The First Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series Launches Our 10th Season throughout Shelby County

pic shakespeare shout out 10 1 17Mario Hoyle (Romeo) and Kiana Holley (Juliet).

We officially launch our tenth anniversary season this week when we bring Romeo and Juliet to the historic outdoor train depot and platform in Collierville Town Square on Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 pm.

Our first Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series, sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C., features 11 performances of three touring productions to ten outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County playing through November 10.

No tickets are required.  First come/first seated.

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

“This Series is a big ‘Thank You’ to the Memphis area for supporting TSC’s mission during our first nine years,” says founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary.  “TSC has just purchased our first permanent home, the first year-round home for professional Shakespeare performance, education, and training in the state.  But before we start settling into our first theatre, we wanted to go one last round with the exciting, non-traditional, environmental theatre that got us this far. 

“These are three thrilling productions for all ages that will play entirely differently based on their venues:  Overton Square, the Zoo, the playground, Court Square, the library, gazebos, train depots, the University grounds, Madison Avenue Park.  These actors are uniquely trained for these environments and everything that can erupt around them.  Whether audiences are settling in with their families and picnics, or bicyclists are just stopping by for five minutes to watch, these productions will fill the air of our community with the words of Shakespeare for free for one month.  And we get to say ‘Thank You’.”

The acting company includes Marquis Dijon Archuleta, Jillian Barron, Kiana Holley, Mario Hoyle, Michael Khanlarian, Meredith Grace Koch, Khalil LeSaldo, Matthew Nelson, Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough, and Zach Williams.

Los Angeles-based Edgar Landa is the fight choreographer, Jennifer Ammons provides costume design, and Rachel McFatridge is the stage manager.

For more information: or (901) 759-0604.


The Shout-Out Series schedule

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.


Julius Caesar

directed by Stephanie Shine
even 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.  


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

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

Artist Bios

Jennifer Ammons (Costume Designer for Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesaris a third-year graduate student in Costume Design at the University of Memphis.  Her designs for the University include Nine, Measure for Measure, Empires of Eternal Void, and Bull.  This past summer, she worked for the Ohio Light Opera where she was an Associate Costume Designer for HMS Pinafore, in addition to Assistant Costume Designer on The Lady of the Slipper and The Student Prince.   In 2016, she was the assistant to Janice Benning Lacek on the UofM-TSC co-production of Henry V.  Other Memphis area designs include Pinkalicious for New Day Children’s Theatre and Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet at Hatiloo Theatre.  Previously, she was the resident costume designer and shop manager for Mars Hill University and Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre near Asheville, NC.  Designs from MHU and SART include Flyin West, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Sunshine Boys, The Children’s Hour, and Sylvia.

Marquis Dijon Archuleta (Benvolio/Capulet in Romeo and Juliet; Caesar/Pindarus/Volumnius in Julius Caesar)  TSC: The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet Project, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits.  Other credits: Of Mice and Men (Crooks), Cyrano de Bergerac (Comte De Guiche), Pentecost (Antonio), Pippin (Louis), Romeo and Juliet (Lord Capulet), and Jesus Christ Superstar (Simon Peter).  He is a graduate of the University of Montana’s School of Theatre & Dance program with a B.F.A. and a minor in Psychology.

Jillian Barron (Mercutio/Paris’ Page/Montague in Romeo and Juliet; Ensemble in Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll and Southern Sirens)  TSC: The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About NothingRomeo and Juliet Project, Shakespeare’s Greatest HitsShowcase Memphis: Midsummer Night.  POTS: Byhalia, MS.  Women’s Theatre Festival of Memphis: In Search of Tonto Goldstein.  Theatre Memphis: Rapture, Blister, Burn.  GCT: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.  Member of We Are Vanessa professional improvisation troupe (2014).  Education: Union University (B.A. in Theatre Performance and French Literature and Culture).

Kiana Holley (Juliet in Romeo and Juliet; Soothsayer/Metellus/Calphurnia/Titinius in Julius Caesar) first struck up an interest in theatre in a middle school classroom.  She became a theatre major during her sophomore year at the University of Montevallo, where she had her first dose of Shakespeare as a Chorus player in Comedy of Errors.  Kiana recently finished her undergraduate work at the University of Memphis, where she played Delia in a narrative production of the short story, Sweat.  She has acted in various student films and commercials, and plans to pursue writing in the future.

Mario Hoyle (Romeo in Romeo and Juliet; Flavius/Decius/Octavius in Julius Caesar) is excited to be working with TSC for the first time.  Local theatre credits include South Pacific (ensemble) at Theatre Memphis, Hamlet (Bernardo and 3rd player) at New Moon Theatre, and Mr. Rickey Calls a Meeting (Clancy Hope) at Hattiloo Theatre.  Mario also can be seen in a Southland Park Gaming and Racing commercial and will be playing Cory in an upcoming production of Fences at Theatre Memphis.  Mario received his B.A. in Performing Arts from UT Chattanooga.

Michael Khanlarian (Brutus in Julius Caesar) is a founding member of TSC, where his credits include The Comedy of Errors, Much Ado About NothingTo Kill A Mockingbird, Henry VAll’s Well That Ends WellTwelfth NightOthelloAs You Like It, and Romeo and Juliet.  Michael is a graduate of the University of Memphis.

Meredith Grace Koch (Lady Capulet/Balthazar in Romeo and Juliet; Casca/Lucius in Julius Caesar)  TSC: To Kill A MockingbirdThe Winter’s Tale, Eudora Welty: Mississippi Myth, and Flannery O’Connor: Georgia Gothic.  Merit is an actor, musician, writer, and Memphis native.  She studied drama as an Acting Apprentice with Vassar and New York Stage and Film’s Powerhouse Theater, where she also directed several original works.  Merit is a proud supporter of the Congressional Awards Program and is the recipient of her own Bronze, Silver, and Gold Medals for public service in the arts.

Edgar Landa+ (Fight Director for Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, and Shake(s), Rattle, & Rollis a Los Angeles-based actor/director.  He also creates fights and violence for theatres large and small.  Credits include South Coast Rep, San Diego Rep, The Geffen Playhouse, CTG/Kirk Douglas Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, and Shakespeare & Company.  Edgar serves on the faculty of the University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts, and is a long-time collaborator of Son of Semele Ensemble (Los Angeles).  He is an AEA member and Pro99 supporter of intimate theatre in Los Angeles.

Khalil LeSaldo (Paris/Nurse in Romeo and Juliet; Cassius in Julius Caesar)  Previous productions include Drums in the Night (Andreas Kagler), Orphee (Orphee), Predator: The Musical (Carl Weathers), To Kill a Mockingbird (Tom Robinson), A Little Night Music (Frederick Egerman), Wait Until Dark (Harry Roat), The Dumb Waiter (Gus).

Carmen-maria Mandley (Director of Romeo and Juliet; Education Program Manager) began acting, directing, and teaching for Shakespeare & Company in 1996, training and working within their Fall Festival of Shakespeare, nation-wide residencies, and summer productions.  She then was named Education Director at the Raleigh Little Theatre in NC, where she produced school tours for 25,000 children yearly, a youth playwriting festival, and a resident teen service organization.  She is the founding Artistic Director of Bare Theatre and the Nickel Shakespeare Girls in Raleigh, NC, as well as Bare Portland in Maine.  Her productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Titus Andronicus, and her shadow-signed production of Mother Hicks were awarded best productions.  She transitioned to Portland Stage in Maine in 2014 as Education Director and Literary Manager, and took over as Director of Training at the Acorn Adult acting Academy in Portland in 2015.  Her productions of Macbeth, The Amish Project, Julius Caesar, and The Ballad of Daphnis and Chloe were all named top ten productions by The Portland Phoenix and The Portland Press Herald.  She is a proud member of Theater Ensemble of Color in Portland.  Carmen attended National-Louis University in Chicago, and continued her training at Shakespeare & Company and at the Dell’ Arte International School of Physical Theatre. 

Rachel McFatridge (Stage Manager for Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar) TSC: The Merchant of Venice and 2016 Summer Intern.  Some of Rachel’s favorite productions during college included Arsenic and Old Lace (Elaine Harper), Little Women (Josephine “Jo” March), and Songs for a New World (Herself/Violinist).  During her college career, she set-designed Arsenic and Old LaceThe Taffetas, and The Leader of the Pack.  Rachel received her B.A. in Fine Arts from Blue Mountain College in 2017.

Matthew Nelson (Friar in Romeo and Juliet; Marc Antony/Artemidorus in Julius Caesaris extremely excited to be working with Tennessee Shakespeare Company.  Matt last worked with TSC in the 2014 production of Romeo and Juliet.  Other credits: Tecumseh! Outdoor Drama (Tecumseh U.S.), A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon), Measure for Measure (Duke), Empires of Eternal Void (Prisoner), A Flea in Her Ear (Don Carlos), and Bad Jews (Jonah).  Education: University of Memphis (B.F.A. in Theatre Performance). 

Stephanie Shine+ (Director of Julius Caesar; Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll; General Manager; Education Director) is the creator of The Romeo and Juliet Project as well as a resident artist for TSC.  Her TSC directorial credits include Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream (2015), Romeo and Juliet (2011-12, 2014-16), It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (2012-13), Southern Yuletide, and the touring shows Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll, Shakespeare Said It, and Lend Me Thy Sword!  On stage at TSC, she played the Countess in All's Well that Ends Well, the female roles in Unto the Breach, and Gertrude in Hamlet.  In addition, Stephanie serves as the annual Gala Auctioneer, and curates the material for and directs TSC's Literary Salons.  She is the former Artistic Director of Seattle Shakespeare Company, a position she held for 13 years.  For SSC, she directed and/or produced many productions.  Other directorial credits include The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the award-winning one-woman internationally-touring Marilyn Monroe Biopic, Marilyn: Forever Blonde, and several new works for Seattle's Book-It Repertory Theatre.  Her production of I am of Ireland (which she also conceived and adapted) opened Book-It's 25th Anniversary Season in September 2014.  As an actor, she has performed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, NYC's Theatre for a New Audience, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, ACT, The Empty Space, and Seattle Children's Theatre, among others.  Roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, The Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and The Chorus in Henry V.  Stephanie is a graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, where she was mentored by Shakespearean great, Cal Winn.  She earned her B.F.A. at the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program under Bob Hobbs.  She is currently in pursuit of her M.F.A. at the University of Memphis

Zach Williams (Tybalt/Captain of the Watch in Romeo and Juliet; Ensemble in Shake(s), Rattle, & Roll; Teaching-Artist Fellow) recently performed in TSC's The Comedy of Errors having previously appeared in several staged readings.  His less recent productions include As You Like ItTwelfth NightA Party to Murder, and an Ostrander Award for music direction in the Good Woman of Setzuan.  He is a recent graduate of University of Memphis with a B.F.A. in Theatre Performance.

Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough (Prince/Peter/Friar John in Romeo and Juliet; Murellus/Cinna/Portia/Messala in Julius Caesar)  TSC: Henry V, To Kill a Mockingbird, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors.  Kilby is a freelance theatre artist based in Memphis, working in performance, costume design and construction, stage management, and teaching.   Lately, she's been in St. Louis, developing exciting, found-space theatre with Fourth Wall Down; she also recently played Lulu in Chatterbox Audio Theatre's production of The Nature of Captivity.  Kilby began her Shakespeare training right here at TSC as a member of the inaugural Young Company in 2010.  She also trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and she holds a B.A. in Theatre from Rhodes College.

+ member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.


  • Remarkable Results from Romeo and Juliet Project
  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • Shakespeare Shout-Out Series
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships

See the Remarkable Results from this year's Romeo and Juliet Project

(February 12, 2018) -- "I believe Tennessee Shakespeare Company's Romeo and Juliet Project in Memphis is one of the more crucial, proven, and successful arts-in-education initiatives in the United States," says TSC founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary.

This brief report responds to several of the most frequently asked questions TSC has received in the last decade regarding Shakespeare and its education programming in Memphis:

  • Why do you believe William Shakespeare and his plays are relevant in the 21st Century?
  • Why do I have to learn Shakespeare in school?
  • Can my children really understand Shakespeare?
  • Do you really believe Shakespeare can save lives?
  • You don’t really believe that Shakespeare can change the world, do you?

TSC provides its responses in the words, pictures, tallies, and grades of children, teachers, and actors in its four-month Romeo and Juliet Project throughout Shelby County in Tennessee. 

"And for the record, on that last question," says McCleary, "Yes, I do."

Read the report

We have Purchased the Former Ballet Memphis Property to Create the State’s First Permanent, Year-Round Home for Professional Shakespeare Performance, Education, and Training in Memphis

pic newhome tsc2017(August 31) -- Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced it has purchased the former facility and property of Ballet Memphis located at 7950 Trinity Road in Memphis as its first, permanent home. 

The announcement was made by Dan McCleary, the company’s founder and Producing Artistic Director; Owen B. Tabor, the company’s Board President for the past six years; and E. Frank Bluestein, the company’s founding Executive Director.

With this acquisition, Tennessee Shakespeare Company is preparing to create the first and only permanent, year-round home for professional Shakespeare performance, education, and training in the state of Tennessee.

TSC purchased the 18,484 square foot facility outright from Ballet Memphis for $1,900,000.  There is no mortgage. 

TSC, now beginning its tenth anniversary season, expects to begin interior renovation this year and be completed in Spring 2018.

The renovation will focus on modifying existing dance studios into a state-of-the-art, professional, flexible theatre for seating up to 200 patrons, as well as a spacious Education Wing.  The public lobby, restrooms, and support areas for the theatre also will be modified.

Centrally located to all of Shelby County just north of Walnut Grove Road, between Germantown Road and the northeast corner of Shelby Farms Park, the unique glass-and-steel facility will house all of TSC’s operations under one roof:  performances, training, education, administrative offices, storage, costume shop, scene shop, and commercial kitchen.  The facility was constructed in 1998, and an addition was built in 2012.  It affords parking for nearly 70 cars.

TSC and Ballet Memphis, longtime arts colleagues whose artistic staffs have collaborated over the years, entered into a Purchase & Sale Agreement in late June.  The sale represents one Memphis not-for-profit arts organization selling to another for re-use of a special purpose building.  TSC’s agent was W. Cary Whitehead III of Boyle Investment Company.

For the last nine years, TSC has created site-specific/environmental Shakespeare and classical productions, both indoors and outside, throughout Shelby County, partnering with long-time friends Dixon Gallery & Gardens, the University of Memphis, St. George’s Church, Shelby Farms Park, Germantown City Hall, Poplar Pike Playhouse, Hutchison School, and Germantown Performing Arts Center.

“This is an important moment in Memphis performing arts,” said Dr. Tabor.  “We have researched more than 50 sites in the last few years, and the former Ballet property is perfect for our needs and for what our audiences say they would like.  The Ballet’s new home in Overton Square is so impressive, and they have been wonderful to work with during this transaction.  We wish them tremendous success.  We appreciate that this special building is the launch pad for exciting futures for two important arts groups in Memphis.

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The First Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series Launches Our 10th Season throughout Shelby County

pic shakespeare shout out 10 1 17Mario Hoyle (Romeo) and Kiana Holley (Juliet).

We officially launch our tenth anniversary season this week when we bring Romeo and Juliet to the historic outdoor train depot and platform in Collierville Town Square on Saturday, October 7 at 4:00 pm.

Our first Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series, sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C., features 11 performances of three touring productions to ten outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County playing through November 10.

No tickets are required.  First come/first seated.

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

Read More

Announcing a New, Multi-Year Partnership with the Germantown Municipal School District for Cutting-Edge Classical Curriculum for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students

pic germantown partnership1Tennessee Shakespeare Company and the Germantown Municipal School District today announced a unique, multi-year education partnership that will bring immersive, cutting-edge Shakespeare curriculum to life for every student in grades five, seven, and nine.

Starting with this school year, all GMSD fifth and seventh grade students will participate in an introductory, immersive playshop to prepare and excite them for experiencing a full, live performance of TSC’s self-created production of Shakes, Rattle, and Roll.  The show pays tribute to our hometown heritage, creatively linking the signature music of Memphis to the works of Shakespeare that could have inspired them.

All ninth grade students will be treated to TSC’s nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project, a four-part interactive residency that concludes with an intimate and riveting live performance of Romeo and Juliet.

The Project, originally launched at Germantown High School seven years ago and now operating in many Shelby County Schools, transforms classrooms into playing spaces to change students' expectations and reception of the material. The residency begins 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 has proven quantifiable and remarkable in the scores of schools in which TSC has taught over the past eight years. 

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New, Exciting TSC Partnerships with Company d and the Memphis VA, and Expanding Programs with Jail East and Hope Academy

“TSC gives them models to express their feelings, which they probably have never done.  For maybe the first time in their lives, they think about the world around them and their role in the community.”

- Joyce Anderson, Juvenile Manager, Shelby County Sheriff's Office

pic tns HopeAcademy6
Hope Academy residency participants

We are thrilled to announce new partnerships between TSC and Company d and the Memphis Veterans Administration Medical Association.  Also this month (August), we are happily expanding our Shakespeare programs for adjudicated youth at both Jail East and Hope Academy.

TSC is spending August in residence with Company d.  Nationally recognized, Company d is a dance company of young adults with Down syndrome under the artistic direction of choreographer Darlene Winters.  Founded in 2001, Company d is committed to inspire, empower, and teach individuals with Down syndrome who have an inherent aptitude for the performing arts.

TSC Education Manager Carmen-maria Mandley and TSC Education artists guide participants through the tumultuous world of Romeo and Juliet.  Using movement and text, the dancers are immersed in Shakespeare's images and encouraged to discover their personal connection with the characters of the play.

"Company d dancers are having a dynamic experience with TSC this week,” says Winters, Company d founder and Artistic Director.  “The play and its language are being brought to life with interactive methods.  The partnership with Tennessee Shakespeare Company is the first partnership with a theatre company in this region.  I am so excited about this new and unique experience for individuals with Down syndrome, which will enrich artistic growth and expand cultural literacy skills."

Also in August, TSC begins working with veterans at the Memphis VA Medical Association. This program brings together service veterans with theatre practitioners to use the plays of Shakespeare in addressing combat-related traumatic and re-integration issues. The model, created by the Feast of Crispian Project in Milwaukee, WI, was created to strengthen the personal psychological resources available to service veterans - especially those with post-deployment health issues - through the practice and skills of theatre combined with the timeless themes and imagistic language of Shakespeare.

Read More

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

International Paper    FedEx         Tennessee Arts Commission

logo-ibank             University of Memphis  artsmemphis std color logo2500

     ArtsFirst Color    

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Evans Petree

Individual Season Sponsors:

Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Nancy Copp; Ernest, Pat, Martha, and Marian Kelly; Milton T. Schaeffer; The Family of Owen and Margaret Tabor;
Ann and Wellford Tabor.

Season Partners:

Collierville Municipal School District; Dixon Gallery & Gardens; Germantown Municipal School District; Memphis Hunt & Polo Club; Palladio;
Shelby County Schools; The University of Memphis’ Department of Theatre & Dance.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a proud member of:
Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence       artsmemphis std color logo2500    logo-gacc          Tennesseans for the Arts     Tennessee Theatre Association     Where We Live