Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. to Visit Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Romeo and Juliet Project in Action at East High School Monday, March 23

March 17, 2015 – Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. announced today he will observe first-hand Tennessee Shakespeare Company teaching and playing its Romeo and Juliet Project with 100 ninth graders in four simultaneous sessions at East High School on Monday, March 23 at 9:00 am.

“On behalf of TSC and our Board of Directors, I am so proud and honored to have Mayor Wharton joining our teachers in the classroom,” said Project creator and TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine.  “It was at the Mayor’s urging we created this Project, and I am excited for him to see his challenge come to positive life.”

pic-romeo-and-juliet-castTennessee Shakespeare Company began its nationally-recognized, four-part performance and in-school residency in the Memphis area in January.  The Project, now in its fourth year, brings a cast of eight professional actor-teachers into each Language Arts classroom at a participating school.  Students are guided by the actors to live the play’s urgent tragedy of young love amidst rage, experiencing its relevant story while ensuring that participating freshmen have a first exposure to Shakespeare that is active, rich, and rewarding.

As the teenagers in the play face armed violence, students discover positive actions available to them in their own lives in the face of real conflict.  Student post-Project assessments have recorded a 20% increase in students’ compassion as a result of their inclusion in The Romeo and Juliet Project, as well as a full letter grade increase, on average, in Language Arts classes.

The Residency concludes with an intimate performance by the actor-teachers of Romeo and Juliet, which encourages student participation.

By the end of March, The Romeo and Juliet Project will have performed the play 44 times in 27 Memphis area schools, and will have taught the Residency in 342 classroom visits in 11 schools.  At least 4,360 high school Freshmen will be reached and positively affected by The Romeo and Juliet Project.  That figure represents 34% of all freshmen in the Shelby County Schools system.

Read more: Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, Jr. to Visit TSC's Romeo and Juliet Project

Un-Earthed for Halloween:
Richard III Is Resurrected at
Germantown Performing Arts Center

(September 30, 2014) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, opens its seventh performance season with a resurrection of William Shakespeare’s Richard III inside Duncan-Williams Performance Hall at Germantown Performing Arts Center over Halloween.

Playing an extremely limited run from October 30 – November 1 inside the 824-seat hall, Richard III features TSC founder and producing artistic director Dan McCleary in the title role.  The production is sponsored by Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Directed by Dave Demke (TSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Richard III features a seasoned cast of eight actors that will act as King Richard’s spirit world during All Hallow’s Eve.  Seven spirits revisit Shakespeare’s narrative of the most infamous villain in literary history.  This revisitation has been prompted by the factual discovery and un-earthing of the real Richard III under a parking lot in Leicester, England two years ago.  The bones remain un-interred as of this writing and performance.  The discoveries made about the man who was Richard do not always support Shakespeare’s creation, but do tell a compelling and even painful story.

Read more: Richard III Is Resurrected at Germantown Performing Arts Center

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.

Read more: TSC Announces Sixth Season

TSC Brings to the GPAC Stage Stephanie Shine, Dan McCleary, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Barry Gilmore For the First Production of the Sixth Season: Unto the Breach! The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare

(Memphis, TN, August 13, 2013) – – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, presents an original production of Unto the Breach! The Un-Common Courage of William Shakespeare on stage September 7 at 7:30 pm and September 10 at 7:00 pm at Germantown Performing Arts Center to benefit the restoration of classical education programming to the Company’s community schoolrooms.

 Arranged and performed by TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary and resident actor/Education Director Stephanie Shine, Unto the Breach! will also feature the Memphis return of violinist Susanna Perry Gilmore (formerly with Memphis Symphony Orchestra, now concertmaster with the Omaha Symphony) and Barry Gilmore on guitar, hammered dulcimer, and percussion.

In addition to the September 7 and 10 public performances, the Benefit will play a special all-school matinee on September 10 at 7:00 pm with discounted school tickets made possible by TSC’s sponsors. A talk-back with the actors and musicians will follow the performance.

Read more: TSC Brings to the GPAC Stage Stephanie Shine, Dan McCleary, Susanna Perry Gilmore, Barry Gilmore...

Arts Midwest Announces 2013–2014 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants

Grants Mark 11th Year of Support Totaling $11,670,625

June 26, 2013

logo-natl-endowment-for-artsMinneapolis, MN – Arts Midwest today announced $1 million in grants to 40 nonprofit, professional theater companies in 21 states, plus the District of Columbia, to perform Shakespeare for students through Shakespeare in American Communities. The awards mark the eleventh 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, 2013, and July 31, 2014.

Shakespeare in American Communities introduces middle and high school students to the power of live theater and the masterpieces of William Shakespeare. Since the program’s inception in 2003, Shakespeare in American Communities has benefitted more than 2.25 million individuals, including 1.9 million students, with live performances and educational activities.

“Arts Midwest is thrilled to partner once again with the National Endowment for the Arts for Shakespeare in American Communities,” says David Fraher, president & CEO of Arts Midwest. “Now in its 11th year, we continue to support worthy organizations across the country by providing the opportunity to reach young and diverse audiences and increase their appreciation of the incomparable works of Shakespeare.”

Organizations receiving $25,000 grants for the 2013-2014 season include:

  • California Shakespeare Theater (Berkeley, CA) will present student matinees of The Winter’s Tale as part of their Student Discovery program. The educational activities will be multifaceted and include teacher training, classroom workshops, residencies, and other experiences at the theater, including their “32-second Shakespeare” game.
  • Tennessee Shakespeare Company (Germantown, TN) will present student matinees of Romeo and Juliet at the City of Germantown’s Performing Arts Centre. Their educational activities will take place with 9th grade students from the Memphis City and Shelby County Schools who will be visited three times by teaching artists in their classroom.
  • The Acting Company (New York, NY) will tour Hamlet at 30 to 35 communities throughout the United States. They will provide performances of this play and a number of educational activities, including their Learning Through Theater residencies, in partnership with venues and middle and high schools.

Read more: Arts Midwest Announces 2013–2014 Shakespeare in American Communities Grants