When Hazel Robinson makes up her mind on something, she's not easily dissuaded. In 1973, she decided that Asheville needed its own Shakespeare theater company.Read the full article
Others were not so sure, she said.
“They said it wouldn't be commercial,” Robinson recalled a few days ago, sitting on the big wraparound porch at her Montford home, built in 1893.
“And they said, 'What about the accents?' No one was doing Shakespeare except for a few colleges here and there. They just didn't want to tackle it.”
But Robinson pushed ahead and her Montford Park Players opened June 29, 1973, with the Bard's classic “As You Like It,” performed outdoors in Montford Park.
“We had 25 or 30 people,” she said. “They came and they stayed.”
Through the summers that have followed, the Montford Park Players have continued the tradition, staging many of Shakespeare's grand masterworks.