Theatres offer opportunities on and off campus

Actors portray Mephistopheles and Faustus in UNA’s production of ‘Dr. Faustus’.

The Shoals area offers a few options for students interested in acting.


Students in the theatre program at UNA get the chance to learn all aspects of theatre.

The group typically performs four to five plays a year, said Charlton James, associate professor of music and theatre.

“It depends on the year and really on the students we have,” he said.

The styles of plays are rotated over the course of four years, so students have the opportunity to experience different genres before they graduate.

Though the plays are primarily for theatre students, auditions are open to all university members.

A professional director and actors come to UNA to work with students during the UNA Summer

Theatre Program.

“UNA as a whole has a lot of diversity in what they’re offering students,” James said.

Shoals Community Theatre

The Shoals Community Theatre group located at the Shoals Theatre on Seminary Street is home to the Zodiac Players and the Gingerbread Players.

The Zodiac Players typically perform five shows a year, meant for an adult audience, while the Gingerbread Players, who aim to expose children and teens

to the stage, produce three shows a year for family audiences.

If you are interested in participating in community theatre, General Manager of the Shoals Theatre Steven Price suggests you give Shoals Community Theatre a try.

Announcements about upcoming auditions and other information can be found on their Facebook page.

Don’t be afraid to try out, Price said. Auditions are open to everyone.

In addition to acting opportunities, there are volunteer opportunities that can offer experience in many fields.

Contact Steven Price at the Shoals Theatre at 256-764-1700 for more information.

The Ritz Theatre

The Ritz Theatre in Sheffield offers acting opportunities as well.

The Center Stage Theatre produces four plays per year designed for an older audience while Time Out for Theatre’s performances are for child audiences.

“The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” and “Charlotte’s Web” are a couple of Time Out’s favorites.

Anybody in the community can come and audition for Center Stage and Time Out for Theatre.

Mary Cooney, executive director of the Tennessee Valley Art Association, said you do not have to have a background in theatre for these programs.

“You just have to have a love for it and want to perform,” she said. “These are really good opportunities for first time performers.”

Summerstock, another acting opportunity offered by the Ritz, is designed for people ages 16-29 wanting to do more of a study program in the summer.

They typically perform one musical theatre production per year and offer a small scholarship to those who are cast in it, Cooney said.

Cooney can be reached at the Tennessee Valley Art Association at 256-383-0533 for more information.