American Bicentennial Theatre

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The American Bicentennial Theatre (also referred to as the ABT) was a traveling production that commemorated the Bicentennial of America's independence through theatre. Under the leadership of Cecil Roberts, the southeastern chairman of the Kennedy Center, Birmingham was selected as the location for the ABT’s premier in summer 1975.

From June 2329, 1975, Birmingham hosted the premier of the Thornton Wilder classic “The Skin of Our Teeth.” The performances took place at the BJCC Theatre with Elizabeth Ashley and Alfred Drake serving as its main stars. The ABT was sponsored by the Xerox Corporation nationally, with company officials present in the city for its opening. From Birmingham, the production would then travel to Washington D.C., where it would perform in the famed Kennedy Center during the first week of July.


  • Birmingham Area Chamber of Commerce (1976) Century Plus: A Bicentennial Portrait of Birmingham, Alabama 1976 Birmingham: Oxmoor Press, p. 49.