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Announcing the 2013-14 Season

“Unto the Breach!”

(Memphis, TN, July 23, 2013) –– Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, today announced its 2013-14 schedule of plays and education schools tour.

Following the record-breaking success of its fifth performance season, TSC was informed last month that its matching civic funding for its vast education programs in its community was being entirely eliminated. That same week, the National Endowment for the Arts/ArtsMidwest recognized TSC for its innovative education and performance programming with a matching Shakespeare in American Communities grant. TSC was one of the youngest organizations to receive the recognition.

In a matter of days, the grant was matched by Shakespeare supporters from Germantown, Memphis, the Mid-South, and from across the U.S. Letters from over 200 supporters to TSC and its community’s elected officials, together with their generosity, inspired a different type of beginning to TSC’s sixth season.

“It has been our mission since day one, and our responsibility to our community, that we always provide innovative educational student programming together with our professional Shakespeare productions at deep discount, or for free,” says founder and producing artistic director Dan McCleary. “I never want money to be the thing that prevents our community’s students from having a chance to love the plays of William Shakespeare and to learn from them on their own terms. And yes, for the record, I do believe Shakespeare can change the world for the better, and I’m starting with my hometown.

“Too many of our schools here are defined as ‘underprivileged’ and “underserved.’ So, we have work to do; and as long as we have 80 schools and nearly 15,000 students who want us teaching them and playing for them, like last year, then we will be determined to fill the breach created by the elimination of our municipal government funding for the coming season. If I have learned anything from my involvement in the plays of William Shakespeare in 25 years and from our galvanizing TSC supporters these past two months, it is that artistic courage and social activism, particularly in the face of adversity, can affect positive change.”

 

Unto the Breach!

The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare

Substituting for its usual full-cast production of a Shakespeare play in the autumn is a special two-performance Benefit show in the 824-seat Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall to help restore education funding to our community’s classrooms. Ticket revenue will go to TSC’s education program.

Unto the Breach! the Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare will feature Dan McCleary and resident artist/Education Director Stephanie Shine on stage with music in this 90-minute exploration of Shakespeare’s courage of creativity, of the heart, of conviction, and of forgiveness. Scenes will be performed from plays Richard III, King Lear, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Twelfth Night, Coriolanus, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, As You Like It and more.

The Benefit show plays Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm. A special all-school matinee with discounted tickets will be made possible by TSC’s sponsors on September 10 at 10:30 am at GPAC.

McCleary and Shine (Gertrude in TSC’s acclaimed Hamlet) take the stage for the first time together. A real-life married couple brought together by Shakespeare, both have more than 55 years of experience playing most of the canon, including 30 major/title roles.

Benefit tickets are $30, and seating is general admission. A special Free Will Kids’ Night is in effect for both performances: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. Press Opening is September 7 at 7:30 pm.

Unto the Breach! is supported and partnered by The Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, ArtsMemphis, Nancy and Dan Copp, Independent Bank, Milton T. Schaeffer, and GPAC/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall.

 

It’s a Wonderful Life:

A Live Radio Play


Back by popular demand is last year’s holiday hit It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play playing November 20 – December 8, 2013, in the Winegardner Auditorium at Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, directed by Stephanie Shine.

Sponsored by FedEx Corporation and adapted for the stage by Joe Landry, It’s a Wonderful Life returns the Bailey family to the stage to celebrate everyone’s end-of-year holidays. The loving classic that embraces the beset George Bailey as he discovers how wonderful his life really is transfers from the famous black-and-white film version to a live 1946 radio play, complete with period jingles, carols, and creative sound effects. Returning cast: Amelia Fischer, Bradley Kroeker, Lorraine Cotton, and WKNO’s Jim Eikner as Clarence Oddbody, Angel 2nd Class.

Tickets for the November 20 Preview performance are $15. Free Will Kids’ Nights are on November 21, 28, and December 5. WKNO Memphis public radio will broadcast the November 21 performance live on 91.1 FM at 7:00 pm. Press Opening is November 21 at 7:00 pm.

 

Romeo and Juliet

Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts/ArtsMidwest and Shakespeare in American Communities, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet plays Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall on January 28 and 30 at 7:00 pm, directed by Stephanie Shine. Three, discounted morning matinees that week for school students will also be made available.

Experience the full-bodied love story as if for the first time with these professional, young players. The play everyone is introduced to in their early teen years on the page comes vibrantly alive on the GPAC stage as a cast of eight explores the mortal acts of too-young lovers who bury their parents' strife with their lives.

This production is inspired by TSC’s innovative Romeo and Juliet Project, which has been raising grades, changing young lives, and affecting entire student bodies throughout the Memphis area for two years.

Parents are invited to discover with their children all of the heart-felt, or well-intentioned, or tragic decisions made by the play’s teenagers and adults alike in this “two hours traffic of our stage,” followed by a community forum with the audience, actors, and director.

A special Free Will Kids’ Night is in effect for both performances: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. Press Opening is January 28 at 7:00 pm.

 

Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala

Save the Date with your special someone at GPAC on February 14, 2014! Broadway celebrities Charles Strouse and Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley have taken center stage the last two years. Guess who’s romancing you this year! (We will announce soon.) Singular live/silent auction items and trips, sumptuous fare, flowing spirits, and a once-in-a-lifetime performance will make this a night to remember.

Don’t miss the Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala –the most original, fun party of the year! For single tickets and sponsorships of ten seats, please call TSC’s Development Office at (901) 759-0620.

 

The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare’s early commedia piece The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Dan McCleary, plays inside the Dixon’s Winegardner Auditorium from April 23 – May 4, 2014, in Memphis.

One of Shakespeare’s most outrageously funny and controversial plays shows up quite by accident on the 1927 doorstep of Mr. Hugo Dixon of Memphis, Tennessee. He hires the traveling theatre troupe to perform a play for mirth and merriment in his luxurious home, which one day will become Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

In the play, Kate neither looks nor acts like her younger, alluring sister Bianca – nor any other woman, for that matter. This is bad news for Bianca, since she cannot wed until Kate does. Any man who’s man enough to tackle the shrewish Kate wins a wealthy dowry, says her father, but is Kate too high a price to pay? Not for the recently destitute Petruchio. He arrives looking to wed for riches, not love. The meeting of Petruchio and Kate is one of the hallmark scenes in all of theatre.

But something happens after their name-calling, arm-wrestling, horse-riding, sleep-deprived, mutually-starved trip to the altar – they inexplicably fall in love.

Tickets for the April 23-24 Preview performances are $15. Free Will Kids’ Nights are on April 24 and May 1. Press Opening is April 25 at 7:00 pm.

Sponsored by Ann and Wellford Tabor, and The Dunbar Abston Fund for Sustainable Excellence.

 


The Mid-South Schools Tour:

Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll

It's hip.  It's cool.  It's an adventure with the original SOUL MAN!  Students will discover chart-topping, toe-tapping, feet-stomping, got-to-jump-out-of-your-seat-and-move-with-it SHAKESPEARE – direct from Memphis!  Featuring Slade Kyle, two actors play with breathtaking dexterity through a whirlwind of scenes and soliloquies sure to make students want to SHOUT!

Directed and created by Stephanie Shine, Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll is a 45-minute show, with accompanying talk-back, that travels to schools in the Mid-South, across Tennessee, and throughout the Southeast from October 2013 through April 2014. Call TSC’s Education Office to book your school or class at (901) 759-0620.

 

Performance Season Information

General Admission tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC’s office located at 2260 West Street, Germantown, TN 38138; by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org (Twitter: @tnshakespeare).

Tickets for all non-Gala performances are $30. Tickets for all Preview performances are only $15. All Thursday nights are Free Will Kids’ Nights: Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian. All performances of Unto the Breach! and Romeo and Juliet are Free Will Kids’ Nights. Dixon members receive 20% off their tickets for all Dixon performances. Seniors and Students receive 20% of their tickets to any non-Gala performance. No refunds/exchanges.

Performances are general admission; first come/first seated. Free parking. Cast/schedule subject to change.

All Opening Nights include a complementary post-show dessert and champagne toast with the actors.


Tennessee Shakespeare Company

Performance Season - 2013-14

At-a-Glance

 

TITLE: "Unto the Breach! The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare"
BY: Dan McCleary and Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATES: Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm, 2013
TICKETS: $30 adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian
ABOUT: Featuring Dan McCleary and Stephanie Shine in an effort to restore live professional Shakespeare to our community’s classrooms, this Benefit performance showcases through his plays Shakespeare’s courage of the heart, conviction, creativity, and redemption.

 

TITLE:      "It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play"
BY: Adapted by Joe Landry from the Frank Capra film
DIRECTOR: Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Dixon Gallery & Gardens/Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
DATES: November 20 – December 8, 2013
    7:00 pm Wednesday-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
TICKETS: $15 on November 20 preview/$30 on all other dates for adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on November 21, 28, December 5
ABOUT: The holiday classic for the entire family returns to the Dixon in this 1940s live radio play featuring the good-hearted George Bailey, Angel 2nd Class Clarence Oddbody, and lots of period jingles and music.

 

TITLE:      "Romeo and Juliet"
BY: William Shakespeare
DIRECTOR: Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATES: January 28 and 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm
TICKETS: $30 adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian
ABOUT: Five young people end up dead in a story that begins as a comedy – how can the adults and children save the next generation? Community forums follow each performance.

                                

TITLE:      "Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala"
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATE: February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm
TICKETS: $175; and 10-seat sponsorships available with perks
ABOUT: Featuring a Broadway headliner soon to be announced (“Annie” composer Charles Strouse and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie with Jason Danieley headlined the last two years), this education Gala includes sumptuous fare and fun, rare live and silent auctions.           

 

TITLE:      "The Taming of the Shrew"
BY: William Shakespeare
DIRECTOR: Dan McCleary
VENUE: Dixon Gallery & Gardens/Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
DATES: April 23 – May 4, 2014
TIMES: 7:00 pm Wednesday-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
TICKETS: $15 on April 23-24 previews/$30 on all other dates for adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on April 24 and May 1
ABOUT: It’s 1927 and Hugo Dixon of Park Avenue, Memphis (located where the Dixon Gallery is today), has given a bed to homeless man and board to a travelling theatre troupe, creating an evening of mirth and merriment in his home featuring the infamous comic love story of the bounding Petruchio and the shrewish Kate.       

                   

                   

 

News

  • Henry V: TSC Ascends The Highest Heaven of Invention
  • Eighth Season Announced
  • The Oliver Experiment
  • Midsummer Night
  • TSC Announces Four New Members

Tennessee Shakespeare Company
“Ascends the highest heaven of invention”
with its action-packed

Henry V

in partnership with the University of Memphis'
School of Theatre and Dance on the U of M Mainstage

June 9-19

Sponsored by FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor;
Pat, Ernest, Marian and Martha Kelly


Henry V Trailer

Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, calls to action-packed theatrical life the battlefields and courts of an ambitious young king in William Shakespeare’s masterwork on the chaos of war and the romance of peace:  Henry V.

The rousing play famous for its many powerful speeches and orations, including “O for a muse of fire,” and “Once more unto the breach,” and “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” plays in a fun, new “wooden o” on the University’s mainstage from June 9-19.

Featuring a new, Elizabethan seating configuration that places patrons just off the raised stage (for only $10), a moving set, and slides of original wood-cuts from the early 15th century, TSC’s production of Henry V employs ten professional actors, including AEA performers from around the country.  They will play over 30 roles in what is perhaps Shakespeare’s most theatrically self-aware play:  “And let us, ciphers to this great account,/On your imaginary forces work.”

rsz pic henryvdscn1525
Photo: Colton Swibold as Henry V

Though costumed for 15th century battle and adorned for the period’s courts of England and France, the company of actors constantly address their audience, changing costumes and characters in plan view, inviting the audience to become the eleventh actor.

The production’s title sponsors are FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor; and Pat, Ernest, Marian, and Martha Kelly.  Together, they make possible Free Will Kids’ Night each Thursday night (up to four children 17 years and younger admitted free when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian).  Additional funding is generously provided by the University of Memphis and First Tennessee Foundation.

Henry V is produced in memory of TSC friend, Dan Copp, who died in 2015.  From 1943 to 1945, Lieutenant Copp served in the U.S. Navy on the battleship Tennessee.  He saw action in the Pacific theater from the Aleutians to the South Sea Islands.  With this production, TSC honors Dan’s courage, service, and friendship.

Directed by TSC’s Stephanie Shine (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet), Henry V features a professional ensemble from around the country: Montana native Colton Swibold in the title role, Paul Kiernan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Fluellen/Canterbury/Cambridge/Burgundy, Gabriel Vaughan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Dauphin/Westmerland/Jamy/Williams, Phil Darius Wallace (recently in TSC’s  A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Exeter/Nym/Orleance, Michael Khanlarian (recently in TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Pistol/Constable, Heather Roberts (TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Montjoy/Quickly/Alice/MacMorris, and Kaitlyn Maurer (TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Katherine/Grey/French prisoner.

New to the acting company are Jeffrey David Kent as Gower/French King/Ely/Erpingham, Blake Currie as Gloucester/boy, and Nic Picou as Scroop/Borbon/Bates/Bardolph.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company
Announces Eighth Season of Plays and Education Programs:

Celebration 400
1616-2016

(Memphis, TN, September 1, 2015) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, today announced its 2015-16 performance season, which commemorates the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death with a celebration of plays, readings, salons, feasts, and extensive programming for children.

TSC continues its cultural/educational partnerships with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance and with Dixon Gallery & Gardens.  Full productions of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well (Dixon) and Henry V (UofM) will feature professional, AEA casts from around the country and Memphis.

The Company also partners with the Memphis Hunt & Polo Club to feature three weeks of feasts and two-hour readings of Shakespeare plays that TSC has not yet produced.  The Southern Literary Salons continue in September with a focus on Harper Lee, and in February spotlighting Ernest Hemingway in Key West.  The Seventh Annual Shakespeare Gala at Germantown Performing Arts Center moves to April to commemorate Celebration 400 during the month of the 400th anniversary.

Running concurrently with the performance season are the expanded offerings of TSC’s Education and Outreach Department.  These include a newly-authored schools show touring the southeastern U.S., student matinees, playshops and residencies, expanded Summer camps, and the recently-trademarked Romeo and Juliet Project™ literacy/non-violence residency.

Read More

Sponsored by Theatrical Rights Worldwide (NYC)

Presents its Third Musical in Development August 15 on the University of Memphis mainstage:

The Oliver Experiment

What if your entire life were a Broadway musical…and you had no clue?

Featuring Broadway’s Brightest Stars

Memphis, TN (July 27, 2015) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents its third and final developing musical reading on the U of M mainstage with The Oliver Experiment by Jeremy Desmon and Jeff Thomson on August 15 at 7:00 pm.

Read More

Midsummer Night

Live music, glow sticks, and power chords!
Featuring Broadway’s Katrina Lenk and Eric B. Anthony

Memphis, TN (June 15, 2015) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, presents its second developing musical reading on the U of M mainstage with Midsummer Night by Valerie Vigoda and Brendan Milburn on June 27 at 7:00 pm.

Tickets for the reading are just $15, or $10 for Students and Seniors.

Midsummer Night, directed by Janet Roston, is the second of three developing musicals in TSC’s inaugural Showplace Memphis: Musical Works in Progress.

Broadway's Katrina Lenk

 Eric B. Anthony

Broadway's Katrina Lenk and Eric B. Anthony 

Sponsored by one of Broadway’s elite musical licensing companies, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) and President/CEO Steve Spiegel, based in New York City, Showplace Memphis has been devised as the next creative stage for three musicals en route to full productions in New York and on the regional theatre circuit across the U.S.  The first musical in Showplace Memphis last month was a very successful reading of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical.  The final musical will be a charming and surprising new piece, The Oliver Experiment (August 15).

TRW has selected the musicals, and the Actors’ Equity casts and directors are coming from all around the country and Memphis.

The cast includes Broadway’s Katrina Lenk (Once; Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark; The Miracle Worker) as Titania and Eric B. Anthony (The Lion King; Hairspray; Mary Poppins) as Puck.

Songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda join with co-creator/director Janet Roston (Artistic Director of The Los Angeles Rock Opera Company) for this new take on William Shakespeare’s beloved comedy A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  The musical is set within a modern-day rock festival.  It’s a rollicking collision of rock music, iambic pentameter, and hipsters – where rock stars Titania and Oberon quarrel, festival assistant Puck creates havoc, and roadie Bottom gets a chance to shine.  

Keyboardist Milburn and electric violinist Vigoda have been singing and writing songs together for over 20 years, first for their band GrooveLily, and more recently for musical theatre and film.  Theatre:  Striking Twelve, Sleeping Beauty Wakes, Beautiful Poison, Wheelhouse, Toy Story: The Musical, Long Short Story, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, its complete reworking as the rock musical Midsummer Night, and Ernest Shackleton Loves Me.  Film: many songs for Tinker Bell for Disney animated movies.  Additional music is provided by Gene Lewin.   

The Midsummer Night creators and cast will collaborate and rehearse at the U of M for ten days leading up to its reading.  Though it will be going through both script and music changes, Midsummer Night will be played and sung in its entirety and with musical accompaniment on the U of M’s mainstage.  No other design elements (scenic/costumes/lights) will be integrated.

Audiences will have an opportunity to speak with the actors and creators of Midsummer Night immediately following its reading.  Audiences also will inform the production by completing an audience survey that will help the creative team in future development phases.

Read More

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces Four New Members to its Board of Directors

Memphis, TN – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre and education organization, announced the addition of four new members to its Board of Directors, led by President Owen B. Tabor, M.D.

Now in the midst of its eighth season, TSC has expanded the Board to its largest membership.  The Board is made up of 26 members and now six Emeritus members.

New members voted onto the Board beginning FY16 for their first three-year terms are:

Elise L. Jordan, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with FedEx Express.

Dorothy O. Kirsch, Memphis philanthropist with a long history of supporting the arts and culture in the Mid-South.

Anne Johnson Mead, partner at the law firm of Butler, Sevier, Hinsley & Reid, PLLC, focusing her practice on litigation, collaborative law, and mediation.  Anne is a member of the Tennessee and Memphis Bar Associations, and serves on the Board for the Family Law Section of the Memphis Bar.

Tracy Vezina Patterson, Director of Alumni Relations at Rhodes College.  She is an alumna of Rhodes College and the University of Memphis School of Law.  Tracy is actively involved in several ministries of St. George's Episcopal Church and has served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden.  Past civic involvements include Memphis Civitan and Special Kids and Families.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

Boyle         FedEx         logo-arts-memphis

International Paper             University of Memphis

logo-ibank

     First Tenneessee Foundation    

logo nea 2016 footer    

Tennessee Arts Commission


Season Sponsors:
Arts Memphis, Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, Nancy Copp, FedEx Corporation, Independent Bank, International Paper, Rose M. Johnston, Ernest and Pat Kelly, Jr., Milton T. Schaeffer, Margaret and Owen Tabor, Ann and Wellford Tabor, Tennessee Arts Commission, and The University of Memphis.

Season Partners:
Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, and The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance.

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