Coming off a successful 2017 summer season, Actors' Theatre of Columbus will try to keep its momentum with even more excitement, intrigue, fear and comedy.

The German Village-based troupe's 37th season, "Monsters and Men," kicks off May 24 with a classic rendition of "Macbeth," Shakespeare's tale of the ambition, the supernatural and paranoia.

"I think it keeps very much in the tradition of our company," said Philip J. Hickman, artistic director for Actors' Theatre.

"It is historically Shakespeare's most popular play and I think the time is right for us to enjoy it."

"Macbeth" will be followed by "Frankenstein," and "Puss in Boots," a play that is rarely performed in America, Hickman said.

Falling in the absurdist category of playwriting, "Puss in Boots" involves a talking cat who serves his poor owner by his wits, making his master wealthy, finding him love and stealing him a kingdom, Hickman said.

The season will be capped off with "A Midsummer Night's Dream." It has a special place in the history of Actors' Theatre, as it was the first play ever performed by the company in Schiller Park, Hickman said.

Attendance was 18,000 in 2017, which Hickman attributes to mild temperatures and few rainouts.

"I am so excited about the new season," said Carol Mullinax, a member of Actors' Theatre's board of trustees. "We're trying a number of things that are different from our usual lineup of plays.

"I think it's going to bring new audience members to us while bringing the same people to see us because they know we do classic plays and Shakespeare."

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