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Tennessee Shakespeare Company
Embraces the Miracles of the Season with
All’s Well That Ends Well
at Dixon Gallery & Gardens

November 18, 2015 (Memphis, TN) – – Embracing the joy and mystery of the season, Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s fairy tale staging of William Shakespeare’s heroic comedy All’s Well That Ends Well continues its eighth performance season: Celebration 400.

12.10.15All’s Well That Ends Well will run December 10-20 in Dixon Gallery & Gardens’ Winegardner Auditorium and will honor the company’s founding Board member and namesake of its Education Fund, Mrs. Barbara B. Apperson.

The production is sponsored by Virginia Apperson and Pete Williams III, Chip and Brooke Apperson, John and Lacy Apperson, Margaret and Owen Tabor, Rose M. Johnston, John and Katherine Dobbs, and Independent Bank.

Directed by TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary (most recently at the Dixon: Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, and Hamlet), All’s Well That Ends Well is a seasonal fairy tale of faith, forgiveness, and love in this production that will gravitate toward toward the play’s mysticism.  Young Helena goes on a hero’s quest in search of love; and, armed with the healing power of her deceased father, she conceives of an astonishing plan that breathes life into all around her and wins the heart of the boy.

All’s Well That Ends Well features a professional, Equity ensemble from around the country and Memphis. 

Returning to TSC are Isaac Anderson* (Romeo and Juliet) as Parolles, Brian Sheppard* (Hamlet, The Taming of the Shrew) as Lavatch, Stuart Heyman (As You Like It, Othello, The Taming of the Shrew) as LaFew, Joey Shaw* (Romeo and Juliet) as the King, Stephanie Shine* as Countess, and Michael Khanlarian (As You Like It, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Twelfth Night) as Dumaine I.

New to the company this season are Lydia Barnett-Mulligan* as Helena, Bradley Karel as Bertram, Jeanna Juleson as the Widow, Caitlin McWethy as Diana, and Heather Roberts as Dumaine II.

The design team includes Memphians Rebecca Bailey Klepko (costumes), Brian Ruggaber (scenic and properties), Jeremy Allen Fisher (lighting), and Barry Gilmore (music arranger/live hammered dulcimer and strings).  The stage manager is Melissa A. Nathan*, with assistant Ashley J. Nickas.

Inspired by the artwork of Maxfield Parrish, the production features a neo-classical design found only in the imagination, including flowing costumes of era-less antiquity that combine to create a time of both structured and earthly beauty.

The story launches itself from the recent deaths of two fathers, prompting the King of France to take the only son (Bertram) of one of the fathers as royal ward in his Parisian court.  Six months earlier, the only daughter (Helena) of a famous physician is made ward to Bertram’s mother (the Countess) when her father dies.  The two teenagers, Bertram and Helena, have grown up and lived together, prompting both, though Helena with far greater articulation, to fall in love with each other. 

The King is dying of a fistula, and he has recently waived off all doctors in accepting his death.  Helena, with the Countess’ admittance, flies to the Court to heal the King with her father’s mystical powers.  In so doing, she receives whatever she wishes from the King.  She chooses for a husband Bertram, who is made to marry Helena against his spoken wish.  Angered at being made to marry while a minor and also forced to stay home from the Florentine wars, Bertram and his strutting braggart of a friend Parolles escape to the battlefields and Italian women, leaving behind what would seem on the surface to be an unbreakable riddle for Helena to solve if she ever hopes of gaining him as a husband.

Journeying to Italy by herself and in disguise, employing newfound confederates Diana and her mother there, manipulating a bed trick with Bertram and announcing her own false death, Helena sets the stage for a final act before a confused King that blossoms with rebirth and presages the redemption of Shakespeare’s Winter’s Tale.

The nucleus of the story is taken from a nearly 300-year-old Italian book of novellas titled The Decameron by Boccaccio.  He creates a book that treats on multiple aspects of love as written by seven young women and three young men over ten days while in seclusion outside Florence to escape the plague.  Shakespeare, however, invents most of the supporting characters who lend both gravitas and comedy to the main theme, and, in the case of Parolles, a singular sub-plot of shame and redemption.

Read more: TSC Embraces the Miracles of the Season with All’s Well That Ends Well

Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s Eighth Season Continues with 400: The Shakespeare Feast

Six Shakespeare Readings and Elegant Themed Dinners at The Memphis Hunt & Polo Club

pic-400Series CCSquare1(Memphis, TN, October 5, 2015) – – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre, commemorates the 400th anniversary year of William Shakespeare’s passing with 400: The Shakespeare Feast – its first-ever Shakespeare reading series with elegant, themed dinners from October 22 through November 8.

Presented at the festive, privately-owned Memphis Hunt and Polo Club in East Memphis and hosted by members Owen and Margaret Tabor, 400 features six three-hour events that begin with a special buffet dinner/brunch and cash bar in the dining room and conclude in the intimate ballroom with six different Shakespeare play readings. 

The readings will feature full casts of TSC company actors and an abbreviated script of two hours or less. The selected plays have never before been produced by TSC.

The dinner and brunch buffet menus for each of the six plays will be inspired by each play’s geography and character (Italian, French countryside, royal English, Falstaffian cornucopia, and elegant picnic).

Tickets are $57 and include the reading, dinner/brunch buffet, beverages, and gratuity.  The cash bar is not included in the ticket price.

“These will be very fun and relatively brief evenings or early Sunday afternoons marrying the wooded beauty of the Polo Club with the intimacy of salon Shakespeare plays that we love together with themed Elizabethan menus prepared only the way the Hunt & Polo Club can,” says producing artistic director Dan McCleary.  “It also gives us an opportunity to reflect on why William Shakespeare remains vital to our human development and why TSC was created in the Memphis area for adults and children alike.”

400 is made possible by the Miriam and Ernest Kelly Charitable Fund in memory of Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Herstein, and by Pat and Ernest Kelly in memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Joseph Casserly.

TSC’s Season Sponsors include Arts Memphis, Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund, Nancy Copp, FedEx Corporation, Independent Bank, International Paper, Rose M. Johnston, Ernest and Pat Kelly, Jr., Milton T. Schaeffer, Margaret and Owen Tabor, Ann and Wellford Tabor, Tennessee Arts Commission, and The University of Memphis.

TSC’s Season Partners are Boyle Investment Company, Dixon Gallery & Gardens, and The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance.


The 400 Lineup of Play Readings

Love’s Labor’s Lost

“O, my little heart!”
directed by Dan McCleary
Thursday, October 22
6:00-9:00 pm with dinner buffet

Widely regarded as Shakespeare’s “feast of Language,” his 1598 romantic comedy combines his earlier popular elements in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Juliet in following a clutch of young men who make a pact to remove women from their lives in favor of meditation and scholarship.  No sooner do the King of Navarre, Berowne, and the boys seal the deal than the Princess of France and her ladies arrive, thus immediately changing the play’s narrative forever.  In the woods of romance, too, are several of Shakespeare’s most scholarly clowns, providing experiences of love in robust and outlandish articulation -- Holofernes, Costard the clown, and Don Adriano de Armado.

Read more: TSC’s Eighth Season Continues with 400: The Shakespeare Feast

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces Four New Members to its Board of Directors

Memphis, TN – Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional classical theatre and education organization, announced the addition of four new members to its Board of Directors, led by President Owen B. Tabor, M.D.

Now in the midst of its eighth season, TSC has expanded the Board to its largest membership.  The Board is made up of 26 members and now six Emeritus members.

New members voted onto the Board beginning FY16 for their first three-year terms are:

Elise L. Jordan, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer with FedEx Express.

Dorothy O. Kirsch, Memphis philanthropist with a long history of supporting the arts and culture in the Mid-South.

Anne Johnson Mead, partner at the law firm of Butler, Sevier, Hinsley & Reid, PLLC, focusing her practice on litigation, collaborative law, and mediation.  Anne is a member of the Tennessee and Memphis Bar Associations, and serves on the Board for the Family Law Section of the Memphis Bar.

Tracy Vezina Patterson, Director of Alumni Relations at Rhodes College.  She is an alumna of Rhodes College and the University of Memphis School of Law.  Tracy is actively involved in several ministries of St. George's Episcopal Church and has served on the Vestry and as Senior Warden.  Past civic involvements include Memphis Civitan and Special Kids and Families.

Read more: TSC Announces Four New Members to its Board of Directors

pic-comedy-of-errors400: The Shakespeare Feast

at The Memphis Hunt and Polo Club
650 S. Shady Grove Road
Memphis, TN 38120

In memory of Mr. and Mrs. W.R. Herstein by the Miriam and Ernest Kelly Charitable Fund
In memory of Mr. and Mrs. James Joseph Casserly by Pat and Ernest Kelly

Host Members: Margaret and Owen Tabor

Join us for dinner, drinks, and Shakespeare from page to stage as we commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s passing.   Six brief play readings preceded by a special buffet dinner/brunch at the historic and elegant Memphis Hunt & Polo Club.  Some of your favorite TSC actors return to the Club stage to act the plays from Shakespeare’s First Folio.  The cash bar will be open.  Your inclusive ticket (except for bar) is $57.  Attire: business casual/cocktail.


The Comedy of Errors

directed by Stephanie Shine
Sunday, November 8
12:00-3:30 pm with brunch buffet

“There is something in the wind”

It’s one of his earliest, perhaps his most riotous, and by far his shortest play.  Shakespeare pilfered the tale of two sets of twins who, estranged in different lands after a shipwreck in their infancy, find themselves in close physical proximity to one another again after all these years.  There are servant twins as well as master twins.  Oh, and they are identical (at least to everyone on stage).  

The wildness of the commedia elements is beautifully balanced with pleasing rhyming couplets, a delightful rhythm, and a family restoration that is undeniably heartening.