Shakespeare Festival Celebrates 25th Anniversary

Posted June 13, 2014

Join us at ACU’s Fulks Theatre for the Abilene Shakespeare Festival’s 25th Anniversary! This year’s festival will feature two plays simultaneously: Macbeth and William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead.

Macbeth runs June 26-28 and July 3 at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and doors open at 7 p.m.

Macbeth reveals itself to be Shakespeare’s most powerful and darkest nightmare – a terrifying parable for our own time. Directed by Adam Hester, Macbeth unleashes the horror of murder, witches and prophecy in a powerful new production set in the heart of the 1930s Mafia. Equity Actor Josh Blann plays the title role and Miranda West, senior ACU Theatre major, plays his ambitious wife. Recommended for ages 10 and older.

Adam Hester, director for Macbeth, expressed his enthusiasm for the Festival, saying, “We are excited about this 25th Anniversary for the Abilene Shakespeare Festival. We have two plays we hope will thrill our faithful patrons, as well as bring in a whole new group of people eager to join in the fun. As we have done for the past 25 years, we are offering a Shakespeare play (Macbeth) free to the public. We love that we are able to offer this gift to the community. We have reimagined Macbeth with a Mafia setting, using iconic references like The Godfather movies. This promises to be a chilling production unlike any Shakespeare we’ve done before. William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead is a hilarious twist on where Shakespeare’s ideas came from. If you know nothing of Shakespeare it’s a ball, but the more you know, the funnier it gets. And then, of course, there are the zombies!”

William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead runs June 27, 29, and July 2 and 5, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10. The box office (325-674-2787) is open from 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday or you can purchase tickets online.

Director Gary Varner will transport audience members to London, 1599. After the Globe’s inaugural performance of Henry V, Shakespeare fends off an embittered Will Kemp, furious about Falstaff’s removal, and Francis Bacon, who has arrived with an idea to pitch. When the company’s costumer is bitten by a plague-ridden madman, and the Queen, played by ACU Theatre professor Kari Hatfield, and her men arrive seeking safety, life in the playhouse takes a turn for the worse. As the affliction spreads through London, the Globe is quarantined, and the survivors within must fight for their lives. William Shakespeare’s Land Of The Dead is a comedic homage to zombie films and a “carefully” researched drama about Shakespeare and his authorship.

“We really hope this play will draw crowds, and we have good reason to think it will since so many people seem fascinated with zombies these days,” says Linda Kemp, ACU Theatre administrative coordinator.

The Abilene Shakespeare Festival is partially made possible by the generous support of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council, the Bill and Ann Bradshaw Stokes Endowment for Theatre (George Ann Stokes Harding and William N. Stokes III) and the ACU Department of Theatre.


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