Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Montford Park Players announce 2016 season and big changes

Montford Park Players, an Asheville theatrical tradition, is proud to announce their 2016 season, along with a few major changes.

The biggest change to announce is that Montford Park Players has decided that all seats for their entire season, both indoor and outdoor shows, will be available on a "Pay What You Like" basis. Although the donation value for all tickets will remain fifteen dollars, moving to an entirely donation-based model at both the Masonic Temple and the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre will allow the whole community to enjoy Shakespeare and other classical Theater year-round, regardless of the ability to pay.

"Our business model, from our founding in 1973, has always been to make theatre available and affordable for all," says Montford Park Players' Managing Director, John Russell. "We are here to serve the community as much as the Asheville community serves us, and we think the best way to do that is to open all of our shows to every potential theatre enthusiast."

And what a season Asheville has to look forward to:

Dark Lady of the Sonnets, by George Bernard Shaw
and The Upstart Crow, by Vincent Dowling

March 25
At Asheville’s Masonic Temple, an evening celebrating William Shakespeare: the man behind the pen!

The Asheville Shakesperience
May 13-28

A The return of an audience favorite! Some of the best scenes of Shakespeare, opening the summer at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre.

Much Ado About Nothing, by William Shakespeare
June 3 - July 2

This comedic conspiracy to get the bickering Beatrice and Benedick hitched is one of
Shakespeare’s most popular plays to this day!

Titus Andronicus, by William Shakespeare
July 8-30

A Shakespeare’s brutal revenge tragedy has not been presented by Montford Park Players for many years. This one is NOT suitable for children!

Measure for Measure, by William Shakespeare
August 5-27

Mistaken identities? Manipulation? Double dealings? Yes, this is another one of the Bard’s
classic comedies.

Pride and Prejudice, adapted for the stage from the novel by Jane Austen
September 2-24

The summer season at the Hazel Robinson Amphitheatre rounds out with this classic romantic tale from one of Great Britain’s most beloved authors. All of the beauty and splendor will be there in this locally-penned adaptation.

Julius Caesar, by William Shakespeare
October 28-November 13

Montford Park Players opens its “off-season” at the Asheville Masonic Temple with this twist on Shakespeare’s model of political treachery, as it’s presented with an all-female cast.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
December 9-23 

The holiday institution continues with the traditional Dickens tale of nastiness and redemption. Scrooge, Cratchit and all of the spirits are present and waiting for your family to make this show an annual custom.

In a final BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, this season will be overseen by Montford Park
Players’ new Artistic Director, Scott Keel. Keel is an acclaimed director and actor here in
Western North Carolina. Educated in Theatre at UNC-Greensboro, he brings a particularly
exacting sensibility to the works of Montford Park Players.

He said, “I have been working on and attending Montford productions for years. I’m so
proud to have been chosen from the myriad qualified candidates to bring some new life to these brilliant works.”

Previously Mr. Keel has directed All’s Well That Ends Well, King Lear, Coriolanus, The
Asheville Shakesperience, George Bernard Shaw’s Dark Lady of the Sonnets, and Vincent
Dowling’s The Upstart Crow for Montford Park Players, as well as The Lieutenant of Inishmore at HART, Next Fall with Different Strokes, and has independently produced and directed Shakespeare’s As You Like It and David Auburn’s Proof, among others with Rarely Theatre Productions. He’s also an accomplished actor.

“This season has the potential to be the best yet for Montford Park Players. I plan to do
everything I’m capable of to make it so,” said Keel. “We already have some of the greatest plays and novels ever written on the roster. All we need is the drive to present them to the best of our creative abilities and a reach toward excellence.”

Montford Park Players is celebrating their 44th season making the company North
Carolina’s Longest-running Shakespeare Festival. For their entire history they have served the Western North Carolina theater community and the community at large, being the only company solely dedicated to the works of Shakespeare and associated classic works. Since their humble beginnings in Montford Park, they have grown to become one of the most recognizable organizations in Asheville, and currently bring in theater-lovers and tourists from all over the country.

For more information about Montford Park Players, please go to montfordparkplayers.org
or call them at (828) 254-5146.

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