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An Open Letter from Dan McCleary

Tennessee Shakespeare Company founder and producing artistic director

May 21, 2013

Dear Friend of Shakespeare.

The City of Germantown, TN, in which Tennessee Shakespeare Company resides, is proposing to eliminate entirely the City's education grant funding to TSC for the annual budget to begin July 1, 2013.

The City generously awarded education grants to TSC in varying sums for the past five years. TSC has always matched these grant dollar-for-dollar. For the past two years, this funding has totaled $70,000 each year for immersive, innovative, classical education for ALL Germantown students (not just theatre students). What's more, the grant is made possible not by tax-payers but by those of us (TSC included) who rent the Germantown Performing Arts Center in town. Now, the City wants those rental fees to help offset issues in their annual budget.

To our knowledge, TSC's education program is the only arts and education grant being proposed for 100% elimination.

The grant makes possible TSC's classical education program and free/discounted access to live, professional Shakespeare to thousands of students at the five Germantown schools, including free playshops, free residencies, Free Will Kids Nights, deeply-discounted morning matinees of all of TSC's professional productions, the innovative Romeo and Juliet Project, and the pre-show Prelude scenes.

The City says that the economy is forcing it to make difficult decisions. For those of you who have had your position eliminated or salary cut in the past four years, as we have done at TSC, I am sure you, as I, appreciate this position.

However, what we have never done at TSC is cut or eliminate a program that was more than doubling its return on investment financially while also providing a socially responsible and academically measurable service to our community. That would be a questionable business decision. And we certainly wouldn't be adhering to our mission.

I respectfully submit to you that the City, in proposing this education program de-funding, is addressing other priorities than its stated mission.

See some excellent letters sent from supporters.

Read more...

News

  • Shake(s), Rattle & Roll
  • TSC's Hamlet
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  • Free Will Kids

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.

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TSC's Hamlet plays in an elegant Edwardian production
at Memphis' Dixon Gallery and Gardens

Memphis, TN (February 25, 2013) – – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South's professional classical theatre, presents a special, limited engagement of William Shakespeare's Hamlet inside Dixon Gallery and Garden's Winegardner Auditorium from April 3-14 in Memphis.

Directed by TSC's Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary (The Tempest, Glass Menagerie, Macbeth, Othello, Julius Caesar, A Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It), this elegant Edwardian production is generously sponsored by Independent Bank and Ann & Wellford Tabor. The exclusive media sponsor is Commercial Appeal Media.

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Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE at all Thursday night performances when accompanied by a paying guardian.  Limit four per guardian.  Made possible by the Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

logo-arts-memphislogo-tn-arts-commission  logo-dixon   GPAC

    logo-fedex    logo-natl-endow-arts2   logo-ibank  TargetInternational Paper

Season Sponsors:

The Dunbar Abston Fund for Sustainable Excellence, Barbara B. Apperson and The Barbara Apperson Angel Fund, ArtsMemphis,
Nancy and Dan Copp, FedEx Corporation, First Tennessee Foundation's ArtsFirst,  Jack and Sandra Jones, Milton T. Schaeffer,
Ann and Wellford Tabor, the Family of Margaret and Owen Tabor, Sr.

Season Partners:
Dixon Gallery & Gardens,  Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, St. George's Episcopal Church

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