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.


Jazz Essentials, Vol. 4 Latin Jazz featuring Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band

Thursday, September 3, 2015 // 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 2nd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

Hosted by UAB Artist-in residence, Eric Essix, The Essentials is the ASC’s innovative series devoted to honoring the rich history of jazz. The fourth installment will explore the complex, multinational musical fusion known as Latin Jazz. The evening begins with a survey of the history of Latin Jazz, the music, and the artists — led by Essix and legendary percussionist Poncho Sanchez. The second set features Grammy-winner Sanchez with his fragments of Latin jazz, swing, bebop, salsa and other infectious grooves colliding and churning in a fiery swirl with dazzling results. Sanchez grew up in a suburb of L.A., where he was raised on an unusual cross section of sounds that included straight ahead jazz, Latin jazz, and American soul. By his teen years, his musical consciousness had been solidified by the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. Whatever the genre, the mesmerizing array of sounds and colors from Poncho Sanchez’s youth have telegraphed across the decades and continue to inform his creative sensibilities to this day. Get your tickets now for an evening of colorful, rousing entertainment and fascinating music education guaranteed to enrich and enliven the experience even more.


ENRA: A Fusion of Dance, Images and a Live Performance
Monday, October 19, 2015 // 10:00 A.M.

Recommended Grades: 5K – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

This majestic and mesmerizing troupe will perform only at ten venues in the United States during its 2015 world tour — and the ASC is fortunate enough to host one of these. Formed in 2012 by the esteemed Japanese artistic director Nobuyuki Hanabusa, “Enra” is a Tokyo-based performance and production company that seeks to create the ultimate union between motion graphics and live performance. Straddling the line between contemporary art and engaging entertainment, Enra’s innovation seamlessly unites genres such as ballet, kung fu, acrobatics, juggling, rhythmic gymnastics and motion graphics. In October 2013, Enra performed at Japan’s successful 2020 Olympic bid hosted by Japan’s Prime Minister, propelling them into the international spotlight. The company has achieved viral recognition through their YouTube videos. The video “Pleiades” has been viewed an impressive six million times. The Huffington Post raved, “Combining elements of dance, performance art, music, technology, light, music and more, the versatile Japanese troupe ‘Enra’ has stumbled upon magic.” And this was after viewing the video. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to see this tantalizing troupe live. We definitely anticipate a sold-out show.


“The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women”

Friday, October 23 at 2015 // 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.

Recommended Grades: Pre-K  – 12th

ASC’s Sirote Theater

The Santa Cruz, California-based dance company MoveSpeakSpin honors the often-overlooked contributions of women to mathematics in an ensemble piece titled, The Daughters of Hypatia: Circles of Mathematical Women. The dancers recount intriguing stories from the lives of the foremothers of mathematics, as well as leading contemporaries in the field, performing patterns suggestive of the mathematicians’ work. Choreographer Karl Schaffer, who is also a mathematician, uses live projections of video mosaics of dancers, thanks to software created by Kevin Lee. The production features geometric art designs by Marjorie Rice, guest choreography by Sarah-Marie Belcastro, and musical compositions by the women’s vocal ensemble Zambra, Vi Hart, and Victor Spiegel. » For 25 years, MoveSpeakSpin has been creating groundbreaking dance performances linking mathematics and dance with humor, playfulness, and physicality. Members of the company have performed at international events, including the opening of the National Museum of Mathematics in New York City and a conference on math and the arts in Seoul, Korea.


ArtPlay Presents, Yuletide in Dogtown

Monday, December 7, 2015 // 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 // 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM

Recommended Grades:  Pre-K – 12th

ASC’s Reynolds-Kirschbaum Recital Hall

The dogs are back in town for this ArtPlay/ASC favorite holiday production! Join Spike, Fifi, Scotty, and Beauregard on this interactive musical adventure created by local playwright – and the ASC’s very own – Jerry Sims, as his Dogtown pups learn the true meaning of the holidays. Yuletide in Dogtown is a great performance for everyone – especially kids. After the show, be sure to stick around. There will be an opportunity for your family to shake …well, uh … paws with these pups immediately following the show! What a “pawfect” treat for the holidays!


HolidaySoul with Eric Essix & 5 Men on a Stool

Monday, December 14, 2015 // 10:00 AM

Recommended Grades: 3rd – 12th

ASC’s Jemison Concert Hall

If you’re looking to get in the groove of the holidays, you shouldn’t miss Holiday Soul at the ASC. Back by popular demand, this harmonious holiday celebration features UAB Artist-In-Residence Eric Essix along with Atlanta super group 5 Men On A Stool. Following the success of their last show, Essix will once again perform his hand-picked collection of soulful “songs of the season” with bandmates Hank Stewart, Antonio Allen, Melvin Miller, and Leonard Julien III. These fine gentlemen will also treat patrons to a handful of favorites from the group’s time-tested, listener-approved set list. No strangers to the Alys Stephens Center and Birmingham, 5 Men On A Stool also shared the stage with Eric in 2013 as part of his “Evolution” concert. Together they have played venues throughout the U.S. performing their own unique blend of jazz, gospel, R&B and spoken word. Holiday Soul is a unique musical experience guaranteed to fill the whole family with joyful, soulful holiday spirit.


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, David Roby; 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.





Make Reservations Now

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.


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.