Our Past Productions
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.
TSC’s Volunteer Organization
Volunteer Extraordinaire Bernie McIlroy (left) presiding
over the Third Annual Gala's record-setting night with
Broadway composer Charles Strouse.
“What is the city but the people?”
At Shakespeare’s Globe Playhouse, the “groundlings” paid 10% of their day’s wages to stand in the sun, hands on the stage, eager to hear every play they could afford. They were the great energy and support of the theatre, and the actors loved them.
The Groundlings is a volunteer group dedicated to the year-round promotion, support, and encouragement of Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s not-for profit theatre and education programming in the Mid-South.
To provide the bridge between classical theatre/education and our community's yearning for self-expression, cultural ownership, and personal discovery.
The Groundlings vision necessitates dedication, dutifulness, and forward thinking. It is intended that we embrace this vision with the following values uppermost in our thoughts and actions:
- We believe that artistic expression uplifts the human spirit;
- We believe that innovation and creativity are a natural unfolding in every individual at every age;
- We believe in exploring, enjoying, and protecting our natural environment;
- We believe in leading productive lives in our community;
- We believe in extending kindness, helpfulness, and enthusiasm;
- We believe that personal responsibility and respect for others are integral to pursuing a common goal;
- We believe in open, honest, and regular communication;
- We believe that well-intentioned mistakes are opportunities to learn;
- We believe that present acknowledgment of personal accomplishment encourages future success;
- We believe that the successful interplay of volunteers' responsibilities ensures a comfortable atmosphere in which to dream, plan, and express.
Katharine Abbruzzese (Third Witch/Third Murderer/Macduff's son/Caithness; understudy for Lady Macduff) played Desdemona in TSC's production of Othello. She recently graduated from Vassar College where she studied psychology, literature, and drama while performing and directing in the Vassar College Shakespeare Troupe, Vassar Improv, and Philaletheis Society. Kate spent two summers at the critically-acclaimed Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, performing the roles of Helen in Cymbeline, Lychorida in Pericles, and Perdita in The Winter's Tale. She has since bounded across the nation to play Portia (Julius Caesar), Sylvia (Sylvia), and Hamlet in Shakespeare & Company's education tour of Hamlet.
Actors' Equity Association (AEA) was founded in 1913 as the first of the American actor unions. Equity's mission is to advance, promote, and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Today, Equity represents more than 40,000 actors, singers, dancers, and stage managers working in hundreds of theatres across the United States. Equity members are dedicated to working in the theatre as a profession, upholding the highest artistic standards. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions and provides a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans for its members. Through its agreement with Equity, Tennessee Shakespeare Company has committed to the fair treatment of the actors and stage managers employed in this production. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. For more information, visit www.actorsequity.org.
Annie Bellinger (Season Stage Manager) is excited to be back with Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Stage Manager of TSC's Dixon Gardens production and tour of Romeo and Juliet, she has also been the resident Assistant Stage Manager for the past three seasons. She spent the 2011 summer as Assistant Stage Manager at Theatre West Virginia. Other regional theatre companies include: Utah Shakespearean Festival, Orlando Shakespeare Theater, and The Warehouse Theater (South Carolina). Other credits include the Texas Shakespeare Festival, Dog and Pony Theatre Company (Chicago), and Emerald City Theatre Company (Chicago). She received her BA in Theatre Production from the University of Northern Iowa.
Travis Brazil* (Banquo/Doctor/Angus in Macbeth) began his classical training under Terry Hands with the Royal Shakespeare Company and has since performed in numerous Shakespeare plays from London to Los Angeles. He has served as fight choreographer and/or dramaturg for dozens of stage and screen productions. In addition to Shakespeare, Travis has appeared in numerous films and voice-over projects (mostly of the bad sci-fi variety). He has been featured internationally as the voice of Heineken and the Marlboro Man (Travis does not smoke or drink). Having just completed playing Stanley in A Streecar Named Desire in Nashville, Travis is delighted to make his Memphis debut with the dynamic Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Travis would like to dedicate this show to his wife Jennifer and his Daddeo Rod Rodgers - the true, bravest man in the world.
Catie Broadwater (Season Assistant Stage Manager) comes from Nashville, where she worked as a Stage Manager. Theatre credits include Studio Tenn's The Glass Menagerie, Chaffin's Barn Dinner Theatre's Sherlock Holmes and It's a Wonderful Wife, 3Ps Productions' John & Jen, Long Way Down, Parallel Lives, Oklahoma, Ramona Quimby, Baby, Spirit: The Authentic Story of the Bell Witch of Tennessee, and Nashville Shakespeare Festival's The Tempest. She was a production assistant intern for the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, where she was able to take part in Sweeney Todd, Moonlight and Magnolias, and Glengarry Glen Ross. She is a graduate of MTSU, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Theatre.
Bruce Bui (Costume Designer for Macbeth, Rebel Shakespeare and His Women, The Mid-South Schools Tour, The Tempest, The Glass Menagerie) is very excited to be a part of Tennessee Shakespeare's fourth season. Originally from Southern California, Bruce now lives in Memphis, and is going into his eleventh season as the Wardrobe Director and Resident Costume Designer for Ballet Memphis. His works can be seen regularly on the Orpheum stage and numerous other venues around the Mid-South, and has been praised as "dazzling" by Critical Dance Magazine and a "Master of Chiffon" by The Commercial Appeal. Bruce's other TSC shows include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet. He has also worked with companies such as The Western Stage (Always, Patsy Cline), Cabrillo Musical Theatre (Funny Girl), Santa Susanna Repertory Theatre (Shiloh, War of the World), and Kingsmen Shakespeare Company (As You Like It), among others. Some of his specialty garments can be seen on Mrs. Tennessee for Mrs. America 2005, At Home Tennessee Magazine's featured wedding issue 2007, and The Memphis Mystic Krew 2005 court. Bruce has also worked on several commercials in the Mid-South. When not working behind the scenes, Bruce enjoys acting on stage, and has been in numerous productions with Emerald Theatre Company. Bruce would like to thank his hard working costume staff for their dedication and talent.
Truman Capote (Author of A Christmas Memory) taught himself to read and write before entering his first year of formal education. He was born on September 30, 1924, as Truman Streckfus Persons, the son of 17-year-old Lillie Mae Faulk and salesman Archulus Persons. His parents divorced when he was four, and he was sent to Monroeville, Alabama, where, for the following four to five years, he was raised by his mother's relatives. He formed a fast bond with his mother's distant relative, Nanny Rumbley Faulk, whom Mr. Capote called "Sook." In Monroeville, he was a neighbor and friend of author Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird). Ms. Lee based the character Dill on the young Mr. Capote, who in turn sought and received great assistance from Ms. Lee as he wrote for four years his "non-fiction novel," In Cold Blood in 1966. Mr. Capote, who took the last name of his mother's second husband, gained recognition first as a short story writer during and after World War II. At age 24, he won the O. Henry Award for his story, "Shut a Final Door," which led to his first acclaimed novel, Other Voices, Other Rooms in 1948. Recognized as much for his unique, highly publicized character as his authentic prose style, Mr. Capote adapted work for the stage, wrote screenplays, adapted teleplays, and in 1958 published Breakfast at Tiffany's, which, along with his many novels, articles, and In Cold Blood, make a strong case for his being one of the most popular and gifted American writers of the second half of the 20th Century. Having decidedly transitioned into pop culture icon status in his later years, he also suffered greatly from depression. Mr. Capote died August 25, 1984, in Los Angeles of liver cancer.
Shaleen Cholera (Boatswain/Lord in The Tempest; Ensemble in the Mid-South Schools Tour; season understudy and production assistant) has worked with Tennessee Shakespeare Company since the fall of 2010 when he played Gratiano in Othello. Shaleen is a 2009 graduate of The University of The South, where he received his degree in Theatre Arts. Other Memphis acting credits: The Tempest and Twelfth Night. He also was part of The Living Theatre's production of Red Noir (world premiere) by Anne Waldman and Judith Malina. Shaleen was last seen in the films Love Choice and Bloody Homecoming (DAVED Productions). He would like to thank his family, friends, and colleagues.
Wolfe Coleman (Macduff in Macbeth; Male Ensemble in A Christmas Memory; Trinculo in The Tempest) is thrilled to be back with Tennessee Shakespeare Company for a second season. Recent credits include Romeo and Juliet (Romeo) at TSC; Winter's Tale (Clown), Romeo and Juliet (Paris), Measure for Measure (Lucio), and The Real Inspector Hound (Hound) at Shakespeare & Company, where he also has directed productions of Richard III and King Lear in the Fall Festival of Shakespeare for young actors. Wolfe is a writer of plays and screenplays, and is currently doing questionable and very slow work on a novel.
Johnny Lee Davenport* (Duncan/Porter/Menteith in Macbeth; Prospero in The Tempest), a veteran of stage and screen, appeared in TSC's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Othello. He has been a member of Shakespeare & Company for 20 years and has performed in 23 of the 37 plays in Shakespeare's canon. Johnny has performed for the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Canada, for the Second Age Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland, and for more than 50 regional theatres across the U.S., including Seattle's ACT; Chicago's Steppenwolf, Goodman, Shakespeare Repertory, and Court Theatres; Orlando Shakespeare; Yale Rep; and The Shakespeare Theatre in D.C. Johnny won Boston's 2011 Elliot Norton Award for his performance in Broke-ology (William King) with the Lyric Stage Company and received a 2010 IRNE nomination for his performance in Vengeance is the Lord's (Parcel Sytes) with the Huntington Theatre Company. Visit www.johnnyleedavenport.com to view his complete performance history and check for future shows.
Kyle E. Davis (Season Scenic Designer and Technical Director) is the owner and sole proprietor of KEDTech, a locally-based theatrical and custom scenery shop. Kyle has over 30 years of experience in the arts, spanning many technical areas. He is a working member of IATSE, the union of professional stagehands, motion picture technicians, and allied crafts. KEDTech began in 2001 to construct scenery for a new musical production in Branson, Missouri. Today, KEDTech continues to work with local companies in scenic construction for locally filmed commercials, independent films, corporate events, and theatrical productions.
Gwen Edwards* (Laura in The Glass Menagerie) is delighted to be making her debut with Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Gwen received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Emory & Henry College and also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, England. She has worked as a theatre professional across the country over the past decade, spending six years as a Resident Company Member at Barter Theatre in Abingdon, Virginia. Favorite roles include Luisa (The Fantasticks), Catherine Simms (The Foreigner), Dorothy (The Wizard of Oz), Wendy (Peter Pan), and The Magic Hen (Jack & the Beanstalk). Gwen would like to thank Hardy for his guidance, her family and friends for their never-ending love and support, and Omie for being the best dog ever.
Christie Fair (Assistant Company/Box Office/House Manager) comes to TSC as a student at the University of Memphis, where she majors in mathematics and physics. Christie graduated high school with honors for high scholastic achievement and recognition for her work in a biomedical technology dual enrollment program. She hopes to pursue graduate studies in astrophysics at a program in Norway, at the University of Oslo, after earning her bachelor of sciences in 2012. With a background in violin performance and an interest in theatre, Christie began as a volunteer at TSC, a role she continues to fill by serving on the Board of the Groundlings as college liaison and secretary.
Jamie Farmer* (Second Witch/Second Murderer/Seyton in Macbeth) has performed most recently on regional stages as Luciana in A Comedy of Errors with the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival; Titania in Robin Goodfellow, Atalanta/Arachne/Medea in Jason and the Golden Fleece, Charlotte in Charlotte's Web, Margot in The Diary of Anne Frank, Rose in Still Life with Iris, Elizabeth in Frankenstein, and Lady Kendal in The Reluctant Dragon with the Nashville Children's Theatre; Izzy in Rabbit Hole and Mother/Helen in A Christmas Story with Tennessee Repertory Theatre; and Virgilia in Coriolanus with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Some of her favorite national and international credits include Hermione in The Winter's Tale, Ophelia in Hamlet, Cordelia in King Lear, Juliet in Romeo and Juliet, Tourvel in Les Liasons Dangereuses, Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal, and Laura in The Glass Menagerie. She is a graduate of The National Shakespeare Conservatory and The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. She is very happy to be making her Tennessee Shakespeare Company debut, and would like to thank Dan, her family, her theatre family, and her husband for taking such good care of their four-legged children while she is away.
Neil Freeman (Shakespeare Text Consultant) is a teacher, director, text coach, and actor. He is the man behind the acclaimed First Folio editions published by Applause and utilized across the globe. Currently Associate Professor Emeritus (of Theatre) at the University of British Columbia in Canada, he is also a Master Teacher with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, and Text Consultant to several other U.S. and Canadian theatres. His range of teaching, coaching, and directing ranges from the fifteen-year-olds in youth companies to high school teachers, through university level students (undergraduate and graduate in both liberal arts and the top-ranked professional training schools) to professional theatre companies and individual actors.
David Goldstein (Buddy in A Christmas Memory) would like to thank Tennessee Shakespeare Company and director Stephanie Shine for bringing him out for his TSC debut. David is a long time resident of Seattle, WA, where he has performed at numerous theatres, including Seattle Repertory Theatre (The Three Musketeers), Seattle Shakespeare Company (A Comedy of Errors directed by Stephanie Shine, The Servant of Two Masters directed by Dan McCleary), Seattle Children's Theater (Jackie and Me, The NeverendingStory), Book-It Repertory Theatre (A Confederacy of Dunces, Giant, Travels With Charley), Strawberry Theatre Workshop (The Water Engine, Accidental Death of an Anarchist, 14/48, Monkey Wrench Puppet Lab, and others.) Favorite roles include 10-year-old Joey Stoshack in Jackie and Me, Angelo Mancuso in A Confederacy of Dunces, Bottom in Midsummer's Night's Dream, and Charley, the poodle, in Travels with Charley. His voice can be heard in a number of commercials and video games produced in Seattle. He is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts.
Quinton Guyton (Caliban in The Tempest) is thrilled to be making his debut at Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Originally from Pontiac, Michigan, Quinton attended the acting conservatory at DePaul University in Chicago. Some of his favorite roles include Michael in Tick, Tick...Boom! at Pegasus Players (BTAA nomination for Best Actor in a Musical), Benny in Rent! at NightBlue Theatre, Ben Blackman in Musical of the Living Dead at Cowardly Scarecrow, and Father in The Yellow Boat at Independent Theatre. A composer and playwright as well, Quinton is currently working on his second workshop of his new musical, Map's Cafe. Quinton would like to thank the Lord above for his blessings and guiding him in the right direction. For more information on Quinton and his upcoming shows, follow him @QuintonGuyton or Mapscafethemusical.com.
Amelia Hammond (Miranda in The Tempest) hails from Washington, D.C. and is thrilled to be making her Tennessee Shakespeare Company debut. Regional credits include: As You Like It (Celia) with Virginia Shakespeare Festival, The Taming of the Shrew (Bianca) and Othello (Bianca) with Houston Shakespeare Festival, and Pericles (Marina) and The Servant of Two Masters (Clarice) with Georgia Shakespeare. Amelia received her MFA from the University of Houston, BA from Coastal Carolina University, and trained with the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.
Eric T. Haugen (Lighting Designer for Macbeth, The Tempest, The Glass Menagerie) is thrilled to be working once more with the Tennessee Shakespeare Company. Recent work includes designs for TSC's 2011 production of Romeo and Juliet as well as their 2009 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream. Eric has also recently completed designs for South Pacific at the Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival and A Midsummer Night's Dream and Pride and Prejudice at the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre. His theatrical lighting has been seen Off-Broadway and in regional theatres around the country. Based in Orlando, FL, Eric owns a themed entertainment lighting design firm, Luminous Design Studios. In this capacity, he is currently working on several themed attraction projects overseas and in the United States.
Nick Jared (Season production assistant), a native of Portland, TN, is a graduate of Lambuth University, where he earned his BA in English and became involved in theatre. Currently pursuing an MA in English Literature, he also works in theatrical rigging and is in the process of writing a volume of poetry.
Katherine Jett (Female Ensemble in A Christmas Memory) is delighted to be making her Tennessee Shakespeare Company debut. She hails from Nashville, TN, and recently completed a BFA in theatre from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, WA. Earlier this year, she appeared as Anne Page and John Rugby in Seattle Shakespeare Company's production of The Merry Wives of Windsor. Prior to her move to Seattle, she spent two years performing with the Renaissance Repertory Company in Dickson, TN. She has also apprenticed at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.
Ryan Kathman (Gentleman Caller in The Glass Menagerie) makes his Tennessee Shakespeare Company debut after returning to Memphis in 2010. Locally, he has worked with Playhouse on the Square (The 39 Steps), Theatre Memphis (Amadeus and Glengarry Glen Ross), and Germantown Community Theatre (directing The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe and How the Other Half Loves). Currently teaching Theatre and English at St. Benedict at Auburndale High School, Ryan has worked as an actor, director, playwright, teacher, and fight choreographer in Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, and now Tennessee. Films include Vipers in the Grass (with Dean Winters) and Election (with Reese Witherspoon). Thanks to Dan and company for this opportunity, and special thanks to Jenny, Gracie, and George.
Michael Khanlarian (Ross and understudy for Macduff in Macbeth; Ensemble in Rebel Shakespeare and His Women; Ensemble in the Mid-South Schools Tour; Gonzalo in The Tempest) is a founding member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company and returns after appearing most recently as Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet. Michael has worked as a performer, production assistant, and videographer for TSC. A graduate of the University of Memphis, he has been seen on the college stage in Einstein's Dreams (Ostrander Award) and The Diviners. During his time at the University of Memphis, Michael was selected to travel abroad to Arezzo, Italy, to study at the Academia dell'Arte where he was trained in Commedia. Some of his other credits include The Tempest (Prospero/Trinculo), Titus Andronicus (Saturnine), Othello (Iago), and Craig Brewer's $5 Cover. Michael is currently on a year-long tour with Voices of the South in Wild Legacy, based on the book Two in the Far North by Mardy Murie. This piece has been commissioned by U.S. Fish and Wildlife to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Shawn Knight* (Stephano in The Tempest) is thrilled to be making his Tennessee Shakespeare Company debut. An Actors' Equity member based in Nashville, Shawn has performed at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Synchronicity (Atlanta), and the Nashville Children's Theatre, ranked by TIME magazine as one of the five best theatres for young audiences in the country. Shawn is also a playwright of two one-man shows based on the lives of George Gershwin and Cole Porter, several interactive murder-mysteries, and Henson, his first full-length play, developed at the Tennessee Repertory Theatre's Ingram New Works Lab under the mentorship of Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner, John Patrick Shanley. Shawn's favorite roles include Mozart in Amadeus, Horton the Elephant in Seussical, Wilbur in Charlotte's Web, and Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night.
Slade Kyle (Malcolm in Macbeth; Ensemble in the Mid-South Schools Tour; Tom in The Glass Menagerie; Season Fight Choreographer) is a TSC founding company member, Resident Artist, and Education Manager. Previous TSC credits: Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio/Prince/Gregory/Friar John, Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Themes from a Midsummer Night with IRIS Orchestra (Puck), Othello (Fight Director, Prelude Scene Director), Julius Caesar (Prelude Scene Director), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Puck, Fight Director), As You Like It (Oliver, Fight Choreographer). Slade received his BFA from the University of Memphis, focusing on Physical Theatre and Theatre Pedagogy. A former SEWA Professional Wrestler, Slade serves as TSC's resident Fight Director.
David Mitchell (Old Man in Macbeth) is a native Memphian, raised in a family with his three brothers and four sisters. He is the father of three children and presently resides with his youngest son of age 17. He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Center for the Health Sciences and works as a Medical Technologist. His interests over the years have included creative writing, music, and oil painting. His introduction to the stage with TSC continues his pursuit to enrich his life through participation in the arts.
Lindsay Mitchell (Company/Box Office/House Manager) comes to TSC from The Young Americans program, where she worked as an educator and performer to support music in schools throughout the U.S. and Germany. She also has worked as Office Manager, Stage Manager, and Assistant Director for the Jackson Theatre Guild; Stage Manager for Harrell Theatre; and is the founder of the community-based, non-profit Downtown Theatrical Productions in Jackson.
Tony Molina, Jr.* (title role in Macbeth; Alonso in The Tempest) is a founding company member of TSC, having performed in As You Like It (Duke Frederick, Duke Senior), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Bottom), Othello (Cassio), and most recently in Themes from a Midsummer Night with IRIS Orchestra (Bottom). Tony is from New Orleans and has been seen in over 15 productions there, including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Angels in America: Parts One and Two, As I Lay Dying, Gloria Duplex, and A Confederacy of Dunces. Tulane Shakespeare Festival: title roles in Othello and Hamlet, as well as appearing in Twelfth Night, The Winter's Tale, Macbeth, and Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio). Colorado Shakespeare Festival: Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), Macbeth (Banquo), and Hamlet (Claudius). Shakespeare & Company: Tina Packer's experimental production of Othello, Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Antony and Cleopatra, As You Like It, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film: In the Electric Mist (with Tommy Lee Jones).
Vanessa Morosco* (Lady Macbeth in Macbeth), who, despite being the tallest actress working today, was recently murdered (Duchess, The Duchess of Malfi), poisoned (Hippolyta, ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore), and subjected to impolite tea (Gwendolyn, The Importance of Being Earnest) all at the American Shakespeare Center's Blackfriars Playhouse. She was also secretly pregnant (Helena in All's Well That Ends Well). Looking to expand her repertoire beyond death, tea, and labor, she played the Courtesan in The Comedy of Errors... twice. Desperate to speak in prose, she haunted one husband (Blithe Spirit) and froze to death a second (The Smellof the Kill), both at Wayside Theatre. Inching toward civility, she appeared in The Rover (New York Classical Theatre), Way of the World (Yale Rep), and School for Scandal (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre). Seeking solace in southern hospitality at TSC, she discovered that women can rule the world: (Cassius in Julius Caesar), yet don't (Emilia in Othello), but sometimes they get the boy (Helena in A Midsummer Night'sDream). Thankfully, for each production's cast, crew, and artistic team (not to mention the audience), she has a Master's Degree in Ethics from Yale University. www.vanessamorosco.com
Genesis Oliver Regional Credits: Map of Heaven, 39 Steps, A Christmas Carol at Denver Center Theatre Company; Dracula, Game On, Two Or A Carload, The Greekest of Tragedies at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Othello at Seattle Shakespeare Company; Graduate of the National Theatre Conservatory (MFA); NTC credits include: As You Like It, Ah Wilderness, Angels In America, Tis Pity She's a Whore and Man and Superman.
Laura Liz Perloe (Lady Macduff, understudy for Lady Macbeth in Macbeth), originally from Atlanta, is beyond excited to be back south making her TSC debut! Before moving to LA, Laura performed in various, unique Off-Broadway and Fringe Festival shows in New York, including Fleet Week: The Musical (Best Musical @ Fringe) and Everybody Dies at the Robert Moss Theatre. Laura was one of 20 actors featured in Backstage, alongside Broadway actors Lauren Ambrose, Deanna Dunagan, Alison Pill, and others, as giving one of the best performances of the year (out of over 700 shows reviewed) for her role in Hail Satan at the Bleecker Street Theatre. Regional: The Weathervane Theatre (Floyd Collins, Cabaret, Music Man) and New London Barn Playhouse (Oklahoma, Gypsy, Oliver). Film: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, with Keira Knightley and Steve Carell. TV: Fringe, True Jackson, and As the World Turns. Commercials: Sony w/ Justin Timberlake, Mac w/ Justin Long, Corona, Dove, and others. Laura has studied at Shakespeare & Company and under Kristin Linklater at the Linklater Center and as a demo student in her certification workshop. Scene Study: Wynn Handman. BFA: Syracuse University.
Frank Peterson (Season production assistant and board operator) is glad to be back for his second season with TSC. Frank recently graduated from the University of Memphis, receiving a BFA in lighting and sound technology. His TSC credits include Othello and Romeo and Juliet. Other credits include The Drowsy Chaperone (The Harrell), The Sound of Music, Curtains, Cabaret, Forbidden Broadway, and La Cage aux Folles (Theater Memphis). Frank has also worked with musical acts The Spin Doctors, 38 Special, and Diamond Rio.
David Rhea (Fleance in Macbeth) is twelve years old and attends 6th grade at Grace St. Luke's Episcopal School. David's credits include Oliver! (workhouse boy) at Playhouse on the Square, The Wiz as (ToTo) at Bartlett Performing Arts Community Theatre, and Suessical (JoJo) at his school production in the spring of 2011. His theatrical training comes from the wonderful Summer Youth Conservatory at Playhouse on the Square, numerous acting workshops, and Tennessee Shakespeare Company's summer camp, The Play's the Thing. Special thanks to my mother, who is always driving, always waiting, and always supportive. Also, special thanks to Grace Saint Luke's Episcopal School for being the best school for a young serious actor.
JJ Rodgers* (First Witch/First Murderer/Gentlewoman/Messenger in Macbeth) is very pleased to be making her Memphis debut having just finished The Comedy of Errors (Adriana) with the Tennessee Shakespeare Festival. A graduate of the University of Southern California, Los Angeles credits include Gunmetal Blues with the Ensemble Theatre of Santa Barbara, Ginger and Me (Ginger Rogers in the world premiere musical), Scream Queens (original cast member), Guys and Dolls (Adelaide), and The Little Mermaid (Sea Witch). Her ten years with the Kingsmen Shakespeare Festival included King Lear (Goneril), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Mistress Ford), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Helena), Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice), and The Two Gentlemen of Verona (Julia), Numerous Los Angeles TV and film credits include Two and a Half Men, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Amazon Warrior, and Vampire Time Travelers. She would like to thank her talented, inspiring, and handsome husband, Travis, for continuing to be her biggest fan.
William Shakespeare (Playwright) was probably a lot like you, regardless of your age. He was also a Revolutionary. He was born into an Age of alarming innovation and discovery in every field of study: voyage, religion, printing, science, commerce, history, disaster, and triumph. Just like you. There was revolution all around him, and for us the occurrences of financial tumult, widespread poverty, victory and defeat overseas, scientific discovery, natural catastrophe, a warming planet, an increasingly intelligent world due to electronic information-sharing, and women beginning to share corporate and political leadership all create a similar Age of Renaissance. William was born into an Age of religious ambivalence, often with accompanying violence, and he received the usual education for a boy of the Age, until he as 12 years old. He married an older woman, perhaps because they were pregnant first. And there are two periods in his early adult life that we know very little about. When he emerges in documentation, he is a player and a writer. But he doesn't write like the others around him. He writes, using known stories, through the rhythm of his heart. You can hear it in his verse lines. He began to write his life into his plays: when his son Hamnet and father die, there is Hamlet; after his mother dies and England's riots create domestic war, there is Coriolanus; after he falls in love with a dark-haired woman in the city, there are the Sonnets to his Dark Lady and all of his Rosalinds in As You Like It and Romeo and Juliet and Love's Labor's Lost; and when his daughters come of age, there are his final plays in which the daughters redeem their fathers. It is said of William that he created the human being, which is to say he developed character on stage with psychological underpinnings and fragile grace resulting in landmark joys or the end of lives. Like a genuine poet, he forces no answers upon us. He lends us timeless questions. William was a Revolutionary because he dared to question his life in a public forum, and he discovered that which is most personal is shared by us all. It is collectively held and needs to be articulated and felt for the health of a community. In so doing, William redefined the function of theatre. His Age compelled and inspired him, just as our own Age can do the same for us.
Allison Standley Allison, a Seattle, Washington actor, is delighted to once again be working with the marvelous Ms. Shine-McCleary after previously playing Polly in The Three Penny Opera and Lady Mortimer in Henry IV pt. I&II at Seattle Shakespeare Company. Favorite Seattle credits include Reasons to be Pretty (Carly), Dog sees God (Tricia), Company (Marta). Regional credits include Hairspray (Amber), Noises Off (Brooke). Allison preformed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival premiering The Grind Show which she co-wrote during her time at the University of Washington where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in theatre.
Gabriel Vaughan* (Sebastian in The Tempest) is a founding member of TSC, playing Silvius in the Company's inaugural production of As You Like It. Other TSC credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream and Themes from a Midsummer Night in collaboration with IRIS Orchestra. Favorite New York City theatre credits include: Ross, House of Desires, and The Shoemaker's Holiday with The Storm Theatre; Members of the Tribe with Act Out Productions; Present Tense at EST; and The Winter's Tale with Theater 1010. Favorite regional theatre credits include: Hamlet (Hamlet) with American Stage Theatre Company; King John, A Tanglewood Tale, and Much Ado About Nothing with Shakespeare & Company; Twelfth Night with The Two-Bit Players; Romeo and Juliet with Princeton Rep; and Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors with the Maine Shakespeare Festival. Favorite film credits include Chasing Butterflies and Ripped! with Ma & Pa Pictures, Dear Edward with Noisy Town Pictures, Meditations from North America with Lucky Productions, and Mona Lisa Smile.
Thomas Lanier Williams (Playwright of The Glass Menagerie) would have celebrated his 100th birthday in 2011. Since he cannot, many regional theatre producers who feel indebted to him and his works have celebrated for him. A prolific American writer in multiple forms, Thomas Lanier Williams, like William Shakespeare, melded his personal story with those of poetic classics to create an authentic lyricism on stage at once haunting and healing. Mr. Williams was born on March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. The second of three children, his family life was full of tension, travel, ostracism, and select, intense familial adoration. From New Orleans to Memphis to St. Louis to Chicago, he found writing, particularly in his journal and letters, to be an outlet for inquiry and self-discovery. Following college and failing to find work in Chicago, he moved to New Orleans, changed his first name to the state in which his father was born, and received a $1,000 Rockefeller grant to write a play (Battle of Angels), which premiered in Boston. In 1944, The Glass Menagerie opened in Chicago and then burst onto Broadway a year later, winning the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play. Mr. Williams followed up his first major critical success with several other Broadway hits, including such plays as A Streetcar Named Desire, Summer and Smoke, Rose Tattoo, and Camino Real. He received his first Pulitzer Prize in 1948 for A Streetcar Named Desire and his second in 1955 for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, followed by Orpheus Descending and Night of the Iguana. He battled depression throughout most of his life, made more violent by events including the health deterioration of his beloved sister Rose and the premature death of his lover. On February 24, 1983, Tennessee Williams died in New York City. In addition to 25 full-length plays, Mr. Williams produced dozens of short plays and screenplays, two novels, a novella, 60 short stories, over 100 poems, and an autobiography. As the Blues are uniquely American through the musicians of the South, so, too, is Lyrical Drama through the pen and life of Tennessee Williams.
* Member of Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Mangers in the United States.
+ Member of The Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.
William Shakespeare deserves a vital, dynamic home in the Mid-South. Tennessee deserves a classical theatre of regional and national significance. And our part of the state deserves the national opportunity to showcase its long-standing commitment to the arts, education, and southern literary culture.
Germantown/Memphis and the greater Mid-South region should be home to the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, a not-for-profit classical theatre company committed to:
- the vibrant performance of Shakespeare’s plays outdoors
- the creation of innovative education and training programming for students and professionals of all ages
- the performance of signature and Southern playwrights indoors
- a new play festival for southern writers of all ages
WKNO and TSC hosting costume exhibit and documentary screening
WKNO-TV/FM and Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC) are inviting the public to the WKNO Digital Media Center on Sunday, January 20 at 2:00 p.m. for a one-hour documentary viewing and unveiling of a new Shakespearean costume exhibit, curated by TSC designer Bruce Bui. The exhibit and screening accompany the upcoming PBS series Shakespeare Uncovered. Tickets are free but limited, and can be reserved at wkno.org.