• Print

Announcing the Tenth Anniversary Season of Plays and Educational Activities for 2017-18

September 11, 2017 — Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional, classical theatre and education organization, today announced its Tenth Anniversary Performance and Education Season.

The centerpiece of the tenth season was announced last week when TSC purchased outright the 18,000 sq/ft former home of Ballet Memphis.  TSC is spending most of its tenth season transferring all of its operations to the facility in Memphis near Shelby Farms Park, as well as planning to remodel the interior for a professional theatre and updated public spaces. 

With the purchase, TSC becomes Tennessee’s first and only permanent home for professional, year-round Shakespeare performance, education, and training.

The season is front-loaded with performance events and over-full with expanded Education outreach programming.  Depending on the schedule of construction in its new home, TSC will announce end-of-year performance plans in early 2018.

In announcing the season, founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary noted the thematic resonance of each of the plays with sustained national dialogues in our world today.

“Questioning issues surrounding radical absolutism in many areas of our lives is not novel,” said McCleary.  “The questions were dynamic and divisive 400 years ago, but Shakespeare creatively and courageously brings these and otherwise restricted themes and people onto his Rose and Globe stages while under the patronage of the most powerful people in the land.  How did he get away with it? 

“We need our classical artists today, too.  Shakespeare encourages us to ask questions, to listen closely, to think deeply rather than condemn or judge or separate.  The entertaining arena of Shakespeare and his plays is where we each get to meet ourselves.”

TSC’s first production in its tenth season is a Thank-you gift to the Mid-South for supporting the company for nine years.  The company’s first Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series brings 11 performances of three full productions to ten outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County from October 7 – November 10.

Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, directed by Stephanie Shine, questions the future of the 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.

The Series, sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C., is free and performing from downtown to Overton Square, playgrounds to the zoo, Germantown to Collierville.  See below for details.

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is TSC’s cosmic holiday celebration at Dixon Gallery & Gardens from December 7-17.  Directed by McCleary,  Godot may be the masterwork of the 20th Century stage, as it arguably picks up where Shakespeare’s King Lear leaves off – in eternity. 

“Beckett was clearly influenced by his literary and philosophical muses, including the Bible, St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Camus, Yeats, Shelley,” said McCleary.  “But his creative impulse, though he may not wish it to be said, for creating Godot (the Irish pronunciation for “forever”) might well have been his flight from the German army during WWII in the French countryside, waiting years for a peace or whatever its substitute might be.  He was a voluntary hero in the war.  As a writer, his joy, humor, and care of humanity prompt each of us to ask who or what are we waiting on this season.  And TSC has just the formidable clowns on stage to do the asking.”

The season also includes the popular returns of The Shakespeare Brunch, this year featuring Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona in a staged reading paired with an elegant brunch buffet on November 19; and The Southern Literary Salon featuring Arkansas Rainmaker, John Grisham in the elegant East Memphis home of Anne and Thayne Muller on February 9, 2018. 

The Tenth Anniversary Gala this year plays inside the ballroom and lobby of the Memphis Hilton on Saturday, April 7 at 6:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale now at www.tnshakespeare.org and (901) 759-0604.

Performance Season

TSC season websquares2 shoutoutFree Shakespeare Shout-Out Series

Sponsored by
logo EVP

They’re free, fun, fast, and for everyone!  TSC specializes in environmental theatre, but here we take it to another level to celebrate our tenth season with all of the Mid-South:  11 performances of 3 productions at 10 outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County.  Ideal for families and picnics.  Audiences will get to watch the actors re-shape each performance for each venue.  No tickets or reservations needed.  Patrons are encouraged to come early for available seating.  The three Shout-Out productions are:

 

Julius Caesar

directed by Stephanie Shine

Seven actors 'blaze forth' this 75-minute performance of Shakespeare's epic Roman story of fate, friendship, and honor.

Germantown Library
Saturday, October 28 at 10:00 am
Indoors; bring your children

Overton Square Music Amphitheatre
Friday, November 10 at 5:30 pm
Outdoors near the parking garage, just south of Madison Ave.  Dedicated to our service veterans.  

 

Romeo and Juliet

directed by Carmen-maria Mandley

Shakespeare’s timeless exploration of surprising young love and mortal violence unfolds with care during this 90-minute production that is fast, physical, and daring.

Collierville Town Square
Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 pm
Outdoors at train depot; bring a chair    

University of Memphis
Wednesday, October 18 at 2:15 pm 
Outdoors near the Theatre Building; park in Central Avenue lot  

Lester Community Center
Friday, October 20 at 6:30 pm
Indoors at 317 Tillman Street, Memphis

Overton Square Music Amphitheatre
Friday, November 10 at 8:00 pm  
Outdoors near the parking garage, just south of Madison Ave.

 

Shake(s), Rattle & Roll 

directed by Stephanie Shine

Creatively links Memphis music to the works of Shakespeare!  Discover chart-topping, foot-stomping SHAKESPEARE featuring Jillian Barron and Zach Williams in a musical 45-minute performance.

Madison Avenue Park
Tuesday, October 10 at 12:00 pm
Outdoors; downtown at 151 Madison Ave.

Court Square
Thursday, October 20 at 12:00 pm
Outdoors; downtown at Main and Second Streets 

Overton Park Playground
Saturday, October 21 at 10:00 am
Outdoors

Germantown Municipal Park Gazebo
Saturday, October 21 at 4:00 pm
Outdoors; bring a chair; located between library and athletic center   

Memphis Zoo
Saturday, November 4 at 2:00 pm
Outdoors   

 

TSC season websquares3 twogentsThe Shakespeare Brunch: The Two Gentlemen of Verona

directed by Stephanie Shine

Sunday, November 19

12:00-3:00 pm

Memphis Hunt & Polo Club

Enjoy an elegant Sunday brunch, drinks, and an abbreviated reading of Shakespeare’s romping comedy (with Crab the dog!) in a beautiful and sociable indoor setting.  Acted by some of TSC’s long-time players, the staged reading is preceded by a delicious and varied buffet with cash bar.  The $55 ticket includes all but the bar.  Attire: cocktail/business casual.  Extremely limited seating.  Host Members: Margaret and Owen Tabor.

 

TSC season websquares godotWaiting for Godot

by Samuel Beckett

directed by Dan McCleary

December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 7pm
and December 10 and 17 at 3pm

at Dixon Gallery & Gardens

presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

The masterwork of the 20th Century may also be Beckett’s absurdly comedic response to William Shakespeare’s masterwork of the 17th Century (King Lear).  But they’re both about eternity…or forever…whichever comes through the door first.  Beckett’s inquisitive tramps prompt us all to ask ourselves, who or what are we waiting on this holiday season?  Celebrate the Now!

Tickets are $34.  December 7 Preview is $16.  December 7 and 14 are Free Will Kids’ Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian.  Seniors (62+): $29.  Students (18+): $16.  Dixon members receive 20% off tickets (no other discounts may apply).  December 8 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors.  General Admission/Free Parking. 

 

TSC season websquares4 grishamSouthern Literary Salon
John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker

directed by Stephanie Shine

in the elegant East Memphis home of Anne and Thayne Muller

February 9, 2018

6:00-8:00 pm

A literary party featuring fun libations, light fare, music, and 45 minutes of the words of John Grisham acted out in this private, gracious home. Tickets are $55 and include entertainment, drinks, and fare.  Grisham, the award-wining, best-selling novelist out of Jonesboro, has given us The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, The Chamber, and A Time to Kill.

 

TSC season websquares5 galaTenth Anniversary Season Gala

Saturday, April 7, 2018

Memphis Hilton 

6:00 pm

There is joyous fun to be had as we celebrate ten amazing years and look to the sparkling future.  Enjoy dinner and dessert, multiple entertainments and delights, a full cash bar, the return of our swanky Silent Auction, the most fun Live Auction in Memphis, and the opportunity to dance through the decades.  Crown the festivities with the knowledge that you are supporting TSC's far-reaching Education Program, which now teaches service veterans, Company d dancers, adjudicated youth in Hope Academy and Jail East, as well as thousands of students in classrooms every week in elementary, middle, and high schools in Shelby County.  Ten-seat tables are now available.  Single tickets are on sale now through February 28 for $100.  Single tickets purchased after February are $125.  Attire is semi-formal and cocktail.  

For more information and to purchase ten-ticket packages with exclusive benefits, please call Stephanie Shine at 901-759-0620.  

 

Education Programs

TSC has taught and performed in over 120 schools across seven states, reaching more than 130,000 students in the last nine years.  These programs and performances go into Memphis area and southeastern U.S. schools, businesses, and other events.

 

The Romeo and Juliet Project

TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project is now sold out for the year.  The Project is an in‐depth, four‐session residency that takes place in Memphis area high schools during a student's Freshman year.  For the 2017-18 school year, TSC will engage 13 schools serving over 4,200 students with hundreds of in-class playshops and 16 performances of the play.  The Project employs education activities that engage the entire Freshman population of a partner school.  Classrooms are transformed into playing spaces to change students' expectations and reception of the material. The residency begins with an intimate, 90‐minute performance of the play and continues 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 is quantifiable and remarkable.

High schools being served by the Project this year are White Station, Overton, Bartlett, Germantown, Kingsbury, Hamilton, Westwood, Ridgeway, East, Houston, Hope Academy, Craigmont, and MLK Prep.

TSC’s production of Romeo and Juliet is part of Shakespeare in American Communities, a national program of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest.

TSC also teaches adjudicated youth in lock-up at Jail East, the extraordinary dancers of Company d, and our military veterans through the Memphis V.A.

 

The Memphis and Southeast U.S. Tours:

Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet

September - December 2017

Both productions include a 10-minute actor talkback.  Cost: $850 first performance; $550 each additional same-day performance.

 

Southern Sirens and Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll

September 2017 - June 2018

These two-actor creations come to schools, centers, and offices to perform two fast, fun, informative shows that are appropriate for all ages and are highly entertaining for adults.  Performances are 45 minutes in length and have minimal technical needs.  Each show includes a post-show discussion with the actors.  Cost: $500.

In Southern Sirens the celebrated Southern prose of Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor are dramatized in this new 45-minute production.  Excerpts from stories and letters illuminate the ground-breaking styles of these short story writers as they tackle social truths with arresting humor.

 

Speak What We Feel: Shakespeare’s Radical Response to a Radical Time

September 2017 – June 2018

Nation-wide, it is a period of radical absolutism.  Unapologetic racism, anti-Semitism, and sexism among a population and leadership struggling with religion against science and fighting to prevent “strangers” from entering its borders.  The government is widely suspected of collusion with its enemies.  The late Elizabethan period is a difficult time in England.  And Shakespeare’s response is radical: Artistic Freedom.  Can this have any relevance to us now as 21st Century Americans?  Discover for yourself in this revealing 35-minute or 50-minute exploration of The Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Richard III, The Tempest, Sir Thomas More, Othello, and King Lear with four of Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s principal actors: Artistic Director Dan McCleary, Phil Darius Wallace, Jillian Barron, and Blake Currie.  Includes a 15-minute actor talkback.  Cost: $2,800/$3,200+.

 

Playshops

September 2017 – June 2018

TSC’s team of dynamic teaching artists assist teachers in moving William Shakespeare's stories and language off the page and into the hearts of students.  Shakespeare was (and is) meant to be played.  TSC invites students out of their chairs and into the world of these plays in fun, interactive playshops that inspire students to form a life-long love of language.  TSC welcomes all ages and abilities.  The cost of one 50-minute playshop with a TSC teaching artist is $150 for a maximum capacity of 30 students.

"On with my Speech"
Explore Wild and Whirling Words:  This fun and revealing playshop excites students about Shakespeare's language.

"The Play's the Thing"
You Pick the Play, We Help You!:  This playshop is the sure-fire way to excite students about the Shakespeare play of one’s choice.

"Give Signal to the Fight!"
Stage Violence in Shakespeare:  Give students permission to fight in class in a basic unarmed staged combat playshop.

"Holla, You Clown!"
Get Crazy Funny with Shakespeare:  Students explore playfulness, physicality, clowning, and how it manifests in Shakespeare's comedies. 

"Of Others' Voices"
Women and "Others" in Shakespeare:  Shakespeare broke dramatic rules in bringing the equal voices of women and "others" to the stage.  What happens when a human is marginalized because of their color, religion, or gender?  Invite students to investigate these questions on their feet.

"Fie, Painted Rhetoric!"
Speech and the Art of Persuasion in Shakespeare:  Students will explore how Shakespeare taught us passionate means to win our arguments, sell our points of view, and confidently speak to the public.

"Thy Poet doth Invent!"
Speak your Poetry Out Loud:  Combine students' poetic voices with creative movement.  Students are invited to write freely, harness the inner critic, and fall in love with literary devices.  This playshop can run 50 minutes or be booked as a 3-day residency.

For more information about TSC’s Education Program and to book your show or playshop today, please contact Carmen-maria Mandley, TSC Education Manager, by emailing education@tnshakespeare.org or by calling (901) 759-0620.

Box Office Information

General Admission tickets are on sale now, Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at TSC’s office located at 7950 Trinity Road Memphis, TN 38018; by calling 901-759-0604, or by going on-line to www.tnshakespeare.org (Twitter: @tnshakespeare).  

Performances are general admission; first come/first seated.  Free parking.  No refunds or exchanges.  Credit card charges require a $1 per-ticket fee.  Plays, casts, and schedules are subject to change with notice.