UAB Department of Theatre and Red Mountain Theatre co-present the musical “Sister Act,” April 5-21

They have historic ties, but the co-production of “Sister Act” marks the beginning of a new era. UAB students, faculty and alumni make up two-thirds of the team uniting to present this show.

sister act streamTwo of Birmingham’s musical theater education powerhouses have teamed up to present the feel-good musical comedy “Sister Act,” with shows from April 5-21.

This is not the first time the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Theatre and Red Mountain Theatre have collaborated; they have historic ties. But it is the first time the two groups have co-presented a production like this.

“Sister Act” is based on the popular 1992 film: After witnessing a murder, disco diva Deloris Van Cartier must hide in a local convent disguised as a nun. At odds with the strict lifestyle and even stricter Mother Superior, she finds her niche in revitalizing the church choir — until it blows her cover.

Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m., with matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $49. A 20 percent discount is available for UAB students and employees. Purchase tickets at The show is recommended for ages 13 and older. Use the code BLAZER20 until April 14 for a 20 percent discount on tickets.

The Birmingham, Alabama-based nonprofit organization Red Mountain Theatre has been inspiring audiences and creating conversations through theater experiences since 1979. RMT also offers educational programs for young people and growth opportunities for theater professionals.

The UAB Department of Theatre, in the College of Arts and Sciences, has won the highest honors awarded to university theaters, including best in region from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Faculty members in the department continue to work professionally in addition to teaching.

More than half of the cast and crew members for “Sister Act” are current UAB students, who are not only earning class credit, but in many cases making their professional debuts at RMT. When current faculty and alumni of UAB’s prestigious theater program are included, UAB Blazers represent two-thirds of the team uniting to present the beloved show, according to RMT.

Joining the production as Deloris is the dynamic Nicole Vanessa Ortiz, who recently finished an international tour run in the role. Ortiz is up against the stodgy Mother Superior and Monsignor O’Hara, played by UAB’s Valerie Accetta, head of Musical Theatre, and Dennis McLernon, head of Performance. Stepping into the role of Officer Eddie Souther is UAB musical theater student Jalen Kirkman, who just won Best Male Vocalist in the 2024 NextGen National Competition.

The show’s director, Roy Lightner, is well aware of this kind of crossover energy. He is RMT’s Singh Artistic Director and an associate professor at UAB.

“It is an awesome, artistic skill-building collaboration between the two,” Lightner said. “Pooling our creative resources means the talent level in Birmingham, and the talent we attract, just keeps going up and up.”

The partnership marks a return to RMT’s roots in Birmingham. Its original incarnation, Summerfest, was started in 1979 through a partnership with UAB that lasted until 1993. Though unofficial relationships and crosspollination continued, “Sister Act” marks the beginning of a new era for both groups.

“This is a collaboration we intend to sustain into a long and bright future,” says RMT Executive Director Keith Cromwell.

“Sister Act” is sponsored by Bruno Rumore Foundation, Will Donaldson and Steve Holmes, The Palmer on Parkside and The Drummond Family.