Department of Theatre

  • A performance to honor people impacted by cancer, “Raising Our Voices” Oct. 29-30 at UAB

    UAB Institute for Arts in Medicine and Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater will present this original work created with Birmingham community members affected by cancer.

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  • Theatre UAB presents “Godspell,” 2012 version, Oct. 13-17

    Celebrate community and inclusion in this masterful retelling of the original sensation, injected with contemporary references and dazzling new arrangements.

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  • UAB’s Lightner honored by Alabama Conference of Theatre

    Roy Lightner, MFA, an assistant professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre, has received the Dorothy Schwartz Outstanding Educator Award.

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  • Theatre UAB celebrates 50 years, announces new performance season

    “Godspell,” Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” “Noises Off,” an original play by a Theatre UAB alumna, and “The SpongeBob Musical” are set for the 2021-22 season.

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  • National honors awarded to Theatre UAB’s original production “Disconnect” by KCACTF

    The KCACTF awarded “Disconnect” with Special Achievement honors in directing, production design, ensemble collaboration and company-generated work, as well as a Kennedy Center Citizen Artist Award.

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  • UAB student-researcher awarded full scholarship for Cornell University Ph.D. communications program

    Alivia Moore, who studied deception in the UAB Department of Communication Studies and graduates May 1, urges incoming students to take every opportunity seriously and plan their long-term goals.

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  • Musical Theatre grads look to the future

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    Justine Grace Nelson, Laurel Floen, and Diego Villanueva

    This academic year has been unlike any other. Students and faculty have navigated unprecedented complexity during the COVID-19 pandemic, and, over the course of the past 14 months, they have exemplified resiliency and creativity.

    In the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Theatre, three graduating seniors are preparing for their next steps, while taking some time to reflect on their experiences over the past year.

    "Obviously, this was not the senior year any of us had planned,” said Justine Grace Nelson, a senior who will earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre this spring. “We have taken advantage of technology and created professional online presences showcasing our work and learned so much about the business side of the industry this year.”

    By leveraging technology and an adaptable spirit, the faculty in the Department of Theatre have ensured students still receive a world-class educational experience even when they are remote and/or wearing masks and socially distanced.

    “I have been so inspired by these strong and resilient students and artists,” said Valerie Accetta, Head of Musical Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “This is not at all the senior year they envisioned when they started at UAB, but even in the midst of a global pandemic, they have continued to do committed work and claim their unique artistic voices.”

    One of Accetta’s inspiring students is Laurel Floen. As she approaches graduation, Floen recently reflected on her experience in the musical theatre program and uncovered an eye-opening discovery. “When we turn the spotlight off ourselves and use it to shine light outwards through our work, that’s when we hit gold,” said Floen.

    Floen also feels a deep and unwavering bond with her fellow musical theatre seniors, including Nelson and Diego Villanueva.

    For Villanueva, the pandemic did not stop him from envisioning a future that is dynamic and bright. “Once I graduate, I will be headed to Rehoboth, Delaware joining Clear Space Theatre in their summer season,” said Villanueva. Afterwards, he will participate in a year-long apprenticeship with the Florida Repertory Theatre in Fort Myers, Florida, then he will be off to New York City.

    Nelson is also pursuing her dreams in the Sunshine State. “I am currently in Florida already working on my first professional post-grad production as Peppermint Patty in ThinkTank’s production of Snoopy," said Nelson.

    In August, Floen plans to move to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to start an internship with Good to Go Theater. Philadelphia also presents Floen with an added benefit – proximity to New York City. “I might even take the two-hour train ride to New York City to visit friends and audition more once everything opens again,” said Floen.

    All three students note their appreciation for the faculty in the Department of Theatre for providing immense support and mentorship during this unpredictable year. For Accetta, creating such a nurturing environment was a pleasure. “Laurel, Justine, and Diego are simply beautiful humans, and I feel so lucky to have shared in their journey,” Accetta said.

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  • Celebrate 23 books authored by CAS faculty in 2020

    Writing a book isn’t easy, but faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences produced nearly two-dozen — for the second year in a row. Twenty faculty from 13 departments wrote books on police violence, John Milton, democracy in Bangladesh, addiction, postcommunist theatre and more.

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  • UAB Department of Theatre graduate is making “big dream” come true

    David H. Parker will walk in UAB’s commencement, then head west to the University of California, Los Angeles, where they will pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Directing, with a full scholarship.

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  • Theatre UAB presents student-led production “The Way You Made Me,” April 10-11

    “The Way You Made Me” is a story of the connections between our family, our lovers and ourselves. Student Bailey Dumlao directs the play, which will be available for viewing on Vimeo.

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  • Film by UAB alumna on Birmingham’s Greek-owned restaurants gets Southern Foodways Alliance premiere

    The documentary “Philoxenia,” by Birmingham-based filmmaker Jessica Chriesman, features local favorites Ted’s Restaurant, Demetri’s BBQ, Johnny’s Restaurant, The Bright Star, The Fish Market and Gus’s Hot Dogs.

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  • New free arts and music events from UAB announced for 2021

    UAB’s Alys Stephens Center will present free concerts by Eric Essix and Tracy Hamlin, DeQn Sue, Red Baraat, Stefon Harris + Blackout and Rollin’ In The Hay. Blues legend Keb’ Mo’ will perform a live-stream concert May 13; tickets are $20 per device.

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  • “Disconnect” by Theatre UAB selected for KCACTF Region IV performance

    This is the eighth UAB Department of Theatre production since 2003 to be selected for presentation by the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival.

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  • Original sci-fi audio drama “Relativity,” by Theatre UAB professor, wins AVA Digital Award

    Lee Shackleford’s “Relativity” is a serialized adventure about a man on a damaged spaceship hurtling toward another planet and a woman at mission control who fights to keep him alive.

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  • Remembering Professor Marlene Johnson

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Marlene Johnson on November 2, 2020. After teaching in the UAB Department of Theatre for 14 years, Prof. Johnson will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a generous colleague, and an inspired artist. She is survived by her husband Edwin Booth and sister Myrna Johnson Moehring.

    It is with a heavy heart that we share the passing of our dear friend and colleague, Professor Marlene Johnson on November 2, 2020. After teaching in the UAB Department of Theatre for 14 years, Prof. Johnson will be remembered as a dedicated educator, a generous colleague, and an inspired artist. She is survived by her husband Edwin Booth and sister Myrna Johnson Moehring.

    Prof. Johnson received her MFA in Voice Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University before joining the UAB Department of Theatre in 2006. She was a master teacher of the Alexander Technique and taught courses in voice, movement, dialects, and acting.

    Prof. Johnson received extensive training over the years to perfect her craft, including with the Professional Voice Trainers Intensive at the National Theatre in London with Patsy Rodenburg; at the American Repertory Theatre with Bonnie Raphael; at the Canadian National Voice Intensive with David Smukler and Judith Koltai; and at Shakespeare and Company with Kristin Linklater. Prof. Johnson was honored by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a 2011 National Teaching Artist and by Region IV of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival as a Regional Teaching Artist. She was a frequent presenter for VASTA, ATHE, ATI, KCACTF, and SETC and taught or presented workshops in Glasgow, Madrid, Mexico City, Vancouver, Herefordshire, Serbia, and London where she taught a summer class in Acting Shakespeare at the University of Westminster in 2005. She served on the Board of the Voice and Speech Trainers Association and served as Chair of the SETC Voice and Speech Committee. She was the vocal coach for more than 100 productions at venues such as the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the Alliance Theatre, Theatre Virginia, PA Stage Company, Theatre Outlet, the University of Minnesota, and the University of West Georgia.

    Everyone who knew her will miss her smile, her laugh, and her wit; she was truly one of a kind. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, an orphan elephant rescue and wildlife rehabilitation program in Kenya.

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  • Theatre UAB student collective presents live, original performance, “Disconnect,” streaming Nov. 19-21

    With a thrilling script performed live and unfolding in real time, a dozen college students work through a tangled web of mistaken identities, accidental revelations and conflicting values.

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  • “Improv mindset,” virtual performing can strengthen young actors

    For student actors, the virtual “stage” requires additional patience, focus and benevolence — skills actors should continually develop anyhow, says UAB Theatre alumna Theresa Robbins Dudeck, Ph.D.

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  • Activities and events on the UAB campus are canceled or postponed due to COVID-19

    Many events, including concerts by students and faculty, visits by guest artists and exhibitions may be rescheduled in the future, but the timeline for decisions on when that may occur is unknown.  

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  • UAB Arts in Medicine presents “Raising Our Voices” on March 14

    This event has been canceled. “Raising Our Voices” is an innovative movement and storytelling project for individuals impacted by cancer, presented with critically acclaimed Stuart Pimsler Dance & Theater.

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  • From white family to black: cast of Theatre UAB’s “The Glass Menagerie” discuss race and the play

    The cast hopes this “brand-new story with classic roots,” portrayed by a black family, will humanize the black experience for audiences.

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