SETC Community Theatre Festival

SETC’s Community Theatre Festival — a multi-day performance festival held each year during the annual SETC Convention — features community theatres representing the 10 southeastern states.

2022 Community Theatre Festival

The 2022 Community Theatre Festival took place as part of the 2022 SETC Annual Convention in Memphis, TN. If your community theatre group is interested in participating in 2023, check with your state organization to learn how to get started at the state level.


For more information, please contact:

Lyle Tate

Community Theatre Festival Chair
Email Lyle Tate

Lynn Nelson

Community Theatre Division Chair
Email Lynn Nelson


Email SETC

Congratulations to our 2022 winners!

  • Outstanding Show: Seawall – Live Arts (Georgia)
  • Outstanding Achievement in Acting:
    • Marcie Antoinette Hall, Every Brilliant Thing – Market Theatre (South Carolina)
    • Rodney L. Johnson, Seawall – Live Arts (Georgia)


“As director of a new theatre company, I’ve found the SETC Community Theatre Festival to be constructive, well-run and a terrific way to network and grow. Actors for Children Theatre has had an enjoyable experience the past two years and we hope to be back!”
– Sarah Diamond Burroway, Actors for Children Theatre

2022 Festival Respondents

Headshot of Marci Duncan

Marci J. Duncan
Professor and Director, University of West Florida Theatre Department
President, Florida Theatre Conference

Mary Jo DeNolf
Festival & Engagement Coordinator, AACT

Friday, Mar. 11, 2022

3:05 PM – 4:40 PM
Every Brilliant Thing
The Market Theatre Company (South Carolina)
Written by Duncan MacMillan with Jonny Donahoe, Directed by Drew Whitley

You’re six years old. Your mom’s in the hospital, and your dad says she’s “done some-thing stupid.” She finds it hard to be happy, so you start to make a list of everything that’s brilliant about the world, everything that’s worth living for: 1. ice cream, 2. kung fu movies, 3. burning things, 4. laughing so hard you shoot milk from your nose, 5. construction cranes, 6. me. You leave it on her pillow. Soon, the list will take on a life of its own. Every Brilliant Thing is a play about depression and the lengths we will go to for those we love.

4:45 PM – 6:10 PM
Footloose: Youth Edition
Momentum Dance Company (Georgia)
Music by Tom Snow, Lyrics by Dean Pitchford, Directed by Maggie Walls

Footloose: Youth Edition celebrates the exhilaration of youth, the wisdom of listening to one another, and the power of forgiveness. When Ren and his mother move from Chicago to a small farming town, he is prepared for the inevitable adjustment period at his new high school. What he isn’t prepared for are the rigorous local edicts, includ-ing a ban on dancing instituted by the local preacher. When the reverend’s rebellious daughter sets her sights on Ren, her roughneck boyfriend tries to sabotage Ren’s reputation. The heartfelt story that emerges is of a father longing for the son he lost and of a young man aching for the father who walked out on him.

7:05 PM – 8:40 PM
The Seafarer
Tupelo Community Theatre (Mississippi)
Written by Conor McPherson, Directed by Tom Booth

The Seafarer is a 2006 play by Irish playwright Conor McPherson set on Christ-mas Eve in Dublin. The play centers on James “Sharky” Harkin, an alcoholic who has recently returned to live with his blind, aging brother, Richard Harkin. As Sharky attempts to stay off the bottle during the holidays, he contends with the hard-drinking, irascible Richard and his own haunted conscience.

8:45PM – 10:10PM
Sea Wall
Live Arts (Georgia)
Written by Simon Stephens, Directed by Rebecca Parker

Sea Wall is a delicate monologue, completely devastating and beautifully powerful. Alex’s story, spoken directly to the audience, encompasses his wife, visiting her father in the South of France, having a daughter, photography, and the bottom of the sea. His story ultimately falls away into deep and heart-breaking grief, crumbling to pieces with an incredibly moving vividness.

Virtual Performance

The Pink Unicorn
Proud Mary Theatre Company (South Carolina)
Written by by Elise Forier Edie, Directed by Anne Tromsness

Trisha Lee’s insular world in small-town Texas unfurls when her teenage daughter Jolene suddenly becomes Jo and without a gender. This poignant one woman show by Elise Forier Edie (an Off-Broadway hit in 2019 with Tony-winner Alice Ripley of Next to Normal) starred Kelly Davis as this Southern Christian widow (and 7 other roles), who collides head-on with her faith, church, school and entire community.

2020 Festival Respondents

Hadley Kamminga-Peck Headshot

Hadley Kamminga-Peck Currently the theatre historian and head of directing at Western Illinois University, She completed her PhD in theatre history and criticism at the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015. She received her BA in drama and Italian from Colorado College and her master’s degree in acting from the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts, and is also a member of the 2019 Lincoln Center Theatre Directors Lab.

Tammy Killian Headshot

Tammy Killian WIU’s chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance, Tammy Killian is a native of Alabama. She received her BAs in Theatre/Art from Birmingham-Southern College, and her MFA in Acting/Theatre from Florida Atlantic University Last year at WIU, Tammy was seen on stage as Louise in Always…Patsy Cline the “2018 Faculty Feature.” She was one of the directors for SHOWCASE: New Friends 20142019, and has produced 80 productions during her tenure at WIU. Recently, Tammy was featured on Hong Kong Sleepover’s song Roller Derby Girls on their Butcher & Bolt album. Currently, Tammy is producing and directing BYOP Bring Your Own Play which is WIU’s New Play Festival

Thursday Performances – Feb. 27, 2020 – Block 1

1:00 PM – 2:35 PM
Just Outside the Door
Florida – Gainesville Community Theatre
Written by Esteban R. Alvarez III, Directed by Leannis Crutchfield

The story of Robert and his abuela. When Robert finds out that his abuela is dying, he does the most reasonable thing he could possibly imagine … he kidnaps her. While he does so in an effort to help her get better, Robert must also learn how to deal with grief, depression, and self-acceptance before it is too late.

2:35 PM – 4:10 PM
The 39 Steps
South Carolina – The Market Theatre Company
Written by Patrick Barlow, John Buchan, Directed by Drew Whitley

The play’s concept calls for the entirety of the 1935 adventure film The 39 Steps to be performed with a cast of only four. One actor plays the hero, Richard Hannay, an actress (or sometimes actor) plays the three women with whom he has romantic entanglements, and two other actors play every other character in the show: heroes, villains, men, women, children and even the occasional inanimate object. This often requires lightning fast quick-changes and occasionally for them to play multiple characters at once. Thus the film’s serious spy story is played mainly for laughs, and the script is full of allusions to (and puns on the titles of) other Alfred Hitchcock films, including Strangers on a Train, Rear Window, Psycho, Vertigo and North by Northwest.

4:10 PM – 5:45 PM
The Lion in Winter
Georgia – Dalton Little Theatre
Written by James Goldman, Directed by Melissa Adams

Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England’s castle in Chinon, Anjou,. Tthe play opens with the arrival of Henry’s wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has had imprisoned since 1173. The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, their three surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John, and their Christmas Court guest, the King of France, Philip II Augustus, (son of Eleanor’s ex-husband, Louis VII of France). Also involved is Philip’s half-sister Alais (by Louis VII’s second wife Constance), who has been at court since she was betrothed to Richard at age eight, but has since become Henry’s mistress.

Friday Performances – Feb. 28, 2020 – Block 2

1:00PM – 2:35PM
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
North Carolina – Bean Stalk Community Theatre
Written by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn, Directed by Andrea McDonough

With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, funny book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its “perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers.

2:35PM – 4:10
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
Alabama – SPARK Theatre Company
Written by Rachel Sheinkin and William Finn, Directed by Caleb Brooks

With an engaging, tuneful score by William Finn and a sweet, funny book by Rachel Sheinkin, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee causes audiences to fall in love, both with the show itself and its “perspicacious,” “jocular,” and “effervescent” spellers.

Friday Performances – Feb. 28, 2020 – Block 3

6:30 PM – 8:05 PM 
‘night, Mother
Mississippi – Tupelo Community Theatre
Written by Marsha Norman, Directed by Tom Booth

Jessie’s father is dead; she is epileptic and unemployable, her loveless marriage ended in divorce; her absent son is a petty thief and ne’er-do-well; her last two jobs failed and, in general, her life is stale and unprofitable. As the play begins Jessie asks for her father’s service revolver and calmly announces that she intends to kill herself. At first her mother refuses to take her seriously, but as Jessie sets about tidying the house and making lists of things to be looked after, her sense of desperate helplessness begins to build.

8:05 PM – 9:40 PM
Your’e a Good Man Charlie Brown
Kentucky – Paramount Players
Written by Clark Gesner and John Gordon, Directed by Melanie Cornelison-Janotta

The whole gang is here: bossy Lucy is hopelessly in love with piano prodigy Schroeder who doesn’t give her the time of day, perfectionist Sally is still mocking blankettoting Linus, Snoopy is in the doghouse, and “blockhead” himself, Charlie Brown, is in rare form. Brief vignettes span the months from Valentine’s Day to Beethoven Day, from wild optimism to utter despair. Whether you’re keen to fly with the Red Baron, moon over the Moonlight Sonata, or just do your best to find “Happiness.”

9:40 PM – 11:15 PM
The Gulf
Alabama – South City Theatre
Written by Audrey Cefaly, Directed by Lisa Ponder

The divide between Kendra and Betty mimics the very world that devours them: a vast and polarizing abyss. On a quiet summer evening, somewhere down in the Alabama Delta, Kendra and Betty troll the flats looking for red fish. After Betty begins diagnosing Kendra’s dead-end life with career picks from What Color is Your Parachute, their routine fishing excursion takes a violent turn. The play takes place on a fishing boat in the state of Alabama.

Saturday Performances – Feb. 29, 2020 – Block 4

9:50AM – 11:25AM
Stranger, Danger, Promise and Pledge
Kentucky – Village Players of Fort Thomas
Written by A.K. Forbes, Directed by Angela Klocke Forbes

Stranger – or are they? Danger – but who is at risk? Promise and Pledge – new journeys begin with something as formal as an oath or as simple as a shared understanding. Four scenes, all taking place within the intimate space of a shared bed, explore mostly humorous connections and disconnections between couples at various stages of attachment. Note: adult language and themes.

11:25AM – 1:00PM
A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney
Mississippi – Starkville Community Theatre
Written by Lucas Hnath, Directed by Gabe Smith

Tonight, Walt is going to read you a screenplay he wrote. It’s about his last days on earth. It’s about a city he’s going to build that’s going to change the world. And it’s about his brother. It’s about everyone who loves him so much, and it’s about how sad they’re going to be when he’s gone. Right? I mean, how can they live without him? How can anyone live without him?

The 2019 Community Theatre Festival was held Feb. 28 – March 2, 2019 at Austin-East Magnet High School as part of SETC’s 70th annual convention in Knoxville, TN. Performances were free and open to the public. Donations were accepted at the door to support Austin-East High School’s performing arts wing.

Congratulations to our 2019 winners!

  • Best Production: Romeo and Juliet – Mill Town Players, SC
  • Best Production: The Diviners – Wetumpka Depot Players, AL
  • Best Actor: Greg Vander Wal, Of Mice and Men – The Actor’s Charitable Theatre, AL
  • Best Actress: Lola Bond, Mud – Actors Warehouse, FL

Thank you to ALL community theatres that participated in 2019:

  • Alabama:  The Actor’s Charitable Theatre, Of Mice and Men
  • Alabama:  Wetumpka Depot Players, The Diviners
  • Florida:  Actors’ Warehouse, Inc., Mud
  • Georgia:  Dalton Little Theatre, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
  • Georgia:  Lafayette Society for the Performing Arts, John Lennon & Me
  • Kentucky:  Paramount Players, Forever Plaid
  • Kentucky:  Theatre Workshop of Owensboro, Morte for 2
  • Mississippi:  Fondren Theatre Workshop, I and You
  • Mississippi:  The Center Players Community Theatre, Tea for Three
  • South Carolina:  Guerrilla Shakespeare Theatre Company, Never Swim Alone
  • South Carolina:  Mill Town Players, Romeo and Juliet
  • Tennessee:  The Backstage Series of the Cookeville Performing Arts Center, Scott and Hem

2019 Adjudicators

Amy Wratchford
Photo by Pat Jarre

Amy Wratchford

Amy Wratchford is the Managing Director of the American Shakespeare Center. As the company’s chief administrative and financial officer, Amy oversees finance, marketing, development, and other business management functions for the ASC. During her tenure the ASC’s budget has grown from $2.4M in 2010 to $4.0M in 2019. Before joining the ASC, Amy served as Managing Director of Synchronicity Theatre in Atlanta. Previously, she worked in a number of capacities in theatre in New York City including producer, director, and actor. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Acting from the Tisch School of the Arts of New York University and a master’s in fine arts degree in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College. Amy has lectured on finance, budgeting, and nonprofit governance for Mary Baldwin University’s MFA program in Shakespeare in Performance and others.

T.K. Lee

T.K. Lee’s award-winning work crosses multiple genres: both on stage and off. At times a playwright, and other times a poet, he is at all times firmly planted in the southern tradition of gothic storytelling. His work has appeared in national publications including The Louisville Review, Carolina Quarterly and Deep South Magazine, to name a few. Internationally, his short fiction has been translated into French and Italian, and, in 2018, selections of his poetry, short fiction and playwriting were anthologized for the first time, through two collections published in the U.K.

Lee has also won accolades for his work in theatre, including here at SETC as well as AACTFest. His award-winning credits include turns taken as director (for 2009’s SETC winner Catfish Moon and other honors at AACTFest Tacoma), as actor (for 2017’s winner Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and other nominations at AACTFest Rochester), and as playwright (for 2018’s SETC winner Paper Thin).

After receiving his MFA in 2015 from Spalding University in Louisville, KY, he immediately joined the faculty in the nascent MFA in Creative Writing program at Mississippi University for Women, teaching both undergraduate literature and creative writing, as well as playwriting and poetry. His first collection of poetry, entitled To Square a Circle, debuted this past October at the Eudora Welty Symposium and has garnered high critical praise for Lee’s “uncanny wit; impeccable sense of pacing” which is ushering in “a dynamic new voice to southern poetry.”

On a personal note, he has three cats (Peej, Beeze and YinBin) because he was a nice guy that one time and fed them…and now they won’t leave. In fact, they’ve been not leaving for the last six years, four years, and going on three months, respectively.

James Alexander Bond

James Alexander Bond holds a BFA in Theatre Management from Ithaca College and an MFA in Directing from the University of California at Davis. From New York to England and regionally across America, James has directed more than 200 productions, including over half of Shakespeare’s canon.


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