Three New Board Members and Officers Announced for 2016-17
(November 7, 2016) - Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced its 26-member Board of Directors unanimously approved the elections of three new members and a slate of new Officers to its Executive Committee for FY17.
Melanie Stovall Murry
Michael R. Marshall
Joining the Board for three-year terms are educator Pat Casserly Kelly, lawyer Michael R. Marshall of Evans Petree, and University of Memphis General Counsel Melanie Stovall Murry.
Dr. Owen B. Tabor returns as President. His officers are Ernest G. Kelly, Jr. (Vice President), C. Cato Ealy (Treasurer), and Melia M. Murphy (Secretary). Their terms are renewable after one year.
Rotating to TSC’s Emeritus Founders Board is educator Ruth Dunning, who helped create the Company in 2007-08.
Pat Casserly Kelly, though she still finds herself teaching, is the retired chair of the English and Humanities departments at The Hutchison School and its recipient of the Margaret Wellford Tabor chair for Excellence in Teaching English. In her teaching career, she emphasized the great writers and thinkers of the Western tradition—Shakespeare, Dante, Milton, Austen, Dickens, Hardy—as she encouraged her students to become lovers of literature and independent and creative thinkers. Mrs. Kelly was a president of the Shelby-Memphis Council of Teachers of English and was recognized as a Teacher of Excellence by the National Council Teachers of English. She was a recipient of two National Endowment for the Humanities study grants, and was chosen by the U.S. Department of State for a teacher exchange program in Eurasia. She served two terms on the vestry of St. Elisabeth’s Church in Raleigh and was the Director of Religious Education there for 15 years. Currently a communicant at St. Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, she serves as a lector, a Lay Eucharistic Minister, a member of the hospitality committee, and is serving her first year of her term on the Chapter of the Cathedral.
Michael R. Marshall is legal counsel at Evans Petree in Memphis. He is the co-leader of the Labor and Employment section and uses his experience in other arenas to reach solutions and resolutions to his clients’ disputes. He has extensive experience in litigating and resolving employment matters and other business-related disputes. He is a frequent speaker on employment-related topics. Mr. Marshall was the lead attorney in a case brought by the Memphis City Schools against the City of Memphis and obtained a $57 million verdict for education funding. Mr. Marshall graduated from the University of California and Southern Methodist University School of Law. He is a member of the American Bar Association Member, Tennessee Bar Association Member, and Memphis Bar Association member. He is admitted to practice law in Tennessee and Texas. Mr. Marshall has also served as the General Counsel for the Memphis City Schools, and is the general counsel for the Shelby County Emergency Communications District and for Lausanne Collegiate School.
Melanie Stovall Murry is General Counsel at the University of Memphis. Mrs. Murry joined the University in December 2002, serving as associate and assistant counsel. She was also an adjunct faculty member for the doctoral program in higher education administration for the College of Education, Health and Human Sciences. She serves as an instructor at the Tennessee Institute for Pre-law. Mrs. Murry graduated from the Tennessee Bar Association’s Leadership Law program and was a 2008 fellow of the New Memphis Institute. She is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Law, and has a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Saint Louis University.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company
Announces Full Ninth Season of Plays and Educational Activities for 2016-17
(Memphis, TN; August 11, 2016) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional, classical theatre, today announced its full 2016-17 season of plays, outreach programs, and Education initiatives in the Memphis area and beyond.
Launching TSC’s ninth season is its first production of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. Directed by TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary, the adaptation will perform in the Wiener Theater on the campus of Hutchison School in East Memphis from September 20 through October 2. The play is produced in partnership with Hutchison. The cast of 20 actors features Broadway veteran Patrick Ryan Sullivan as Atticus Finch, Memphian Ainsley Geno as Scout, and the return of TSC favorite Tony Molina, Jr. as Rev. Sykes.
Early Bird tickets are on sale now for To Kill a Mockingbird: the first 24 seats sold to each performance will be located in the new Best Seats section of the theatre.
In the winter, TSC returns to Dixon Gallery & Gardens for the holiday season with an elegant, celebratory Much Ado About Nothing befitting the season of cheer. Shakespeare’s romantic comedy, directed by McCleary, plays on the Winegardner Auditorium stage December 8-18.
The fun continues in early summer with Shakespeare’s boisterous comedy of mistaken identities. The Comedy of Errors, produced in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, will play the U of M mainstage June 8-18, 2017.
The Southern Literary Salons return, featuring the works of Eudora Welty (Mississippi Myth) on January 27 and Flannery O’Connor (Georgia Gothic) on April 21. These literary parties in beautiful, private homes from 6:00-8:00 pm curate readings, light fare, and writer-specific libations.
Back by popular demand is The Shakespeare Brunch, featuring abbreviated, staged readings of a redemptive The Winter’s Tale (November 20) and a provocative The Merchant of Venice (May 21) preceded by an expansive brunch buffet and bar. Acted by some of TSC’s best-known actors, the Brunches run from 12:30-3:30 pm inside the elegant Memphis Hunt & Polo Club.
The season also includes the Eighth Annual Shakespeare Gala, bringing to Memphis a new Broadway headliner on Friday, March 10, 2017, at Germantown Performing Arts Center. The Gala, complete with lavish dinner and open bars located throughout the theatre, supports TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Education Program.
This season, the Education Program significantly expands its anti-violence schools residency and performance schedule of The Romeo and Juliet Project. Nine actor/teaching-artists will work in over 20 schools, largely underserved, in Shelby County from September through February, reaching more than 6,000 students. Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits, a fun 2-actor introduction to the playwright’s essential scenes and soliloquies, will tour schools and theatres throughout the southeastern United States. Both productions are created and directed by TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine.
TSC’s generous Mainstage title sponsors include FedEx; Dorothy O. Kirsch; Ernest, Pat, Martha, & Marian Kelly; Independent Bank; Tennessee Arts Commission; Ann and Wellford Tabor; and The University of Memphis.
TSC’s season partners are Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Hutchison School, Shelby County Schools, St. George’s Church, and the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance. The season is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee.
“Our ninth season is a response both to the world’s recent events and to our patrons’ desires,” says McCleary. “To Kill a Mockingbird is an American masterpiece of the 20th Century. It is time for each of us to pick up Harper Lee’s novel and read or re-read it. In Much Ado About Nothing, we are a nation of peace at home and abroad, and in this dream we go pleasure-seeking. Still, uninhibited love is surprisingly difficult to give away in this environment, to both comedic and tragic effect. And in Comedy of Errors, famous for its physical and archetypal humor, we find ourselves in a world in which the mortal threat to immigrants cannot prevent this non-traditional family, even after years of separation, from making a heart-felt discovery.
“I am deeply grateful to our season sponsors, production partners, and over 300 donors who make professional, classical theatre and our education programming possible. The work we do with children in our schools is immediate, impactful, proven, and a powerful model for successful replication throughout the United States. We live in a time when the arts, and experiencing Shakespeare’s plays, need to be at the center of our national educational curriculum, not subsisting on the fringes. They are not a luxury, they are for everyone. The works of William Shakespeare are our birthright, and if they are supported educationally and financially then we see first-hand how our children enthusiastically embrace his compassion, his poetry, and his open-hearted query of humanity.”