ABET’s mission is to bring the excitement of live theatre to diverse audiences. There is an emphasis on new and original plays and neglected classics, and on developing new talent. We seek diversity in all aspects. Many roles are race/gender neutral. We invite everyone to get involved – volunteer, buy a subscription, make a donation, audition for a play, or take a drama workshop for adults or children.
ABET is a not-for-profit theatre, registered with the State of Florida as a tax exempt charitable organization #CH14275. We receive generous grants and support from: City of Jacksonville, Community Foundation in Jacksonville, Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville, Tom and Jean Nehl Fund of The Community Foundation in Jacksonville, The Robin Shepherd Group… and many other donors and subscribers.
The theatre is wheelchair accessible.
Carson Merry Baillie and three of her drama workshop graduates founded ABET (then Atlantic Beach Experimental Theatre) to bring more original scripts and challenging plays and musicals to the Jacksonville area. Carson skillfully and enthusiastically guided the theatre’s growth during our first 13 years. ABET gained a reputation for high-quality productions, including many new plays, some by local playwrights; Broadway productions in their local premieres; revivals; and classics.
Barbara Evans was Managing Artistic Director for the next two years, carrying on our fine tradition.
Celia Frank served as Managing Artistic Director from 2007 until she retired on June 1, 2021, when Lee Hamby assumed the role of Managing Artistic Director.
In the spring of 2018, ABET moved from Atlantic Beach to Neptune Beach, and changed the full name of the theatre to All Beaches Experimental Theatre.
In June 2021, ABET lost it’s home in Neptune Beach due to renovation of the shopping center.
In August 2021, ABET hired Lee Hamby as new Managing Artistic Director. Lee arranged for ABET to utilize The Foundation Academy theatre facility for the 2021/2022 Season.