Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New directors on board

The Board of Directors at Birmingham Festival Theatre (BFT) announces the appointment of two new board members. John M. Hill is a Vice President in Corporate Communications at Regions Bank and has been involved in film and video production for many years. Gordon Pate, attorney and partner in Pate & Cochrun LLP, recently returned to the BFT stage as Dr. Gerald Lyman in "Bus Stop."

On your next visit to BFT, please be sure to say "Hi!" to John and Gordon. (They'll be selling tickets, ushering, serving soft drinks, or otherwise earning their keep!) You can also post your own welcome message for them at

BFT, founded in 1972, is the oldest continuously producing community theatre in Birmingham. A brief history of the theatre and the names of everyone currently on the board of directors can be found at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Opening Night of Dead Man's Cell Phone

See Photos from the Evening's Events

It started with the surprise announcement that BFT was dedicating its new art gallery space in the lobby to Haden Gaines Marsh. Haden was married to Randy Marsh, one of the founding directors of BFT.

By way of introducing her and the reason for the dedication, Edward Miller recounted her many roles at the fledgling BFT of the 1970s: casting coordinator, costumer, food-prop preparation...and more. Miller was joined in the charade-intro by fellow cast members from the 1979 BFT production of "That Championship Season."

Haden was visibly moved by the gesture of remembrance and honor.

Then, the nearly full house settled in for a very entertaining performance by a fine cast of actors, supported by a fine crew.

After the "curtain came down" (yeah, right, like we have room for a curtain!), everyone enjoyed the marvelous spring evening with hors d'oeuvres, beverages, and wonderful company from the past 39 years of theatre at BFT.

What a blast we all had!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

What do you mean there are no small parts? I'm 6 1/2 feet tall for pity's sake!

Tonight marks the opening of a show that I didn't think I was going to be in ... but, you know how it goes... They need a giant, and, well, we're in short supply.

I've had an absolutely delightful time working with the cast of Dead Man's Cell Phone over the past weeks, and I can hardly wait to open the show tonight for our loyal BFT audience -- and of course for all the newcomers!

We have a few special events planned for opening night, but if you miss that, do try to make the show. It's very funny (which, frankly, surprised me... after reading the name of the show), and BFT has the honor of welcoming both new and returning actors to our stage for this production.

933-BFT3 is the number to call. And please, for heaven's sake, when they say turn off your cell phone... Well. You know what to do. ;-D

See you on the Southside!
Lee Griner

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Painting by Karen Williams, used on the set of "Dead Man's Cell Phone."

Check out rehearsal photos from the show at Flickr!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Russian Impressionism at Loretta Goodwin Gallery

Loretta Goodwin Gallery will be BFT's pARTner Gallery for Almost, Maine. Currently, the gallery is featuring paintings from 1945 to 1991. During this time, "Social Realism" was state-mandated in the Soviet Union because Impressionism was frowned upon by the Communist regime.

Several of the works featured on the gallery's web site have already sold, so take a look while you have a chance!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Festival Facelift

Fred and Edward painting at BFT

Fred Carter, volunteer extraordinaire (left), and Edward C. Miller, BFT Board of Directors, have worked tirelessly over the winter months to help the theatre be ready for a new year.

Much of the building's exterior has a fresh coat of paint (several coats in some places). The lobby has been repainted, which you saw if you came to the BATA holiday gathering in December. Since then, the new carpet has been installed, as well as new sinks in the restrooms.

Edward C. MillerEdward and Fred have gotten help from several BFT board members and from a few really great friends like Douglas O'Neil, Jr., of Extemporaneous Theatre Company.

The courtyard, too, has had a facelift. Watch for pictures as spring emerges in BFT's front yard.

Coming soon, a new sign for the front entrance and other exciting improvements!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Web Clean-Up

Each page of our web site at had about 12 buttons across the top, so it needed an overhaul. Here's hoping the new structure is "intuitive."

Our Flickr and Facebook pages are synopsed (is that a word?) on the home page now, and every page has contact information and a link to our new blog at

Whaddya think?

Friday, April 2, 2010

Loretta Goodwin Gallery - Almost, Maine

Loretta Goodwin Gallery will share its artwork with BFT audiences for Almost, Maine, June 10-26, 2010.

"Since 1982, Loretta Goodwin Gallery has established itself as one of the Southeast's premier fine art galleries and is now available to host intimate gatherings and special events. Working with talented designers and cutting edge style will insure your event will not go unnoticed."

The gallery is located at 605 28th Street South in Birmingham and is open 10-4 (M-F) and 10-3 (Sat).
Phone: (205) 328-1761
Map: Click for map

Loretta Goodwin Gallery is owned by local artist Dirk A. Walker (

Drop by the gallery, and tell them you heard about it at BFT!