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Broadway’s Most Charismatic Leading Man
 Aaron Lazar
Will Headline 7th Annual Gala on April 8

(January 4, 2016) - Tennessee Shakespeare Company announces Broadway’s critically-acclaimed leading man Aaron Lazar (Light in the Piazza, Mamma Mia) will headline its Seventh Annual Gala performed at Germantown Performing Arts Center on April 8, 2016 at 6:00 pm.

pic gala2016 lazarAaron Lazar’s intimate, hour-long show FIND ME IN THE SONGS will benefit TSC’s education and performance programs.  His unique one-man show features musical standards, hit songs from his Broadway productions, fun backstage stories with the stars, and the tale of how a young medical student from New Jersey wound up as Broadway’s most charismatic leading man.

TSC’s Gala and FIND ME IN THE SONGS are generously sponsored this year by Nancy Copp, Stephen and Alicia Davis, Jaguar Bluff City, Jack and Sandra Jones, Milton T. Schaeffer, Pat and Thane Smith, Camp Tabor Players, Jeannie and Owen Tabor, Jr., and Deborah Dunklin Tipton.

Aaron Lazar has wowed audiences on Broadway in featured roles in Light in the Piazza, The Last Ship, A Little Night Music, Oklahoma, A Tale of Two Cities, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, and Mamma Mia.

Platinum, Gold, and Silver seating packages (with tiered benefits) for 10 guests are now available by calling TSC’s Stephanie Shine today at 901-759-0620. 

Preferred seating is available in the order in which calls are received.  Single tickets, if available, will go on sale in March.

The evening, which is expected to sell out, also includes a lavish buffet dinner, TSC’s singular live auction, and a post-show dessert reception with photo opportunities with Ms. Lazar.  For more information, please call 901-759-0620 or go to www.tnshakespeare.org. 

TSC Gold sponsors of the Gala, to date, include Barbara B. Apperson, Margaret Askew, E. Frank and Brenda Bluestein, Blanche and Mike Deaderick, C. Cato Ealy, Elizabeth and Thomas Farrar, Ernest and Pat Kelly, Dorothy O. Kirsch, Hon. Sheri Lipman and Dale Anderson, Julia and Van Manning, Anne and Andy McCarroll, Anne Johnson Mead, Melia and Drew Murphy, Sara Savell, Margaret and Owen Tabor, Susan and Bill Warner.

Aaron Lazar’s Full Biography

A critically-acclaimed star on Broadway, film, and television, Mr. Lazar has been featured on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning hit Light in the Piazza and most recently opposite 16-time Grammy Award-winner Sting in Sting’s epic new musical, The Last Ship.  He was in the first Broadway revival of Stephen Sondheim’s A Little Night Music opposite Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury, the world premiere of Impressionism with Jeremy Irons and Joan Allen, Sir Trevor Nunn’s revival of Oklahoma, the world premiere of A Tale of Two Cities, the first Broadway revival of Les Miserables, the long-running hit The Phantom of the Opera, and the global phenomenon Mamma Mia

Mr. Lazar’s film and television credits include The Wolf of Wall Street, This is Where I Leave You, J. Edgar, Company, The Notorious Bettie Page, The Blacklist, The Good Wife, Blue Bloods, The Following, A Gifted Man, Onion News Network, Ugly Betty, New Amsterdam, and All My Children.


  • Arts Midwest Announces 2016–2017 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants
  • The Oliver Experiment
  • Midsummer Night
  • TSC Announces Four New Members

Arts Midwest Announces 2016–2017
Shakespeare in American Communities
Including Tennessee Shakespeare Company

Grants Mark 14th Year of Bringing Shakespeare to Youth

logo nea 2016Minneapolis, MN/Memphis, TN – Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies across 26 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform the works of William Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company was announced as one of the 40 recipients (one of only six in the southeastern U.S.) for the third time in its history.  The grant will support TSC’s innovative and successful Romeo and Juliet Project in underserved Freshman high school classes in 2016-17.

The awards mark the fourteenth consecutive year of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program managed by Arts Midwest in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA).

Each of the participating theater companies will present productions of Shakespeare plays to students from at least 10 schools.  Accompanying educational activities include in-school residencies, workshops, or post-performance discussions.  Performances will take place between August 1, 2016, and July 31, 2017.

Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has introduced middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare, benefiting more than 2.8 million individuals, including 2.3 million students, with live performances and educational activities.

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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.

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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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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         Tennessee Arts Commission

International Paper             University of Memphis  logo-arts-memphis

     First Tenneessee Foundation    

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Individual Season Sponsors:

Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Nancy Copp; Ernest, Pat, Martha, and Marian Kelly; Milton T. Schaeffer; The Family of Owen and Margaret Tabor;
Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Season Partners:

Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Hutchison School, Shelby County Schools, St. George’s Church, 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