CINDERELLA, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Set for African-American Shakespeare Company 2012-13 Season

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CINDERELLA, MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR, and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Set for African-American Shakespeare Company 2012-13 Season

San Francisco's African-American Shakespeare Company has announced the lineup for its 18th season. The season marks African-American Shakespeare Company's third season under the artistic leadership of acclaimed actor and director L. Peter Callender. The season opens in December with an enchanting holiday production of CINDERELLA; this new take on the timeless fairytale has become a seasonal favorite for families and children of all ages. The season continues in March with William Shakespeare's quintessential comedy MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR. Closing the season in April is Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. Productions will be staged at the Buriel Clay Theater at the African American Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco. Subscriptions for the 2012-13 season go on sale May 12.

"I am thrilled to bring this ambitious season to our audiences," said African-American Shakespeare Company Artistic Director L. Peter Callender. "Our goal for 2012-13 is to present something new, funny, and vibrant, something our audiences may not have seen before, give it a new face and serve it up with a bit of spice and elegance. Staying true to our vision of re-imagining the classics with color, we offer this season as a thank you to our subscribers, Bay Area actors of color, Bay Area schools, and our community at large. We look forward to seeing everyone at the theater!"

CINDERELLA runs December 7-23, 2012.

San Francisco's African-American Shakespeare Company opens the 2012-13 season with an enchanting new production of CINDERELLA. This timeless tale, brought to whimsical, magical life just in time for the holidays, is an uplifting re-telling of the classic fairytale, featuring all of the pageantry, hilarity, and charm of the original, but with a soulful twist. This heartwarming story finds Cinderella, a young, beautiful dreamer, toiling away as a lowly scullery maid for her evil stepmother and stepsisters. With the help of a fabulous Fairy Godmother who makes the magic happen, Cinderella finds her Prince Charming and learns that anything is possible, even miracles.

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR By William Shakespeare Runs March 2-24, 2013.

Celebrating one of Shakespeare's most beloved characters and infamous skirt-chasers, THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR reunites audiences with the ever-merry, ever-scheming character Sir John Falstaff from Shakespeare's history plays King Henry IV, Part 1 and King Henry IV, Part 2, this time at the center of a comedy of his own. THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR chronicles the exploits of Falstaff who, down on luck and money, tries to swindle two seemingly-simple housewives. But the joke is on him when the Mistresses Ford and Page catch on to Falstaff's seduction scheme and teach him a lesson with some mischief of their own.

African-American Shakespeare Company's production, re-set in the 1960's in the shared back yards of a city neighborhood, adopts the style of the popular urban black theater movement known as the "Chitlin Circuit."

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF By Tennessee Williams runs April 27-May 19, 2013.

Closing African-American Shakespeare Company's 18th season is a scintillating new interpretation of Tennessee Williams's Pulitzer Prize-winning play CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, which investigates the lengths people will go to protect themselves and their loved ones. Maggie Pollitt is a young Southern wife doing everything she can to save her marriage to Brick, a one-time football star who continues to live, miserably, off his former glory. A series of explosive secrets, lies, and betrayals are revealed as Maggie and Brick join the rest of the Pollitts to celebrate family patriarch Big Daddy's birthday.

One of Williams's best-known works, and one of his favorite plays, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF originally opened on Broadway in 1955 under the direction of Elia Kazan; the play was made into a classic film starring Elizabeth Taylor and Paul Newman, and was recently revived on Broadway featuring an all-black cast.

African-American Shakespeare Company was introduced in 1994 to create an opportunity and a venue for actors of color to hone their skills and talent in mastering some of the world's greatest classical roles. The company is dedicated to producing classic stage works from an African-American cultural perspective, providing opportunities and accessibility for minority artists and their communities to view these works in a manner that is inclusive of their cultural heritage. African-American Shakespeare Company has produced over 30 productions, toured to over 97 schools, and reached over 105,000 patrons through its main stage productions and arts education program.

For tickets and information, the public may visit African-AmericanShakes.org or call 1-800-838-3006.

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