Terrific New Theatre, one of Birmingham’s most venerable theaters, has been without a permanent home for more than two years now, having closed up shop at Pepper Place in July 2020.
But that doesn’t mean the theater has remained idle. There was some virtual programming during the pandemic, and as the theater plans to welcome playwright Del Shores back to Birmingham for a fundraiser on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 12-13, the search for a new physical space for the theater continues.
“Our desire has been to stay in the same general vicinity of the Lakeview District, which TNT has called home for nearly 30 years,” says Chuck Evans, who is president of TNT’s board. “That doesn’t mean we aren’t open to other areas of metro Birmingham should a property outside our prime target area present itself as the perfect fit for us. TNT co-founder Carl W. Stewart always said TNT is Birmingham’s favorite theater for the unexpected, so who knows? It may be a surprise to many where we end up next.”
There are a couple of specific things on the horizon – the upcoming fundraiser and a production planned for January 2023 in a temporary space.
The two-day fundraiser features a showing of the movie version of Shores’ “Sordid Lives” on Saturday at Avenue D. Tickets to the screening are $22 online and $25 at the door. The movie screens at 7:30 p.m.
The Sunday fundraiser is Shores himself, appearing with his partner, Emerson Collins, in a new show called “The S*** Stirrer.” Tickets to that performance, also at Avenue D, are $100 and include heavy snacks and two drinks. Doors open at 1:30 p.m., and the show is at 2:30 p.m.
Shores has a relationship with TNT and with TNT supporters John and Louise Beard.
“Emerson and I are so excited to come back to Birmingham to support Terrific New Theatre, which is near and dear to my heart,” he says. “TNT has done so many of my plays, I have performed many times on their stage with my one one-man shows and standup, and TNT is one of the theater partners with The Del Shores Foundation. And Carl Stewart changed my life when he handed a VHS tape of ‘Sordid Lives’ to our amazing producing partner, Louise H. Beard, many years ago. This weekend is dedicated to Carl.”
Though executive director Tam DeBolt isn’t releasing many details, she says that two TNT shows are planned right now for 2023. She calls them pieces of “locational theater,” to be performed in venues where they take place.
The first will be performed at Homewood Dance Foundation.
“I am brainstorming with an actor/director in town to offer a second production in the spring of 2023, again, in a location where the story would actually take place,” she says.
And, of course, the search for a permanent home goes on.
“I have a great search team, and we look at new places every week,” DeBolt says.