About ABET

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, join the ABET Guild, 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*. The backing of our wonderful City of Atlantic Beach has made our success possible. We also 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.

*Registered with the State of Florida as a tax exempt charitable organization. #CH14275

ABET’s History

Carson Merry Baillie, Director Emeritus, and three of her drama workshop graduates founded ABET (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 has been Managing Artistic Director since 2007. She has continued to bring exciting, highly acclaimed performances to the Jacksonville area. Celia has also expanded our volunteer support base by forming the ABET Guild, which is free to join and open to all.


Celia Frank, Managing Artistic Director

Board of Directors

Judy Hulett, President ~ Jen Fortune, Vice President ~ Jennifer Latka, Secretary ~ Alan Gleit, Treasurer ~  Pat Borno ~ Jane Bull ~ Bob Glazener ~ John Goodling ~ Margaret Hennessey ~ Ingrid McCawley ~ Cliff Rigsbee

Director Emeritus

Carson Merry Baillie