ASF presents Bear Country

Sign on ASF Box Office - Photo by Marc Parker
Sign on ASF Box Office - Photo by Marc Parker

Montgomery – The Alabama Shakespeare Festival located in Montgomery in the Blount Cultural Park is the seventh largest Shakespeare festival in the world. It features about twelve to fourteen productions a year, typically including three works of William Shakespeare. Other new plays are sometimes presented with an emphasis on Southern themes.

Showing now is Bear Country which will run until February 15, 2009. It is a new play about legendary Alabama football coach Paul “Bear” Bryant,” and was written by Michael Vigilant, as part of the theatre’s Southern Writer’s Project. Vigilant researched his work by talking with some of Bryant’s former players and friends of the Bryant family.

The play highlights the early childhood of the man whose parents were poor sharecroppers, perhaps revealing some of the lesser known stories about his life and career; then chronicling his evolution from a young man driven by poverty into an inspiring teacher who left an indelible mark on the lives of his players. Rodney Clark stars as Coach Bryant and Gregory Jones stars as the young Coach Bryant, with John Patrick Hayden and Yaegel T. Welch in multiple roles.

Michael Vigilant is also ASF’s Chief Operating Officer and has been involved with writing and producing plays for twenty years. He is a playwright and lyricist and has more than a dozen works published with Samuel French, Contemporary Drama Service, and Pioneer Drama Service. His award-winning works include Cindy Cinderella and The Wedding Ring.

Future ASF presentations include The Furniture of Home, The Three Musketeers, Othello, and The Comedy of Errors.

For more information call the ASF Box Office toll free at (800) 841-4273 or on online at

Article by Melissa Parker

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