A new Performing Arts Academic Center will have a tremendous impact on both UA students and the surrounding community. Our students will experience a seamless transition into the professional world as they will now learn and perform in theatres rivaling major performance venues across the country.

The center will also allow UA’s theatre and dance department to expand its outreach with the surrounding community. The department already partners with local public schools like the Alberta School of Performing Arts for training, curriculum and help with auditions. The new center will allow schools to host dance festivals and other activities in the new theatres, reaching thousands of K-12 students and other community members annually.

Picture of Dr. Dr. Joseph P. Messina

"The need for a new Performing Arts Academic Center on our campus has never been greater nor more deserved, and the impact will be tremendous. A center of this caliber will elevate the profile of the entire University and further drive economic development in the state. It will also significantly increase the quality of life in our community by providing easy access to world-class performances and ample space to expand community programming and outreach. Poised to benefit on every account are our students, whose experiences in this facility will be invaluable as they graduate and begin to build their professional legacies."

- Dr. Joseph P. Messina
Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences


Katie Ritchie and render of building

"The new Performing Arts Academic Center will enhance the opportunities available to our students in the Theatre and Dance Department by giving them greater access to performance opportunities and new technologies in order to prepare them for a career in the arts. The center will also attract new audiences and help grow Tuscaloosa and central Alabama as a hub for arts and culture."

- Katie Ritchie
3rd year graduate student in MBA/MFA Arts Management program, Class of 2017

Chris Spencer and render of building

"I look at my home, UA, and see a university fiercely committed to every facet of its students' education. This project is more than just a new building with performance space, it is a huge step forward for the University and everyone connected to it. When people look at UA in a few years, they'll know that our passion for innovation is not just in the sciences."

- Chris Spencer
Junior Theatre major with focus in Design and Tech, Computer Science minor

Ian Anderson and render of building

"The benefits of the new PAAC are essentially immeasurable. It will impact the retention and growth of current students; as it will create an environment in which students can cultivate their individual skills and hone their craft according to modern production standards. It will also help to advance recruitment and industrial awareness. Which, sequentially, will develop student placement within the industry and become self-perpetuating … the predominance that typifies Yale’s theatrical training program is the result of the meticulous and intentional creation of momentum and awareness within the professional theatre community. With faculty and alumni like Michael Luwoye, Nick Burroughs and Seth Panitch experiencing unprecedented success in recent years, awareness of the program is inevitably growing. The door is open for us to become the Yale of the SEC; we just need to embrace the opportunity."

- Ian Anderson
Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing an MFA in Theatre Performance

Madison Fendley and render of building

"The University of Alabama's commitment to excellence in the arts is evident with the addition of a cutting-edge facility where students can achieve an outstanding dance education satiated with collaboration, inspiration and creativity. For prospective students who are exceptional dancers, the training and performance facilities can greatly impact the decision about which academic institution is best able to prepare them for a professional career in dance. The opportunity to train and perform in the new facility under the direction of our outstanding faculty will definitely make UA a top choice."

- Madison Fendley
Junior Political Science and Dance double major

Joy Spears and render of building

"In my time at UA I learned so much and grew as a dancer, choreographer, teacher and artist. I was fortunate enough to return to UA this fall as a guest choreographer for ARDT. Seeing how much the department has grown blew me away! The news of a new facility in the works excites me more than words can express because the program is only going to continue to grow. I am proud to be a UA alumni and am forever grateful for all of my professors and faculty who have supported and believed in me."

- Joy Spears
Capezio A.C.E. Award Finalist
Featured dancer with Lady Gaga, Christina Aguilera, and numerous others

Michael Luwoye and render of building

"I'm very excited for the forthcoming Performing Arts Academic Center to be completed. Having a new facility will galvanize incoming and current students to establish their individual mark on the University and inspire future students to do the same."

- Michael Luwoye
Theatre, Class of 2013
Lead alternate for Alexander Hamilton in the Broadway musical Hamilton

Casey Reitz and render of building

"My time at UA and the Theatre and Dance Department had such a huge impact on me personally as well as my career. It’s a very special place with amazing faculty and students. This new building is a welcome leap forward to supporting and nurturing the arts in Alabama and launching national and global careers. I can’t tell you how much I wish we had a similar facility when I was at UA."

- Casey Reitz
Theatre, Class of 1998
Executive Director of Second Stage Theatre

Christopher Bottoms and render of building

"Being a part of The University of Alabama dance department provided me with the foundation to be a competitive and contributing force in the entertainment industry. From my work on stages in New York and throughout the world to Radio City Music Hall with the world-famous Rockettes, my education at UA prepared me to be on the cutting edge of this high-energy industry. Even with limited studio space and shared theaters, the highly effective and experienced faculty at UA worked very hard to make sure that we had every opportunity to make it in our industry. I can only imagine the limitless possibilities should better quantity and quality of facilities become available to the dance department."

- Christopher Bottoms
Dance, Class of 2002