AACT's Mission & Purpose | AACT

AACT's Mission & Purpose

Front & Center
Helping Theatres Thrive
Photo of Kristi Quinn

Kristi Quinn
AACT President


AACT is “sharing the light.”

As the curtain rises again on live theatre, our communities are thrilled to be able to go out and “find the light” at their live performance home: community theatre.

AACT is dedicated to providing the resources to grow and produce theatre in our communities. For volunteers, professionals, and audiences, AACT shares its vast resources and networks with individuals throughout the country and the world, like you!

AACT: We are Community. We are Theatre  

  • AACT offers a wide range of opportunities to share experiences, problems, successes and love of theatre.
  • Founded in 1986, AACT is a nonprofit corporation that serves both individuals and organizations by providing expertise, assistance and support so that community theatres can provide the best possible theatrical experience for participants and audience alike.
  • If you or your theatre company are not already a member, please take a moment to read more about the value we can add to your work—on stage or behind the scenes.
  • Click here for information on AACT's structure & governance.
Mission Statement

AACT Helps Theatres Thrive.

Nonprofit Status

AACT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

Community Theatre Defined

Community Theatre refers to theatre primarily produced by and for residents of a local or regional geographical area. Artistic, technical, and administrative staff members, including musicians, may be paid as full-time, part-time, or contract employees. Auditions for productions must typically be open to the general public. While actors in productions are often volunteers, they may receive stipends, travel reimbursement, complimentary tickets, or other forms of compensation. Actors may be members of Actors’ Equity Association or other professional unions, but may not be compensated at a professional (Equity) “living wage” scale for their performance in standard community theatre productions, and must conform to the applicable contract or code required by their representative union. The primary distinctive characteristic of Community Theatre is that auditions are announced and open to members of the community (the general public).

One exception for the purposes of festival entry (per the AACTFest Handbook): “Persons who are active members of Actors’ Equity or Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) may not under any circumstances be involved as an actor in an entering production at any level of AACTFest.” (AACTFest Handbook)

Small green box to indicate a new topicBlack Lives Matter

AACT strives to create positive public awareness through the performing arts. The theatre should always be a safe place in our communities. Our stories, our experiences, and our lives are what connects us, unites us, inspires us, teaches us, and puts a mirror up to the face of humanity. AACT is committed to those fundamental principles. To our Black colleagues, artists, members, and partners, AACT stands with you in the movement towards greater equality, equity, inclusion, and justice. Your voice matters. Your story matters. Black Lives Matter.

To learn more or to find out how you can help, explore these resources:

Small green box to indicate a new topicResolution on the NEA

The American Association of Community Theatre, believing:

That culture is our link to the past and the future, and a bridge to human understanding;

That creativity and expression are critical to the skills of problem solving, nurturing of the human spirit, and survival in an expanding world;

That theatre is a collaborative art, building team work and community pride; and

That public support is crucial to ensuring the accessibility of the arts to all people;

therefore declares its support of the National Endowment for the Arts, and urges the continued funding and support by the Congress of the United States.

Small green box to indicate a new topicAnti-Discrimination Statement

AACT believes in equal opportunity for employees and members. AACT's success depends on the effective utilization of qualified people, regardless of their race, creed, color, age, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. We will not discriminate on the basis of these characteristics in any personnel or member action.

AACT expects all organizational members to adhere to current accessibility regulations.

Reasonable accommodations to ensure inclusion by all participants should be made by the hosts of AACT events.

AACT encourages members to give this non-discrimination policy their full support through leadership and personal example.

Small green box to indicate a new topicPosition Statement on HIV/AIDS

Recognizing that HIV/AIDS is a threat to all people, the American Association of Community Theatre encourages all community theatres to initiate and participate in activities to increase awareness, tolerance, and support for individuals who are living with the disease.


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