With 500 seats, ASFA’s 19,000 square-foot Dorothy Jemison Day Theater offers the arts community a much-needed alternative to both smaller and larger facilities. It also benefits all areas of the school, providing a professional environment in which students will learn the inner-workings, challenges, and opportunities of performing on a professional stage. The theater is located at 800 19th Street North in the heart of Birmingham’s downtown arts district. Craig Krawczyk of Birmingham’s LIVE Design Group was the architect for the $8.5 million project. Theater acoustics were designed by David Kahn of Acoustic Dimensions (New Rochelle, New York), and technical theater design was by Michael Ferguson of Theatre Project Consultants (Norwalk, Connecticut). Included in the building is a 40 x 75 foot sprung stage floor with a mechanical orchestra lift, a 60-foot fly loft for changing the scenery, and a Wenger orchestra shell. The acoustically tune-able listening environment also has a Steinway concert grand piano and a complete set of Marley dance flooring. There are two large audience restrooms, a green room, dressing rooms with full bath facilities for performers, laundry/kitchen facilities, and a scene shop for the set construction. The building is equipped with WiFi, Ethernet voice/data connections, and a large high definition movie screen. Constructed by B.L. Harbert International, the theater will help stimulate the economic development and revitalization of the downtown art district, which has a shortage of mid-sized performance venues available to local performing artists.
The Alabama School of Fine Arts Foundation
The Dorothy Jemison Day Theater was built through the generosity of many individuals, corporations, and foundations. It is named for the late and much beloved ASFA Foundation Board member Dorothy “Dodie” Jemison Day. The ASFA Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization and raised over $7.8 million for the facility. The DJD construction took 18 months to complete and is touted as the most technologically advanced venue of its kind in the Southeast. Major foundation donors include Alabama Power Foundation, Regions Financial Corporation Foundation, EBSCO, The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Hill Crest Foundation, Jemison Investment Co. Inc., Hugh Kaul Foundation, Robert Meyer Foundation, Compass Bank, Vulcan Materials Foundation, AT&T Foundation, Joseph S. Bruno Foundation, Ronne and Donald Hess Foundation and the Aletec/Styslinger Foundation.
The Alabama School of Fine Arts is a tuition-free public school for grades 7-12 that offers specialty study in the arts and sciences. Students can focus on creative writing, dance, math-science, music, theatre arts, or visual arts. ASFA's mission is to nurture impassioned students to discover and fulfill their individual creative ability.To learn more, click here.
The DJD Theater provides Birmingham's art community and ASFA students with a professional performance venue. There are many ways to support, and gifts of each size make a huge impact. As an example, engraved seat plaques are offered for $250 and $500. It is a wonderful way to honor someone special or to personally support the theater.To give, click here.