Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces Seventh Season of Plays

Revel Year-Round

(July 28, 2014) – – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South's professional classical theatre, today announced its 2014-15 schedule of plays, which includes three by Shakespeare, the Southern Exposure Series, a continuing partnership with Dixon Gallery & Gardens, a new summer partnership with the University of Memphis, and a new Musical Works Festival sponsored by the Broadway licensing company of Memphis, Monty Python's Spamalot, The Color Purple, and All Shook Up: The Music of Elvis Presley.

The season features performance programming year-round for the first time in TSC's history.

Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary plays the title role in Shakespeare's Richard III over Halloween in Germantown Performance Arts Center, followed by a festive musical hall production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night in Dixon Gallery & Gardens in December. The Sixth Annual Valentine's Gala, with a Broadway headliner to be announced, plays February 14, 2015, in GPAC. The Tuesday Literary Salons return in the spring with Kate Chopin and William Faulkner. TSC then partners with the University of Memphis to present Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream on the University's mainstage during the solstice weeks of June. The U of M mainstage will also host the exciting Memphis>Broadway: A New Musical Works Festival in May, June, and August, sponsored by New York's Theatrical Rights Worldwide.

"For the first time in our organizational life, we are now able to present a wide-ranging performance season as we have been doing with our innovative, four-season education programs," says founder, Mr. McCleary. "This expansion is in line with our initial strategic plan, and it allows us to present important, all-new productions and projects in three distinct geographies for our patrons.

"This will be a pilot season for our partnership with the University of Memphis, which I am thrilled to continue from our work together on TSC's Romeo and Juliet earlier this year. We are already working with the University's outstanding designers to create a very special and fun Midsummer Night's Dream in the big theatre. Our collaboration with Theatrical Rights Worldwide, one of Broadway's elite licensing companies of popular and developing musicals, will be very exciting for musical artists and patrons – and will bring more national attention to Memphis. And of course, much of TSC's most expressive artistic work has been created at the Dixon over the years by virtue of Kevin Sharp's and his staff's kindness and evocative facility. We are, as always, honored to return."

TSC recently re-located from its long-time administrative office at the historic train depot in Germantown to new, more spacious offices five minutes east on Poplar Avenue in The Shops at Forest Hill.

TSC's Season Sponsors include Arts Memphis, Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, Nancy and Dan Copp, FedEx, Independent Bank, Ernest and Pat Kelly, National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest, Milton T. Schaeffer, The Family of Margaret and Owen Tabor, Ann and Wellford Tabor, and Tennessee Arts Commission.

TSC's Season Partners are Boyle Investment Company, The Commercial Appeal, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, St. George's Episcopal Church, Theatrical Rights Worldwide, and The University of Memphis.


Richard III

sponsored by Ann and Wellford Tabor

TSC's production of William Shakespeare's early Morality Play raises history from the dead to put the notorious King Richard III on trial before his audience and the spirit world.

Unearthed from a buried Friary just two years ago in Leicester, England, the painfully deformed 1485 skeleton of Richard now is brought to frightening life in a cadaver synod during which his murderous actions to the throne are reconsidered during the reverence of All Hallow's Eve. A soul still wandering between this life and the next, history's notorious "bottled spider" has much more he would like for audiences to consider before passing final judgment on his actions that gained him the throne but have haunted him ever since.

David Demke (A Midsummer Night's Dream) returns to TSC to direct the production in the Duncan-Williams Performance Hall at GPAC, running October 30 – November 1, 2014, at 7:00 pm.

The stellar cast of eight returns Caley Milliken, (TSC's Ariel, Marc Antony, Lady Capulet, and Peaseblossom), Paul Kiernan (TSC's Petruchio), Johnny Lee Davenport (TSC's Prospero, Oberon, and Othello), and brings Artistic Director Dan McCleary center stage for the first time at TSC as the "bunch-back'd toad."

The creative team includes costumer Bruce Bui (Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet), lighting designer Jeremy Fisher (Taming of the Shrew, Hamlet, Unto the Breach), and scenic designer Brian Ruggaber (University of Memphis, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey).

Free Will Kids' Night is in effect for all 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 October 30 at 7:00 pm. Seating is general admission.



Twelfth Night

sponsored by Pat and Ernest Kelly

William Shakespeare's charming 1601 comedy is a topsy-turvy world of cross-dressing lovers, yellow cross-garters, and crossed identities. Inspired by the final days of Christmas, the winter solstice, and the Festival of Light, TSC celebrates the joy of the season in this uproarious music hall production in the Dixon Gallery & Gardens' Winegardner Auditorium from December 11-21, 2014.

Shipwrecked on the shores of Illyria, Viola has lost her country and beloved twin brother. Disguising herself as Cesario, a page, she falls in love with Duke Orsino even as she delivers his affections to lovely Lady Olivia. Between beautiful songs, high comedy, and delicate poetry, love redeems all.
Free Will Kids' Nights are December 11 and 18: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. The Preview performance is December 11 at 7:00 pm. Press Opening is December 12 at 7:00 pm. Seating is general admission. All Dixon members receive 20% off the regular ticket price for all performances.


Sixth Annual Valentine's Gala

The Valentine's Gala has become one of the most fun, talked-about events of the party season – and all for a good cause. The star-studded party starts at 6:00 pm on February 14, 2015, at GPAC. Over the last three years, Broadway celebrities who have performed at TSC's Gala to support its education program include Howard McGillin (Phantom of Opera), Charles Strouse (Annie), Marin Mazzie (Bullets Over Broadway), and Jason Danieley (Next to Normal). 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. For sponsorship levels of ten seats, please call TSC's Development Office at (901) 759-0620.



Tuesday Literary Salons
Kate Chopin: Louisiana Lullaby
Young William Faulkner: Before the Fury

sponsored by Nancy and Dan Copp

TSC's Southern Exposure Series continues in the spring, following this summer's sold-out Salons spotlighting the poets of Ireland and the humor of Mark Twain. Each Salon is a literary party from 6:00-8:00 pm, featuring writer-specific libations, light fare, live music, and 30 minutes of the words of one of the South's influential writers in a private, luxurious Memphis home.

Pioneering author Kate Chopin is featured on March 24, 2015 in TSC's Louisiana Lullaby. Accompanied by the music of New Orleans and the bayous, the words from her prolific short story career in Louisiana in the late 19th Century set the mood for selections from her most explosively famous novel, The Awakening. Though considered a forerunner of the feminist movement in literature, her seminal work was not fully appreciated until well after her death.

"Civilization begins with distillation," William Faulkner, no stranger to Memphis, is reported to have said. Following mint juleps and other straight brown spirits of choice, along with the music of the Delta, Jimmie Rodgers, and perhaps Mr. Faulkner's favorite, Beethoven, readings from the early short stories of the author's career will peal through the house. Mr. Faulkner, recognized for his literary creation of the Mississippi baroque in such novels as The Sound and the Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom! won the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature and two Pulitzers for his fiction. TSC's Young William Faulkner: Before the Fury plays April 21, 2015.

Tickets are $55 for one Salon or $100 for both, and include the entertainment, open bar, and appetizers.



A Midsummer Night's Dream

sponsored by FedEx and the Margaret & Owen Tabor family

During the time of year when our Earth tilts most toward the Sun, how ironic it is that the night should be so long in Shakespeare's ode to mischief-making love.

Bringing together, in an opulent ballet, the four worlds of the austere Court, the gymnastic lovers, the whimsical craftsmen, and the magical Fairie Kingdom, A Midsummer Night's Dream is an everlasting tribute to the power of our lovesick imagination.

The joy of the moonlit forest features the rocking ground of Oberon and his flower-squirting Puck, Titania and her donkey-headed Bottom, and Helena, Demetrius, Lysander, and Hermia who awake to both worlds with "parted eye." Which is the illusion: our dreams or our waking lives?

The show is presented in partnership with the University of Memphis on its Mainstage, running June 4-21, 2015. The creative team includes costumer Janice Benning-Lacek (makeup design for TSC's previous Midsummer Night's Dream and The Tempest) and scenic designer Brian Ruggaber (University of Memphis, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey).

Free Will Kids' Nights are June 4, 11, and 18: Children 17 years and younger will be admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying, attending guardian. Limit: four children per guardian. Preview performances are June 4 and 5 at 7:00 pm. Press Opening is June 6 at 7:00 pm. Special abbreviated versions of the production will be presented for families on June 10 and 17 at 10:30 am for $10. Seating is general admission.


Memphis>Broadway: A New Musical Works Festival

a collaboration sponsored by Theatrical Rights Worldwide

TSC's partnership with the University of Memphis also will make possible a very special collaboration sponsored by one of Broadway's elite musical licensing companies, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW). The team of collaborators (TSC, University of Memphis, and TRW) will launch Memphis>Broadway: A New Musical Works Festival from May through August 2015.

Part of TSC's Southern Exposure Series, the high-profile Festival will select three musical scripts in various stages of development, invite the shows' creators to Memphis for ten days to work intensely on the pieces and rehearse with professional performers from around the country, and then present a staged reading/singing of the musical on a Saturday night on the University of Memphis mainstage.

One of the three new musicals will then be selected for additional development in New York and Memphis over the next year en route to a more full production in TSC's 2016 season.
Staged readings/singings will be Saturdays at 7:00 pm on May 23, June 27, and August 15. Tickets will be made available in 2015.

Theatrical Rights Worldwide and its President/CEO Steve Spiegel, based in New York City, represent musicals from Broadway and Off-Broadway, as well as shows originating in regional theatres. TRW cultivates and introduces new work along with extending the production life of musicals to all theatrical marketplaces. TRW licenses productions to a broad range of customers, from schools to Broadway. As agents for the authors, TRW grants live stage production rights. More information is available at www.theatricalrights.com.

TRW's Broadway collection includes Memphis-centric musicals All Shook Up: The Music of Elvis Presley, Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash, and the Tony Award-winning Best Musical Memphis. Their internationally-popular collection also includes Monty Python's Spamalot, which won the Tony for Best Musical, Kander and Ebb's Curtains, The Color Purple, and recent releases Ghost the Musical, Big Fish, and The Addams Family.

"This new Festival should prove to be one of the most exciting theatre projects Memphis has experienced in quite a while," says E. Frank Bluestein, TSC Executive Director and Project Director for TRW's New Musical Works. "Thanks to Theatrical Rights Worldwide, we will get a first-hand opportunity to view original musicals in their infancy, as they are developed here in our city, on their way to an eventual professional debut – hopefully in New York and beyond."



The Education and Outreach Program

TSC's ever-expanding Education & Outreach Program brings live Shakespeare performance to audiences everywhere, allowing the space and the audience to inform each performance.

In February and March 2015, an interactive and intimate touring production of Romeo and Juliet will be available for playing in schools and community centers. Affordable, immediate, and of relevance to all ages, this is a Romeo and Juliet that will involve the audience in the playing of the show, creating an experience of a lifetime for participants.

Debuting this season will be TSC's new two-person touring show, Shakespeare Said It! This original piece is designed to travel to scores of schools in Shelby County and throughout the southeast United States. Shakespeare Said It! celebrates the origins of famous phrases many of us speak today, not necessarily knowing that William Shakespeare originated them. This quick-paced, interactive show provides context through the sharing of multiple scenes, letting audiences of all ages enjoy being speakers of Shakespeare.

TSC will expand its dynamic Romeo and Juliet Project by adding new partner schools in service of our goal of partnering with every Shelby County high school within the next five years. Now in its third year, the Romeo and Juliet Project offers students alternatives when faced with conflict, as well as fostering a love for the works of William Shakespeare. Introductory, interactive Playshops designed to enrich the playgoing experience are available for groups of every size for every TSC play produced during the upcoming performance season. In-depth, multi-day Residencies that give a full breadth of Shakespeare theatrical experience, as well as summertime immersive Camps, round out TSC's Education Program for the seventh season. Designed with the belief that Shakespeare is for everyone, these programs benefit school-age students as well as adult life-long learners.

The Romeo and Juliet Project is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest, FedEx, Arts Memphis, and International Paper.


Performance Season Information

General Admission tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC's office located within The Shops at Forest Hill at 3092 Village Shops Drive, Germantown, TN 38138 (near Target); by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org (Twitter: @tnshakespeare).

Tickets for all non-Gala performances are $33. 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 Richard III are Free Will Kids' Nights. Dixon members receive 20% off their tickets for all Dixon performances. Senior tickets (62 years and older) are $28, and Student tickets (18 years and older) are $15 for 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


TITLE: Richard III
BY: William Shakespeare
DIRECTOR: David Demke
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATES: October 30 & 31, November 1, 2014 at 7:00 pm
TICKETS: $33 adults;
$15 for students age 18 and over (with valid I.D.);
$28 for Seniors 62 and over (with valid I.D.);
Free Will Kids' Nights: All three performances, children 17 and younger admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian;
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: Featuring Artistic Director Dan McCleary in the title role with an ensemble that includes TSC favorites Johnny Lee Davenport, Paul Kiernan, and Caley Milliken, TSC's haunting production of Richard III takes full advantage of Halloween (All Hallow's Eve) and the recent unearthing of the painful remains of King Richard's skeleton, here given modern life and re-tried by a cast of everlasting Souls.

TITLE: Twelfth Night
BY: William Shakespeare
VENUE: Dixon Gallery & Gardens/Winegardner Auditorium, 4339 Park Avenue, Memphis, TN 38117
DATES: December 11-21, 2014
TIMES: 7:00 pm Thursdays-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
TICKETS: $15 for December 11 Preview;
$33 all other dates for adults;
$15 for students age 18 and over (with valid I.D.);
$28 for Seniors 62 and over (with valid I.D.).
Free Will Kids' Night: children 17 and younger admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on December 11 and December 18.
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: Treated as a holiday festival in an intimate music hall, Shakespeare's musical comedy joyously pushes the boundaries of role and gender reversal when Viola shipwrecks in Illyria, dresses in drag as Cesario and falls madly for Count Orsino, who is heartsick for Lady Olivia, who is the apple of the yellow cross-gartered Malvolio's eye. Toby Belch, Andrew Aguecheek, and the singing Feste never let the love story get too serious. Celebrate the winter solstice and the festival of light with Shakespeare's most charming comedy.

TITLE: Sixth Annual Valentine's Gala
VENUE: Germantown Performing Arts Center/Duncan-Williams Performance Hall, 1801 Exeter Road, Germantown, TN 38138
DATE: February 14, 2015 at 6:00 pm
TICKETS: $175; and 10-seat sponsorships available with perks
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: Featuring a Broadway headliner soon to be announced (Broadway's longest-running Phantom Howard McGillin, Annie composer Charles Strouse and Tony Award nominee Marin Mazzie with Jason Danieley headlined the last three years), this education Gala includes sumptuous fare and fun, rare live and silent auctions.

TITLE: Tuesday Literary Salon: Kate Chopin, Louisiana Lullaby
DATE: March 24, 2015
TIMES: 6:00-8:00 pm
TICKETS: $55 for one Salon, or $100 for both Salons
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: The party begins with cocktails and light fare, accompanied by the music of New Orleans and the bayous. Listen to the pioneering words of Kate Chopin, writing in Louisiana just before the 20th Century, from selections of her scores of short stories and novels At Fault and, her most explosively famous, The Awakening.

TITLE: Tuesday Literary Salon: Young William Faulkner, Before the Fury
DATE: April 21, 2015
TIMES: 6:00-8:00 pm
TICKETS: $55 for one Salon, or $100 for both Salons
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: "Civilization begins with distillation," Mr. Faulkner, no stranger to Memphis, is reported to have said. Following mint juleps and other straight brown spirits of choice, along with the music of the Delta, Jimmie Rodgers, and perhaps Mr. Faulkner's favorite, Beethoven, settle in for readings of Mississippi baroque from The Sound and Fury, As I Lay Dying, and Absalom, Absalom! Mr. Faulkner won the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature and two Pulitzers for his fiction.

TITLE: A Midsummer Night's Dream
BY: William Shakespeare
PARTNER: In partnership with The University of Memphis
DIRECTOR: Dan McCleary
VENUE: University of Memphis mainstage
DATES: June 4-21, 2015
TIMES: 7:00 pm Wednesday-Saturdays; 3:00 pm Sundays
10:30 am Family Performances on June 10 and 17
TICKETS: $15 for June 4 and 5 Previews;
$33 all other dates for adults;
$15 for students age 18 and over (with valid I.D.);
$28 for Seniors 62 and over (with valid I.D.).
$10 for Family Performances on June 10 and 17
Free Will Kids' Night: children 17 and younger admitted FREE when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian on June 4, 11, and 18.
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: "The course of true love never did run true" in this magical summer solstice in the Fairie Kingdom with Oberon, Titania, Bottom, Puck, and the mystic lovers. A celebration for the entire family on the Mainstage inside the University of Memphis.

TITLE: Memphis>Broadway: A New Musical Works Festival
SPONSOR: Theatrical Rights Worldwide
PARTNERS: TSC, TRW, University of Memphis
DIRECTOR: E. Frank Bluestein
VENUE: University of Memphis mainstage
DATES: May 23, June 27, August 15, 2015
TIMES: 7:00 pm Saturdays
TICKETS: To be announced in 2015
BOX OFFICE: (901) 759-0604
WEB: www.tnshakespeare.org
ABOUT: Sponsored by the Broadway licensing company of Memphis, Monty Python's
Spamalot, The Color Purple, and All Shook Up: The Music of Elvis Presley, this new musical festival will feature three different new musicals to be developed in Memphis and given a public reading/singing with professional performers. One of the three musicals will then be developed over the next year in New York and Memphis for a return in a more full production during TSC's following season.



  • John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker - February 9
  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • Shakespeare Shout-Out Series
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships

Next Up: The Southern Literary Salon John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker February 9

TSC season webheaders4 salon grisham

TSC presents its next Southern Literary Salon, John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker at Thayne and Anne Muller’s inviting English home in East Memphis on Friday, February 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm. 

The evening features fun Southern food, conversation, 45 minutes or so of readings from Mr. Grisham’s works, and a drink or two of the author’s liking:  “Drink the wines from the top shelf,” he counsels. 

Tickets for the Grisham Salon only are $55 and include all of the above. 

Curated and directed by TSC resident artist Stephanie Shine and read by actors Michael Khanlarian, Carmen-maria Mandley, Shaleen Cholera, and Merit Koch, Arkansas Rainmaker will employ text from Mr. Grisham’s works, likely including his first novel, A Time to Kill, as well as The Chamber, Gray Mountain, Calico Joe, and The Rooster Bar.

Mr. Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1955, and became a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer in Southaven, Mississippi after graduating from Ole Miss.  He also served in that state’s House of Representatives for eight years.  While practicing law, he practiced at his hobby: writing.  After 30 rejection letters for his first effort, the novel was finally published with a modest first print.  Far from discouraged, he immediately began his second novel, which ended up being known as The Firm.  Since that novel spent 47 weeks on the NYT bestseller list and became the best-seller of 1991, Mr. Grisham has written one novel per year.  Of those, nine have been adapted into films, including The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and The Firm.  He also wrote an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.  There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide.

“I don't start a novel until I have lived with the story for awhile to the point of actually writing an outline, and after a number of books I've learned that the more time I spend on the outline the easier the book is to write,” says Mr. Grisham.  “And if I cheat on the outline, I get in trouble with the book.  In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth.  Each of you is an original.  Each of you has a distinctive voice.  When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.” 


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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

     First Tenneessee Foundation    

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