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Theatre Tuscaloosa Wins at SETC, Going to Nationals!

Members of the LAUNCH DAY team pose with the trophy at SETC: Adam Miller (front), Second row from left: Amaria Jackson, DeAnthony Mays, Tina Turley, Jessica Briana Kelly, Kazarious Brown; third row from left: Brandy Johnson, Gabriel Carden, Mileidy Crespo-Jones, Ashlyn Lambert, Ebony Wesley, Sam Hodo, and Seven Yates.

Theatre Tuscaloosa will advance to Louisville, KY to represent Alabama in the national American Association of Community Theatre Festival (AACTFest) June 12-17, 2023, with its production of Launch Day (Love Stories from the Year 2108) by Michael Higgins.

Theatre Tuscaloosa’s production was named “Best Production” in the AACTFest Region IV Festival that was held at the Pam Miller Downtown Arts Center in Lexington, KY, March 1-5, 2023, as part of the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC).

The all-volunteer, world-premiere cast of the play won the Alabama Community Theatre Festival in November 2022, earning the right to represent the State of Alabama at SETC.

Along with Alabama, Region IV includes the states of Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. A total of 10 community theatre productions from six states were presented at SETC.

“This win brings national recognition to Theatre Tuscaloosa, our partner and home Shelton State Community College, and our community,” Tina Turley, executive producer of Theatre Tuscaloosa, said. “I am bursting with pride for this cast, crew, designers, and staff, and am grateful to our Board for supporting and believing in this production,” Turley said.

In addition to being named “Best Production,” Theatre Tuscaloosa received awards for Outstanding Costumes (Jeanette Waterman, Designer), Make-up/Hair Design (Ava Buchanan, Designer), Sound (Charles Prosser, Designer), and Scenic Design (Jameson Sanford, Designer). Both Kazarious Brown and Mileidy Crespo-Jones received Outstanding Achievement in Acting awards.

“Theatre Tuscaloosa first performed the world premiere of Launch Day as part of our mainstage season in October 2022,” Cooper Shattuck, Theatre Tuscaloosa Board of Directors President, said. “We sort of took a chance on an unknown show, because this is part of our mission to produce world-class theatrical and educational programs that encourage all people to engage in the art of live theatre,” Shattuck said.

“Because we world premiered the play as part of AACT’s NewPlayFest program, our theatre staff and the cast will forever be listed in future printings of the script,” Adam Miller, Theatre Tuscaloosa Managing Director, said. “Now we are thrilled to have the opportunity to introduce this fun and thought-provoking play on a national stage,” Miller said.

Joining Launch Day at the national AACTFest are community theaters from 11 other companies from across the U.S. In 2021, Theatre Tuscaloosa leap frogged over SETC and went straight to nationals with Love & Cheese Toast by Cooper Shattuck when the pandemic forced AACT to take the festival virtual. That production garnered two national Oustanding Achievement in Acting Awards. This year is the first time that Theatre Tuscaloosa will be featured at a fully realized AACTFest.

“This once-in-a-lifetime chance is not something you routinely budget for,” Shattuck said. “We invite our community to help send Theatre Tuscaloosa to the national competition by making tax-deductible donations via our website at, purchasing tickets to upcoming shows, or making a special donation to our AACTFest PayPal campaign. We also plan to put on a special fundraising performance of Launch Day soon,” Shattuck said.

The address of the special AACTFest PayPal donation site is:

The cast list, production credits, photos, and summary of the premiere of Launch Day can be found at:

More information is available at or at 205.391.2277.


Theatre Tuscaloosa is a 501c3 not-for-profit community theatre located on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College. Theatre Tuscaloosa has been enriching the greater Tuscaloosa community since 1971 through quality theatrical productions and educational outreach.


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