Tennessee Shakespeare Company
“Ascends the highest heaven of invention”
with its action-packed

Henry V

in partnership with the University of Memphis'
School of Theatre and Dance on the U of M Mainstage

June 9-19

Sponsored by FedEx; Ann and Wellford Tabor;
Pat, Ernest, Marian and Martha Kelly

rsz pic henryvdscn1525
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.

The design team includes Janice Benning Lacek (costumes), Brian Ruggaber (scenic and properties), Anthony Pellecchia (lighting), Jo Sanburg (sound), and Mike O’Nele (technical director).  The production stage manager is Ashley J. Nickas.

From 1595-1599, William Shakespeare created, along with A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Much Ado About Nothing, and As You Like It, his second historical tetralogy.  Both in order of writing and chronology of actual events, Shakespeare begins with the deposing of King Richard II, continues with the reign and civil war of King Henry IV, and concludes with the rise of a boy from riotous youth in the company of the fat knight Falstaff to a young man suddenly armed with power in the company of protectors, the church, and his God.

At the center of Shakespeare’s Henry V is England’s 15th century military invasion of France in an effort by the king and church, rightly they believe, if Byzantine, to win back the crown and land of France that they believe is rightfully theirs.  The French disagree.  Leaving three quarters of his military might to defend England from an imagined invasion by the Scots, King Henry and his happy few invade France, winning impossible victories (and a Queen) that remain conquests of tremendous courage, strategy, and, some may say, miracle.

The play, to Shakespeare’s everlasting credit, has been used variously even in just the past 80 years to embolden the mother country under German nighttime bombings during World War II and to strip away the trappings of patriotism to reveal the grim and mortal realities of war and its birth at the turn of our own century.  Shakespeare, engaging both horror and humor, presents the question of war – not the answer. 

At the play’s human level, though, Shakespeare gives us a young Hal now in his third play.  The boy who defeated the honorific rebel Hotspur in his return from profligacy to protect his father and his realm is now parentless.  And as the clergy remark at the top of the play, the new king is like a ripening strawberry, discovered beneath the nettles of his youth.  As strong as his character and resolve have become, his gift for persuasive speech and his ability to rouse in both peace and war a mass of men to die for him and his country remains largely without compare in English literature.  In this play of war, the excitement is stirred by language.

"Henry V is Shakespeare's most inherently theatrical play,” says Shine.  “From its opening lines, it invites the audience to help create the play with their imaginations, citing the necessity for participation that gives promise to an exciting adventure.  TSC's production will build upon that structure with on-stage seating flanking a raised stage that plays in front of the mainstage.  Audiences and actors alike will enjoy the close proximity to one another, and the intimacy it affords the story-telling." 

Performance Schedule at the University of Memphis’ Mainstage (Theatre Building on Central Ave.)

Thursday, June 9 at 7:00 pm:  Preview; Free Will Kids’ Night
Friday, June 10 at 7:00 pm:  Preview
Saturday, June 11 at 7:00 pm:  Opening; Post-show party          
Sunday, June 12 at 3:00 pm
Thursday, June 16 at 7:00 pm:  Free Will Kids Night
Friday, June 17 at 7:00 pm
Saturday, June 18 at 7:00 pm
Sunday, June 19 at 3:00 pm:  Closing

Read more: TSC ascends the highest heaven of invention with its action-packed Henry V

“Requiem Birthsong for William Shakespeare”

on the occasion of the 400th Anniversary of his passing

by Dan McCleary

(from Dan’s speech at this month’s TSC Gala)

“We see ourselves in the boy fishing for the first time.

In the woman much older now in her wheelchair.

We quietly revel in taking a moment to guide a young person we don’t know.

We all want to pass ourselves on.

We want to see ourselves in our leaders.

We want to see our values expressed in our city.

We need another person to reflect us.

But we also require the problem, the defeat, the death to take our focus from ourselves to others.

The plays of William Shakespeare are still produced more today, still read more today, than any other play. What he writes is intimate to him and personally developed. His craft, though, is in placing his focus on the self WITHIN his community, the religions that surround him, the political debates, the woods, the court, his country’s history, the world’s future, the cosmos.

As Shakespeare did 400 years ago this month, we will all die from this earth. We can have solace in this shared experience. These bodies, fellow travelers, will go. Ours are small material on a small planet in a galaxy of billions of stars among billions of other galaxies. Billions of years old and billions of years to go.

WE are finite.

Is it any wonder, then, that we all share an innate need to know ourselves, to know we must have an impact on the world and those around us and those to come. Of course. Of course we want to know how to act. Of course we feel the need to define ourselves, to make our little time on our little street huge and important and meaningful. Of course we need others to know us so we can feel we exist in the middle of the night when the rest of the street sleeps. Of course. So of course we construct theories and miracles and narratives that allow us to comprehend our existence and our passing.

For many of us, Shakespeare provides this narrative, but also the embrace of mystery.

In Shakespeare’s poetic world, the true prophets are often madmen, the blind, the outsiders, the poor, the clowns, the fools. In his world, women and those in the minority not only achieve equality, they often lead the narrative, they forgive the men, they sacrifice. In his world, monsters, fairies, and murderers cry to dream again, cry for forgiveness, cry for humanity. Shakespeare awakens them to their true selves. He appeals to our collective unconscious.

Over four hundred years ago, England turned to William Shakespeare to teach its history and its new language.

Now, you and I turn to Shakespeare to give us language to articulate what might be madness, what might be fantasy, what might possibly be peace. His endurance lies in his multiplicity of ideas and arguments, together with his poetic restraint from imposing his answers on them. The poet in him respects you and me 400 years after his death. You and I turn to Shakespeare in order to recognize the beauty in what is naturally so, to recognize our natural compulsion to human compassion.

You and I speak as we speak, think as we think, love as we love, act as we do (or don’t) in part because of William Shakespeare.

In this moment, we honor his time on Earth.

It is with this passion and spirit that Tennessee Shakespeare Company was born here, and why eight years later we steadily grow, seeking now a permanent home.
William Shakespeare is for everyone.

The End.”

Fill out my online form.

        Live Auction Packages


Sip and Soar

Package Description: 
Jet out for the weekend to the world famous Napa Valley with this exclusive wine-lovers package! You and a guest will be whisked away with round-trip airfare for 3 nights at the Meritage Resort and Spa. Once there, enjoy a birds-eye-view of the vineyards in a private Hot Air Balloon Ride with champagne breakfast! Finally, sample the goods at not one but TWO wine tastings. And don't worry about the designated driver, 6 consecutive hours of chauffeured luxury sedan service are on us! Concierge service also included!
Package expires April 8th, 2017. Package must be booked a minimum of 60 days in advance. Airfare is to SFO or Oakland Airports, Napa Valley is 1.5 hours north of these cities. Airfare taxes, a $25 per person processing fee, and ground transportation are the responsibility of the purchaser. Blackouts include Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Weeks. Suggested Balloon tour times are May-November.
Fair Market Value: $6,895


Cumberland Island Adventure

Package Description:
Enjoy a week on your own deserted island in Southeast Georgia! We’ll boat you out to this southernmost sea island with up to 10 of your friends and family for a secluded experience that you’ll carry with you for a lifetime. This charming Cumberland Island residence is located in the middle of a park where wild turkeys, horses, deer and bobcats roam free and even join you for breakfast on sunny days! Spend your time hiking and climbing the beautiful trails or picnicking, swimming and fishing on the 21 miles of pristine beach. There’s even a truck to get you around! This once-in-a-lifetime experience is a bargain at any price!
Thank You: Nancy Copp
This package expires on April 8th, 2017.
Fair Market Value: $6,000


Scottsdale Dream Golf Getaway

Package Description:
Swing like the pros with this playful package! Fly to Scottsdale, Arizona, where the sun shines 300 days of the year on a picturesque par-71 course. Be sure to rest up during your 3-night stay at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Resort and Spa. You’ll be spending a day at one of the U.S.’s premiere courses! We’ve included the greens fee, golf cart, and practice balls for a round at the Tournament Players Club Scottsdale Champions Course.
Concierge booking service included!
Package expires April 8th, 2017. Package must be booked a minimum of 60 days in advance. Airfare is to Phoenix, AZ. Airfare taxes, ground transportation, and a $25 per person processing fee are the responsibility of the purchaser. Blackout dates are February 1-7 and Sep. 19-Oct. 2
Fair Market Value: $4,790


A VIP Experience at Churchill Downs
Package Description:
You and a guest will enjoy a 3-night stay at the Hyatt Regency in Louisville, Kentucky. Then it’s off to the races! Enjoy the spectacle of thoroughbred horse racing at Churchill Downs from your own VIP Private Jockey Club Suite, where up to 6 more guests may join you to cheer on the competitors during the Spring, September, or Fall Meets. Then, surprise your guests with a race named in your honor and a trackside view. Step into the winner’s circle with your guests after your race and enjoy a photo and replica of the winning trophy!
Package expires April 8th, 2017. Package must be booked a minimum of 60 days in advance. Not valid during Derby Week (last weekend of April through first weekend of May), on premium dates such as Opening Weeks, Downs After Dark (select Saturday evenings), and major holidays. Dates subject to change. Up to 6 guests can be added to the suite and trophy presentation at no additional cost.
Fair Market Value: $3,036

A Capital Affair

Package Description:
Treat your nearest and dearest to an evening of good theatre, good food, and good conversation with this elegant evening package. Begin the night with a Chef inspired four-course dinner for 8, with champagne toast, at the world famous Capital Grille. Then, it’s off to the theatre! Enjoy a show of your choice at the musical, magical, memorable Theatre Memphis! Afterwards, congratulate yourself on an evening well-hosted with 4 extra tickets to the Theatre Memphis 2016/2017 season!
Thank You: Theatre Memphis and The Capital Grille
Package includes: Dinner for 8 with Champagne Toast at the Capital Grille (please give one-week notice). 12 Tickets to the Theatre Memphis 2016/2017 Season. Dinner expires April 8th, 2017.
Fair Market Value: $1,070


The Doctor Are In

Package Description:
Got a gourmet fever? Our doctors recommend a five-course meal with wine pairings. Famed Grizzlies Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Drew Murphy and lauded local ER Doctor Tom Farrar, as well as their wonderful wives Melia and Elizabeth, invite you and seven of your friends to a delectable dinner at the Farrars' fabulous home. Dine in style as these salutary sommeliers hand-select wine pairings for each course from their personal collections. It’s the perfect epicurean prescription!
Offer expires April 8th. 2017. Dinner will take place on a mutually agreed upon date, please allow 30 days notice.
Fair Market Value: $1,000

2016 Frenzy ItemsRestaurant Frenzy 3.25.16

Restaurant Frenzy

Corky's Ribs and BBQ - $450.00

Napa Café - $300.00

The Capital Grille - $200.00

Royal Panda - $150.00

Paulette's - $110.00

Bounty on Broad - $100.00

Interim Restaurant and Bar - $100.00

Jim's Place Grille - $100.00

Jeff Johnson Restaurant Group (Local Gastropub,
Agave Maria, Oshi Burger Bar, Parish Grocery) - $100.00

The Half Shell - $75.00

Just for Lunch - $50.00

Pete & Sam's - $50.00

Fleming's - $50.00

Folk's Folly - $50.00

Soul Fish Café - $50.00

Lost Pizza Company - $30.00

Babalu Tacos & Tapas - $25.00

One & Only BBQ - $25.00

Exline's Pizza - $20.00


Shopping FrenzyShopping Frenzy final

J. Brooks Coffee - 6-month coffee subscription - $175.00

James Middleton Jewelers - $100.00

Social - $100.00





TSC Thanks Our 2016 Auction Donors!