The Inaugural Showcase Memphis

Lineup of Developing Musical Readings:


Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical

Midsummer Night

The Oliver Experiment



Showplace Memphis LogoAs part of Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s first year-round season, the development of three exciting new musicals launches on the University of Memphis Mainstage this summer with Showplace Memphis: Musical Works in Progress.

Sponsored by one of Broadway’s elite musical licensing companies, Theatrical Rights Worldwide (TRW) and President/CEO Steve Spiegel, based in New York City, Showplace Memphis partners TSC and the University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance in a very special collaboration that could be the next creative stage for these musicals en route to full productions in New York and on the regional theatre circuit across the U.S.

TRW has selected three musical scripts in various stages of development to be presented to Memphis audiences as professional, Actors’ Equity Association “Readings.”  TSC has cast the musicals from around the country with a number of Broadway performers. 

Each of the shows’ creators will collaborate and rehearse in Memphis for ten days leading up to each reading.  Each musical will be played and sung in its entirety and with musical accompaniment on the U of M’s luxurious Mainstage, located at 3745 Central Avenue in Memphis.  No other design elements (scenic/costumes/lights) will be integrated.

Audiences will have an opportunity to speak with the actors and creators of each musical immediately following each Reading.  Audiences also will inform each production by completing an audience survey that will help each creative team in future development phases.

Showcase Memphis Schedule of Musical Readings:


Tenderly, The Rosemary Clooney Musical

based on the life of Rosemary Clooney

by Janet Yates Vogt and Mark Freidman

directed by Kent Nicholson

musical direction by Matt Castle

Title Sponsors: Pat and Thane Smith

Reading: Saturday, May 23 at 7:00 pm

University of Memphis Theatre Building Mainstage

The story of Rosemary Clooney, America's favorite girl singer, is brought to life in this exhilarating and inspiring new musical biography.  Her journey starts with her humble Midwest childhood and rise to Hollywood stardom, and continues beyond battles with depression to a triumphant comeback.  Through it all, she topped the charts for nearly five decades with signature songs.  Tenderly offers a remarkably personal and poignant picture of the woman whose unparalleled talent and unbridled personality made her a legend.

The show, which received rave reviews and a double-extension of its run in its second incarnation at Cincinnati Playhouse earlier this year, features 17 of Ms. Clooney’s signature hits, including “Hey There (you with the stars in your eyes),” “Tenderly,” and “Come On-A My House.”

Tenderly returns its popular Cincinnati cast members, Michael Marotta and Susan Haefner (Broadway’s State Fair, Thoroughly Modern Millie, and 42nd Street).  


Midsummer Night

a musical loosely adapted from William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream

with book, music and new lyrics by Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda

additional music by Gene Lewin

adaptation conceived and directed by Janet Roston

musical direction by Ryan O’Connell

Reading: Saturday, June 27 at 7:00 pm

University of Memphis Theatre Building Mainstage

What if the madness of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream took place at a Rock Festival?  Songwriters Brendan Milburn and Valerie Vigoda (Striking 12, Sleeping Beauty Wakes) join with co-creator/director Janet Roston for a new take on Shakespeare’s beloved comedy.  It’s a rollicking collision of rock music, iambic pentameter and hipsters – where rock stars Titania and Oberon quarrel, festival assistant Puck creates havoc, and roadie Bottom gets a chance to shine.  Live music, glow sticks, and power chords!

The cast of eleven singers from Los Angeles, NYC, and Memphis includes Katrina Lenk (Titania) from Broadway’s Once and Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark.


The Oliver Experiment

book and lyrics by Jeremy Desmon

music by Jeff Thomson

directed by Jen Bender

Reading: Saturday, August 15 at 7:00 pm

University of Memphis Theatre Building Mainstage

What if your entire life were a Broadway musical… and you had no clue?

Unbeknownst to Ollie, he is the beloved star of The Oliver Experiment — “Now in its 19thyear!” — a fanciful piece of theatre magic concocted by his over-protective father to give his son a life of music and innocence and Happily-Ever-Afters.  With its colorful cast and ever-evolving storylines, the magnificent secret is maintained at all costs…until the night Ollie notices a beautiful, young understudy in the chorus.  Writers Thomson and Desmon (Pump Up The Volume) explore the lengths we go to in order to protect the ones we love in this funny, tuneful, and theatrical coming-of-age story.


Ticket Information

All readings are general admission; first come/first seated.  General Admission tickets are just $15 and are on sale now.  Students 22 and younger and Seniors 62 and older receive discounted $10 tickets.

Each performance will be presented inside on the Mainstage at the University of Memphis Theatre Building, which is located on the main campus at 3745 Central Avenue in Memphis, TN.

The TSC Box Office inside the University of Memphis Theatre Building will begin selling tickets one hour prior to each performance on-site.  Free parking is available in the Central Avenue parking lot, beginning at 7:00 pm, directly across from the U of M Theatre Building.  No refunds.  Casts and titles are subject to change.

Theatrical Rights Worldwide 

TRW represents 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 worldwide.  TRW licenses productions to a broad range of customers, from schools to Broadway.  As agents for the authors, TRW grants live stage production rights and provides performance and rehearsal materials and tools to enhance the actor, musician, and audience experience.  Its 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.  Its internationally-popular collection also includes Jersey BoysMonty Python’s Spamalot, which won the Tony for Best Musical, Kander and Ebb's CurtainsThe Color Purple, and recent releases Ghost the Musical, Big Fish, and The Addams Family.


U of M Department of Theatre & Dance

The University of Memphis' Department of Theatre & Dance offers both the BFA and MFA degrees in theatre and is successfully training our next generation of theatre artists. The Department mounts a full season of plays and dance concerts in a variety of performance venues, large and small.  With an emphasis on diversity and a breadth of experience only the performing arts can provide, the Department of Theatre & Dance provides audiences with the best in local theatre and dance.  Upcoming productions feature a delightful mix of comedy and drama, music and dance.  For more information: