To Kill a Mockingbird Kicks off Ninth Season
Sept. 20 - Oct. 2
Patrick Ryan Sullivan (Atticus) with Roman Kyle (Tom Robinson) and Michael Khanlarian (Bob Ewell).
Adela Calzada (Dill) and Ainsley Geno (Scout).
Patrick Ryan Sullivan (Atticus) with Joshua Pearce (Jem) and Ainsley Geno (Scout).
All photos: Joey Miller.
(Memphis, TN; September 1, 2016) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional, classical theatre, in partnership with Memphis’ Hutchison School, will perform Christopher Sergel’s revised stage adaptation of Harper Lee’s daring American classic, To Kill a Mockingbird from September 20 through October 2.
Played on the Wiener Theater within Hutchison’s beautiful campus in East Memphis, To Kill a Mockingbird launches TSC’s ninth performance season.
The production’s title sponsors are FedEx, Margaret and Owen Tabor, Dorothy O. Kirsch, and Pat and Thane Smith.
Early Bird tickets are on sale now: the first 24 seats sold to each performance will be located in the new Best Seats section of the theatre. Tickets may be purchased now by calling TSC’s Box Office at (901) 759-0604 or online at www.tnshakespeare.org.
Tickets are $34. Preview tickets are only $16. The September 29 performance is Free Will Kids’ Night: Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending Guardian. Senior tickets (62 years and older) are $29, and Student tickets (18 years and older) are $16 for any performance. Opening Night on September 24 includes a complimentary post-show reception with the actors.
Directed by TSC’s founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary, 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.
The cast also includes Michael Khanlarian (Bob Ewell), Josh Pearce (Jem), Adela Calzada (Dill), Caroline Couch (Mayella), Ann Wallace (Calpurnia), Meredith Koch (Maudie), Jeanna Juleson (Stephanie), Carolyn Spratley (Mrs. Dubose), Chris Cotten (Boo Radley/Mr. Gilmer), Jim Dale Green (Sheriff Tate), J.D. Sutton (Jude Taylor/Mr. Cunningham), and Roman Kyle (Tom Robinson). The ensemble members are Kaitlyn Graham, CQ Gintz, Zoe Ford, and Violet Wallace.
The Assistant Director is Anne Marie Caskey. The Lighting and Scenic Designer is Jeremy Fisher. DeAnna Rowe provides Costume Design. Kristen Fisher is the Associate Scenic Designer, and Meredith Koch provides music direction.
Novelist Harper Lee was born in 1926 in Monroeville, Alabama, and died this past February. She wrote her small town and the people she knew into her work, which won the Pulitzer Prize following its 1960 publishing. Made into a popular film in 1962, To Kill a Mockingbird remains one of the most popular books in American homes and school curriculums. Lee paints a portrait of her small southern town during the Depression of 1933-15 when she was ten years old.
Her youth looks through a lens of innocence, humor, inquiry, courage, and imagination at a hard story of a hard time. She builds her father into a model of integrity during a period of accepted racism that allows, before her eyes, to sentence to jail an African-American man for a violent crime against a white girl that he clearly does not commit. He reportedly escapes prison and is shot 17 times, unarmed.
The girl in the novel, Jean Louise Finch (Scout), her older brother Jem, and their friend Dill (based on real-life friend Truman Capote) are joyfully disarming as they discover multiple stories of innocent mockingbirds in their lives: Tom Robinson, as well as the reclusive but life-saving neighbor Boo Radley, the tortured and poor Mayella Ewell, their father Atticus who alone stands against the town’s ingrained violence and prejudice, and the African-American community.
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.”
The Shakespeare Brunches
Back by Popular Demand!
Join us for an elegant Sunday brunch, drinks, and abbreviated Shakespeare readings in a beautiful and sociable indoor setting. Acted by some of your favorite players, the readings are preceded by a delicious and varied buffet with cash bar. Your $40 ticket includes all but the bar. Attire: cocktail/business casual.
at The Memphis Hunt and Polo Club
650 S. Shady Grove Road, Memphis
Host Members: Margaret and Owen Tabor
The Winter’s Tale
Sunday, November 20
directed by Stephanie Shine
Shakespeare’s late romance features a Bohemian rhapsody of near-magical redemption and forgiveness.
The Merchant of Venice
Sunday, May 21, 2017
directed by Dan McCleary
Shakespeare’s early “comedy” was controversial for giving human dimension to the oft-maligned Jewish community. The controversy remains today, but for entirely different reasons. Can we discover “harmony in the spheres?”
The Southern Literary Salons
A literary party from 6:00-8:00 pm featuring writer-specific libations, light fare, and at least 30 Southern-inspired minutes of influential writers in a private, gracious home. Tickets are $55 for one Salon or $100 for both, and include the entertainment, open bar, and fare.
Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth
January 27, 2017
Hosted by Nancy Copp in her legendary Germantown home
She described writing fiction as “a personal act of vision.” Eudora Welty (1900-2001) was widely popular as a writer and photographer from her lifelong home in Jackson, MS. Welty was at literary home seemingly only in experimentation, her vast skill-set ranging from comedy to tragedy, realistic to surreal, fiction to biography, fairy tale to history – always in the South. Her canon includes the short stories in A Curtain of Green, The Wide Net, and The Golden Apples, and the novels The Ponder Heart and Pulitzer Prize-winning The Optimist’s Daughter.
Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic
April 21, 2017
Hosted by Melia and Drew Murphy at their gracious Germantown home
“Give me the grace, dear God, to see the bareness and the misery of the places where You are not adored but desecrated,” the 20-year-old O’Connor writes in A Prayer Journal. “Am I trying to shock with God? Please don’t let me have to scrap the story because it turns out to mean more wrong than right…or any wrong.” The author of Wise Blood, The Violent Bear It Away, A Good Man is Hard to Find, and Everything that Rises Must Converge, O’Connor spent most of her life in Savannah and Milledgeville, GA. Her work is often described as birthing the Southern Gothic style. “There is nothing harder than Christian realism…the reviewer always has hold of the wrong horror.”
The Comedy of Errors
an hysterical, brief exuberance
by William Shakespeare
in partnership with the University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance
June 8-18, 2017
at the University of Memphis
(3745 Central Avenue, Memphis 38111)
sponsored by Ann and Wellford Tabor; and
Produced under agreements with the professional entertainment unions: Actors’ Equity Association and The Stage Directors & Choreographers Society
“Methinks you are my glass, and not my brother:
I see by you I am a sweet-fac’d youth”
Shakespeare’s rowdiest, earliest, shortest comedy has become a popular foundation for the world’s entertainment over the last two centuries. Two sets of identical twins are separated at birth on the high seas, and now as young adults the immigrant master/servant pairing comes searching for their twin brothers in Ephesus. Unknown to them, their father has made pursuit, and their mother…well, that’s a surprise. The immigrants, too, are surprised: they learn they have a house, a sister-in-law, a housekeeper, a bill due, and wives. A glorious, rhyming tale of mistaken identities is here gracefully folded into redeeming challenges to the laws of a native land and the strength of a non-traditional family.
Box Office Information
General Admission tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC’s office located within The Shops at Forest Hill at 3092 Village Shops Drive, Germantown, TN 38138 (near Target); by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org (Twitter: @tnshakespeare).
Ticket prices, unchanged from last season, are $34.
Tickets for Preview performances (June 8 and 9 at 7pm) are only $16.
Both Thursday night performances (June 8 and 15 at 7pm) are Free Will Kids’ Nights: Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending Guardian.
The Opening Night performance (June 10 at 7pm) includes a complimentary post-show reception with the actors.
Senior tickets (62 years and older) are $29, and Student tickets (18 years and older) are $16 for any performance.
Free parking. No refunds or exchanges. Credit card charges require a $1 per-ticket fee. Title, cast, and schedule are subject to change with notice.
Pictured: Brian Sheppard