Our Past Productions
Arts Midwest Announces 2016–2017
Shakespeare in American Communities Grants
Including Tennessee Shakespeare Company
Grants Mark 14th Year of Bringing Shakespeare to Youth
Minneapolis, 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.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company
“Ascends the highest heaven of invention”
with its action-packed
in partnership with the University of Memphis'
School of Theatre and Dance on the U of M Mainstage
Sponsored by FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor;
Pat, Ernest, Marian and Martha Kelly
Photo: Colton Swibold as Henry V
Tennessee Shakespeare Company, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance, calls to action-packed theatrical life the battlefields and courts of an ambitious young king in William Shakespeare’s masterwork on the chaos of war and the romance of peace: Henry V.
The rousing play famous for its many powerful speeches and orations, including “O for a muse of fire,” and “Once more unto the breach,” and “We few, we happy few, we band of brothers” plays in a fun, new “wooden o” on the University’s mainstage from June 9-19.
Featuring a new, Elizabethan seating configuration that places patrons just off the raised stage (for only $10), a moving set, and slides of original wood-cuts from the early 15th century, TSC’s production of Henry V employs ten professional actors, including AEA performers from around the country. They will play over 30 roles in what is perhaps Shakespeare’s most theatrically self-aware play: “And let us, ciphers to this great account,/On your imaginary forces work.”
Though costumed for 15th century battle and adorned for the period’s courts of England and France, the company of actors constantly address their audience, changing costumes and characters in plan view, inviting the audience to become the eleventh actor.
The production’s title sponsors are FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor; and Pat, Ernest, Marian, and Martha Kelly. Together, they make possible Free Will Kids’ Night each Thursday night (up to four children 17 years and younger admitted free when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian). Additional funding is generously provided by the University of Memphis and First Tennessee Foundation.
Henry V is produced in memory of TSC friend, Dan Copp, who died in 2015. From 1943 to 1945, Lieutenant Copp served in the U.S. Navy on the battleship Tennessee. He saw action in the Pacific theater from the Aleutians to the South Sea Islands. With this production, TSC honors Dan’s courage, service, and friendship.
Directed by TSC’s Stephanie Shine (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet), Henry V features a professional ensemble from around the country: Montana native Colton Swibold in the title role, Paul Kiernan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Fluellen/Canterbury/Cambridge/Burgundy, Gabriel Vaughan (recently in TSC’s Twelfth Night) as Dauphin/Westmerland/Jamy/Williams, Phil Darius Wallace (recently in TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Exeter/Nym/Orleance, Michael Khanlarian (recently in TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Pistol/Constable, Heather Roberts (TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well) as Montjoy/Quickly/Alice/MacMorris, and Kaitlyn Maurer (TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream) as Katherine/Grey/French prisoner.
New to the acting company are Jeffrey David Kent as Gower/French King/Ely/Erpingham, Blake Currie as Gloucester/boy, and Nic Picou as Scroop/Borbon/Bates/Bardolph.
William Shakespeare's perfect wartime chronicle
in memory of Dan Copp
in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance
at the University of Memphis' Theatre Building
June 9-19, 2016
Ann & Wellford Tabor, Pat & Ernest Kelly, Marian Kelly, and Martha Kelly
“we few, we happy few, we band of brothers”
Shakespeare’s rousing history crowns both young King Henry V as a warrior Legend and his rationale for waging war as a haunting moral ambiguity. In his youth, young Hal spent his days in a band of pick-pockets led by the derelict fat knight Falstaff. But having successfully defended his father-King in their country’s civil war, now King Henry decides France is his to take. He conquers superior numbers abroad with soaring orations and wins a princess without a tongue for French.
But at what cost?
At 10 minutes prior to each performance, Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary and/or the director will speak with the audience about the play and playwright.
Free Will Kids’ Nights are June 9 and 16: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. For the safety of both small children and our actors, no babes-in-arms are permitted in the theatre for this production.
General Admission tickets are $34. The Preview performances (only $16) are June 9 and 10 at 7:00 pm. The opening night is June 11, and the price of your ticket includes a post-show reception with the actors. Senior tickets (62 years and older) are $29, and Student tickets (18 years and younger) are $16.
NEW: This production features 30 seats available on-stage for each performance for only $10 each! There are 15 seats (in chairs on risers) on both sides of the playing space.
Free parking. Title/cast/schedule subject to change, with notice. Credit card charges require a $1 per-ticket processing fee. No refunds/exchanges.
Our 2015-16 Company
Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) was founded in 1913 as the first of the American actor unions. Equity’s mission is to advance, promote, and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Today, Equity represents more than 40,000 actors, singers, dancers, and stage managers working in hundreds of theatres across the United States. Equity members are dedicated to working in the theatre as a profession, upholding the highest artistic standards. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans for its members. Through its agreement with Equity, Tennessee Shakespeare Company has committed to the fair treatment of the actors and stage managers employed in this production. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. For more information, visit www.actorsequity.org.
Isaac Anderson* (Parolles in All's Well That Ends Well) is delighted to be returning to Tennessee Shakespeare Company in All's Well That Ends Well after making his first professional performance with TSC in The Romeo and Juliet Project in 2014. His recent theatre credits include Beethoven in Dog Sees God (Santa Monica Playhouse) and Orestes in Orestes (Steppenwolf West). Recent film and television credits include roles in Zoombies (Syfy Channel), Killer Kids (Lifetime Movie Network), and Just One Drink (Chinese American Film festival).
Rebecca Bailey Klepko (Costume Designer for All's Well That Ends Well) TSC: Assistant Costume Designer for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Twelfth Night. Rebecca received her MFA in Costume Design from the University of Memphis and her BA in Theatre Studies in Costume Design from Brigham Young University. Her most recent designs include Beggar's Opera for the University of Memphis Opera, Fiddler on the Roof and Annie Get Your Gun at Sundance Summer Theater, Blood Wedding at Utah Valley University, Phantom of the Opera, Arabian Nights, and Batboy at the University of Memphis, and in BYU Young Ambassador's Harmony. She has also served as Assistant Designer on New Day Children's Theater's Beauty and the Beast. She would like to thank her husband Ryan and her baby puppies, Bleu and Watson, for being her best assistants in life!
Lydia Barnett-Mulligan* (Helena in All's Well That Ends Well) TSC: 400: The Shakespeare Feast. Lydia has trained and performed at Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, since the age of 15, where credits include Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Ice Glen, both directed by Tina Packer, and Servant of Two Masters directed by Dan McCleary. She is a seasonal company member of Actors’ Shakespeare Project in Boston, where plays have included Measure for Measure, The Cherry Orchard, Macbeth, and The Merry Wives of Windsor. Selected regional credits include The Physicists (w/ Roger Rees) at Williamstown Theatre Festival, Saving Kitty (Kitty) at the Nora Theatre, Twelfth Night (Viola) and Pericles (Thaisa) at Elm Shakespeare in New Haven, CT, Romeo and Juliet (Juliet) at Putney Gardens, and Shakespeare On Love (Juliet) at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Directing credits: King John, The Tempest, and Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me at Williams College. www.lydiabarnettmulligan.com
Lawrence Blackwell (Fight Choreographer for Lend Me Thy Sword! Foils, Fisticuffs, and Funny FUNNY Bits and for Romeo and Juliet Schools Tour) received his MFA from the University of Louisville and is currently working to complete his PhD at Bowling Green State University. He began stage combat with the Society of American Fight Directors in 1996 and has choreographed fights for plays including Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Physicist, Three Penny Opera, as well as the operas Cosi tan Fu, and Don Giovani.
E. Frank Bluestein (Executive Director) is the 1996-1997 Disney National Performing Arts Teacher of the Year and the 1994 Tennessee Teacher of the Year. In October of 1998, USA Today named Mr. Bluestein as one of the top 40 teachers in the United States. Mr. Bluestein is a past winner of the American Theatre Association's John C. Barner Award, a national award given to one secondary school teacher whose theatre program is judged most exemplary for the year. He has served as an arts advisory panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, the College Board Arts Advisory Committee, the Council of Chief State School Officers, and the Tennessee Arts Commission. Mr. Bluestein is a former president both of the Tennessee Alliance for Arts Education and the Germantown Arts Alliance. He currently serves as managing director of the Tennessee Arts Academy, a nationally-recognized statewide teacher training institute located in Nashville, TN. He has twice been named to Memphis Magazine's Who's Who in Memphis poll, and was presented a community service award for his accomplishments in education by the National Conference of Christians and Jews. Until his recent retirement, Mr. Bluestein served for 37 years as the chairman of the Germantown High School Fine Arts Department in Germantown, TN. He was the founder and Artistic Director of the school's theatre, the Poplar Pike Playhouse, and also served as Executive Producer for Germantown Community Television (GHS-TV), the school's three-million-dollar educational television facility. In 1984, he helped the Germantown High School Department of Fine Arts become one of eight secondary schools in the nation to be chosen to receive the prestigious Rockefeller Brothers Fund Arts in Education Award. Graduates from his program include Saturday Night Live star Chris Parnell; film, television, and stage actress Missi Pyle; Emmy-winning casting director (Desperate Housewives & NYPD Blue) Scott Genkinger; NPR reporter Debbie Elliott; and Blue Man Group actor Wes Day. During Mr. Bluestein's tenure, Germantown Community Television received over 130 first place Hometown Video USA awards for its programming and was named eleven times by the Alliance for Community Media as the Best Community Access Station in the USA, most recently in 2013. The studio has been recognized with regional Emmy and Cable Ace Award nominations. Mr. Bluestein also participated in the educational programs of the National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences and led his team of teachers and scores of students to win two national student Emmys (National Student Television Award of Excellence) for sports (2004) and writing (2007) as well as 33 regional first-place student Emmy awards. Mr. Bluestein has served as a director of shows at Opryland, USA, and most recently wrote and directed the national touring production of Beale Street Saturday Night starring blues legend Joyce Cobb. In September 2013, he was inducted into the Educational Theatre Association’s Hall of Fame in Minneapolis. Mr. Bluestein is a frequent speaker and writer on arts-related issues.
Blake Currie (Gloucester/boy in Henry V) is incredibly excited to be a part of Tennessee Shakespeare’s Henry V. Recent theatre: Mary Zimmerman’s Odyssey and David Henry Hwang’s M. Butterfly. A student at the University of Memphis, Blake plays guitar and writes short stories. He is a student in the Department of Theater & Dance, pursuing a Bachelor of the Fine Arts degree. He thanks the cast, his teachers at the University of Memphis, and fellow students for helping him grow as a performer and artist.
Jeremy Allen Fisher (Lighting Designer for All's Well That Ends Well) TSC: Twelfth Night, Richard III, Unto the Breach, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, and Hamlet. Jeremy is the Resident Lighting Designer for Theatre Memphis. He recently lit up the water tower on Broad Street in Memphis. He also has worked with Ballet Memphis, Busch Gardens, Oklahoma Shakespeare in the Park, The University of Memphis, Northern Oklahoma College, Collage Dance, and The Santa Fe Opera. Awards include seven Ostrander nominations for his Lighting Designs, first place in lighting design at SW-USITT (2011), and first runner-up for the National Barbizon Lighting Award (2011). He is a graduate of Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Lighting Design. Jeremy thanks his wife, friends, family, mentors, and colleagues for all their support.
Megan Gardner (House Manager for All's Well That Ends Well) TSC: assistant stage manager for A Midsummer Night’s Dream and house manager for Showplace Memphis. Megan is pursuing a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Performance, along with a minor in Communications with a concentration in TV and Film Production. Some of her work at the University includes roles in How I Learned To Drive, Macbeth, and Well. She is thrilled to work with Tennessee Shakespeare Company and such an amazingly talented cast and crew again. She would like to thank Dan McCleary for the opportunity and her entire family and friends for their constant support.
Cara McHugh Geissler (Education and Community Relations Manager) is originally from Memphis and is excited to return to Tennessee Shakespeare Company after serving as the 2013-2014 Journeyman Artist-Manager. Cara played Biondello in TSC's Taming of the Shrew and Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. She received her MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Louisville in 2013 and her BA in Theatre and Political Science from Murray State University in 2009. While in Louisville, Cara taught children's theatre at Encore Youth Theatre and at Adelante Hispanic Achievers. She also taught for both the University of Louisville and Spalding University. Cara served on the Board for The Bard's Town Theatre in Louisville, where she performed in Misses Strata, Reasons to Be Pretty, and Just Like Life.
Barry Gilmore (Music Arranger and Musician for All's Well That Ends Well) has been pleased to compose, arrange, and perform music for a number of TSC productions, including the company's inaugural production of As You Like It. When he is not playing Celtic and other folk music in venues throughout Memphis, he is the Middle School Head at Hutchison School, author of books for educators, and father to two daughters and veteran TSC audience members, Katy and Zoe.
Stuart Heyman (LaFew in All's Well That Ends Well) is delighted to return to TSC, having appeared as Corin in the inaugural production of As You Like It, Brabantio in Othello, and as Baptista in The Taming of the Shrew. Other Memphis area acting credits include Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof, Henry Higgins in My Fair Lady, Fagin in Oliver!, Quixote/Cervantes in Man of La Mancha, Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, TR in Tintypes, and Malvolio in Twelfth Night. An avid Gilbert & Sullivan fan, Stuart is willing and able to perform the patter songs from any of their operettas upon request.
Jeanna Juleson (Widow Capilet in All's Well That Ends Well) This is Jeanna’s first production with TSC, and she is thrilled to act with this wonderfully dedicated theatre company. Originally from Los Angeles, Jeanna has spent the past 30 years performing on most of the stages here in our community. Recent productions include Billy Elliot, Gypsy, and Angels in America at Playhouse on the Square. Other productions include roles in Hot’L Baltimore, Present Laughter, Cabaret, and Into the Woods. Additionally, she provides vocal talent and editing for audio book recordings, and has also performed with Chatterbox Audio Theater. She currently teaches in the After School Acting Program for Playhouse on the Square. Jeanna thanks Dan McCleary for this opportunity to help create the world of William Shakespeare. All is well!
Jeffrey David Kent* (Ely/Gower/French King/Erpingham in Henry V) is a member of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA, where his credits include The Servant of Two Masters (Pantalone) directed by Dan McCleary. Other S&Co credits include The Tamer Tamed (Grumio), Kerfol (Judge), and The International Episode (Jack Westgate). Other regional credits include work with Berkshire Theatre Group, Barrington Stage Company, Capital Rep Theatre, and Philadelphia Theatre Company. Jeff is the co-creator and performer of the one-man show, Josh Billings Live.
Michael Khanlarian (Dumaine I/Lord I in All's Well That Ends Well and Pistol/Constable in Henry V) is a founding company member of TSC and a graduate of the University of Memphis. He would like to thank Dan and Steph for this opportunity to return to the U of M stage. You can catch Michael next performing an adapted version of Mark Twain's Letters From The Earth in early November at Theatre South.
Paul Kiernan* (Canterbury/Cambridge/Fluellen/Burgundy in Henry V) has worked at regional theaters across the country, including TSC’s Twelfth Night (Toby), The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), and Richard III (Clarence). Other favorites include Cyrano de Bergerac (Cyrano) at the Hanger Theater, 12 Angry Men (Juror #10) at Pioneer Theater, Skin in Flames (Dr. Brown) at Salt Lake Acting Company, The Merry Wives of Windsor (Falstaff) at Arkansas Shakespeare, The Tempest (Stephano) at St. Louis Shakespeare, and The Crucible (Reverend Parris) at Pioneer Theater. Film/TV: HBO series From the Earth to the Moon, Luck of the Irish, Go Figure, The Cell 2, and Ice Spiders. Paul is also a writer, has worked for Disney, and his plays have been produced in New York, Florida, Boston, and Michigan.
Janice Benning Lacek (Costume Designer for Henry V) TSC: costume design for All’s Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2015; and makeup design for A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2009 and The Tempest. She has designed costumes across the U.S. and internationally for theatre, opera, and dance since 1987. Highlights include La Jolla Playhouse, A.C.T., Syracuse Stage, San Diego Rep, American University of Cairo, Egypt, and over 23 productions of works by William Shakespeare with the Colorado, Utah, and Oregon Shakespeare Festivals. CSF’s Richard II was included by invitation in the U.S. entry at the 1999 Prague Quadrennial. Janice has taught costume design at the University of Colorado at Boulder and Kenyon College. She joined the University of Memphis faculty in 2007. Janice is a former resident designer and founding company member of Denver’s Curious Theatre Company. Mid-South audiences have also seen Janice’s work in recent years also with Opera Memphis and Theatre Memphis.
Jake Lacher (Technical Director for All's Well That Ends Well) TSC: Technical Director for Twelfth Night and Assistant Technical Director for A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Jake is excited to return to Tennessee Shakespeare Company. His work as a carpenter and technical director also been featured at Utah Festival Opera/Musical Theatre, The Rudi E. Scheidt School of Music, and The University of Memphis. Jake earned his BFA in Theatre Design and Technical Production from The University of Memphis. Thanks to Dan for another opportunity to work with such a fun company, and to Fiona for her constant love and support.
Mark Marchan (Asst. Master Electrician for Henry V) is a Junior at MTSU. He is a Theatre major and a Photography and Animal Science minor. Mark has worked many different shows in different positions. Recently, he was the Lighting Designer for Dog Sees God and both the spring and fall dance concerts. He also was the Master Electrician for Almost Maine. Other Memphis credits include Young Frankenstein, The Producers, and Singing in the Rain. Mark is the resident Master Electrician and Lighting Designer for Tucker Theatre Events.
Kaitlyn Maurer (Princess Katherine/Grey/French Prisoner in Henry V) recently graduated from the University of Memphis, earning a BFA in Theatre with a concentration in Performance. She was last seen at Tennessee Shakespeare Company in last year’s A Midsummer Night's Dream (Mustardseed). Other credits: The School for Scandal (Sneerwell), Macbeth (Lady Macduff/Witch), The Little Prince (Rose), Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (Ophelia), and Eleemosynary (Artie) at the UofM. She thanks Stephanie Shine and Dan McCleary for giving her this wonderful opportunity, and the entire cast and crew for allowing this to be a truly memorable experience! She thanks her family and friends for their endless encouragement and love.
Dan McCleary+ (Director; TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director) is a native Memphian and a graduate of Germantown High School and its Poplar Pike Playhouse. Dan directed and acted in TSC’s inaugural production of As You Like It (Jaques) as well as 400: Shakespeare Feast, Unto the Breach, The Glass Menagerie, and The Taming of the Shrew. He directed TSC’s Twelfth Night, Hamlet, The Tempest, Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, all-female Julius Caesar, Othello, Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), and Themes from a Midsummer Night. He also has directed productions of As You Like It at Orlando Shakespeare Theater, The Servant of Two Masters outdoors in downtown Atlanta and at Seattle Shakespeare Company, and All’s Well That Ends Well at Georgia Shakespeare Festival. At the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, he directed the world premiere of The Stone Face and played the title roles in Antony and Cleopatra and Richard III, Brutus in Julius Caesar, Porfiry in Crime and Punishment, Petruchio in The Taming of the Shrew, and Falstaff in The Merry Wives of Windsor. As Associate Artistic Director at Shakespeare & Company in the Berkshires, Dan acted in and directed over 30 productions, appearing as Coriolanus, Macbeth, Herman Melville, Stephano, Don Armado, Hotspur, Master Ford, Bertram, and Antipholus/Dromio of Ephesus. He directed S&Co’s first production of The Servant of Two Masters, also his own adaptation of Anaïs Nin’s Henry & June, Vita & Virginia, My Own Stranger, and The Fiery Rain. Other Regional/New York theatre: Merrimack Rep, North Shore Music Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, StageWest, Alabama Shakespeare, Arden Theatre, Studio 4-A, and Huntington Theatre. Dan is a published poet, author of the play Quintessence, and teaches Shakespeare master classes around the country. Memphis Magazine named him among the “Who’s Who in Memphis” each year from 2009-12, and the Germantown Arts Alliance honored him with its 2009 Distinguished Arts and Humanities Medal for Performing Arts. He holds a B.A. in Advertising and Journalism from Temple University. Dan is the proud dad of five-year-old twin boys, Sullivan and Collins.
Caitlin McWethy (Diana in All's Well That Ends Well) is a member of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s resident ensemble, where her credits include Cyrano De Bergerac (Roxanne), One Man, Two Guvnors (Rachel Crabbe), Henry V (Katharine), and Little Women (Beth). She will be returning home to Cincinnati in January to play her dream role of Joan of Arc in Henry VI, Part 1. She is also the co-artistic director of Cincinnati’s newest theatre company – SHEatre: Cincinnati Women’s Theatre. Other regional credits include work with Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Stage Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, Georgia Shakespeare, Annapolis Shakespeare Company, Theatre West Virginia, and the 52nd Street Project.
Meredith Melville (Assistant to the Director/Dramaturg for Henry V) recently graduated with her MFA in Theatre concentration in Directing from the University of Memphis. Some of her favorite directing projects there were A Flea in Her Ear, Chamber Music, and How I Learned to Drive. Before that, Meredith spent ten years in Chicago working in the sketch and improv scene. She is thankful for her time in Memphis, and is excited to work with such a talented team at Tennessee Shakespeare Company.
Melissa A. Nathan* (Production Stage Manager for All's Well That Ends Well) is thrilled to be back at TSC where she previously stage managed The Taming of the Shrew, Richard III, and Twelfth Night. Other regional credits include The Real Inspector Hound, The Winter’s Tale, and What the Butler Saw (Theater at Monmouth), Underneath the Lintel and Side by Side by Sondheim (Riverside Theatre), RED (Triad Stage), Deathtrap (Centenary Stage), Educating Rita (Florida Rep), August: Osage County (WPPAC), The Mound Builders (Kaliyuga Arts), Bonnie & Clyde (Asolo Rep), Measure for Measure, The Imaginary Invalid, and Julius Caesar (Orlando Shakespeare Theatre). She is a proud member of Actors Equity Association and the Stage Managers’ Association.
Ashley J. Nickas* (Assistant Stage Manager for All's Well That Ends Well and Production Stage Manager for Henry V) is honored to be working with Tennessee Shakespeare Company again, having assistant stage managed TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well. Some of Ashley's recent credits include being the SM intern for the Broadway company of Wicked, PSM for Pimm’s Mission with Oberon Theatre Ensemble, rehearsal SM for Her Speech as part of Planet Connections' Playwrights For A Cause, PSM for Girls Only: The Secret Comedy of Women in Rochester, NY, and event SM at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA. Ashley thanks her family, friends, and Lorraine Cotten for their endless support and encouragement! For more information, please visit ashleynickas.com.
Anthony Pellecchia (Lighting Designer/Production Manager for Henry V) is the Assistant Professor of Lighting and Sound Design at the University of Memphis Department of Theatre and Dance. He is excited to join Tennessee Shakespeare Company for the first time. Anthony received his MFA from The Ohio State University in 2009, and since then his creative scholarship has explored the fusion of lighting composition, automation, and projections with live performance. Anthony's professional and academic work in theatre, dance, and opera has received awards and recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival Region V, USITT Ohio Valley, USITT Design Expo, and USA Weekender.
Nic Picou (Scroop/Bardolph/Borbon/Bates in Henry V) is honored to appear alongside such good company during his debut with TSC. A student at the University of Memphis, he will graduate this December with a BFA in Theatre Performance. Favorite credits: Song Liling (M. Butterfly, UofM), Philip (The Lion in Winter, Theatre Memphis), and Adrian Poynter (Private Eyes, CBU). Nic wishes to thank Holly Lau, Stephanie Shine, Dan McCleary, and Jo Lenhart. He would especially like to thank Vincent O'Neill for stirring within him a love for Shakespeare. For MSW and Matthew Hamner.
Heather Roberts (Dumaine II/Lord II/gentleman/page in All's Well That Ends Well; Montjoy/Alice/MacMorris/Hostess in Henry V; Journeyman Artist-Manager) TSC: All’s Well That Ends Well, 400: The Shakespeare Feast, The Romeo and Juliet Project, Lend Me Thy Sword. Heather is a member of The Actors' Gang in Los Angeles, where she has been in The Ghost Sonata, Harry Potter Hamlet, and The Queen Family's Very Special Holiday Special. Other credits: Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (Ark Theatre Co.), Twelfth Night (a Noise Within), All's Well That Ends Well (Seattle Shakespeare Co.), Marat/Sade (Balagan Theatre), Dead Man's Cell Phone (International City Theatre), Little Women (Culver City Public Theatre), and Mame (5th Avenue Theatre). She holds a BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts.
Brian Ruggaber (Scenic/Props Designer for All's Well That Ends Well and Henry V) is proud to return to Tennessee Shakespeare Company, having designed TSC’s All’s Well That Ends Well, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, and Richard III. A recent transplant to Memphis, TN, he is an award-winning scenic designer who currently heads the Scenic Design Program at the University of Memphis. He has designed scenery for over 130 productions, including Opera, Drama, Musical Theatre, and Dance. Prior to joining UofM’s faculty, he was an Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) and an Associate Professor of Design at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is a proud member of United Scenic Artists Local 829 and has an MFA from the University of Massachusetts and BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
Jo Sanburg (Sound Designer for Henry V) is a second-year graduate student at the University of Memphis with an emphasis in sound design and composition. Most recent credits include sound design for Theatre Memphis’ production of Hay Fever and audio engineer for the University’s production of Oklahoma! Past credits include composition for Illinois State University’s Pericles, Prince of Tyre, as well as sound design for Sweetwater Shakespeare Company of Western Colorado’s productions of The Merry Wives of Windsor, As You Like It, and The Tempest. In the coming University of Memphis 2016-17 season, she will be sound designer for Little Shop of Horrors and Anon(ymous).
William Shakespeare (Playwright) died 400 years ago at age 52 this coming April, yet his language remains fresh and modern; his phraseology forms the core of our casual conversation, social media, and political rhetoric; and his skill at authorship and progressive understanding of our psyches has served as the foundation of master works of literature, psychology, philosophy, performance, pedagogy, and our humanity the world over. Yet, he was probably a lot like you, regardless of your age. William Shakespeare was born into an Age of alarming innovation and discovery in every field of study: voyage, religion, printing, science, commerce, history, disaster, and triumph. Just like you. There was revolution all around him, and for us the occurrences of financial tumult, widespread poverty, victory and defeat overseas, scientific discovery, natural catastrophe, a warming planet, an increasingly intelligent world due to electronic information-sharing, and women beginning to share corporate and political leadership all create a similar Age of Renaissance. William was born into an Age of religious ambivalence, often with accompanying violence, and he received the usual education for a boy of the Age, until he as 12 years old. He married an older woman, perhaps because they were pregnant first. And there are two periods in his early adult life that we know very little about. When he emerges in documentation, he is an actor and a writer. But he doesn’t write like the others around him. He writes, using known stories, through the rhythm of his heart. You can hear it in his verse lines. He began to write his life into his plays: when his son Hamnet and father die, there is Hamlet; after his mother dies and England’s riots create domestic war, there is Coriolanus; after he falls in love with a dark-haired woman in the city (or the Court, more likely), there are the Sonnets to his Dark Lady and all of his Rosalinds in As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet and Love’s Labor’s Lost; and when his daughters come of age, there are his final plays in which the daughters redeem their fathers. It is said of William that he created the human being. Indeed, he developed character on stage with psychological underpinnings and fragile grace resulting in landmark joys or the end of lives. Like a genuine poet, he forces no answers upon us. He lends us timeless questions. William was a Revolutionary because he dared to question his life in a public forum, and he discovered that that which is most personal is shared by us all. It is collectively held and needs to be articulated and felt for the health of a community. In so doing, William redefined the function of theatre. His Age compelled and inspired him, just as our own Age can do for us.
Joey Shaw* (King in All's Well That Ends Well) is delighted to be back in Memphis for his third consecutive season with Tennessee Shakespeare Company. With TSC: 400: Shakespeare Feast, A Midsummer Night's Dream (Quince), and Romeo and Juliet (Romeo/sound designer). He was a 2014-15 TSC artist-manager, performing in the schools touring show Shakespeare Said It! and teaching in the summer camps. In TSC's past two seasons, he has been a proud teaching artist in the Romeo and Juliet Project. In his native Seattle, Joey has appeared in Twelfth Night (for which he wrote original music) and Antony and Cleopatra with Seattle Shakespeare, I Am of Ireland (dir. Stephanie Shine) with Book-It Repertory Theatre, Love's Labor's Lost with Greenstage, and Attempts on Her Life with The Horse in Motion. Other credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor with Opera House Arts and Romeo and Juliet (dir. Stephanie Shine) with Shakespeare Walla Walla. He holds a B.A. in Drama from the University of Washington. Joey extends his sincere thanks to Dan and Steph, and to Barbara Apperson.
Stephanie Shine+* (Countess in All's Well That Ends Well; Director of Henry V; General Manager; Education Director; Gala Coordinator) is the creator of The Romeo and Juliet Project as well as a resident artist for TSC. Her TSC directorial credits include Romeo and Juliet (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015), It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (2012, 2013), Southern Yuletide, and the touring shows Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll, and Shakespeare Said It! Onstage, she performed the female role in Unto the Breach and appeared as Gertrude in Hamlet and the Countess in All’s Well That Ends Well. In addition, Stephanie serves as the annual Gala's Auctioneer and curates the material for and directs TSC's Literary Salons. From 1998 until love brought her to Memphis in 2011, she was the Artistic Director of Seattle Shakespeare Company. For SSC, she directed 17 productions including The Threepenny Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the lauded all-male Taming of the Shrew. Other directorial credits include The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the award-winning one-woman internationally touring Marilyn Monroe Biopic, Marilyn: Forever Blonde, and several new works for Seattle's Book-It Repertory Theatre. Her production of I am of Ireland opened Book-It's 25th Anniversary Season in September of 2014. As an actor, she has performed with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, NYC's Theatre for a New Audience, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Alley Theatre in Houston, Arizona Theatre Company, ACT, The Empty Space, and Seattle Children's Theatre among others. 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. Stephanie is a graduate of both the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts and the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program under Bob Hobbs. She is the lucky mother of Conor, Cahilan, Sullivan, and Collins.
Brian Sheppard* (Lavatch in All's Well That Ends Well) returns to Tennessee Shakespeare Company after previously performing in The Taming of the Shrew and in the title role in Hamlet. Other regional theatre credits include The Liar (Centenary Stage Company), Twelfth Night (Plimoth Players), and Les Liaisons Dangereuses (Palm Beach Drama Works). International: Babele (European Live Arts Network, Fuccechio, Italy). TV: Vetted (pilot). Film: Beautiful Something (currently in festivals around the world) and Salem Witch Hunt. Brian holds a B.A. in Theatre from Butler University and an M.F.A. from Northern Illinois University. He is an avid fly-tier and fisherman.
Colton Swibold (title role in Henry V) is excited to be working with Tennessee Shakespeare Company for the first time. Originally from Missoula, Montana, he has worked with the Montana Repertory Theatre’s National Tour circuit for the past four years with credits including Arthur Miller’s All My Sons (Chris Keller) and Neil Simon’s Biloxi Blues (Don Carney). Alongside acting, Colton has worked as a lighting designer and projections engineer for many productions produced in Montana and Manchester, New Hampshire’s Palace Theatre. Raised on Shakespeare, read to him by his history-buff father as a wee lad, Colton is thrilled to finally bring one of his favorite characters to life in such a unique and classically-driven environment as Tennessee.
Gabriel Vaughan* (Dauphin/Westmoreland/Jamy/Williams in Henry V) is a founding member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company where he has performed in As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Themes from a Midsummer Night, The Tempest, Hamlet, and Twelfth Night. NYC theater credits: Ross, House of Desires, The Shoemaker’s Holiday, The Master of Prayer, and The Winter’s Tale. Regional theater credits: Hamlet (Hamlet) with the American Stage Theatre Company; King John, A Tanglewood Tale, and Much Ado About Nothing with Shakespeare & Company, and Romeo and Juliet with Princeton Rep. Later this summer, Gabriel will be acting in All My Sons at the Weston Playhouse alongside his wife, Piper Goodeve. Together, they recently opened Little Town Studios, where they narrate and produce audiobooks with the help of their cat Caroline in southern Vermont.
Phil Darius Wallace* (Exeter/Nym/Orleance in Henry V) is a founding member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company. He has appeared in TSC’s As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet, The Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth, The Tempest, The Glass Menagerie, and Hamlet. Currently, he is touring his Off-Broadway Show Self-Made Man: The Frederick Douglass Story around the country. His film credits include Live The Dream, The Department of Signs and Magical Intervention, and the TV stream Farell.
Olivia Warfield (Company and Box Office Manager) is a native Memphian and alumna of Rhodes College, where she received her BA in International Business. During her college career, she had the opportunity both to travel extensively abroad and to work at Memphis in May International Festival, during which time her passion for the arts, culture, and the nonprofit mission was planted and now has bloomed. Olivia brings a wealth of skill and natural talent to her role welcoming TSC patrons and artists.
Nancy Wright (Bookkeeper) has provided bookkeeping services for small businesses in both the private and public arena for more than 20 years. She obtained her B.S. from UT Knoxville.
Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough (Asst. Stage Manager for Henry V) is a freelance artist in Memphis. With TSC she was a member of the inaugural Young Company in 2010, performed as Juliet for the 2011 Valentine's Gala, and has since served as a teaching intern for summer training programs. A graduate of Rhodes, she performed at the McCoy in roles such as Rosalind in As You Like It, Olivia in Twelfth Night, and the Witch in Into the Woods. She has also studied Shakespeare performance at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She currently manages the costume shop and designs for shows at the McCoy, as well as creates costume designs for Collage Dance Collective.
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Mangers in the United States.
+ Member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.
What is The Romeo and Juliet Project?
This nationally-acclaimed residency uses Romeo and Juliet, its characters, and its many pivotal decision moments as tools for Freshman students to imagine and rehearse life-saving choices in the face of armed violence, peer pressure, prejudice, and inadequate guidance. Working in concert with educators, TSC teaching-artists interweave these strategically-placed sessions, creating a positive and enthusiastic first impression of Shakespeare through students playing the play. During The Romeo and Juliet Project every freshman class receives three visits from TSC Teaching-Artists. Thus far, this experience has moved the text off the page and created an active encounter with the play for over 9,000 students.
The Romeo and Juliet Project has two life-changing, even life-saving, goals:
1) To bolster interest and engagement in classical literature, sparking a life-long love affair with reading while strengthening both comprehension and self-confidence.
2) To create positive social change in each school's learning community. We do this by exploring three central themes within the play that profoundly affect Memphis youth:
- Armed Violence;
- Peer Pressure; and
- Decision-Making in the absence of adult role models.
Over the course of three sessions, students develop language to articulate their feelings, gain greater empathy and compassion for one another, and explore life-saving methods of non-violent conflict resolution.
What are Teachers and Students Saying?
"I can't believe how into it the students are. They're really going beneath the surface and getting to the issues in this play. The way TSC teachers highlight how the story relates to the students' lives is amazing. What TSC is doing is amazing. The whole project is just amazing!"
- Barb Gelb, Director of Education & Outreach, ArtsMemphis
"This is the most enjoyable class ever. I wish you could teach the entire play!"
- Freshman English Student, Bartlett High School
"Because my students had the privilege to watch the actors in action, the play truly came alive for them during our subsequent reading of the play. The program has benefitted countless students, and I sincerely hope that it can continue its impact."
- Morgan Byrd, Freshman English Teacher, Bartlett High School
How Can I Get Involved?
The Romeo and Juliet Project is funded in part by ArtsMemphis, but you can help ensure our success in the classroom by becoming a Project Sponsor.
Your sponsorship helps fund this exciting outreach endeavor, further guaranteeing that no student or school will EVER have to pay to participate. As our "thank you," your minimum sponsorship of $50.00 entitles you to receive the exclusive Romeo and Juliet Project T-Shirt. Sizes are limited, so hurry for best selection!
Contact Stephanie Shine for more information at [email protected] or (901) 759-0604.
Tennessee Shakespeare Company's The Romeo and Juliet Project is generously sponsored in part by our friends and tremendous community partners FedEx, International Paper, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.