Alabama is exploding with theater groups across the state. Some specialize in musicals, some in Broadway favorites, others in challenging themes. All of them offer entertainment and art to their communities. Here is a list of theater groups performing somewhere near you.
Red Mountain Theater built a beautiful new theater to house its famed musicals, This year: Annie, Kinky Boots and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.
Southsides’ Birmingham Festival Theater takes on more uncomfortable subjects in Significant Other and Glengarry Glen Ross but lightens up for Clue and Sordid Lives.
Homewood Theater in Soho Square focuses on smaller productions for a niche market of people who don’t traditionally attend plays. Its season included The Little Engine that Could and A Night at the Cascade Lounge.
Caldwell Park’s Virginia Samford Theater was founded in 1927 and remains the grande dame of Birmingham theater. With a cadre of talented vocalists, this season it puts on Sound of Music, Sister Act and Escape to Margaritaville.
Central Alabama Theater resides in a former church in Mountain Brook and entertains with lively cabaret performances, musical/plays and new works.
Birmingham Children’s Theater dates back to 1947, making it one of the oldest and largest theater companies focusing on young audiences. Located in the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, it offers both live and puppet performances.
South City Theater in Pelham wavers between The Coarse Acting Showcase hilarity to The Diary of Anne Frank and Ayn Rand’s experimental Night of January 16th. An award-winning theater company, it serves Shelby County.
ACTA in Trussville serves adults and children in a variety of plays from Gypsy to The Curious Savage, a dark comedy set in an insane asylum.
Encore Theater works with minority actors to put on urban and indie plays. Located in Roebuck Springs, it presents plays such as Detroit ’67, about siblings struggling during the time of race riots.
Pell City Players range from comedies such as Dearly Departed and new works—it debuted Hiram: Becoming Hank (Williams), a play by columnist Rheta Grimsley Johnson.
Theater Huntsville takes on gutsy performances of the existential classic Waiting for Godot and Red about the artist Mark Rothko and balances it with a farce like Noises Off. See them at the Van Braun Center Playhouse or the Studio Theater at Lowe Mill.
IMPHuntsville stands for Independent Musical Productions, which presents cabaret evenings of song in addition to full plays, such as Pippin and Rent.
Shoals Community Theater is shared by the Zodiac Players and the Gingerbread Players. The Zodiac Players take on more series topics in The Rabbit Hole and Pontius Pilate. The Gingerbreads offer more light-hearted entertainment with Robin Hood and The Wizard of Oz.
Joe Jefferson Players began in 1947 after war and the Depression had damped the spirits and lessened theater performances. They still lift spirits with rollicking song-and-dance performances like Footloose and jumps into The Ring of Fire.
PACT Theater Company trains young people in the theater arts through a series of plays and special performances, along with classes. Expect three to four major performances a year.
Sunny Side Theater claims its “theater for kids, by kids.” It presents performances such as Annie and Rainbow Fish.
Chickasaw Civic Theater started in 1963 and continues to offer a variety of lighthearted plays from The Play that Goes Wrong to Is He Dead? and George M!
South Baldwin Community Theater presents Smoke on the Mountain for its summer offering.
The Alabama Shakespeare Festival is the only Alabama theater company nominated for a prestigious Tony Award. It is ranked in the top ten largest Shakespeare Festivals in the world. National talent stars in its wide variety of plays.
The Cloverdale Playhouse presents unusual offerings: Picasso at Lapin Agile by Steve Martin and dot. The Shape of Things studies the danger of misdirected relationships.
Wetumpka Depot Players long ago moved out of the old train station but never gave up on producing plays. This year’s offerings include A Trip to Bountiful, The Jungle Book and the local favorite, Big Fish.
Pike Road Theater Group is led by a member of the Actor’s Equity Association who has appeared in plays across the country, including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. This year’s offerings vary from Oliver! to Nunsense.
Millbrook Community Players are making audiences laugh with two Jones Hope Wooten comedies: A Doublewide Texas Christmas and Deliver Us from Momma.