With a sad and grateful heart, All Beaches Experimental Theatre bids goodbye to Celia Frank. After 14 years leading ABET as the Managing Artistic Director, on June 1, Celia is retiring. She leaves behind a legacy of incredible performances as she continually ensured ABET captured the attention of audiences and maintained ABET’s standing as one of Northeast Florida’s highest quality and most professional community theatres.
Celia brought a level of knowledge and dedication to the performing arts stemming from years of acting and directing experience starting with her B.S. degree in Theatre, to working in summer repertory theatres, as well as a professional touring company. After moving to Jacksonville, Celia acted as ABET Founder Carson Merry Baillie’s Assistant Director on numerous productions, served as both Secretary and President of the ABET Board of Directors and subsequently directed numerous s productions both at ABET and Players by the Sea, culminating in her superb job as ABET’s Managing Artistic Director. She leaves behind a legacy of excellence for which ABET will forever be grateful.
In addition to Celia, we would like to thank her husband, Bryan Frank and her late brother-in-law, Gordon Frank for their vast contributions in technical support, set design, and construction as well as the design and build out of our last theatre location. Without the tireless efforts of Bryan and Gordon, ABET would not have been able to present its last two seasons at our current Beaches location.
Sad as we are to say goodbye to Celia, ABET is pleased to announce Lee Hamby to fill the interim position of Transition Director. As ABET moves from its current location and seeks a permanent theatre home, Lee will be responsible for the smooth transition into our next season. Lee is a Jacksonville native and graduate of Douglas Anderson School of the Arts majoring in Vocal Music / Musical Theatre. He went on to study Musical Theatre at The Broadway Theatre Project and The American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Lee worked as a professional actor for over 3 decades. He has been very active in the local arts community working as a director, producer, designer and theatre consultant. He is the former Managing Director and a founding member of The 5 & Dime.
Please join ABET in welcoming Lee and wishing Celia all the very best as we say thank you and farewell
The ABET Board of Directors