Stella Adler Studio

“To grasp the full significance of life is the actor's duty, to interpret it is his problem, and to express it his dedication.”  
– Marlon Brando

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller

“The theatre should be treated with respect. The theatre is a wonderful place, a house of strange enchantment, a temple of illusion.”
– Noel Coward

“Cultivate an ever continuous power of observation...see the sunlight and everything that is to be seen.”
– John Singer Sargent

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”
– T.S. Eliot

"Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world."
– Harriet Tubman

“The secret of all natural and human law is movement that meets with devotion”
– I Ching



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

“How do we re-establish a culture of caring?  There are many things that we can and do. The arts can help. Becoming educated – but having a good education doesn’t necessarily mean that a person knows how to be a “caring” person. It’s time to re-define what “being human” means. What is it that makes us different from animals? Mainly, it’s when we accept the discipline of “being human.” When we genuinely care about each other.”
- Rita Fredricks

Shoals Symphony Orchestra at UNA

The Shoals Symphony Orchestra at UNA was officially born in 1985 when the former Tennessee Valley String School and Community Orchestra came together. But before that, as the story goes, back in 1979, Betty Dardess gave violin lessons to Gerry Byars at the Tennessee Valley Art Center in Tuscumbia, Alabama. From there, a program evolved with several more teachers teaching many more students, and soon a small children’s orchestra developed into a thriving youth orchestra program becoming The Tennessee Valley Community Orchestra.

Musicians from the surrounding cities and towns of the Shoals area including Florence, Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia, and Sheffield, as well from the four counties of Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin and Cullman, flocked to be a part of this exciting new orchestra.

In two short years, Ms. Dardess received funding to bring professional players to be a part of their concerts, and Gary Parks arrived to become their first professional conductor in 1984. At a fundraising concert in 2002 at the Frank Lloyd Wright House and Richards Center in Florence, the Symphony Association and the University Of North Alabama joined forces to create the Shoals Symphony.

Over the years, the University of North Alabama has provided orchestral performance awards for collegiate musicians so that music faculty and community musicians are able to perform side-by-side with students and professional musicians.

Daniel Stevens, Music Director and Conductor

The Shoals Symphony at UNA 2017-2018 season includes Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2”, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky’s “Symphony No. 4” featuring Yi-Min Cai; Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King,” and Saint Saens' “Danse Macabre;” a Christmas Cantata celebration including contemporary religious recording artist Michael W. Smith’s Agnus Dei; UNA Honor Orchestra — one of the nation’s premier orchestral workshops for high school string students will be invited to perform with a professional orchestra; a concert, “Joyful Virtue,” featuring a 200-voice choir as the Symphony performs Beethoven’s 9th Symphony; and the Disney classic film, “Ratatouille,” with the orchestra underscoring the music as the film is shown on a 40-foot wide screen. The Symphony Shoals current conductor, Daniel Stevens joined the University of North Alabama in 2014.

Dr. Yi-Min Cai

The Shoals Symphony at UNA is the fourth largest symphony orchestra in Alabama. Leading supporters of Shoals Symphony at UNA include the Alabama State Council on the Arts, University of North Alabama, David L. Black, Colbert County Commissioner & President of the Board of Directors, and many other influential individuals, institutions and corporations.

On January, 13th, 2018, at the UNA Honors Orchestra, select students will have the opportunity to perform side-by-side with the professional musicians of the Shoals Symphony at UNA. Students are considered by audition and recommendation from high schools from across the South. For info contact: Dr. Daniel Stevens at

Honors Orchestra at University of North Alabama

Shoals Symphony at UNA also offers the UNA String Project under the direction of String Master Teacher Christina Volz-Stomackin, concertmaster of the Shoals Symphony at UNA, providing instruction in violin, viola, cello, guitar and string bass for all ages. For info:

For info: Shoals Symphony at UNA PO Box 667 Florence, AL 35631 (256) 765-5122,

"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

The Soul of the American Actor Newspaper