STAGE TUBE: Fight director Eric Pasto-Crosby on Staging SUPERIOR DONUTS' Fight Scene

March 8
2:09 PM 2012


Tennessee Repertory Theatre will present the Middle Tennessee premiere of Superior Donuts by Tracy Letts, who won the 2008 Tony Award for his play August: Osage County.

Superior Donuts runs March 17-31 at TPAC's Johnson Theater (with preview performances March 15 -16). Superior Donuts tells the story of how an unlikely friendship can emerge in the most unexpected places as a downtrodden donut shop owner hires a street-savvy, aspiring young writer with hustle and bright ideas. Filled with humor and humanity, Superior Donuts stirs up the challenges of embracing the past, the untold dangers of hope, and the redemptive power of friendship while analyzing the American dream...and how living in America can affect it.

Tracy Letts--whose dark comedy August: Osage County made for Tennessee Rep's most popular REPaloud Reading last year--continues to explore the ever-changing face of America and human relationships in Superior Donuts. 

"I am extremely excited about Superior Donuts because we have a terrifically talented cast sharing a powerful story about friendship, community, and the American dream," says Director Lauren Shouse. "Tracy Letts is one of my favorite contemporary playwrights and he has given us a gift by creating deeply human characters that take us on an emotional journey. I can't wait for Nashville audiences to experience this story that is funny, heart breaking, dangerous, and above all hopeful."

Brian Webb Russell returns to the Tennessee Rep stage as the reluctant and often reclusive donut shop owner, Arthur Przybyszewski. Russell has performed in a number of Tennessee Rep productions, most recently in Glengarry Glen Ross and The Crucible.

"When I first read Superior Donuts, I knew immediately that I wanted to play the character of Arthur," says Russell. "The exciting aspect of it all will be exploring why this avowed pacifist and sideline watcher does the things he does in this story. Why does he befriend this fast-talking stranger in his shop?Why does he go out on a limb for this kid? What could drive this relative recluse to such an angry and dangerous confrontation? It is truly an honor and a blessingto be cast in this terrific work."

In addition to Russell, the cast features Jeremy Childs, David Compton, Elizabeth Davidson, Henry Haggard, Brandon Hirsch, Shelean Newman, Joe Robinson and Jon Royal.

Since 1985, Tennessee Repertory Theatre has been a critically acclaimed regional theatre, creating the highest quality professional productions and by serving as a prime cultural, educational, and economic resource within the Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities. Tennessee Rep produces work that is designed, built, and rehearsed in Nashville by highly skilled actors, designers, directors, and technicians. A non-profit organization, Tennessee Rep is committed to consistently delivering thought-provoking theatre each year.

For more information on the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, please visit

Pictured: fight choreographer Eric Pasto-Crosby

STAGE TUBE: Fight director Eric Pasto-Crosby on Staging SUPERIOR DONUTS' Fight Scene
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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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