Surprise Yourself

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces Fifth Performance Season

Memphis, Tenn. (August 15, 2012) – – Tennessee Shakespeare Company (TSC), led by Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary, today announced its fifth performance season. The Mid-South’s professional, classical theatre and education organization will focus on Hamlet as its seasonal theme, expand its education programming throughout the Mid-South and the state, return to Germantown Performing Arts Centre with a Broadway headliner for its Fourth Annual Valentine’s Gala, partner once again with Dixon Gallery & Gardens and the Poplar Pike Playhouse, and launch its second phase of amphitheatre design with Shelby Farms Park in Memphis.

Record-Setting Season Four

TSC’s recently concluded fourth season, Brave New World, was a record-setting programmatic, financial, and artistic success. The season featured double the number of performances from the previous season and a balanced operating budget that increased by nearly 60%.

In addition to the four indoor/outdoor professional mainstage productions during 2011-12, TSC successfully toured two schools productions (one of them original), created two co-productions with Shakespeare Walla Walla in Washington state, and produced its Valentine’s Gala featuring Broadway composer Charles Strouse which netted more than $100,000 for TSC’s education and performance programming. TSC also partnered with Shelby Farms Park to provide initial renovations to its Wooden O Amphitheatre for a professional pilot season, brought nearly 12,000 patrons to its performances from three states, and produced a cumulative economic impact on its community of over $3 million.

The mission of TSC’s Education program is to move the arts closer to the center of every child’s learning experience.  TSC achieves this through 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. 

Season Sponsors: The Dunbar Abston Fund for Sustainable Excellence, Barbara B. Apperson and The Barbara Apperson Angel Fund, ArtsMemphis, Nancy and Dan Copp, FedEx Corporation, Independent Bank, Jack and Sandra Jones, City of Germantown, Germantown Performing Arts Centre, Milton T. Schaeffer, the Family of Margaret and Owen Tabor, Sr., Audrey L. Taylor

Season Partners: Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Germantown High School, Poplar Pike Playhouse, Shelby Farms Park Conservancy, St. George's Episcopal Church

Since 2007, TSC has achieved 100,000 student interactions through these activities.  These interactions represent 70 schools in three states.  Last season, TSC engaged 46 Memphis-area schools and nearly 8,000 students 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. 

Last season, TSC furthered its education mission through a pilot program conducted at Germantown High School.  The pilot objective was for a TSC actor/teaching artist to introduce interactively the characters and opening situation of Romeo and Juliet to the entire ninth grade student body – nearly 1,000 students. The pilot has become a model for multi-school replication.

“Tennessee Shakespeare Company’s fourth season is not an easy one to follow,” says founder Dan McCleary, “and what a wonderful challenge to be handed!

“I am particularly proud of our company’s and Board’s creativity and innovation in producing our plays this past season. Every event was a pilgrimage that required grit, grace, determination, creative vision, and illumination. Each production plumbed new theatrical and philosophical depths for our audiences, and it inspired our patrons, students, and donors to tell me over and over how ‘surprised’ they were to discover something personal for them in the plays

“We are focusing on this act of surprise, and even delight, in our fifth season of programming. There are few more delightful surprises in humanity than when we discover what makes us unique. In Shakespeare’s works, a search for the authentic self and the question of how one must live his or her life is deeply experienced in his play that not only changed the theatre but also awakened humanity’s awareness of itself: Hamlet.”

Season Five Programming

McCleary will direct Hamlet in an elegant Edwardian production inside Dixon Gallery & Gardens from April 3 – 14, 2013. The intimate, 10-actor piece will use the luxurious Dixon interior as the Prince of Denmark’s home as he frames now-famous questions of life and death in dialogue with the audience.

Also playing inside the Dixon Gallery from December 6 –16, 2012, is an exciting, new family experience of It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play adapted from the Frank Capra holiday film by Joe Landry. The Dixon’s Winegardner Auditorium becomes a festive, 1946 cabaret setting for the radio play that will be broadcast live around the country. Complete with period commercials, table seating, drinks, and holiday sing-a-longs, It’s a Wonderful Life features George Bailey asking his own Hamlet questions when faced with financial ruin. Angel 2nd Class Clarence Odbody intervenes with heart-warming success in this endearing story worth re-visiting every year. Stephanie Shine directs.

Kicking off the season is the internationally-acclaimed hilarity of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield. Featuring three clowning actors, the show takes audiences swiftly and absurdly through Shakespeare’s 37 plays in just 97 minutes – with special emphasis on a revised version (both forward and backward) of Hamlet. Considered the play that perfectly brings together audiences who both love and loathe Shakespeare, the TSC production presents the insanity out of love for its namesake. In attempting to play out the entire canon as quickly and hilariously as they can, the actors also find themselves improvising with a little local influence.

Complete Works, directed by Dan McCleary, will be played at the Poplar Pike Playhouse (where TSC’s record-setting Midsummer Night’s Dream played in 2009) featuring David Goldstein (TSC’s Southern Yuletide), Amelia Hammond (TSC’s The Tempest), and improvisational comedian Sam Reiff-Pasarew from NYC’s Story Pirates and Striking Vikings.

On February 8, 2013, TSC will present its romantic Fourth Annual Valentine’s Gala at GPAC, featuring a Broadway headliner soon to be announced.

In addition to the professional season, TSC will conduct its Statewide Schools Tour of its newly-created show, Shakespeare’s Greatest Hits (a fun performance piece that introduces students to a playwright they are surprised to discover they already know) from October 25 – April 19, 2013. TSC’s Mid-South Schools Tour of its self-created Rebel Shakespeare and His Women will tour January 14 – February 1, 2013. Three men play all the women’s roles, as in Shakespeare’s day, to trace the surprising development of the playwright through his writing. School reservations may be made now by calling TSC’s Education Manager Slade Kyle at (901) 759-0620.

The 2011-12 pilot performance season produced on the outdoor Wooden O amphitheatre at Shelby Farms Park proved so artistically successful that a second phase of design has begun in partnership with the SFP Conservancy. The Shakespeare in the Park series drew record attendance and many first-time patrons. Throughout the upcoming season, scope of work and cost estimates will begin in an effort to bring basic infrastructure to the site for public and professional use.

In Memoriam, Audrey L. Taylor

The Board of Directors and TSC lost one of its founding Board members in May, Mrs. Audrey L. Taylor (1917-2012). The company of TSC’s season-ending production of The Glass Menagerie acknowledged Mrs. Taylor following each of its performances in May and June, and TSC will honor her and her devotion to Shakespeare throughout the 2012-13 season.

“Audrey was a loving, personal friend and a generous caretaker of Tennessee Shakespeare Company,” says McCleary. “She was one of our founding members who made the company financially viable in the early years and sustainable in each successive year – including this one. Her trust in us inspired many others to support our work. She lived a glorious and long life, and we miss her dearly. Her love and generosity will be remembered at every production.”

 

Ticket Information
On sale August 15. All performances are $25 in advance and $30 day-of-show.
Preview Tickets: All previews are $15 regardless of when purchased.

Box Office/Administrative Offices
Located in the historic train depot at 2260 West Street, Germantown, Tenn.
Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. until 5 p.m.
901-759-0604
www.tnshakespeare.org
Follow on Twitter: @tnshakespeare

PLEASE NOTE: All performances are general admission; first come/first seated. Chairs are provided for all productions. Free parking. No refunds. Productions and casts are subject to change.

Season Five Listing

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged)
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, Jess Winfield
directed by Dan McCleary
Poplar Pike Playhouse, Germantown
September 20 – October 7, 2012
Proceeds from this production will be used to support the fine arts program at Germantown High School

It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play
Sponsored by FedEx Corporation
adapted by Joe Landry
directed by Stephanie Shine
Dixon Gallery & Gardens
Winegardner Auditorium, Memphis
December 6-16, 2012

Schools Tour:
The Rebel Shakespeare and His Women
Shakespeare's Greatest Hits
directed by Stephanie Shine
October 2012 – February 1, 2013

Fourth Annual Valentine's Gala
Friday, February 8, 2013
Germantown Performing Arts Centre

Hamlet
by William Shakespeare
directed by Dan McCleary
Dixon Gallery & Gardens, Memphis
Winegardner Auditorium
April 3-14, 2013

 

News

  • John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker - February 9
  • New Permanent Year-Round Home for TSC
  • Shakespeare Shout-Out Series
  • New Germantown Municipal School District Partnership
  • New Company d and Memphis VA Partnerships

Next Up: The Southern Literary Salon John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker February 9

TSC season webheaders4 salon grisham

TSC presents its next Southern Literary Salon, John Grisham: Arkansas Rainmaker at Thayne and Anne Muller’s inviting English home in East Memphis on Friday, February 9 from 6:00-8:00 pm. 

The evening features fun Southern food, conversation, 45 minutes or so of readings from Mr. Grisham’s works, and a drink or two of the author’s liking:  “Drink the wines from the top shelf,” he counsels. 

Tickets for the Grisham Salon only are $55 and include all of the above. 

Curated and directed by TSC resident artist Stephanie Shine and read by actors Michael Khanlarian, Carmen-maria Mandley, Shaleen Cholera, and Merit Koch, Arkansas Rainmaker will employ text from Mr. Grisham’s works, likely including his first novel, A Time to Kill, as well as The Chamber, Gray Mountain, Calico Joe, and The Rooster Bar.

Mr. Grisham was born in Jonesboro, Arkansas, in 1955, and became a criminal defense and personal injury lawyer in Southaven, Mississippi after graduating from Ole Miss.  He also served in that state’s House of Representatives for eight years.  While practicing law, he practiced at his hobby: writing.  After 30 rejection letters for his first effort, the novel was finally published with a modest first print.  Far from discouraged, he immediately began his second novel, which ended up being known as The Firm.  Since that novel spent 47 weeks on the NYT bestseller list and became the best-seller of 1991, Mr. Grisham has written one novel per year.  Of those, nine have been adapted into films, including The Pelican Brief, The Client, The Rainmaker, The Runaway Jury, and The Firm.  He also wrote an original screenplay, The Gingerbread Man.  There are currently over 300 million John Grisham books in print worldwide.

“I don't start a novel until I have lived with the story for awhile to the point of actually writing an outline, and after a number of books I've learned that the more time I spend on the outline the easier the book is to write,” says Mr. Grisham.  “And if I cheat on the outline, I get in trouble with the book.  In life, finding a voice is speaking and living the truth.  Each of you is an original.  Each of you has a distinctive voice.  When you find it, your story will be told. You will be heard.”

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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.

Read More

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.

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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.

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Tennessee Shakespeare Company is generously supported by:

International Paper    FedEx         Tennessee Arts Commission

logo-ibank             University of Memphis  artsmemphis std color logo2500



     First Tenneessee Foundation    

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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