Announcing the 2013-14 Season

“Unto the Breach!”

(Memphis, TN, July 23, 2013) –– Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, today announced its 2013-14 schedule of plays and education schools tour.

Following the record-breaking success of its fifth performance season, TSC was informed last month that its matching civic funding for its vast education programs in its community was being entirely eliminated. That same week, the National Endowment for the Arts/ArtsMidwest recognized TSC for its innovative education and performance programming with a matching Shakespeare in American Communities grant. TSC was one of the youngest organizations to receive the recognition.

In a matter of days, the grant was matched by Shakespeare supporters from Germantown, Memphis, the Mid-South, and from across the U.S. Letters from over 200 supporters to TSC and its community’s elected officials, together with their generosity, inspired a different type of beginning to TSC’s sixth season.

“It has been our mission since day one, and our responsibility to our community, that we always provide innovative educational student programming together with our professional Shakespeare productions at deep discount, or for free,” says founder and producing artistic director Dan McCleary. “I never want money to be the thing that prevents our community’s students from having a chance to love the plays of William Shakespeare and to learn from them on their own terms. And yes, for the record, I do believe Shakespeare can change the world for the better, and I’m starting with my hometown.

“Too many of our schools here are defined as ‘underprivileged’ and “underserved.’ So, we have work to do; and as long as we have 80 schools and nearly 15,000 students who want us teaching them and playing for them, like last year, then we will be determined to fill the breach created by the elimination of our municipal government funding for the coming season. If I have learned anything from my involvement in the plays of William Shakespeare in 25 years and from our galvanizing TSC supporters these past two months, it is that artistic courage and social activism, particularly in the face of adversity, can affect positive change.”


Unto the Breach!

The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare

Substituting for its usual full-cast production of a Shakespeare play in the autumn is a special two-performance Benefit show in the 824-seat Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall to help restore education funding to our community’s classrooms. Ticket revenue will go to TSC’s education program.

Unto the Breach! the Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare will feature Dan McCleary and resident artist/Education Director Stephanie Shine on stage with music in this 90-minute exploration of Shakespeare’s courage of creativity, of the heart, of conviction, and of forgiveness. Scenes will be performed from plays Richard III, King Lear, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Twelfth Night, Coriolanus, The Merchant of Venice, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, As You Like It and more.

The Benefit show plays Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm. A special all-school matinee with discounted tickets will be made possible by TSC’s sponsors on September 10 at 10:30 am at GPAC.

McCleary and Shine (Gertrude in TSC’s acclaimed Hamlet) take the stage for the first time together. A real-life married couple brought together by Shakespeare, both have more than 55 years of experience playing most of the canon, including 30 major/title roles.

Benefit tickets are $30, and seating is general admission. A special Free Will Kids’ Night is in effect for both performances: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. Press Opening is September 7 at 7:30 pm.

Unto the Breach! is supported and partnered by The Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, ArtsMemphis, Nancy and Dan Copp, Independent Bank, Milton T. Schaeffer, and GPAC/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall.


It’s a Wonderful Life:

A Live Radio Play

Back by popular demand is last year’s holiday hit It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play playing November 20 – December 8, 2013, in the Winegardner Auditorium at Dixon Gallery & Gardens in Memphis, directed by Stephanie Shine.

Sponsored by FedEx Corporation and adapted for the stage by Joe Landry, It’s a Wonderful Life returns the Bailey family to the stage to celebrate everyone’s end-of-year holidays. The loving classic that embraces the beset George Bailey as he discovers how wonderful his life really is transfers from the famous black-and-white film version to a live 1946 radio play, complete with period jingles, carols, and creative sound effects. Returning cast: Amelia Fischer, Bradley Kroeker, Lorraine Cotton, and WKNO’s Jim Eikner as Clarence Oddbody, Angel 2nd Class.

Tickets for the November 20 Preview performance are $15. Free Will Kids’ Nights are on November 21, 28, and December 5. WKNO Memphis public radio will broadcast the November 21 performance live on 91.1 FM at 7:00 pm. Press Opening is November 21 at 7:00 pm.


Romeo and Juliet

Made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts/ArtsMidwest and Shakespeare in American Communities, William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet plays Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall on January 28 and 30 at 7:00 pm, directed by Stephanie Shine. Three, discounted morning matinees that week for school students will also be made available.

Experience the full-bodied love story as if for the first time with these professional, young players. The play everyone is introduced to in their early teen years on the page comes vibrantly alive on the GPAC stage as a cast of eight explores the mortal acts of too-young lovers who bury their parents' strife with their lives.

This production is inspired by TSC’s innovative Romeo and Juliet Project, which has been raising grades, changing young lives, and affecting entire student bodies throughout the Memphis area for two years.

Parents are invited to discover with their children all of the heart-felt, or well-intentioned, or tragic decisions made by the play’s teenagers and adults alike in this “two hours traffic of our stage,” followed by a community forum with the audience, actors, and director.

A special Free Will Kids’ Night is in effect for both performances: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. Press Opening is January 28 at 7:00 pm.


Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala

Save the Date with your special someone at GPAC on February 14, 2014! Broadway celebrities Charles Strouse and Marin Mazzie & Jason Danieley have taken center stage the last two years. Guess who’s romancing you this year! (We will announce soon.) Singular live/silent auction items and trips, sumptuous fare, flowing spirits, and a once-in-a-lifetime performance will make this a night to remember.

Don’t miss the Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala –the most original, fun party of the year! For single tickets and sponsorships of ten seats, please call TSC’s Development Office at (901) 759-0620.


The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare’s early commedia piece The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Dan McCleary, plays inside the Dixon’s Winegardner Auditorium from April 23 – May 4, 2014, in Memphis.

One of Shakespeare’s most outrageously funny and controversial plays shows up quite by accident on the 1927 doorstep of Mr. Hugo Dixon of Memphis, Tennessee. He hires the traveling theatre troupe to perform a play for mirth and merriment in his luxurious home, which one day will become Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

In the play, Kate neither looks nor acts like her younger, alluring sister Bianca – nor any other woman, for that matter. This is bad news for Bianca, since she cannot wed until Kate does. Any man who’s man enough to tackle the shrewish Kate wins a wealthy dowry, says her father, but is Kate too high a price to pay? Not for the recently destitute Petruchio. He arrives looking to wed for riches, not love. The meeting of Petruchio and Kate is one of the hallmark scenes in all of theatre.

But something happens after their name-calling, arm-wrestling, horse-riding, sleep-deprived, mutually-starved trip to the altar – they inexplicably fall in love.

Tickets for the April 23-24 Preview performances are $15. Free Will Kids’ Nights are on April 24 and May 1. Press Opening is April 25 at 7:00 pm.

Sponsored by Ann and Wellford Tabor, and The Dunbar Abston Fund for Sustainable Excellence.


The Mid-South Schools Tour:

Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll

It's hip.  It's cool.  It's an adventure with the original SOUL MAN!  Students will discover chart-topping, toe-tapping, feet-stomping, got-to-jump-out-of-your-seat-and-move-with-it SHAKESPEARE – direct from Memphis!  Featuring Slade Kyle, two actors play with breathtaking dexterity through a whirlwind of scenes and soliloquies sure to make students want to SHOUT!

Directed and created by Stephanie Shine, Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll is a 45-minute show, with accompanying talk-back, that travels to schools in the Mid-South, across Tennessee, and throughout the Southeast from October 2013 through April 2014. Call TSC’s Education Office to book your school or class at (901) 759-0620.


Performance Season Information

General Admission tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC’s office located at 2260 West Street, Germantown, TN 38138; by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to (Twitter: @tnshakespeare).

Tickets for all non-Gala performances are $30. Tickets for all Preview performances are only $15. All Thursday nights are Free Will Kids’ Nights: Children 17 years and younger are admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian. All performances of Unto the Breach! and Romeo and Juliet are Free Will Kids’ Nights. Dixon members receive 20% off their tickets for all Dixon performances. Seniors and Students receive 20% of their tickets to any non-Gala performance. No refunds/exchanges.

Performances are general admission; first come/first seated. Free parking. Cast/schedule subject to change.

All Opening Nights include a complementary post-show dessert and champagne toast with the actors.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company

Performance Season - 2013-14



TITLE: "Unto the Breach! The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare"
BY: Dan McCleary and Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATES: Saturday, September 7 at 7:30 pm and Tuesday, September 10 at 7:00 pm, 2013
TICKETS: $30 adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian
ABOUT: Featuring Dan McCleary and Stephanie Shine in an effort to restore live professional Shakespeare to our community’s classrooms, this Benefit performance showcases through his plays Shakespeare’s courage of the heart, conviction, creativity, and redemption.


TITLE:      "It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play"
BY: Adapted by Joe Landry from the Frank Capra film
DIRECTOR: Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Dixon Gallery & Gardens/Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
DATES: November 20 – December 8, 2013
    7:00 pm Wednesday-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
TICKETS: $15 on November 20 preview/$30 on all other dates for adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on November 21, 28, December 5
ABOUT: The holiday classic for the entire family returns to the Dixon in this 1940s live radio play featuring the good-hearted George Bailey, Angel 2nd Class Clarence Oddbody, and lots of period jingles and music.


TITLE:      "Romeo and Juliet"
BY: William Shakespeare
DIRECTOR: Stephanie Shine
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATES: January 28 and 30, 2014 at 7:00 pm
TICKETS: $30 adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian
ABOUT: Five young people end up dead in a story that begins as a comedy – how can the adults and children save the next generation? Community forums follow each performance.


TITLE:      "Fifth Annual Valentine’s Gala"
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATE: February 14, 2014 at 6:00 pm
TICKETS: $175; and 10-seat sponsorships available with perks
ABOUT: Featuring a Broadway headliner soon to be announced (“Annie” composer Charles Strouse and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie with Jason Danieley headlined the last two years), this education Gala includes sumptuous fare and fun, rare live and silent auctions.           


TITLE:      "The Taming of the Shrew"
BY: William Shakespeare
DIRECTOR: Dan McCleary
VENUE: Dixon Gallery & Gardens/Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
DATES: April 23 – May 4, 2014
TIMES: 7:00 pm Wednesday-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
TICKETS: $15 on April 23-24 previews/$30 on all other dates for adults; 20% discount for Seniors/Students; FREE for children 17 and younger when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on April 24 and May 1
ABOUT: It’s 1927 and Hugo Dixon of Park Avenue, Memphis (located where the Dixon Gallery is today), has given a bed to homeless man and board to a travelling theatre troupe, creating an evening of mirth and merriment in his home featuring the infamous comic love story of the bounding Petruchio and the shrewish Kate.       





  • Remarkable Results from Romeo and Juliet Project
  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • Shakespeare Shout-Out Series
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships

See the Remarkable Results from this year's Romeo and Juliet Project

(February 12, 2018) -- "I believe Tennessee Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet Project in Memphis is one of the more crucial, proven, and successful arts-in-education initiatives in the United States," says TSC founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary.

This brief report responds to several of the most frequently asked questions TSC has received in the last decade regarding Shakespeare and its education programming in Memphis:

  • Why do you believe William Shakespeare and his plays are relevant in the 21st Century?
  • Why do I have to learn Shakespeare in school?
  • Can my children really understand Shakespeare?
  • Do you really believe Shakespeare can save lives?
  • You don’t really believe that Shakespeare can change the world, do you?

TSC provides its responses in the words, pictures, tallies, and grades of children, teachers, and actors in its four-month Romeo and Juliet Project throughout Shelby County in Tennessee. 

"And for the record, on that last question," says McCleary, "Yes, I do."

Read the report

We have Purchased the Former Ballet Memphis Property to Create the State’s First Permanent, Year-Round Home for Professional Shakespeare Performance, Education, and Training in Memphis

pic newhome tsc2017(August 31) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced it has purchased the former facility and property of Ballet Memphis located at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis as its first, permanent home. 

The announcement was made by Dan McCleary, the company’s founder and Producing Artistic Director; Owen B. Tabor, the company’s Board President for the past six years; and E. Frank Bluestein, the company’s founding Executive Director.

With this acquisition, Tennessee Shakespeare Company is preparing to create the first and only permanent, year-round home for professional Shakespeare performance, education, and training in the state of Tennessee.

TSC purchased the 18,484 square foot facility outright from Ballet Memphis for $1,900,000.  There is no mortgage. 

TSC, now beginning its tenth anniversary season, expects to begin interior renovation this year and be completed in Spring 2018.

The renovation will focus on modifying existing dance studios into a state-of-the-art, professional, flexible theatre for seating up to 200 patrons, as well as a spacious Education Wing.  The public lobby, restrooms, and support areas for the theatre also will be modified.

Centrally located to all of Shelby County just north of Walnut Grove Road, between Germantown Road and the northeast corner of Shelby Farms Park, the unique glass-and-steel facility will house all of TSC’s operations under one roof:  performances, training, education, administrative offices, storage, costume shop, scene shop, and commercial kitchen.  The facility was constructed in 1998, and an addition was built in 2012.  It affords parking for nearly 70 cars.

TSC and Ballet Memphis, longtime arts colleagues whose artistic staffs have collaborated over the years, entered into a Purchase & Sale Agreement in late June.  The sale represents one Memphis not-for-profit arts organization selling to another for re-use of a special purpose building.  TSC’s agent was W. Cary Whitehead III of Boyle Investment Company.

For the last nine years, TSC has created site-specific/environmental Shakespeare and classical productions, both indoors and outside, throughout Shelby County, partnering with long-time friends Dixon Gallery & Gardens, the University of Memphis, St. George’s Church, Shelby Farms Park, Germantown City Hall, Poplar Pike Playhouse, Hutchison School, and Germantown Performing Arts Center.

“This is an important moment in Memphis performing arts,” said Dr. Tabor.  “We have researched more than 50 sites in the last few years, and the former Ballet property is perfect for our needs and for what our audiences say they would like.  The Ballet’s new home in Overton Square is so impressive, and they have been wonderful to work with during this transaction.  We wish them tremendous success.  We appreciate that this special building is the launch pad for exciting futures for two important arts groups in Memphis.

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The First Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series Launches Our 10th Season throughout Shelby County

pic shakespeare shout out 10 1 17Mario Hoyle (Romeo) and Kiana Holley (Juliet).

We officially launch our tenth anniversary season this week when we bring Romeo and Juliet to the historic outdoor train depot and platform in Collierville Town Square on Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 pm.

Our first Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series, sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C., features 11 performances of three touring productions to ten outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County playing through November 10.

No tickets are required.  First come/first seated.

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed by Stephanie Shine, questions the future of the Roman Republic, the love that sustains it, and the leadership that breaches it.  Romeo and Juliet, directed by Carmen-maria Mandley, is fast, physical, and daring in its descent from comedy to mortal, young tragedy.  And TSC’s Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll, directed by Shine, pairs the legacy music of Memphis with the famous Shakespeare scenes TSC imagines inspired them.

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Announcing a New, Multi-Year Partnership with the Germantown Municipal School District for Cutting-Edge Classical Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

pic germantown partnership1Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the Germantown Municipal School District today announced a unique, multi-year education partnership that will bring immersive, cutting-edge Shakespeare curriculum to life for every student in grades five, seven, and nine.

Starting with this school year, all GMSD fifth and seventh grade students will participate in an introductory, immersive playshop to prepare and excite them for experiencing a full, live performance of TSC’s self-created production of Shakes, Rattle, and Roll.  The show pays tribute to our hometown heritage, creatively linking the signature music of Memphis to the works of Shakespeare that could have inspired them.

All ninth grade students will be treated to TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project, a four-part interactive residency that concludes with an intimate and riveting live performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The Project, originally launched at Germantown High School seven years ago and now operating in many Shelby County Schools, transforms classrooms into playing spaces to change students' expectations and reception of the material. The residency begins with three sessions that engage the students in playing three different parts of the play.  The positive impact on the students’ grades, compassion level, engagement in continued exploration of classical texts, and their rehearsed ability to walk away from potentially life-threatening situations in their own lives has proven quantifiable and remarkable in the scores of schools in which TSC has taught over the past eight years. 

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New, Exciting TSC Partnerships with Company d and the Memphis VA, and Expanding Programs with Jail East and Hope Academy

“TSC gives them models to express their feelings, which they probably have never done.  For maybe the first time in their lives, they think about the world around them and their role in the community.”

- Joyce Anderson, Juvenile Manager, Shelby County Sheriff's Office

pic tns HopeAcademy6
Hope Academy residency participants

We are thrilled to announce new partnerships between TSC and Company d and the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Association.  Also this month (August), we are happily expanding our Shakespeare programs for adjudicated youth at both Jail East and Hope Academy.

TSC is spending August in residence with Company d.  Nationally recognized, Company d is a dance company of young adults with Down syndrome under the artistic direction of choreographer Darlene Winters.  Founded in 2001, Company d is committed to inspire, empower, and teach individuals with Down syndrome who have an inherent aptitude for the performing arts.

TSC Education Manager Carmen-maria Mandley and TSC Education artists guide participants through the tumultuous world of Romeo and Juliet.  Using movement and text, the dancers are immersed in Shakespeare's images and encouraged to discover their personal connection with the characters of the play.

"Company d dancers are having a dynamic experience with TSC this week,” says Winters, Company d founder and Artistic Director.  “The play and its language are being brought to life with interactive methods.  The partnership with Tennessee Shakespeare Company is the first partnership with a theatre company in this region.  I am so excited about this new and unique experience for individuals with Down syndrome, which will enrich artistic growth and expand cultural literacy skills."

Also in August, TSC begins working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Association. This program brings together service veterans with theatre practitioners to use the plays of Shakespeare in addressing combat-related traumatic and re-integration issues. The model, created by the Feast of Crispian Project in Milwaukee, WI, was created to strengthen the personal psychological resources available to service veterans - especially those with post-deployment health issues - through the practice and skills of theatre combined with the timeless themes and imagistic language of Shakespeare.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

International Paper    FedEx         Tennessee Arts Commission

logo-ibank             University of Memphis  artsmemphis std color logo2500

     ArtsFirst Color    

logo nea 2016 footer    

Evans Petree

Individual Season Sponsors:

Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Nancy Copp; Ernest, Pat, Martha, and Marian Kelly; Milton T. Schaeffer; The Family of Owen and Margaret Tabor;
Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Season Partners:

Collierville Municipal School District; Dixon Gallery & Gardens; Germantown Municipal School District; Memphis Hunt & Polo Club; Palladio;
Shelby County Schools; The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a proud member of:
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence       artsmemphis std color logo2500    logo-gacc          Tennesseans for the Arts     Tennessee Theatre Association     Where We Live