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How did this get started?

An Epiphany


Dan McCleary, one of this country’s most renowned Shakespearian actors and directors, began searching the South a year and a half ago for a city that needed and wanted to support an outdoor Shakespeare Company. After visits to potential locations in several states, he returned to his childhood home of Memphis. His long-time mentor and friend Frank Bluestein convinced him to look at a secluded site in Germantown, a 14-acre wooded parcel in the heart of town, behind Morgan Woods Park on Poplar Pike.


The September Prelude Event hosted by The Dixon Gallery and Garden: Brittany Morgan and Gabriel Vaughan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are the plans for 2008?

Launch Shakespeare into the woods


McCleary’s proposed site and plan garnered acclaim and an enthusiastic response from city officials. They decided to create a master plan for the area, which prevented the Shakespeare Company from launching on the site in 2008. This is where St. George’s Episcopal Church, Rev. Gary Sturni, and Barbara Apperson stepped in. They offered both the church and grounds along with the Apperson property as a temporary home-away-from-home for
one year to allow for a pilot season and testing of the idea. If all goes well this autumn…. the goal will be to move forward in Year Two with a larger plan and vision.

What is the larger plan and vision?

Magically Elizabethan, revelatory, and fun


An Arts Park. The original hidden parcel behind Morgan Woods allows for multiple access points on foot in a beautiful woodland already laced with trails in which scenes from each of Shakespeare’s plays would erupt, sculpture installations would rotate, children would act out plays they write, music practice sheds would sing out with violins and cellos, dancers would rehearse on an open-air platform, flower gardens would line the paths, and the trees would be lit up at dusk with pastel colors. Nestled within this activity, you would come upon an arbor, through which you would encounter a 600-seat natural outdoor amphitheatre with a 200’ x 200’ playing area for a performance that night of Macbeth played in 360 degrees. Horses ride in from stage-left, Macbeth murders the King stage-right, and Macduff’s avenging English troops arm far upstage under the sweet gum trees for their full-out assault on the Scottish Thane!

News

  • Open Enrollment for Sixth Annual Shakespeare Training Camps
  • AC Wharton, Jr. Visits Romeo and Juliet Project in Action
  • Romeo and Juliet Project - 4th Year
  • Become a Fan

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces
Open Enrollment for its Sixth Annual Shakespeare Training Camps Held at the University of Memphis in June

Dynamic Theatre Training for Youth

summer-camp-enrollmentMemphis, TN (March 26, 2015) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South's professional, classical theatre and education organization, is offering two unique, immersive Shakespeare Training Camps to be held for the first time on the campus of the University of Memphis this June.

TSC's Shakespeare Training Camps are open to students entering Grades 6-12. The one-week camp (The Play's The Thing: June 8-12) explores Shakespeare's As You Like It and is ideal for participants with little or no theatre experience. The cost per participant of the one-week camp is $250. Lunches are available for an additional charge.

The two-week camp (Young Players Training Intensive: June 15-26) is ideal for participants with a little more theatre experience. The cost per participant of the two-week camp is $500. Lunches are available for an additional charge.

Both camps run from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm, Monday-Friday; and both camps are already one-third full. The final scene-sharings for each camp will be played on the Mainstage in the Theatre Building. Camp sessions will be held in the adjacent Communication and Fine Arts Building at the University of Memphis.

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Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. to Visit Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet Project in Action at East High School Monday, March 23

March 17, 2015 – Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. announced today he will observe first-hand Tennessee Shakespeare Company teaching and playing its Romeo and Juliet Project with 100 ninth graders in four simultaneous sessions at East High School on Monday, March 23 at 9:00 am.

“On behalf of TSC and our Board of Directors, I am so proud and honored to have Mayor Wharton joining our teachers in the classroom,” said Project creator and TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine.  “It was at the Mayor’s urging we created this Project, and I am excited for him to see his challenge come to positive life.”

pic-romeo-and-juliet-castTennessee Shakespeare Company began its nationally-recognized, four-part performance and in-school residency in the Memphis area in January.  The Project, now in its fourth year, brings a cast of eight professional actor-teachers into each Language Arts classroom at a participating school.  Students are guided by the actors to live the play’s urgent tragedy of young love amidst rage, experiencing its relevant story while ensuring that participating freshmen have a first exposure to Shakespeare that is active, rich, and rewarding.

As the teenagers in the play face armed violence, students discover positive actions available to them in their own lives in the face of real conflict.  Student post-Project assessments have recorded a 20% increase in students’ compassion as a result of their inclusion in The Romeo and Juliet Project, as well as a full letter grade increase, on average, in Language Arts classes.

The Residency concludes with an intimate performance by the actor-teachers of Romeo and Juliet, which encourages student participation.

By the end of March, The Romeo and Juliet Project will have performed the play 44 times in 27 Memphis area schools, and will have taught the Residency in 342 classroom visits in 11 schools.  At least 4,360 high school Freshmen will be reached and positively affected by The Romeo and Juliet Project.  That figure represents 34% of all freshmen in the Shelby County Schools system.

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pic-romeo-and-juliet-castTennessee Shakespeare Company Kicks Off Fourth Year of Nationally-Recognized ROMEO AND JULIET PROJECT

  • 27 Schools
  • 44 Performances
  • 342 Classroom Visits
  • 4,360 High School Freshmen


(January 15, 2015) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company has begun its nationally-recognized, four-part performance and in-school residency The Romeo and Juliet Project in the Memphis area this week, starting with Germantown High School and all of its 530 Freshmen.

The Project, now in its fourth year, brings a cast of eight professional actor-teachers into each Language Arts classroom at a participating school. Students are guided by the actors to live the play's urgent tragedy of young love amidst rage, experiencing its relevant story while ensuring that participating Freshmen have a first exposure to Shakespeare that is active, rich, and rewarding.

As the teenagers in the play face armed violence, students discover positive actions available to them in their own lives in the face of real conflict. The Residency concludes with an intimate performance by the actor-teachers of Romeo and Juliet, which encourages student participation.

By the end of March, The Romeo and Juliet Project will have performed the play 44 times in 27 Memphis area schools, and will have taught the Residency in 342 classroom visits in 11 schools. At least 4,360 high school Freshmen will be reached and positively affected by The Romeo and Juliet Project. That figure represents 34% of all Freshmen in the Shelby County Schools system.

Student post-Project assessments have recorded a 20% increase in students' compassion as a result of their inclusion in The Romeo and Juliet Project, as well as a full letter grade increase, on average, in Language Arts classes.

Read More

 

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

Boyle         FedEx         logo-arts-memphis

International Paper            University of Memphis

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Theatrical Rights Worldwide

First Tenneessee Foundation

logo-natl-endow-arts2 Xfinity

Tennessee Arts Commission


Season Sponsors:
Arts Memphis, Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, Nancy and Dan Copp, FedEx Corporation, Independent Bank, Ernest and Pat Kelly, Jr., National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest, Milton T. Schaeffer, The Family of Margaret and Owen Tabor, Ann and Wellford Tabor, and Tennessee Arts Commission.

Season Partners:
Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, St. George’s Episcopal Church, Theatrical Rights Worldwide,
and The University of Memphis.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a proud member of:
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence       ArtsMemphis    logo-gacc          Tennesseans for the Arts     Tennessee Theatre Association