Nashville's Circle Players Reveals Cinema-Inspired 68th Season
Bring It On The Musical launches Circle Players' cinema-inspired 68th Season - a lineup that includes four musicals and one play - and the company is offering season ticket packages for theater-goers eager to witness the oldest community theater in Middle Tennessee's latest slate of productions, all related to major motion pictures.
Described as "Circle's 68th Cinematic Season," the shows are: Bring It On the Musical, The Hunchback of Notre Dame (a Nashville community theatre premiere), The Full Monty (musical), Steel Magnolias and Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Season ticket packages of five tickets (one for each show) are substantially discounted over regular ticket prices and are available online at www.circleplayers.net at a cost of $75 for Friday, Saturday or Sunday performances; $45 for Thursday performances.
The 2017-18 season marks Circle's return as a resident company to Z. Alexander Looby Theater, presenting all five mainstage shows at the venue, which is being renovated this summer by Metro Nashville Parks and Recreation. The refurbished Looby Theater will offer some technical upgrades as well as new seating, enhancing Circle's plans this year to use assigned seating.
"A big focus of our organization is continuing to develop a loyal audience base, including those who are experiencing live theatre for the first time," says BrIan Jones, president of Circle Players' board of directors. "With beloved and familiar titles, low ticket prices, reserved seating and flexible season ticket options, we want to make this season exciting and accessible to everyone. We know people who attend our shows will want to return time and time again because of our high production quality and amazing local talent."
Along with choosing shows that are popular hits from stage and screen, Circle's leadership has turned over their creative staging to some of the most well-known, experienced directors in local community theatre. The list of directors, including several veterans of past Circle seasons, features Jason Lewis, Tim Larson, Clay Hillwig and Melissa Williams.
"Circle Players worked hard to build a season that is artistically challenging for our artist members and creative teams while also being accessible and familiar to our patrons," explains Jones. "We are confident that audiences will love experiencing the magic of live theatre right in their own community created by their friends and neighbors directly from the community."
Circle's 68th Season kicks off with the high-energy Bring It On the Musical from August 11-27, directed by Jason Lewis. The show is inspired by the hit film, taking audiences on a high-flying journey filled with the complexities of friendship, jealousy, betrayal and forgiveness-all set in the cutthroat world of competitive cheerleading, fierce high school rivalries, politics and romance. The script and score unite some of the best known, award-winning creative minds on Broadway, including Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton, In The Heights), Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q) and Tom Kitt (Next to Normal).
Lewis, the director for Circle, lived in New York City when Bring It On came to Broadway and admits to being a skeptic before seeing the show: "I still remember sitting in the front row completely stunned by one show-stopping number after another, the integration of hip-hop and rap into traditional musical theatre numbers and its high-flying stunts," he says. "To my knowledge, it's the first Broadway musical to feature a transgender high school student where that is treated as a non-issue amongst their peers. Its message of friendship, forgiveness, inclusiveness and embracing one's individuality is why I want to direct Circle's production."
Next in the lineup from October 27-November 12, is The Hunchback of Notre Dame, directed by Tim Larson (The Wiz, Sister Act the Musical, Ragtime the Musical, The Color Purple and Titanic the Musical). This new show stems from the Disney animated movie but is darker and more closely related to the book by Victor Hugo. It's the story of Quasimodo, a deformed bell-ringer at Notre Dame Cathedral in 15-century Paris; his love for the beautiful Esmerelda and his effort to overcome cruel captivity to become a hero.
"Hunchback is another wonderful musical that brings together most of what I'm passionate about as a director: a lush, beautiful score and an epic story, especially set in a past historical time period" Larson says. "It's an ambitious production for community theatre, but Middle Tennessee has plenty of amazing talent to draw from and our creative team is one I'm confident can make this show memorable and entertaining."
Circle opens its 2018 calendar - January 12-28, 2018 - the musical version of The Full Monty will be presented under the direction of Clay Hillwig (Stuff Happens, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Color Purple and Oliver!)
"I am very excited about directing my eighth production for Circle Players and being a part of their 68th season, which looks to be one of the finest line-ups yet," says Hillwig. "The Full Monty is a fun show that touches on social issues affecting all of us in one form or another. It is a classic story of rising above our circumstances and having a great time doing it. Get ready for a "Full Monty" of entertainment!"
Steel Magnolias runs March 23-April 8, 2018, and is under the direction of Melissa Williams, who returns to direct for Circle Players since directing To Kill A Mockingbird in 2010.This time, Williams tackles another modern classic made popular by the award-winning 1989 film starring Sally Field, Julia Roberts and Dolly Parton. Steel Magnolias is about the bond a group of women share in a small-town southern community, and how they cope with the death of one of their own.
"Returning to direct for the company that allowed me so many opportunities to learn and appreciate community theatre is a welcome homecoming," says Williams. "To have the chance to bring together actors for a production rooted in friendships that carry us through the trials, tribulations, laughter, joys and sorrows of our lives will enrich my life by the experience."
The 68th season concludes June 1-17, 2018, with the ever-popular Disney production, Beauty and the Beast. Tim Larson returns to direct this production.
Season Ticket Packages for 2017-2018 are now available at www.circleplayers.net. Individual show tickets are also available for $20 for musicals and $15 for the non-musical play. Circle will again feature its "Ten Dollar Thursday" promotion for which patrons pay only $10 per ticket. Also continuing this season is a group discount of $5 per ticket for groups of 10 or more (except on Thursdays).
For specific questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (615) 332-7529. For complete details about the 68th season shows, performance dates, venue and ticket options, go to www.circleplayers.net.