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Discover the Original Soul Man: TSC's Mid-South Schools Tour Hits the Road this Week with "Shake(s), Rattle & Roll"

(Memphis, TN, October 15, 2013) – It's hip. It's cool. Students can discover chart-topping, toe-tapping, feet-stomping, get-out-of-your-seat-and-move-with-it SHAKESPEARE – direct from Memphis!

Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South's professional classical theatre, launches its new schools touring show this week with the Memphis-inspired Shake(s), Rattle & Roll.

Created by TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine and featuring actors Slade Kyle and Cara McHugh, Shake(s), Rattle & Roll is booking now in elementary, middle, and high schools throughout the Mid-South. Last year, the tour played to 6,000 students in the South. This year's tour will exceed that capacity while touring across the state and into North Carolina, Georgia, and Kentucky.

Shake(s), Rattle & Roll is a 45-minute, tour-de-force that imagines both a social and artistic through-line between the plays of William Shakespeare and the music that makes Memphis unique – Blues, Gospel, Soul, Rhythm and Blues, and Rock-n-Roll.

 

Scenes from Shakespeare's plays include Julius Caesar, Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Othello, Richard II, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra, Twelfth Night, and The Taming of the Shrew. Music from the on-stage jukebox includes chart-toppers from Sam and Dave, Carl Perkins, Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, Big Joe Turner, and Rev. Al Green.

"Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll allows Tennessee Shakespeare Company the opportunity to introduce students to two forces of change in our shared human experience: the plays of William Shakespeare and Memphis music from the 50's and 60's," says Shine.

"It's a joy to find the common links between these major artistic achievements while giving our young people an insight into what classical theatre can offer them. It's also wonderful to highlight many of the reasons we have to be proud of Memphis, the state of Tennessee, and the Mid-South."

Schools may book the show with actor-talkback now through May 9, 2014, for their student groups of up to 100 for just $450. Call TSC's Education Office at (901) 759-0620 to book your school or class. Teachers and chaperones are admitted free. Travel costs may vary.

Who's Who

Catie Broadwater (Stage Manager) returns for her second season with Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Her TSC credits include Unto the Breach, It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged), Macbeth, Southern Yuletide, the schools tour of Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, and The Glass Menagerie. Catie comes from Nashville, where she works as a Stage Manager. Most recently, she was a stage management assistant for the pre-Broadway production of The Nutty Professor directed by Jerry Lewis. A few of her theatre credits include Studio Tenn's The Glass Menagerie; Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's Sherlock Holmes and It's a Wonderful Wife; 3Ps Production's John & Jen and Long Way Down, Parallel Lives, Oklahoma, Ramona Quimby, Baby, Spirit: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee; and Nashville Shakespeare Festival's The Tempest. She is a graduate from MTSU, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre.

Bruce Bui (Costume Designer) designed TSC's Unto the Breach!, Hamlet, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Rebel Shakespeare and His Women, and Shakespeare's Greatest Hits. Originally from Southern California, Bruce now lives in Memphis and is going into his twelfth season as the Wardrobe Director and Resident Costume Designer for Ballet Memphis. His works can be seen regularly on the Orpheum stage and numerous other venues around the Mid-South, and have been praised as "dazzling" by Critical Dance Magazine, and a "Master of Chiffon" by The Commercial Appeal. He has also worked with The Western Stage (Always, Patsy Cline), Cabrillo Musical Theatre (Funny Girl), Santa Susanna Repertory Theatre (Shiloh, War of the World), and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company (As You Like It), among others. Some of his specialty garments can be seen on Mrs. Tennessee for Mrs. America 2005, At Home Tennessee Magazine's featured wedding issue 2007, and The Memphis Mystic Krew 2005 court. Bruce also has worked on several commercials in the Mid-South.

Slade Kyle (Actor, Education Manager) as a founding member and former SEWA Professional Wrestler is well versed in many forms of Stage Combat, and serves as TSC's resident Fight Director. TSC credits: The Glass Menagerie (Tom), The Tempest (Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Romeo and Juliet Schools Tour (Friar Lawrence/Mercutio/Peter/Abram, Fight Director), Macbeth (Malcolm), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio/Prince/Gregory/Friar John, Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Themes From a Midsummer Night with IRIS Orchestra (Puck), Othello (Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Julius Caesar (Prelude Scene Director), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck, Fight Director), As You Like It (Oliver, Fight Choreographer). Slade graduated Summa Cum Laude with his BFA from the University of Memphis, focusing on Physical Theatre and Pedagogy.

Cara McHugh (Actor, Journeyman Artist-Manager) is originally from Memphis and received her BA from Murray State University with a dual major in Theatre and Political Science. Cara received her MFA in the Performance program at the University of Louisville, where she graduated recently with a Dean's Citation in Academic Excellence. Cara performed in UofL's Sleep Rock thy Brain, The Artifacts, Richard III, Plays: A Play, A Perfect Wedding, and How I Learned to Drive. She also performed in Reasons to Be Pretty and Misses Strata at the Bard's Town Theatre in Louisville, where she served as a Board member. While in Louisville, Cara taught children's theatre for Encore Youth Theatre and Adelante Hispanic Achievers.

Stephanie Shine+ (Director, Education Director, General Manager) TSC directorial work includes It's a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Southern Yuletide, Romeo and Juliet, and The Rebel Shakespeare and His Women. During her 18 years with Seattle Shakespeare Company, 13 as Artistic Director, she directed 17 productions, including The Threepenny Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the lauded all-male Taming of the Shrew. A well-known actress in the Northwest, Stephanie has performed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT, The Empty Space, Seattle Children's Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Tacoma Actors Guild. Regionally, she appeared with the Oregon and New Jersey Shakespeare Festivals, Houston's Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, and NYC's Theatre for a New Audience. Her Shakespeare roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, The Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and The Chorus in Henry V. + Member of The Society of Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.

News

  • Midsummer Night
  • AC Wharton, Jr. Visits Romeo and Juliet Project in Action
  • Romeo and Juliet Project - 4th Year
  • Memphis Shakespeare Training Intensive

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.

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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

Actors May Now Apply for The Memphis Shakespeare Weekend Intensive

pic-dave-demke
Pictured: Dave Demke

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is now accepting applications for its Memphis Shakespeare Weekend Intensive, running July 24 - 26, hosted by the University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance.

Click here for the Application/Deposit form.  Only 7 more participant slots are available.

The Schedule

Friday, July 24 from 6pm - 10pm
Saturday, July 25 from 10am - 10pm
Sunday, July 26 from 10am - 4pm. 

Adequate time is allotted for meal breaks.

Is This for You?

This work is designed to serve both professional and aspiring actors, age 21 and older, who want to speak Shakespeare with clarity, skill, and passion.  The Intensive is strategically limited to 12 participants to ensure that everyone receives personal coaching and attention.

What is the Intensive Training?

Exercises in Linklater voice, Alexander and Trish Arnold movement, and text work based on John Barton's work and Neil Freeman's First Folio research, will be used to free up breath, voice, impulses, imagination, and the actor's intelligence.  Individual monologue coaching will focus on developing a personal, passionate connection to Shakespeare's text.  Participants can expect to leave the Intensive personally enriched and enlightened.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

Boyle         FedEx         logo-arts-memphis

International Paper            University of Memphis

logo-ibank

Theatrical Rights Worldwide

First Tenneessee Foundation

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