William Esper Studio














Spotlight On


Frantic Assembly

Mark Taper Forum at LA’s Centre Theatre Group 50th Anniversary

MCC Theatre

St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn

The Everyman Theatre

Boston Playwrights’ Theatre

1st Stage Theater

59 E 59 Theater

Young Vic of London

Theatre Huntsville

Dance Place in Washington, D.C.

Alabama School of Fine Arts 50th Year Celebration

Rennie Harris at Baltimore Center Stage

Ronald Rand’s new book “CREATE! How Extraordinary People Live to Create and Create to Live”

What is FAFA? The Florence Academy of Fine Arts in Alabama

Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance – London’s International Drama School

Alabama Music Hall Of Fame

Historic Zodiac Playhouse — The “Z” in Florence, Alabama

Shoals Symphony Orchestra at UNA

“Grand Ball in the Belle Epoch” – Edwardian Period Style Salon



Alabama School of Fine Arts 50th Year Celebration

This year marks The Alabama School of Fine Arts 50th anniversary, lead by Executive Director, Michael Meeks, as ASAF continues bringing to their pupils, grades seven through twelve, quality educational and fine arts experience in the areas of creative writing, dance, math & science, music, theatre, and visual arts.

The mission of the Alabama School of Fine Arts remains: a diverse community of explorers, nurturing impassioned students, guiding and inspiring them to discover and fulfill their individual creative abilities in an atmosphere distinguished by the fusion of fact and feeling, risk and reward, art and science, school and society.

Dorothy Jamison Day Theater

Peggy Hammond

D. Bradford Hill, Director, Curriculum & Instruction has said: “Trust is the organizing factor that makes our center hold. The adults at ASFA trust the students to be able to handle and cherish a school culture that privileges creativity. That’s crucial because the boundary between order and randomness is where the elements of creativity come together to find their spark.  Although our school culture is vital to our curriculum, it does not change the reality that intensive and demanding specialties are why we exist and that we are proud of the dynamic and challenging academic curricula that support our specialties. Since 1971, ASFA curriculum and instruction has prioritized creativity. That’s why it is encouraging to me that in this still-new century, more and more schools are recognizing the greater value of independent curricula, and there is increasing traction for finding ways to not measure standards but to recognize and promote creative environments. In other words, more schools are beginning to embrace and value more the very things we’ve been doing at ASFA since the last century.”

This year thirteen million dollars in merit scholarships were awarded to their seventy graduates. The class of 2017 was accepted into almost a hundred and twenty-five hundred colleges and universities around the world.

The Alabama School of Fine Arts first began in 1967 with a group of Birmingham arts community leaders who were able to receive funding from Governor Lurleen Wallace to support after-school instructional programs based in community arts agencies. Five years later, the Legislature approved a resolution formally establishing the school, and in 1974, after a year at Samford University, the school moved to Birmingham-Southern College, where it consolidated five arts programs and a core academic program, staffed in part by the Birmingham Public Schools.

In 1976, the school moved to its own temporary campus in downtown Birmingham where it established a private, non-profit support foundation to raise private funding to build an all-new campus complex. The next year, the Alabama School of Fine Arts moved into its new $10 million facility at the heart of Birmingham’s Cultural District. Over the years, theater, mathematics/science and creative writing wings have been opened. In 2012, the Alabama School of Fine Arts opened their 500-seat Dorothy Jemison Day Theater, one of the most technologically advanced venue of its kind in the entire Southeast.

students dancing Mark Morris’ “Crunched”

Over the years, the Alabama School of Fine Arts has also been awarded grants to bring in Visiting Guest artists including most recently, Ronald Rand and his inspiring solo play, “LET IT BE ART!” as Harold Clurman, brought to the School by Theatre Arts Chair, Peggy Hammond, a recognized costume designer and educator who has taught at ASFA for sixteen years.

The Alabama School of Fine Arts also provides summer programs designed to educate, inspire and enrich students in a collaborative environment, building their dance technique, their confidence on the stage, and education.

For more info: Alabama School of Fine Arts 1800 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham, AL 35203, (205) 252-9241, www.asfaschool.org


"It is a law of life that man cannot live for himself alone. Extreme individualism is insanity. The world's problems are also our personal problems. Health is achieved through maintaining our personal truth in a balanced relation of love to the rest of the world. No expression is more emblematic of this relation than the creative act which we call art. No art by its very constitution typifies the social nature of that creative act more than the theatre. The theatre, to be fully understood and appreciated, must be seen as a manifestation of this process of interchange between society and the individual. It must be judged as a continuous development of groups of individuals within society, a development which becomes richer, acquires greater force and value as it grows with the society in which it originates. Only in this way can the theatre nourish us.  - Harold Clurman

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