Couple hears curtain call

Published 4:20 pm Monday, June 15, 2009

Let me introduce you to Alan Gardner and his wife Francie, who run South City Theatre.

This couple is passionate about the arts. They met while Alan was at UAB.

Even though Francie was a senior in high school, her years of theater landed her a part in the same play as Alan.

They never had a scene on stage together, but rather had an off-stage romance.

Alan wanted to go to University of Pittsburgh drama school, and Francie wanted to follow. She attended Point Park University.

I was amazed at the culture of Pittsburgh — five professional theaters, a symphony, an opera and a community theater.

The Gardners have also lived in Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta.

They have traveled to China, Vietnam, Singapore and Scotland.

For “regular jobs” Alan serves as the drama teacher at Vestavia High and Francie teaches drama at Pizitz Middle.

They and their four sons attend Holy Spirit Episcopal Church.

South City Theatre opened “Pride and Prejudice” June 12.

The period play will run for three weeks.

“Some of the productions over the last 10 years include “Of Mice and Men,” “Death of a Salesman,” “The Man Who Came to Dinner,” “Raisin in the Sun,” “Witness for the Prosecution,” “The Crucible,” Dark of the Moon,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and “Steel Magnolias.”

The enthusiasm this couple has for their artwork is very contagious.

Their company is non-profit and needs our support and patronage.

All work is voluntary.

Right now their summer drama camp is going on in Helena Park for children ages 8-18.

A Christian couple following is their passion … Alan and Francie believe in each individual expressing his talent or passion.

No idleness for this family. Give our own community theater a try — I think you’ll be glad you did.

Sandra Thames is a community columnist for Alabaster. She can be reached by e–mail at