About Us

Founded in 1956 by Frank Wittow, the Academy Theatre is Georgia’s longest running professional theatre. The Academy Theatre has been highly regarded for its productions of classic and contemporary plays, as well as its strong educational outreach programs. Over two million Georgia school children have been served through the Academy’s highly acclaimed, innovative performances.

I founded the Academy Theatre in 1956 with the belief that artists working together over a long period of time create better art.

Frank Wittow
Founder & Actor (1931-2006)

1956

Founded by Frank Wittow in 1956, the Academy Theatre is the longest running professional theatre in Georgia. It was also the first to offer a Shakespeare festival in Atlanta, and the first theater where professional actors perform for children.

The Academy Theatre: 1971

1971

In the late 1970s, the Theatre turned its attention toward balancing a mainstage repertoire with an equal focus toward direct community needs. The Academy used its artistic energy and outreach programs to empower at-risk students and the underserved by giving them their own theatrical voice.

Academy Theatre 1985

1985

Fifty-seven years later our alumni continue to shape the terrain of the city’s professional theatres. They include: Kenny Leon (Artistic Director, True Colors Theatre Company) and Jeff and Lisa Adler (Co-Artistic Directors, Horizon Theatre). Other distinguished alumni include Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Kayser, Larry Larson, Eddie Lee, Mira Hirsch, Rosemary Newcott, Tim Stoltenberg, Gary Anthony Williams, Phillip DePoy, and John Schneider.

Academy Theatre in Hapeville

2019

Now located in the heart of downtown Hapeville, Academy Theatre is proud to be a part of the Hapeville, GA community. With committed support from the City of Hapeville, local businesses and civic organizations, we have been bringing theatre to the Atlanta Tri-cities area since 2013.

Academy Theatre in Hapeville
Artist's Rendition of completed Academy Theatre

Hire a Space

ROOM FOR YOUR CREATIVITY

The Academy Theatre can help you with a variety of events, theatrical and non-theatrical!

Whether you want to host a private party, put on a performance, or rehearse your show, please contact us! We will be glad to talk about how we can meet your needs!

PHONE / (404) 474-8332
EMAIL / info@academytheatre.org

Staff & Board

Academy Theatre is led by Managing Director Lorenne Fey and Artistic Director Robert Drake, with Associate Artistic Director Fracena Byrd. The Executives are supported by the core artistic team: Lynna Schmidt (Lynna Schmidt Productions), and Brenda Porter (Impact Theatre Atlanta).

ACADEMY THEATRE STAFF

  • MANAGING DIRECTOR / Lorenne Fey
  • ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / Robert Drake
  • ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR / Fracena Byrd
  • DIRECTOR, CHILDREN’S THEATER / Lynna Schmidt
  • FRONT OF HOUSE COORDINATOR / Alison Ramsay
  • CONCESSIONS MANAGER / Danny Dolan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • BOARD CHAIR / Jimmy Gough
  • Jeff Benzon
  • Keith Coleman
  • Frank Hembree
  • Derrick Jones
  • Rob Raissle
  • Charlotte Rentz
Robert Drake
Fracena Byrd

Resident Companies

The Academy Theatre is proud to support the following companies:

Impact Theatre Atlanta

Thought-provoking productions

Impact Theatre Atlanta believes that theatre has the power to incite, excite and ignite to make an impact. Led by Artistic Director Brenda Porter, Impact strives to provide thought provoking theatre that shares the stories of women and others who have been marginalized by our society. Impact Theatre contributes shows to Academy Theatre’s mainstage season.

Laughing Matters

Improv Comedy – Every Month

Laughing MattersLaughing Matters is Atlanta’s leading provider of interactive entertainment! Whether you want to come see one of our public improv shows, book a private murder mystery, or help your organization communicate more effectively, Laughing Matters is your turnkey solution! We’ve performed for thousands of groups since 1985 and have been voted Atlanta’s best improv troupe by Atlanta Magazine! Let us get you involved in a great time!

Lynna Schmidt Productions

Popular and Entertaining Works

Lynna Schmidt is a professional actor, a director and proud member of Actor’s Equity Association. She has extensive regional and national theater experience. Lynna directs and produces popular works such as Last of the Red Hot Lovers and The Odd Couple by Neil Simon and Steel Magnolias by Robert Harling, as well as children’s productions such as A Christmas Carol.

Our Sponsors

The Academy Theatre is supported by:

DIAMOND SPONSORS

SAPPHIRE SPONSOR

  • C&C Fencing Company

RUBY SPONSORS

  • Don & Amy Barnette
  • Jeff & Diane Benzon
  • Costumes, Etc. – Jimmy Gough
  • Georgia Power
  • Dr. Elmer Harden, Jr.
  • Hapeville Arts Fund
  • Marc & Bonnie Hayes
  • Mike & Linda Jaeger
  • Derrick and Diana Jones
  • Sham & Emilie Khair
  • Intown Focus Realty
  • Jeff & Bridget Lovinger
  • James & Mary Ann Macie
  • Rob & Kathy Raissle
  • David Rink
  • SpaceMax Storage

EMERALD SPONSORS

  • Alfred and Kim Cole
  • Seth Copeland

TOPAZ SPONSORS

  • Susan Bailey
  • George & Lisa Boyd
  • Katrina Bradbury
  • Lee Buechele
  • Jacquelyn Fears
  • Dr. Pierson Gladney
  • Carly Harrington & Kathy Davis
  • Frank & Barbara Hembree
  • Henry Arts Alliance – Gloria Hughes
  • Josephine Hill
  • Travis and Fernanda Horsley
  • Ann McElfresh
  • Alison Ramsay
Fox Theatre Institute
Fulton County Logo
National Endowment for the Arts