Just hours after Fat Tuesday wraps up, it will be time for another invasion into Mobile. Only these visitors aren’t here just to alter their character, imbibe, claim as much booty as possible and then slip out of town with memories of delight and magic … or are they?

More than 4,000 actors, professional company representatives, design and technical professionals, theatre educators, college and high school students, commercial exhibitors, university representatives community theatre producers and others will swarm here for the Southeastern Theatre Conference. The first week in March is time for the nation’s largest theatre convention, and the Azalea City is the lucky recipient this year.

The Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center will be ground zero. What will be found there is everything for which the theatrically minded could hope.
Auditions for professional, college and graduate levels will take place. Callbacks are on-site.

A theatre job fair will be held for employees, interns and apprentices. These include design, management, administrative, front of house and academic positions. Auditions for undergraduate and graduate programs will be conducted. More than 90 theatre school representatives are expected to be on hand.

Programming for design and technical areas of theatre starts Wednesday afternoon and continues through Saturday. This includes more than 50 workshops and a hands-on light lab plus special events, including seven design competitions.

Keynote speakers are educator Dr. Daniel Banks, playwright Wendy MacLeod and actor, director, singer, composer and dancer Terrance Mann. Mann will also receive a Distinguished Career Award.

There will be guest artist and master classes delving into technique. More than 300 workshops and a teachers institute are on tap as well.

Five festivals are scheduled in various categories. Competition will ensue between community companies, youth productions, fringe units that include everything from one-man shows to Shakespeare, high school performers and a 10-minute play competition will take place.

You can go to www.setc.org for more information. If you think this listing is impressive, what’s on the website diminishes these scant paragraphs.

Mobile is indeed fortunate to have the chance to host this event and those of us who want to make a nice splash in creative circles are hoping for the best. Let’s just hope our post-Mardi Gras hangover doesn’t diminish the impression we make.

So comp’ny’s a-comin’! Places, people, places!

Southeastern Theatre Conference
Where: Arthur R. Outlaw Mobile Convention Center, 1 S. Water St.
When: March 5-7