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American Players Theatre Announces 2008 Line-up


Comedy, drama, history, romance and courtship will play out under the twinkling Spring Green, Wisconsin stars as American Players Theatre (APT) opens their 29th full season.  Plays for the 2008 season include Shakespeare's popular romantic comedy A Midsummer Night's Dream and the historical Henry IV, Parts I and II; Eugene O'Neill's nostalgic comedy Ah, Wilderness!; George Bernard Shaw's Widower's Houses and Hannah Cowley's lighthearted comedy of manners, The Belle's Strategem. Dates and directors have yet to be finalized.

American Players Theatre is located at 5950 Golf Course Road, Spring Green, Wis., on 110 acres of hilly woods and meadows above the Wisconsin River, 40 miles west of Madison.  All plays are performed in rotating repertory.  

Since its beginning in 1979, APT has grown to be among the most popular outdoor classical theaters in the United States, bringing the classics to more than 100,000 patrons each season. The theater's mission is to bring the classics to life for as wide and diverse an audience as possible, making great plays accessible and understandable through skilled and reverent presentation. 

2008 performances include:

A Midsummer Night's Dream

By William Shakespeare
The quintessential APT comedy. On the eve of the Duke of Athens' wedding, four young lovers escape to the woods. Unbeknownst to them, they stumble into the middle of a feud between the King and Queen of the Fairies. Mix in a bumbling troupe of actors and a love potion that goes awry, and the evening is filled with mirth and merriment. William Brown directs this high-spirited comedy.

Ah, Wilderness!
By Eugene O'Neill
The only comedy O'Neill wrote is an exuberant look at coming of age. Nat Miller's family gathers for an Independence Day celebration. His 17-year-old son Richard is in love with the neighbor girl, Muriel. When Muriel's father forbids the courtship, Richard rebels with adolescent fervor. John Langs returns to direct this affectionate story about family and the idealism of youth.

Henry IV, parts 1 and 2

By William Shakespeare
Adapted by James Bohnen and James DeVita
Director James Bohnen and playwright and APT core company member James DeVita bring Shakespeare's Henry IV parts 1 and 2 together for one compelling story full of intrigue, war and a ribald Falstaff. After assuming the throne, Henry Bolingbroke must defend his precarious position while trying to reconcile his relationship with his son. As one rebellion is quieted, new ones begin and a wanton prince must amend his ways to win his father's affection and the throne.  

Widowers' Houses
By George Bernard Shaw
When a young doctor learns his future father-in-law has earned his wealth through questionable means, he refuses the dowry that awaits. But when he discovers the true source of his own family's income, he must reconsider his righteousness. A scathing yet humorous look at the ethics of making money as only Shaw can do. Kenneth Albers returns to direct.

The Belle's Stratagem
By Hannah Cowley
For the first time, APT will bring the work of a female playwright to the stage with an enchanting comedy of manners directed by Producing Artistic Director David Frank. Letitia Hardy schemes to win the heart of her betrothed, Doricourt, while he conspires to have the engagement annulled. Meanwhile, jealousy threatens another couple as Lady Touchwood is introduced to London society much to her husband's dismay. A witty look at marriage and the roles men and woman play. 
American Players Theatre (APT) is a professional outdoor theater devoted to classical work with an emphasis on Shakespeare. It was founded in 1979 and continues to be one of the most popular outdoor classical theaters in the nation. APT is located on 110 wooded acres four miles south of Spring Green, Wisconsin, a rural community 40 miles west of Madison. Each season, APT produces 117 performances of five plays, running in rotating repertory June-October.

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