TSC’s Schools Tour Hits the Road Near and Far with New Play: Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits
(October 23, 2012) – Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s expanding Education Program this week launches its 2012-13 Schools Tour throughout the Memphis area, across the state, and into North Carolina with its newly conceived production of Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits.
Created and directed by TSC Education Director Stephanie Shine, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits is a fast-paced and surprising tour through the playwright’s most famous and exciting plays, scenes, characters, and self-created words that we speak every day.
The piece is adaptable both to physical school spaces and student age ranges, playing to young audiences from third grade through twelfth grade in school classrooms, cafeterias, and theatres.
The tour is taking school bookings now through mid-April 2013, and is made possible by individual contributions to TSC’s Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund. More than 1,300 students in Tennessee and North Carolina currently are booked to experience the tour, which also includes a post-show actor talkback and options for additional playshops with the students.
“Greatest Hits engages and applauds its audience by illuminating the phrases, words, stories, characters, and feelings that we all know and that connect us, thanks to Shakespeare,” says Shine. “It is both exciting and empowering for people of all ages to realize how much Shakespeare they know and how much Shakespeare they quote every day. It brings us closer to each other in a shared experience and motivates us to learn more. And we have fun together in the process!”
The play features scenes and speeches from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Henry V, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Hamlet, Macbeth, Julius Caesar, Henry VI part 1, The Taming of the Shrew, Twelfth Night, The Tempest, Richard III, The Merchant of Venice, and the Sonnets.
Actors Amelia Hammond and Trevor Pittinger, who take on more than 20 roles between them in the show, are professional actor-teachers from Washington, D.C. and New York City working in TSC’s inaugural Journeyman Program. Amelia has been seen in TSC’s productions of The Tempest and Complete Works, and both actors will perform in the upcoming It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play at the Dixon Gallery in December.
About TSC’s Education Program
The mission of Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Education program is to move the arts closer to the center of every child’s learning experience. This is achieved through TSC’s student matinees, accompanying study guides, and actor talk-backs; interactive playshops; touring productions; summer camps; residencies; Free Will Kids’ Nights; High School Prelude Scenes; and active participation in theatre and education conferences.
Since 2007, TSC has achieved 100,000 student/Shakespeare interactions through these activities. These interactions represent 70 Memphis City, Shelby County, Home, and Charter schools and schools in Mississippi and Washington. In FY12, TSC engaged 46 Memphis-area schools in its professional, classical education programming. Students under 19 years of age also made up over one-half of TSC’s patrons this past year.
TSC’s program sponsors and partners include the Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, FedEx Corporation, the Dunbar Abston Fund for Sustainable Excellence, Nancy and Dan Copp, Margaret and Dr. Owen B. Tabor and family, Jack and Sandra Jones, Milton T. Schaeffer, Audrey L. Taylor (d. 2012), City of Germantown, Germantown Performing Arts Centre, and Commercial Appeal Media.