Performing arts take center stage in the Metropolitan Region, with a host of premier dance and theater companies in the area. Each serve to enrich our cultural community with inspiring performances and dedicated arts outreach programs.
The Alabama Ballet's company is comprised of 21 professional dancers and 24 apprentices from all across the United States and around the world. Each of the dancers as well as the artistic staff excels, and the company has drawn praise from the New York Times. The ballet performs at both the Alys Stephens Center and the Birmingham-Jefferson Civic Center Concert Hall.
Built in 1927 by Paramount Studios, the Alabama Theatre was used as a movie palace for 55 years. In 1987 the theatre was purchased by Birmingham Landmarks Inc., a local non-profit, and re-opened as the Alabama Theatre for Performing Arts. The building was restored to its original luster in 1998, and today hosts over 300 events annually including plays, concerts, films, and special events.
One of America's largest theatres for youth, the Birmingham Children's Theatre was founded in 1947 by the Junior League of Birmingham. The theatre runs two different production series each season, one which designed at audiences grade 2 and younger, and another aimed at children in grades K-6. BCT's lively productions, which are often adaptations of classic children's stories, are held in three theatres within the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex. In addition, the annual Theatre in Motion touring program reaches audiences in more than 75 Alabaman cities as well as 28 other cities throughout the Southeast.
Erected in 1935 in what is now the historic 4th Avenue Business District, the Carver Theatre has been a landmark on the Birmingham music scene since its creation. Over the years, the theatre has hosted such jazz greats as Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton, and today operates as a non-profit multi-use community theatre. The Carver Theatre is also home to the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame and Museum, which charts the history of jazz music as a distinctly American musical heritage.
The Department of Theatre & Dance at the university of Alabama has been staging productions since the early 20th century. Dance performances range from classical ballet to jazz to modern. Theatre productions offer an interesting mix of timeless classics, invigorating musicals and provocative new performances. Whether dance or theatre, the performances at the University of Alabama offer a unique chance to see talented young artists at their best. The department hosts performances in three venues: the Allen Bales Theatre, the Marian Gallaway Theatre and the Morgan Auditorium.