ASF Launches Virtual Shakespeare Monologue Series

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With audiences and artists alike separated from live performing arts by the global COVID-19 pandemic, actors who have appeared on stage at Alabama Shakespeare Festival are sharing their favorite Shakespeare monologues online.

"Your Favorite Actors, Their Favorite Shakespeare" is Alabama Shakespeare Festival's virtual Shakespeare monologue project where ASF alumni perform their favorite Shakespeare monologues and share anecdotes of their experiences with the State Theatre. The project is part of ASF's extensive "Play On!" initiative to provide theatre lovers of all ages with performance and educational content online.

"This crisis has affected so many of us, particularly theatre artists. 'Play On!' allows ASF to advance its mission to create transformative theatrical programming in the wake of canceled and postponed productions," said Artistic Director Rick Dildine. "With a nearly 50-year history, Alabama Shakespeare Festival has welcomed thousands of artists and actors into our family. Over the coming days, dozens of these actors will be sharing their favorite Shakespeare monologue with our audiences."

Postings will begin on Friday, April 10, via ASF's social media channels and will be available at ASF.net/PlayOn.

The first round of videos features pieces by ASF Associate Artistic Director and longtime company member Greta Lambert (recent acting credits include the 2020 production of Alabama Story and 2019's Steel Magnolias); Cassia Thompson (last seen in the 2019 productions of Romeo & Juliet and Our Town); ASF MFA alum Tarah Flanagan (who last appeared in the 2019 world premiere of BUZZ); Christopher Gerson (last seen in Alabama Story, as well as 2019's BUZZ, Romeo & Juliet, and Our Town); Marina Shay (2018's Twelfth Night and The Miracle Worker); Steven David Martin (who appeared in several ASF productions in the late 1980s, including The Taming of the Shrew and The Tempest); longtime company member and audience favorite Rodney Clark (Bear Country, A Christmas Carol, King Lear); and Zuhdi Boueri (BUZZ).

Upcoming actors include Philip Pleasants, Madeleine Lambert, Chris Mixon, Greg Thornton, Louis Butelli, Billy Finn, Charles Pasternak, Melissa Maxwell, Terrell Sledge, Nehassaiu deGannes, Chauncy Thomas, Sarah Walker Thornton, Jill Tanner, and Carrie Preston.

ASF's "Your Favorite Actors, Their Favorite Shakespeare" monologue project provides avid theatergoers a chance to be reacquainted with their favorite classical characters. The online programming also allows ASF to continue to introduce new audiences, such as the tens of thousands of K-12 students it serves each season, to Shakespeare and theatre. ASF will premiere new videos, as well as workshops and other creative projects, at ASF.net/PlayOn.

Despite the obstacles that not-for-profit arts organizations like ASF will face in the coming months, ASF is providing this content free of charge. However, donations of any size to help ASF "Play On!" are welcome at ASF.net/donate.


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