Founded in 1956 and billed as the oldest professional theatre in Georgia, the Academy holds a special place in history as the first professional theatre in the Southeast to become racially integrated, and it premiered one of America’s first Shakespeare festivals in 1960. The Academy is known for its productions of classic and contemporary plays as well as for its strong educational programs, including a Theatre for Youth Artists-In-Schools Tour, a Senior Touring Ensemble, and numerous play development projects.
A short list of the theatre’s distinguished alumni includes playwright Barbara Lebow (who remains the Academy’s playwriting consultant), director Kenny Leon (artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company, and director of such Broadway productions as A Raisin in the Sun and Fences), John Stephens (artistic director of Theatre Gael), Mira Hirsch (artistic director, Jewish Theatre of the South), and Jeff and Lisa Adler (co-artistic directors, Horizon Theatre Company).
Located since 1985 in a specially created arts center in downtown Avondale Estates, the Academy offers theatre, dance, music, and other experiences. It has premiered more than 350 new plays by local and regional playwrights, and its outreach programs have involved hundreds of thousands of children and adults.
Academy Theatre Information
- Venue: This space is shared with the Laughing Matters Improvisational Comedy Troupe, Gateway Performance Productions, Peachtree Theatre Company, and Working Title Playwrights
- Performances/Programs: Performances are presented Thursdays–Sundays
- Ticket Prices: Single tickets are $20; $15 for students and seniors
- Group Discounts: Tickets are $12 each for groups of 10 or more
- Educational/Community Outreach: In addition to its production slate, the Academy Theater is a school for the performing arts.