Board of Directors

Patricia Putman – Executive Director

Patricia was the Music Director for Corner Theatre Academy at Corner High School from 1987-2013 . She taught music in the Jefferson County School System for 34 years. She has a BS (1978) & MS (1987) in Music Education from Jacksonville State University. She served as the District 2 Secondary Chair from 2007-2013. Patricia was the 2011 ACT Secondary Teacher of the Year. She is a huge supporter of the blending of all the arts and Arts Education on all age levels. In addition to her duties as the ACT Executive Director she also serves as Administrative Coordinator for the Walker County Arts Alliance and serves on the Alabama Alliance for Arts Education Task Force.


Randal Blades, Jacksonville State University Drama Department Head.

Randall Blades – President

Randy Blades is an Associate Professor and the Head of the Drama Department at Jacksonville State University.  He currently teaches costume technology courses, puppetry and Introduction to Theatre.  Prior to joining JSU, he was on the faculty of the University of Central Florida.  Some of Randy’s costume designs at JSU include Blithe Spirit, Antigone, The Syringa Tree, Much Ado About Nothing, Tartuffe and Broadway Bound.  Randy has also designed scenery at JSU for The Last Night of Ballyhoo, A Tennessee Walk and Vanishing Point.  Professionally, he has also designed costumes for Kennesaw State University, Stage Door Players (Atlanta), Theatre UCF, Auburn University-Montgomery, Stage Door Players in Dunwoody, GA and the Maples Repertory theatre in Macon, MO. As a professional costumer Randy has worked for the Atlanta Opera, the Alliance Theatre, the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Georgia Shakespeare Festival and the movies “Drumline” and “Dumb and Dumberer.”


Lonny Harrison – Vice President

Mr. Harrison is the Director of Theatre at Saint James School in Montgomery, AL. This is his 17th year at Saint James. He attended the University of South Alabama for undergraduate school where he received a BFA in theatre. Mr. Harrison went on to the University of Florida and the University of Alabama where he earned his MFA in theatre with a concentration in scenic design. He has served on the ACT board in many capacities including serving as treasurer and most recently chair of the secondary division.  He is the current Director of the Theatre for the Alabama Institute for Education in the Arts (AIEA) and has been on many boards and committees for theatre organizations across the state. Mr. Harrison enjoys what he does and gets a big kick out of watching his students grow and flourish as young men and women while receiving acclaim and artistic fulfillment in their post secondary careers.

T. Gary Weatherly – Immediate Past President

Gary Weatherly is currently a Teacher, Designer, Technical Director, and Manager of Mountain Brook High School’s Fine Arts Center. Before discovering the challenges of teaching in secondary school, Gary designed professionally over 300 productions in almost every state in the southeast for over 25 years. He worked as the resident designer for Birmingham Children’s Theatre, The State of Alabama Ballet and the Miss Alabama Pageant and worked for most of the Birmingham community and university theatres as a guest designer. He has a B.A. degree from University of North Carolina at Greensboro with emphasis in design and technology. Gary is finishing up his thesis to earn a M.S. in Theatre Education from Southern Oregon University. Since beginning his teaching career, Gary has been very involved with ACT, judging at Walter J. Trumbauer Festival and many of his students have won multiple awards in acting and technical events at the district and state competition. Gary also chairs the Polly Holliday Scholarship Award for the Southeastern Theatre Conference and serves on the Board of Directors for the DPTheatre Series in Birmingham.

Michele Eller – Secretary

Michele Eller currently teaches 11th grade English, Theater, and Reading at Elmore County High School. She is a member of the Elmore County Reading Council and serves as Secretary on the Alabama Conference of Theater Executive Board. Michele has embraced the arts since childhood, and this love of the arts has carried over into her teaching career. Since arriving at Elmore County High School in 2003, Michele has piloted the first ECHS Dance Team as well as the first Thespian Troupe. Students involved in these programs have competed and won numerous awards as well as college scholarships. Not only does Michele promote the arts at the high school, but she has also taught after-school acting classes at Eclectic Middle School as well.

Amy Hockinson – Treasurer

Amy has been the Treasurer of the Alabama Conference of Theatre since 2007 and has enjoyed working with the Walter F. Trumbauer State High School Theatre Festival. She has a B.A. in Musical Theatre from Samford University and a M.A. of Ed. in English/Language Arts Education from U.A.B. She has taught theatre to children of all ages, from toddlers to college students. In addition to teaching, Amy has worked as a professional actress with Birmingham Children’s Theatre and has participated in a number of productions with local theatre companies around Birmingham.





Emily Gill – College and University Division Chair

Emily Gill, MFA, is entering her 5th year on the UM Theatre faculty where she teaches costume design, costume construction, costume history and makeup design. She came to Montevallo after receiving her MFA in Drama from the University of Georgia and her BA in English and Theatre Arts from Rollins College.An active member of USITT, she currently serves on the Board of Directors and in the International Activities and Publications committees. Prof. Gill is a frequent participant at the USITT National Conference, most recently presenting “Theatre, Meet Cosplay. Cosplay, Meet Theatre.” As a part of the Southeast Region Section of USITT, she has exhibited and won the W. Joseph Stell Design Award as a student and faculty/professional and will begin service on the Executive Committee as Treasurer this year.

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Christopher Peck – College and University Division Vice-Chair

Christopher Peck is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at the University of South Alabama.  He holds an MFA in Directing from Baylor University and a BFA in Theatre from Abilene Christian University.  He teaches and oversees the Introduction to Drama courses as well as directing in the department’s main stage rotation.  Additionally he serves as a Region IV KCACTF respondent.  Before coming to USA, Christopher served as assistant director for the Berkshire Theatre Festival’s production of A Thousand Clowns, taught and directed at Baylor University, and served as a freelance director at Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee.  As a scholar, Christopher has published multiple performance reviews with the Texas Theatre Journal and has presented his scholarship at the Southeastern Theatre Conference, SETC Theatre Symposium, and the Mid America Theatre Conference.  Christopher is a founding member and co-producer of the Makalani Theatre Ensemble, and recently directed MTE’s inaugural production: Brilliant Traces.  

Katie Dalrymple- Secondary Division Chair

Katie Flannagan Dalrymple is a native of the Shoals Area.  She holds a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from the University of North Alabama and a Bachelor’s Degree in Language Arts Education from Judson College. She is currently working towards an Instructional Leadership Certificate and an Education Specialist degree. She served as the district chair for District III of the Walter Trumbauer Festival for 5 years. She served as Vice Chair of the Secondary Division for the 2013-2104 year and will begin her term as Chair this year.

She has served on the board for the Alabama State Thespian Festival and on the scholarship committee for the International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska. Her theatrical experience spans over 100 shows on and off stage.  Her favorite show experiences include directing Children of Eden, Godspell, The Diviners, The Boys Next Door, I Bring You Flowers, The Insanity of Mary Girard, and many more all at Florence High School over the past six years.  Also, she has appeared on stage with the Ritz Summer Stock Program as Ouiser in Steel Magnolias and at the annual production of The Miracle Worker on the grounds of Ivy Green as Kate Keller.  She has worked with professional artists through the Southeastern Theatre Conference and International Thespian Festival.

Katie has been married for eight years and has one daughter named Nora. She enjoys Book Club, gardening, and spending time with family.


Jamie Stevenson – Secondary Division Vice-Chair

Jamie Stephenson has been teaching theatre at Pelham High School for 11 years. She has a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Education from East Carolina University and a Master of Art in Directing from the Chicago Conservatory of Performing Arts. She was the District 6 Chair for 2 years and is now the host school for the District 6 Trumbauer Festival. She was the scholarship coordinator for the Alabama Educational Theatre Association for 4 years and was a board member for 9 years. She has been a scholarship adjudicator at the International Thespian Festival as well as the assistant to the scholarship coordinator for two years. She was on the development committee for the Praxis II content knowledge test with the Educational Testing Service. She is now the Vice Chair of the Secondary Division of the Alabama Conference of Theatre. She also has 3 incredible daughters and a wonderful husband that enable her to be involved in so many wonderful organizations.


Kristy Meanor – Community Division Chair

Kristy Meanor is the Executive Director of the Wetumpka Depot Players, central Alabama’s most established community theatre. Kristy manages the day-to-day operations at the Depot in addition to directing, acting, designing sets, coordinating volunteer program as well as promoting educational opportunities. In addition to her leadership roles with the Alabama Conference on Theatre she is the Community Chair for Southeastern Theatre Conference. A published playwright, award winning actor and set designer, she was the 2011 recipient of Alabama Conference on Theatre’s “Marian Gallaway Award” for her contributions to theatre in Alabama.

Mary Ann Garrett – Community Division Vice-Chair

Mary Anne Garrett is a community theatre veteran and enjoys working behind the
scenes (director, stage manager and producer) as much as she does performing.
Mary Anne is a longtime board member at Terrific New Theatre (Birmingham) and a
founding company member at Theatre Downtown (Birmingham).  Mary Anne is
active in the independent film community, primarily as an actor and producer.
She also serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the Sidewalk Film Festival.
Mary Anne is a graduate of Jacksonville State University and resides in
Jefferson County with her husband, Kevin.


Michael P. Howley – Professional Division Chair

Michael is a freelance stage director. He is retired from the faculty of Alabama State University and a member of the American Theatre Critics Association.

He was a visiting scholar at the University of Cambridge. He also held positions at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus and St. John’s University.

Justin Conley – Theatre for Youth Division Chair


Cliff Keen, Jr – Theatre for Youth Division Vice-Chair

Cliff Keen is currently the resident director for the Leeds Theatre and Arts Center. He has been involved with the Leeds Theatre for the past six years, where he has directed and starred in many shows and run the Children’s Workshop for three years. He has directed for many other local theatres in the Birmingham area. Cliff is also an actor and has been involved with over 75 productions since high school. He has been on virtually every stage in Birmingham. He had the honor to be directed by the legendary Charles Strouse and his wife, Barbara Siman, in Savannah, Georgia at the Historic Savannah Theatre, in their production of “Once In Palm Beach” and worked as a Stage Manager on “A Lot of Living.” Cliff is the Director of Operations for a franchise of Pizza Hut during the day.

Neil David Seibel – SETC Representative

Neil David Seibel teaches the performance curriculum at Auburn University Montgomery. A proud member of Actors Equity, he spent six seasons with Theatre Aspen, appeared Off-Broadway in Jonathon Larson’s JP Morgan Saves the Nation, originated the role of Lewis for the TV musical Passages: Lewis and Clark, and enjoyed regional contracts with the Denver Center, Arvada Center, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, The Alley Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Theatre Under The Stars and most recently the Montgomery Ballet. He has directed and choreographed for numerous theatre companies across the US and served three years as the associate artistic director of ALAT-etc (A Laboratory for Actor Training – experimental theatre company). As a playwright, he has developed several solo and ensemble works that have been performed throughout the United States and Europe.