Outreach Opportunities



  • Meet the Artist Series
  • Meet the Artist Comes to Your School
  • ASC Teaching Artists On The Road
  • The Robert Redus School of Guitar
  • Master Classes & Workshops
  • Open Rehearsals for Students



Meet the Artist Series


These one-hour performances allow the ASC to share the arts with students and aspiring young artists by experiencing the thrill of a live performance in a world-class performing arts center. Performers will engage students with anecdotes about their professional training and provide insight into the pieces they perform and the instruments they play.


School reservations are accepted on a first come, first served basis. Curriculum Guides are available for all “Meet the Artist” programs via email. Performances fill up months in advance. In order to accommodate as many students as possible we request that schools only make reservations if they are sure they can attend. Please check your school’s testing/holiday schedules for the full year before signing up. Last-minute cancellations keep others from participating in our free educational performances. If a school group must cancel, please do so no later than three weeks prior to the performance date. We greatly appreciate your cooperation and understanding.


Dickens Vest Pocket Christmas Carol

Thursday, December 18, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Thursday, December 18, 2014// 1:00 P.M.

Friday, December 19, 2014// 10:00 A.M.

Friday, December 19, 2014// 1:00 P.M.

Recommended Grades: 1st – 12th

ASC’s Sirote Theatre

Bah Humbug!  Join the Cratchets, Tiny Tim, all the spirits and of course, Ebenezer Scrooge in his journey toward redemption and enlightenment.  Adapted and directed by ArtPlay Teaching Artist Jerry Sims, whose popular original productions include Yuletide in Dogtown, Alice’s EVEN BIGGER Tea Party, and Down the Yellow Brick Road.  Come early to enjoy holiday treats and more.






The Clever George Washington Carver featuring the Make it Happen” Performing Ensemble

Monday, February 23, 2014// 10:00 A.M.


Recommended Grades: 2nd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall


Join the multitalented young actors of ArtPlay’s “Make it Happen” Performing Ensemble as they celebrate the life of Alabama’s own Dr. George Washington Carver. This entertaining and educational play is written and directed by ArtPlay’s own Alicia Johnson-Williams. Through poetry, song and dance, The Clever Dr. George Washington Carver, is a snapshot tribute of this remarkable man, his life and his legacy. While no story can truly encapsulate his infinite contributions to science and agriculture, this performance is sure to offer a wonderful introduction to his life and work. The Clever Dr. George Washington Carver is sure to educate and entertain audiences of all ages.


“Wild Rumpus” featuring DANCEe

Monday, April 27, 2015// 10:00 A.M.

Monday, April 27, 2015// 1:00 P.M.

Recommended Grades: Pre-K  – 12th

ASC’s Sirote Theater

This dance party tells stories of adventure, tenderness, and the wild terrain of the human heart. Perfect for all ages, our Wild Rumpus will have you roaring for more. Join Birmingham Contemporary Dance Company DANCEe for this celebration of original dance works. Known for her innovative choreography that infuses a multitude of different dance disciplines, Elizabeth Ross with DANCEe bring exciting original work to the Alys Stephens Center stage. Sometimes comical, sometimes tender, this dance party tells stories of adventure, imagination, and the wild terrain of the human heart. Our Wild Rumpus will have you roaring for more …Wolf-suits optional.


Cirque Alys II, featuring Sway Poles

Wednesday,  April 29, 2015// 10:00 A.M.
Thursday, April 30, 2015// 10:00 A.M.

Friday, May 1, 2015// 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 1st – 12th

ASC’s Engel Plaza


Celebrate spring at the ASC with the return of a FREE community event, Cirque Alys 2, Australia’s Sway Poles! Sway Poles is a Melbourne-based arts company that performs a style of work fusing theatre, dance and circus at an elevated medium.

Artists sway from 16-foot tall poles that creating a large-scale visual installation. Originally based on the image of a field of wheat swaying in the breeze, the poles’ extreme strength and flexibility allow the performer to bow to impossible angles, swaying back and forth in a hypnotizing dance. With a world-renowned repertoire that celebrates a wide variety of themes and stories, the company has achieved near-cult status in almost every continent across the globe.



Each year the Alys Stephens Center’s ArtPlay brings a performing artist into a local school to hold a special concert just for that school.

Performance Information Coming Soon!



For the fourth year the Alys Stephens Center offers arts education programs that travel to your school for free! We are thrilled to collaborate with three engaging and enlightening artists: local poet and performance artist, Sharrif Simmons; actor/educator, Alicia Johnson; and singer-songwriter/educator, Charles Tortorici.



For grades 5 – 12

The Poet’s Corner Workshop provides a comprehensive series of creative writing programs. This interactive program focuses on school-age children and students in “at risk” programs. Through the use of poetry and spoken word, students will be given the opportunity to participate in comparative literature while learning about the history of the oral tradition in comparison to contemporary forms of expression like Hip Hop, Theater, and Rhythm & Blues.

• An acoustic guitar poetry performance.
• An overview of poetic forms.
• An overview of historical poets.
• A comparison to contemporary poets.
• Listening to and reading excerpts from modern poets and popular music.
• Writing and sharing poems with classmates.

This workshop is generally administered once a week over a six-week period, but an abbreviated version is available in one or more school classes or through afterschool programs. Students are encouraged to use their vocabulary in creative ways and in a variety of mediums including spoken word, poetry, and music. Writing and reference materials will be provided throughout the workshop. At the end of the six-week workshop students will perform a recital with a live band at the school.



For grades 3 – 8

wa•ter•shed –
1. An area of land through which water, dissolved materials, and sediments flow on their way to a common outlet, such as a stream, river, lake, or ocean.
2. An important transition between two phases.

Kids and grown-ups all over the world are endeavoring to keep our world and our bodies healthy by ensuring the protection of our drinking water. Join educator and singer-songwriter, Charles Tortorici, as he teaches elementary and middle students the importance of a watershed and its interdependent plant and animal species through a series of six classes using creative writing (in the narrative, descriptive, expository, and poetic styles), song, visual art, and creative movement as teaching tools. The final class will be an in-school performance where students incorporate all of their work from the past five weeks into one cohesive performance piece. We recommend booking these programs early in the school year as availability is very limited.


For grades K – 12

With curriculum for all ages, David Roby takes his knowledge of theatre and leads students through a wonderful journey that will develop life skills and a love for the stage.

Take a Look at David’s ArtTeach Curriculum Guide for K-12

THE ROBERT REDUS School of Guitar

The Robert Redus School of Guitar was born out of a vision from friends and family of the late Robert Clark Redus IV to spread his joy of music. The Alys Stephens Center is proud to bring this program to a select group of students at three local elementary schools. During this year-long program 12 students will have the chance to study guitar from a university level guitar instructor. At the end of the school year, the students will have the opportunity to keep their guitars based on their commitment to lessons, practice, responsibility, and volunteerism. If you are interested in bringing this program to your school call (205) 975-4769.


Master Classes, Workshops & Clinics

ArtPlay master classes are a wonderful opportunity to connect local intermediate and advanced students of a variety of ages with masters of their art forms who are here as ASC presented artists.  In a master class all the students (and often spectators) watch and listen as the master teacher works with one student at a time.  Workshops allow a larger group of people to participate and are geared more toward beginning or intermediate level students.  Master classes and workshops take place at ArtPlay, the Alys Stephens Center, and sometimes in local schools.  Most are free unless otherwise notated.


Jazz Essentials - Bebop with Branford Marsalis 

Master Class – Tuesday, February 3 at 3 pm

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Join us for the third installment of The Essentials as we continue our journey through jazz and explore Bebop with NEA Jazz Master and renowned award winning saxophonist, Branford Marsalis.

The three-time Grammy Award winner has continued to exercise and expand his skills as an instrumentalist, a composer, and the head of Marsalis Music, the label he founded in 2002 that has allowed him to produce both his own projects and those of the jazz world’s most promising new and established artists. Having gained initial acclaim through his work with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and his brother Wynton’s quintet in the early 1980s, Marsalis also performed and recorded with a who’s-who of jazz giants including Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, and Sonny Rollins. He has also collaborated with such diverse artists as Sting, the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby.

Dedicated to music education, Marsalis has shared his knowledge at such universities as Michigan State, San Francisco State, Stanford and North Carolina Central, where his full quartet participated in an innovative extended residency. Marsalis continues to be an artist-in-residence on the NCCU campus. Branford Marsalis embodies a commitment to musical excellence and a determination to keep music at the forefront.

Open Rehearsals for Students

Open rehearsals give students a rare opportunity to see renowned artists prepare for an evening’s performance at the Alys Stephens Center.  Additionally, audience members are often able to ask the performer(s) questions at the end of the rehearsal.