a trendy pastoral convention to meditate on the nature of love, his favorite comic subject,” stated the evening’s program. “Young lovers abound; relationships get tangled, not least because a girl disguises herself as a boy; and a threatening political situation dissolves at the edge of the forest.” The play had been shortened to approximately 80 minutes for this production.

Two presentations were held, one in the morning for area high school students, and one in the evening for the public. Both showings were free to the audience. A crowd of about 165 people watched that evening from cushioned seats in the Aliceville Entertainment Complex as they were entertained by the actors. The morning showing had 212 students from four County schools.

A question-and-answer portion was held after the play which elicited more entertainment value to the event. The actors were very open and amiable and answered audience questions with thought and aplomb.

The presentation was made possible by a grant from the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, the Pickens County Arts Guild, and the Aliceville Museum. A meet-and-greet with the actors was held in the Events Room of the Museum after the play for those who were members or had donated to the Arts Guild.


See complete story in the Pickens County Herald.
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