It’s that time of year again. Time to begin planning for this year’s community Theatre Festival, celebrating the best of Alabama’s community theatres.
APPLICATION FORM: ACTFest 18 Entry Form
The Alabama Conference of Theatre (ACT) will hold its Annual Community Theatre Festival at Theatre Tuscaloosa, 9500 Old Greensboro Road #135, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405. Click here to download a brochure for companies considering participating.
Wish you could do a cutting edge piece but your audience wouldn’t like it? Take it to Festival! (Your entry doesn’t have to be part of a regular season at your theatre.) Stretch your company’s talents with challenging works. Your entry can be as short as you wish but no longer than 60 minutes playing time All types of productions are eligible from one person shows to full musicals. Use this opportunity to strut your stuff!
And you want to be a part of this event!
A festival typically presents three to five shows per day, each one limited to sixty minutes or less. Each cast and crew have ten minutes to get their set out of a 10×10 square of backstage storage, and get it ready for “curtain.” After the performance professional adjudicators give their analysis to the cast, director and crew. Thus, everyone in the audience gets to see excellent theater, followed by positive, enlightening and engaging critiques.
Festivals have an awards party where the show that will go on to the next level is announced, and awards for acting, directing and producing are given
The winners of the Alabama state festival advance to regionals at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Mobile, Alabama in March, 2018. To help with travel expenses, ACT awards a stipend to the Alabama groups advancing to SETC.
Great reasons to enter a festival:
We hope you will join us as an entering company or an attendee–all shows and workshops will be open to the public.
Here’s a list of hotels within 5 miles of Shelton State College:
Hilton Garden Inn
Address: 800 Hollywood Boulevard, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: (205) 722-0360
Courtyard by Marriott
Address: 4115 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: (205) 750-8384
Fairfield Inn by Marriott
Address: 4101 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: (205) 366-0900
Springhill Suites by Marriott
Address: 4020 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: (205) 750-2003
Ambassador Inn & Suites
Address: 230 Skyland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa, AL 35405
Phone: (205) 752-1992
If you would like an application form or wish more information, please contact Festival Chair Terry Kelley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (334) 728-8659.
ACTFest 17 Final Report
The curtain’s come down on ACTFest ’17 ,another Alabama Community Festival and this year’s event was sensational! Seven companies from around our state showcased the best of their work in a celebration of community theatre. Thanks to all who made this event so special and successful. At the top of the list are Kristy Meanor, Carol Heier, Tom Salter and all their wonderful volunteers at the Wetumpka Depot Theatre for hosting us. Your food and beverages and general wonderful Southern Hospitality were so appreciated. Terry Kelly assisted as Festival Vice Chair. Mike Gerrells served admirably as stage manager while Sharon Burum from Oklahoma led us through the festival process as our A
ACT Festival Commissioner. Our kind, articulate and insightful adjudicators: Kimberly Frick Welker, Alan Litsey, and Tom Booth provided excellent feedback to all the productions. But it was our participating companies that made this festival one of the strongest Alabama’s had in years. Thank you to all who took part. ACT hopes it was a memorable and meaningful experience for each of you!
Now on to the awards…
Best In Show (advancing to SETC in March, 2017)
Alternate: Steel Magnolias (South City Theatre)
Best Director: Tom Salter, Glass Menagerie
Best Actress: Kristy Meanor, Glass Menagerie
Best Actor: Stephen Dubberly, Glass Menagerie
Best Supporting Actress: Mary Page-Lyons, Rabbit Hole
Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Sims, Glass Menagerie
Best Set: Rabbit Hole
Best Costumes: Rabbit Hole
Outstanding Achievement in Acting:
Keith McDow and Amber Weakley from The Field (War Time), Auburn Area Community Theatre
Corey Kirby from Hiram: Becoming Hank, Pell City Players
Outstanding Musical Performance:
Lacindra McGowan and Tania Curry, Becoming Hank, Pell City Players
Elizabeth Bowles, The Glass Menagerie, Wetumpka Depot Players
Outstanding Lighting Design:
Hannah Meherg, The Glass Menagerie, Wetumpka Depot Players
Outstanding Creativity in Set Design:
The Dixie Swim Club, Millbrook Community Players
The Spirit of the Road Award (given by the backstage crew to the company that has the best attitude during their rehearsal)
Steel Magnolias (South City Theatre)
Curious Savage, Prattville, Way Off Broadway Theatre
Hiram: Becoming Hank, Pell City Players
Steel Magnolias: South City Theatre
The winners of the Alabama state festival advance to regionals at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) in Lexington, KY, March, 2017. To help with travel expenses, ACT awards a stipend the Alabama productions advancing to SETC. Two productions from SETC will advance to the national festival, AACTFest ’17, in Rochester, Minnesota, June, 2017. SETC offers a stipend to its winners to help with the expenses of traveling to the national festival.
If you would like more information, please contact Festival Chair, Terry Kelly, at ACTExdir@gmail.com
ACTFest’16 was held October 24, 2015 at the Whole Backstage Theatre in Guntersville. The festival was led by Festival Chair Mary Anne Garret and Vice-Chair Sue Ellen Gerrells.
Congratulations to the following for their awards at ACTFest’16.
Best Actor – Nicholas Diprima – Whole Backstage Theatre
Best Actress – Andrea Holliday – Auburn Area Community Theatre
Representing Alabama at SETC in the Community Theatre Festival in Greensboro, N.C. March 3-6, 2016: Auburn Area Community Theatre – “The Blooming of Ivy”
ACTFest ’15 was held October 24-26, 2014 at the Whole Backstage Theatre in Guntersville. The festival was led by Festival Chair Kristy Meanor and Vice Chair Mary Anne Garrett.
Congratulations to the following for their awards at ACTFest’15. What an awesome weekend of theatre!!!!
Representing Alabama at SETC in the Community Theatre Festival in Chattanooga, TN, March 4-7, 2015:
Leeds Theatre & Arts Center – “Echoes”
Wetumpka Depot Players & South City Theatre – “Night, Mother”
ACT Announces ACTFest ’14 AWARDS
ACT congratulates this year’s winners for their talent, dedication, and commitment! Led by Festival Chair Cliff Keen, Jr. and Vice Chair Kristy Meanor, this year’s festival drew entries from across the state to witness four shows and participate in workshops and parties.
SPIRIT OF THE ROAD AWARD – “The Theodore Roosevelt Rotunda” and “The Big Bang” – Theatre Downtown
Given to the company that demonstrates the most professionalism and cooperation during the rehearsal, load-in and load-out. The Spirit award is chosen by the backstage crew, led this year by Stage Manager Mike Gerrells (South City Theatre) and Technical Director Tom Salter (Wetumpka Depot Theatre).
Adjudicators Brenda Caradine (Mississippi), Stephen Krempasky (Kentucky) and Fulton Burns (Alabama) chose the following awards for this year’s festival:
ALL STAR CAST:
BEST IN SHOW — Advancing to SETC in March, 2014 to represent Alabama:
“I Don’t Want To Talk About It” — Whole Backstage Theatre
“The Fantasticks” — Wetumpka Depot Theatre
The Alabama Conference of Theatre (ACT) will hold its annual Community Theatre Festival (ACTFest ’14) on October 25, 26 and 27, 2013 at the Wetumpka Depot Theatre, Wetumpka, AL. Productions will be adjudicated and awards given to acknowledge exceptional theatrical work in a variety of areas both on and off stage!
Note that competition performance times are APPROXIMATE and will depend on the actual running times of the shows and their adjudication; therefore, companies should be prepared to begin earlier or later than times scheduled.
All workshops will be held in the Wetumpka Depot Lobby.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 25
“The Big Bang” by Theatre Downtown, Birmingham
9:35: 9:50 Adjudication
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24
8:30 a.m. Registration Opens at PCP lobby
9:00-10:30 Workshop One: Stephen Krempansky, Proprietor of MASSKUS Productions, a performing arts administrative and production service, in Knoxville, TN offers
BEYOND THE BOX OFFICE – Methods to increase revenue and engagement. We will explore partnerships, sponsorships, underwriting and other strategic methods to develop new revenue streams, put butts in the seats and make friends.
10:30-12:00 Workshop Two: Brenda Caradine
RAISING AWARENESS IN YOUR COMMUNITY
The founder of the Tennessee Williams’ Tribute (Mississippi’s Williams’ Festival) discusses past festival events and the ups and downs of making a community aware and involved in a festival for America’s greatest playwright.
12:00-1:00 p.m. Break for Lunch
1:00-2:00 DIRECTORS PANEL DISCUSSION — All invited–Lobby. Sue Ellen Gerrells, ACT Executive Director and director of “Sylvia”, one of last year’s winning productions, leads a panel discussion with festival directors (both past and present) about their process.
2:00-3:20 Workshop Three: Fulton Burns, Director of Acting and Performance, University of South Alabama
ACTING THROUGH THE EXPRESSIVE ACTOR METHOD
The Expressive Actor Workshop gives the actor the tools to create an Expressive Action, which is action of thought and feeling through integrated voice and movement. Through the usage of the Expressive Action the performer is able to play and embody any piece of text with a variety of approaches to unlock any walls facing a performer. Come play and have fun with this exciting technique created by Michael Lugering.
3:25 Introductions and recognition by Festival Chair
3:30 – 4:50 “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” by Whole Backstage Theatre, Guntersville
4:50 – 5:05 Adjudication
5:05 – 7:00 Dinner Break
7:00 – 7:05 Introduction/Greetings by Festival Chair
7:05 – 8:25 “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Leeds Arts Council Theatre
8:25 – 8:55 Adjudication
9:30 After Glow Party – Lobby
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 24
8:30 a.m. Registration Opens-Theatre Lobby
9:30-10:30 Theatre Games- All invited – Lobby
10:30 – 11:30 Break for lunch
11:30 – 11:50 Doors Open/Introductions
11:50- 1:10 The Fantasticks by Wetumpka Depot Theatre
1:10- 1:25 Adjudication
1:40 Community Division Meeting/Election of Officers, followed by reception and awards presentation at theatre
Festival Chair Clifton Keen, Jr.
ACT ED Sue Ellen Gerrells
ACTFest ’13: ACT and the Wetumpka Depot Players Host Alabama’s Largest Community Theatre Festival!
After completing two days full days and nights of enlightening workshops, inspiring and entertaining performances, after glow parties, a silent auction, a children’s theatre competition, and a brief divisional meeting, participants at ACTFest ’13, Alabama’s 2012 Community Festival, agreed the event was a smashing success and one of the smoothest festivals ever!
The Wetumpka Depot Players were warm and gracious hosts with their excellent facility Many folks reported that the workshop idea exchanges and performances were highlights of the festival, encouraging them to raise the bar at their own theatres.
AWARDS: Two productions were chosen “Best in Show” and will represent Alabama at the Southeastern Theatre Conference in Louisville, KY March, 2013 during AACTFest ’13.
“Living Together,” Theatre Downtown, directed by Mary Anne Garrett
“Sylvia,” South City Theatre, directed by Sue Ellen Gerrells
Should one of those two shows not be able to represent, the alternate production will represent Alabama: “William the Bard,” Park Players, directed by Clay Boyce
All Star Cast:
Thanks to all who made it possible: our hosts–Kristy Meanor, Carol Heier, and Tom Salter and the Wetumpka Depot Players’ superb volunteers; our backstage crew: Bill Richardson, David Bailor, Karen Black; Festival Chair John Chain and Vice Chair Cliff Keen, Jr.; Silent Auction Coordinator Nell Richardson; Theatre for Youth Chair Kelleybrooke Blackwell; AACT Festival Commissioner Thomas La Foe and our adjudicators: Ginger Heath (North Carolina), Lynn Nelson (Mississippi), and Sam Wallace (Auburn University, Montgomery). A special thank you to the competing companies who brought such entertaining and engaging productions:
Mark your calendars now for October, 2013 and plan to participate in our next community festival! Watch ACT’s website for dates and details.
The dust has settled; the lights have dimmed, and the reviews are in. Alabama winds up another successful Fall Festival! From workshops to the Silent Auction to the talent competition to productions, this event fostered a learning experience for all involved and created network opportunities for those who participated. Thanks to Kevin and Mary Ann Garrett, John and Susan Chain, Mike Gerrells, Terry Kelley, Bill Richardson, Karen Black, David Bailor, and all the community theatre participants who supported our festival in so many ways.
Four shows competed on October 15 at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville, AL from Wetumpka, Alabaster, Opelika, and Guntersville. Adjudicators April Marshall (North Carolina), Fulton Burns (Mobile, AL), Beth Harvey (Florida) chose the following to advance to Southeastern Theatre Conference in March, 2012:
“Agnes of God” by South City Theatre (Alabaster)
“Crafty” by Auburn Area Community Theatre (Opelika)
One Act Awards:
Adult Division: Lisa Ponder