BWW Interviews: MEMORY STRONG Tackles The Friday Five

June 29
5:45 PM 2012

BWW Interviews: MEMORY STRONG Tackles The Friday Five

Inspired by's Friday Six, welcome to's latest installment of The Friday Five: five questions designed to help you learn more about the talented people you'll find onstage throughout the Volunteer state.

Today's spotlight falls on the lovely and talented Memory Strong, the Nashville-based actress, singer and mother of four(!) who's always on the go, it seems. Tonight, she opens in Don Coyote, the original musical for kids that's written by Donna Driver and based upon the time-honored tale of Don Quixote. It plays for three shows at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Donelson and the multi-talented Memory plays the mom of the play's protagonist Scott (played by Charlie Webb). Directed by Ben Dassau, in his directorial debut, it also stars Steve Mogck as Scott's dad.

So find out more about Memory and what makes her tick…then go see Don Coyote this weekend…

What was your first "live onstage" taste of theater?  My first theatrical experience was when I was seven-years-old at church. I don't remember much, but I had a teddy bear and had to cry. My first "recent" theatrical experience was Tom Sawyer at what was the Nashville Dinner Theater. Lifelong friendships were made and my love of theater was born.

What is your favorite pre-show ritual? Clubhouse. When we were doing The Producers, again at NDT, a few of us ladies met backstage to solve the problems of the world. It only took about 15 minutes; there was wine and dirty jokes involved. Both follow me to every show I have the honor of being in.

What's your most memorable "the show must go on" moment? During a Christmas show one crazy morning, everything that could've gone wrong did. Curtain malfunctioned, sound just stopped in the middle of a dance number, half the cast didn't show because they had to go to school-it was an unmitigated disaster. But we did it and we finished the show.

What's your dream role Amneris from Aida. I'd probably never get it, but I would so love to play that role.

Who's your theatrical crush? I'm a sucker for a man who can sing and dance and make me smile. The NPH (aka Neil Patrick Harris)!

photo by Barry A. Noland

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About the Author

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.

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