The Alabama Conference of Theatre (ACT) is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation with its roots deep in Alabama history through the merger of two organizations: The Alabama Theatre League (ATL) and The Alabama Speech Communication and Theatre Association (ASCTA).
In the early ‘70s a group of university and college theatre educators formed the ATL to support and promote theatre in Alabama. In October of 1972, ATL became a non-profit corporation with the filing of its “Certificate of Incorporation.” Article II of the Certificate states the organizational goals were:
- To improve the quality of the theatre and performing arts on all levels throughout the State of Alabama;
- To encourage the further development of theatrical related activities;
- To create a closer relationship between actors and persons associated with the theatre and the arts at all levels;
- To train audiences to a greater appreciation of theatrical performances and arts related thereto;
- To cooperate and maintain a close and beneficial relationship with individuals or organizations within or without the State of Alabama who entertain an interest similar to the purposes set out herein;
- To do all things necessary and incident to promoting and maintaining the theatrical arts in the State of Alabama;
- To raise funds by solicitation and by other means for the purposes of financing and carrying out the purposes of the corporation.
In 1978, a group of secondary educators formed the Alabama Speech Communications and Theatre Association (ASCTA) with a similar set of goals and a focus on secondary educational theatre. In 1992, the two organizations merged to become the Alabama Conference of Theatre and Speech (ACTS). A few years ago, the word “Speech” was dropped from the name and today we have the Alabama Conference of Theatre: a network of theatre artists who promote, strengthen, and sustain theatre in Alabama.
Today, ACT is a premiere resource for theatre in Alabama through their five divisions: Theatre for Youth, Secondary, College/University, Community, and Professional. ACT holds theatre festivals and provides other resources to theatre artists throughout Alabama and beyond.