Birthday bash proves successful for ASF

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - An event fit for kings and queens as costumed characters welcomed young and old to a gala at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

"Great location.  Great scene.  Wow," says Sam Hunter.

You might not recognize the facility if you stepped inside. The Octagon Theater was transformed into a mixer. And a rehearsal hall turned into a formal dining room.

But 25 years ago, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival Theater was just a vision built from the ground up--thanks to the single largest private donation ever made to an American theater by Red and Carolyn Blount.

And now the theater produces an unmatched cultural experience.

"The plays that are brought in here, that are done here are beyond compare. These plays are as good as anything you're going to see on Broadway or in London or Paris," says Carol Ballard who has been a supporter of the festival since the day it opened.

The event was not only a party, but a fundraiser.

"Moving forward is what it's really all about. The money that we raise is going to help ensure that we continue to do things like Schoolfest, outreach in the schools," says Meg Lewis with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

The event raised $800,000 dollars. But Sam Hunter says the cause far outweighs the cost to attend.

"You can't put a price tag on that. Everybody here's showing their support for ASF and kinda giving back to a facility that's given so much here in the city is a great thing to see."

Organizers hope this event helps the Alabama legacy continue for years to come.

After the dinner, guests were treated to songs from singer Dionne Warwick.

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