Our Past Productions
"Brave New World" Fourth Season a Success
TSC's 2011-12 expanded performance and education season featured four mainstage shows, two touring productions, the Valentine's Gala, two co-productions, and a renovated outdoor amphitheatre. More than 11,100 patrons experienced Shakespeare in the Park and Southern Exposure Series performances across three states. Thank you!
“The Apparel Oft Proclaims the Man” – A “Shakespeare Uncovered” Costume Exhibit
March 18-April 12
WKNO Digital Media Center
7151 Cherry Farms Road in Cordova
Back by popular demand, WKNO and Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC) host a Shakespearean Costume Exhibit as a companion for the PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. The exhibit is curated by TSC designer Bruce Bui. Admission is free. The exhibit is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., March 18-April 12.
The 6-part PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered will return in an all-day marathon on Memorial Day on WKNO/Channel 10.
Shakespeare Uncovered is made possible by The National Endowment for the Humanities and the generous support of the project's lead foundation sponsor, The Howard and Abby Milstein Foundation. Major funding is also provided by Rosalind P. Walter, The Polonsky Foundation, Virginia and Dana Randt, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, and PBS.
An Open Letter from Dan McCleary
Tennessee Shakespeare Company founder and producing artistic director
July 15, 2014
Dear Shakespeare Friend,
It is my pleasure to let you know about two wonderful contributions to our Education Program - and one that I hope you will consider making:
NEA/Arts Midwest Grant:
The National Endowment for the Arts and Arts Midwest announced that Tennessee Shakespeare Company is one of just 40 theatre companies in the United States to receive a prestigious Shakespeare in American Communities grant for our innovative Romeo and Juliet Project. This is the second consecutive year TSC (the youngest organization recognized) has been awarded the grant.
The grant is for $25,000, which TSC must match through contributions. It will help us continue our life-changing, grade-raising Romeo and Juliet Project in five high schools in the Memphis area, four of which are Title One schools: Bartlett, Booker T. Washington, Carver, Kirby, and Ridgeway.
The Project will visit entire ninth-grade classes in all five schools a total of four times, including three progressive playshops culminating in an interactive, in-school performance of Romeo and Juliet.
Even more important than falling in love with Shakespeare, live theatre, or making better grades - the Project's impact, as was the original function of theatre, is humanitarian. Students realize that they have the ability to improve each others' lives. This is what gives The Romeo and Juliet Project profound meaning in our community.
Our friends at FedEx Corporation, headquartered in Memphis, have already pledged $15,000 toward this $25,000 grant.
Isn't that terrific news?!
FedEx generously has supported TSC's performance season for the past several years, and this is their inaugural gift to our Memphis-based education program. I consider this a great endorsement. Their generosity will have an immediate and profound impact on our community.
Will you help us raise the balance of $10,000 by the end of this month to match the NEA grant?
Your gift, of any amount, will go directly to our Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, which provides up to 50% of our matching education needs in the year.
You can click here to make a tax-deductible gift on-line, or you can contact me at [email protected] and 901-759-0620. I am glad to answer any questions you might have and to speak more about how the Romeo and Juliet Project is changing lives for the better in Memphis.
On behalf of our Board, staff, teachers, students, FedEx, Arts Midwest, and the National Endowment for the Arts: thank you for your kind consideration.
Lots of love,
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
the comedy by William Shakespeare
directed by Stephanie Shine
in partnership with
University of Memphis Department of Theatre & Dance
University of Memphis Mainstage
June 4-21, 2015
and the Margaret & Owen Tabor family
Additional funding provided by:
Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, in partnership with the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance presents a magical, family-friendly, VooDoo-inspired production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream on the U of M’s Mainstage from June 4-21.
The southern-infused production will feature the company’s largest cast in its seven seasons and will explore the expansiveness and technical capabilities of the U of M mainstage. The team of professional designers consists of present U of M faculty and alumni, and the cast features talented U of M actors interning alongside performers of Actors’ Equity Association assembled from around the nation.
The production’s title sponsor is FedEx, making possible Free Will Kids Night every Thursday night (up to four children 17 years and younger admitted free when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian) and the new addition this season of Family Morning Matinees for all ages every Wednesday morning at 10:30 am ($10 tickets for an abbreviated version of the show).
Additional funding is generously provided by Owen and Margaret Tabor, First Tennessee Foundation, Xfinity, and Independent Bank.
Directed by TSC’s Stephanie Shine (Romeo and Juliet, A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Southern Yuletide), A Midsummer Night’s Dream places Duke Theseus’ court in World War II America and the peaceful though mischievous fairie kingdom in the spanish-moss strewn bayous of turn-of-the-19th century Louisiana. Big Band, Swing, Cajun, and Creole music will be played live on stage by the hard-working, busking men of the French Quarter.
Since the 17th century, Shakespeare’s most magical comedy has been one of his most-produced on English-speaking stages. Likely written around 1595, chronologically joining the script with Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labor’s Lost, and The Merchant of Venice – A Midsummer Night’s Dream is unusual when compared to the rest of Shakespeare’s canon. It has no readily identifiable main source. Shakespeare was inspired by the writings of Plutarch, Chaucer, Ovid, as well as folklore, but his magical play of chaos is likely his very own creation. Uniquely, he orchestrates four main themes, all entirely different, without relegating any to secondary status.
Shakespeare’s symphony of a narrative telescopes in a finite period of time. He weaves together the waking and sleeping worlds; loving and violent worlds; the spirit and mortal worlds; day and night; male and female; jealousy and compassion in a musical romp that is Shakespeare’s first deep consideration of the relationship between art and humanity.
The world of the Court, where Duke Theseus has violently triumphed over and won Queen Hippolyta, begins to spin off its seasonal axis as the nighttime spirit world ruled by Oberon and Titania tilts in a petty feud. Racing into the dark woods amid these shifts are four young lovers ruled by their hearts and Bottom’s group of musical hard-working men rehearsing ambitiously their self-scribed play. Fairie Robin Goodfellow (Puck) is the link between all the worlds, wreaking havoc through magic transformation of the heart and head (that of a donkey).
Out of the discord comes concord and a seeing of the world with “parted eye.” An evening of genuine playmaking and love transforms into marriage and celebration, which begets blessings bestowed on all the worlds, all humanity, all spirituality.
"Our production explores both the collision and the communion of different groups of beings,” says director Shine, while in rehearsal at the U of M mainstage. “The worlds within the play are vastly different, and yet common ground is forged when all are found in the same mystical forest.
“Throughout literature, trials by wilderness offer the possibility to emerge a changed being; and our play radiates with the same transformation for characters escaping into the night woods to question their desires. I can think of no more mystical, magical, and mysterious place in America than the bayous of southern Louisiana with its sultry mists, gymnastic cypress trees, and prehistoric creatures. The surrounding human cultures within nearby New Orleans celebrate and retain their origins through ritual, language, custom, food, and music unique to the region. What we know of Louisiana and New Orleans lends an exotic reality to this fantastical play, letting its powers of transformation root more deeply."
ArtsMemphis Awards Education Grant to Tennessee Shakespeare Company to Introduce 2,150 Incoming High School Freshmen to Romeo and Juliet
(October 15, 2012) – ArtsMemphis announced that Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, has been awarded a matching $19,000 Arts Education and Outreach grant to fund an enhancement and expansion of its successful Romeo and Juliet Project pilot program into three area schools in 2013.
The three participating schools are Bartlett High School, Ridgeway High School, and Kirby High School. A separate education grant from the City of Germantown and Germantown Performing Arts Centre will help fund the program and a host of other interactive and performance events at two additional schools, including Germantown High School.