Announcing the Tenth Anniversary Season of Plays and Educational Activities for 2017-18

September 11, 2017 — Tennessee Shakespeare Company, the Mid-South’s professional, classical theatre and education organization, today announced its Tenth Anniversary Performance and Education Season.

The centerpiece of the tenth season was announced last week when TSC purchased outright the 18,000 sq/ft former home of Ballet Memphis.  TSC is spending most of its tenth season transferring all of its operations to the facility in Memphis near Shelby Farms Park, as well as planning to remodel the interior for a professional theatre and updated public spaces. 

With the purchase, TSC becomes Tennessee’s first and only permanent home for professional, year-round Shakespeare performance, education, and training.

The season is front-loaded with performance events and over-full with expanded Education outreach programming.  Depending on the schedule of construction in its new home, TSC will announce end-of-year performance plans in early 2018.

In announcing the season, founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary noted the thematic resonance of each of the plays with sustained national dialogues in our world today.

“Questioning issues surrounding radical absolutism in many areas of our lives is not novel,” said McCleary.  “The questions were dynamic and divisive 400 years ago, but Shakespeare creatively and courageously brings these and otherwise restricted themes and people onto his Rose and Globe stages while under the patronage of the most powerful people in the land.  How did he get away with it? 

“We need our classical artists today, too.  Shakespeare encourages us to ask questions, to listen closely, to think deeply rather than condemn or judge or separate.  The entertaining arena of Shakespeare and his plays is where we each get to meet ourselves.”

TSC’s first production in its tenth season is a Thank-you gift to the Mid-South for supporting the company for nine years.  The company’s first Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series brings 11 performances of three full productions to ten outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County from October 7 – November 10.

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

The Series, sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C., is free and performing from downtown to Overton Square, playgrounds to the zoo, Germantown to Collierville.  See below for details.

Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett is TSC’s cosmic holiday celebration at Dixon Gallery & Gardens from December 7-17.  Directed by McCleary,  Godot may be the masterwork of the 20th Century stage, as it arguably picks up where Shakespeare’s King Lear leaves off – in eternity. 

“Beckett was clearly influenced by his literary and philosophical muses, including the Bible, St. Augustine, Shakespeare, Camus, Yeats, Shelley,” said McCleary.  “But his creative impulse, though he may not wish it to be said, for creating Godot (the Irish pronunciation for “forever”) might well have been his flight from the German army during WWII in the French countryside, waiting years for a peace or whatever its substitute might be.  He was a voluntary hero in the war.  As a writer, his joy, humor, and care of humanity prompt each of us to ask who or what are we waiting on this season.  And TSC has just the formidable clowns on stage to do the asking.”

The season also includes the popular returns of The Shakespeare Brunch, this year featuring Shakespeare’s rollicking comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona in a staged reading paired with an elegant brunch buffet on November 19; and The Southern Literary Salon featuring Arkansas Rainmaker, John Grisham in the elegant East Memphis home of Anne and Thayne Muller on February 9, 2018. 

The Tenth Anniversary Gala this year plays inside the ballroom and lobby of the Memphis Hilton on Saturday, April 7 at 6:00 pm.

Tickets are on sale now at and (901) 759-0604.

Read more: Announcing the Tenth Anniversary Season of Plays and Educational Activities for 2017-18

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A literary party from 6:00-8:00 pm featuring fun libations, light fare, music, and 45 minutes of the words of John Grisham acted out in this private, gracious home. Tickets are $55 and include entertainment, drinks, and fare.

Grisham, the award-wining, best-selling novelist out of Jonesboro, has given us The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Runaway Jury, The Chamber, and A Time to Kill.

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Enjoy an elegant Sunday brunch, drinks, and an abbreviated reading of Shakespeare’s romping comedy (with Crab the dog!) in a beautiful and sociable indoor setting.  Acted by some of TSC’s long-time players, the staged reading is preceded by a delicious and varied buffet with cash bar.  The $55 ticket includes all but the bar. 

The event runs from Noon - 3:00 pm.  Attire: cocktail/business casual.  Extremely limited seating.  Host Members: Margaret and Owen Tabor.


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They’re free, fun, fast, and for everyone! 

TSC specializes in environmental theatre, but here we take it to another level to celebrate our tenth season with all of the Mid-South:  11 performances of 3 productions at 10 outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County.  Ideal for families and picnics.  You get to watch the actors re-shape each performance for each venue. 

No tickets or reservations needed.  Please come early for available seating. 

The three Shout-Out productions are:


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Seven 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.  


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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.


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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


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The masterwork of the 20th Century may also be Beckett’s absurdly comedic response to William Shakespeare’s masterwork of the 17th Century (King Lear).  But they’re both about eternity…or forever…whichever comes through the door first. 

Beckett’s inquisitive tramps prompt us all to ask ourselves, who or what are we waiting on this holiday season?  Celebrate the Now! 

Performances are December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16 at 7pm; and December 10 and 17 at 3pm in the Winegardner Auditorium at Dixon Gallery & Gardens.

Tickets are $34.  December 7 Preview is $16.  December 7 and 14 are Free Will Kids’ Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian.  Seniors (62+): $29.  Students (18+): $16.  Dixon members receive 20% off tickets (no other discounts may apply).  December 8 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors. 

General Admission/Free Parking.  Presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.