Community theater comes to Montevallo

The Alabama Conference of Theatre plans to illuminate Parnell Memorial Library with both stage lights and short productions during the Alabama Community Theatre Festival this weekend.

“We encourage the community to come out because they are going to get to see a variety of productions,” said ACT director Sue Ellen Gerrells. “How often do you have the opportunity to see the quality of community theater from across the state?”

The Montevallo Main Street Players are co-hosting the event, which runs from Jan. 9-10. Danny Gamble, a member of the MMSP board of directors, said it’s an honor to host the event.

“It will be a cross-section from theater across the state,” Gamble said. “Audience members can really see the variety of genres these groups perform.”

A different production will be performed each night on the stage of the Parnell Memorial Library Theater in Montevallo. Four community theatres will stage one-hour cuttings from one of their season’s productions.

The Community Actors Theater of Anniston will perform “The Lady With All the Answers” by David Rambo at 8 p.m. Friday; the Arts Council of the Trussville Area will bring a 30-member group to perform “Once a Pond. A Time,” a musical by Roy Hudson and David McNeely at 1 p.m. Saturday; “Stories My Grandmother Told Me” by Ted Swindley, performed by the Wetumpka Depot Players at 3 p.m. Saturday; and Theatre98 of Fairhope will perform “The Trip to Bountiful” by Horton Foote at 7:30 p.m.

Plays will be judged based on elements such as interpretation of characters, effectiveness of stage pictures, appropriate material and overall producation.

Gerrells said judges will select two groups to advance to the regional competition in Birmingham in March. An awards ceremony and reception will follow Saturday’s final performance.

Tickets for the event, which are $10 general admission and $5 for students, cover all four performances the judging process and the reception following.

“The judicators will actually give feedback to the actors in front of the audience,” Gerrells said. “So, they (the actors and audience members) can learn a lot from that process.”

Seating is limited and will be on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For more information, contact Sue Ellen Gerrells at 936-9162.