You might think it is too early to be making plans for the Memorial Day weekend, but that is only because you are not a theater company. Actors' Theatre of Columbus has been enthusiastically planning for months.

Plays chosen? Check. Directors selected? Check. Actors hired? Check (if the pittance we pay can actually be classified as a salary).

But before our curtain officially goes up in late May, we decided to jump start the season by offering up something a little different: The Shakespeare Underground, an exuberant, fun, unpredictable take on the Bard's classic plays.

The first of what we hope will be many Shakespeare Underground productions will performed at Notes, 520 S. High St, below Copious.

Here's how it works: the day before, May 5, ATC will gather together 12 actors, a director and a stage manager.

The actors will be assigned roles by random drawing. They will receive their lines (and only their lines) and start memorizing.

Then 24 hours later, at 8 p.m. May 6, the doors will open, the lights will go up, and anything could happen.

We think it will prove to be the funniest production of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" that you've ever seen.

Admission to this event is on a "pay what you will" basis. We hope you will dig deep.

Members of Actors' Theatre are able to reserve seats for the event by going online at

Everyone else is first come, first served. In fact, for additional information about this event, including the food and drink available, check out our website.

Our 2017 summer season officially opens May 24. All of our summer season performances start at 8 pm every Thursday through Sunday from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day weekend on the Schiller Park amphitheater stage.

The theme this year's season is "Privilege & Power," and is an exploration of the social dynamics we all live in.

The season spans tragedy, farce and romance through some of the best-loved pieces of literature as well as rarely revived gems.

First up is William Shakespeare's classic drama about politics and power, "Julius Casar," directed by ATC's Artistic Director, Philip J. Hickman. The play runs May 25 through June 18.

Our Annual Tent Dinner will be held the next night, May 26, and will, once again, feature an elegant seated dinner, gourmet food, and a Silent Auction.

See our website for additional details. Make certain you act soon. We sold out early last year and had to turn people away.

In what we hope will be a surprising change of pace, our second play is Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice," adapted for the stage and directed by Mark Mann. It runs June 22 through July 16.

Speaking of a change of pace, don't miss "The Emperor of the Moon," by Aphra Behn, adapted by Jennifer Feather Youngblood and directed by Michelle Batt. It runs from July 20 through Aug. 6.

The season concludes with William Shakespeare's "The Tempest," directed by David Harewood. It runs from Aug. 10 through Sept. 3.

For all of our plays, admission is on a "pay what you will." That means there is no charge for tickets, but we encourage donations.

If you would like to contribute to Actors' Theatre as more than an audience member (as if that weren't enough), please select the appropriate membership category on our website: www.theactorstheatre .org or Send email to: directly:

Actors' Theatre of Columbus board chairwoman Carol Mullinax submitted the Village Notebook column.