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.

Read more: Arts Midwest Announces 2016–2017 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants

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

Henry V Trailer

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.”

rsz pic henryvdscn1525
Photo: Colton Swibold as Henry V

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.

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

        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

“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.”

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