Community Theater

We would like to welcome all of you to the Community Division page for the State of Alabama. We are so pleased to have so many wonderful community theatre groups spread out across this great state of ours. ACT has identified over 65 active groups in the state and is always on the lookout for more. Actors, stage directors, musical directors, choreographers, and musicians collaborate with scenic, lighting, sound, costume, and property artists — often just for the love of theatre – producing critically acclaimed productions from musicals to dramas, and everything in between.

The highlight of ACT’s Community Theatre Division is an annual festival.

The Alabama Conference of Theatre will hold its annual Community Festival on 10/24/2015 at the Whole Backstage Theatre, in beautiful Guntersville, AL. Mary Anne Garrett serves as Festival Chair and Sue Ellen Gerrells is Vice Chair.This year two productions will vie for the honor of representing Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in March 2016 in Greensboro, N.C. The productions will be adjudicated by a panel of experienced theatre artists who will choose the winner and award other prizes as they see fit. The adjudicators speak directly to each company at the end of each performance offering feedback. This part of the festival is often a highlight for the audience who get to observe each adjudication. Before the award presentations are made, the Community Division of ACT will hold a brief meeting to elect officers. Any Community Division member of ACT is eligible to vote. Audience members may choose to join ACT at the festival but membership is not required to attend the festival.

Tickets are available at the door.

Auburn Area Community Theatre presents “A Blooming of Ivy.”
Ivy Taylor (Andrea Holliday), a widow of twenty years, and George Thomas (Terry Kelley), a widower for a year, have always been farm neighbors and friends. But one spring morning George awakens to the sound of Ivy’s tractor, and realizes that this is the first morning he hasn’t “woken up mad” since his wife died. He spruces up a bit and pays Ivy a call…

The Whole Backstage Theatre presents “Guardian of the Sidewalk” by Bill Cleavelin– a gripping play for anyone who has ever dared to believe in miracles. This is the story of Peter, a bitter, haunted young man who is trapped in the barren wastelands of purgatory. With him is Ariel, a bright, energetic young angel who is assigned to help Peter redeem his soul. Together, this unlikely duo must sift through scenes of Peter’s life in order to heal the cause of all his pain – the loss of his one true love. But there’s a catch – Peter has a time limit in which to save his soul, otherwise he will become lost forever in his own bitterness. This is a bold, exciting play that shows the true power of love and redemption.

ACT’s Adjudicators are HOLLY BROCK CAHILL who holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama from Jacksonville State University (1980) and who earned a Master of Arts in Theatre Arts from the University of Mississippi (1982). Holly taught theatre and speech at both the University of Mississippi and Eastern Wyoming. She began her theatrical life working for the National Park Service as a costumed interpreter performing first person historical monologues. Holly founded the Dogwood Players of Chickamauga, Georgia and has worked with Community and Little Theatre groups across the country as she followed her Park Ranger husband from posting to posting, working as a director, costumer or actor. Recently, Holly has served as Studio Theatre and One Act judge for the Trumbauer State Secondary Theatre Festival.

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.

KRISTY MEANOR is the Executive Director for the Wetumpka Depot Players. Her theatre career spans 35 years as an actor, director and designer. Kristy is a past recipient of the Marian Gallaway Award and serves in leadership positions with ACT and SETC. Directing credits include Big River, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Fantasticksand Tuesdays with Morrie. On stage work includes Sister Amnesia in Nunsense, Dotty Clacket in Noises Off, Rosemary in Picnic, Melissa in Love Letters and Jessie in Night Mother. Scenic design credits incudes A Southern Exposure, Night Mother, The Fantasticks, The Miracle Worker, Boeing Boeing, and Blithe Spirit. Kristy’s favorite role is playing mom to three amazing young adults.

For more information, contact Festival Chair Mary Anne Garrett at


We would love to have community theatre groups from around the state represented so if you are interested in participating or you just want to come and enjoy a weekend of great theatre, check out the page. Click on the Community Theatre page tab under Our Divisions and then the Community Theatre Festival tab.