Tuesday, June 10, 2008

'As You Like It' Opens Georgia Shakespeare 2008 Season

'As You Like It' Opens Georgia Shakespeare 2008 Season; CornerCap Investment Counsel Sponsors Summer Festival for 8th Consecutive Season

PRNewswire -- A groovy twist on "As You Like It," a poignant telling of "The Merchant of Venice" and an innovative production of the rarely produced "All's Well That Ends Well" highlight Georgia Shakespeare's twenty-third season.

Georgia Shakespeare's summer festival opens on Wednesday, June 11, with the gender-bending, romantic comedy "As You Like It." Set in the 1960's swinging Summer of Love, "As You Like It" follows the story of Rosalind who, disguised as a boy teaches the object of her affection, Orlando, how best to woo a woman.

Following "As You Like It," Shakespeare's courtroom drama will take the stage with "The Merchant of Venice" (June 26 - August 2). While the play is known for its sometimes controversial topics, bringing religion, money, justice and mercy to the forefront of the play, "It's Bassanio's love for Portia that sets all the balls rolling in 'The Merchant of Venice,'" said Richard Garner, Georgia Shakespeare's Producing Artistic Director.

"As You Like It" and "The Merchant of Venice" will play in a rotating repertory schedule with Georgia Shakespeare's third summer offering of "All's Well That Ends Well" (July 10 - August 3). Audiences will join in the chase as Helena, an orphaned daughter of a great doctor, sets her sights on the handsome, but aloof, Bertram. With the help of a little medicinal magic, Helena cures the ailing king and in return receives as her reward the husband of her choice. In choosing Bertram, she may have won his hand, but can she win his heart?

Also in the mix: Georgia Shakespeare's Family Classics Series continues with a world-premiere of the English folktale of the little hero with a big heart with "Tom Thumb the Great" by Margaret Baldwin (July 18 - August 2).

The summer festival is sponsored by CornerCap Investment Counsel who is now in its eighth year of continued support of Georgia Shakespeare.

"It's through the generous support of our sponsors, especially those long- time supporters such as CornerCap, that we are able to produce high caliber productions while keeping ticket prices affordable for the public," said Garner.

As a non-profit theatre company, Georgia Shakespeare depends on donations and sponsorships of local businesses, foundations and individuals for more than half of the theatre's annual operating budget.

Following the summer repertory, Georgia Shakespeare will conclude the season with a new musical adaptation of the Greek drama "Antigone," adapted and directed by Georgia Shakespeare's own Producing Artistic Director Richard Garner. "Antigone" tells the story of one of literature's greatest heroines who defies political authority in order to stay true to her beliefs.

Tickets are on sale now and range from $15 - $40. Tickets for "Tom Thumb the Great" range from $10 - $12. Call 404.264.0020 or visit www.gashakespeare.org. Discounts for groups of 10 or more are available. For group information, call 404.504.3422.

In addition to the summer festival which is sponsored by CornerCap, support for Georgia Shakespeare also comes from the law firm of Callner, Portnoy & Strasser as well as Turner Broadcasting. "As You Like It" is sponsored by Corporate Printers and the DeKalb County Office of Arts Culture and Entertainment. "Tom Thumb the Great" is sponsored by Target. Georgia Shakespeare is also supported in part by Georgia Council for the Arts through the appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly. The Council is a Partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Oglethorpe University is the host institution of Georgia Shakespeare.

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