Speck, Logan Lead Studio Tenn's 2010-2011 Season Opening HELLO, DOLLY!

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Nashville's wide array of music and arts has long been a staple for the city and now Studio Tenn - a new local theatre company bent on showcasing this city's great artistic talent alongside stars from Broadway - is claiming its place among Music City's premier theater companies. Led by Nashville natives Matt Logan and Jake Speck, both of whom have extensive experience under their belts in Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, Studio Tenn is well on its way to bringing Nashville audiences, theatre professionals, and rising artists entertainment, inspiration and education.

With its 2010-2011 season ready to kick off next month with a production of Hello, Dolly!, Studio Tenn promises to fully engage the Nashville theater community as their primary source of talent, and likewise commit to having Broadway, film and/or national tour-credited talent involved in every production.

"Our mission is to use a rich combination of talent from Nashville and Broadway to bring classic works of drama and musical theatre to life in middle Tennessee," states Jake Speck, the company's managing Director. "We want to fully embrace the incredible artists that are here as well as bring in some folks from afar to provide Nashvillians with a truly unique experience. Matt and I are thrilled to be returning to our hometown to create great theater in the very city that inspired us to make a career of the arts."

Much of Nashville experienced this creative excellence this past spring when Logan, Studio Tenn's artistic director, designed and directed Show Hope's production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella. Accompanied by the Nashville Symphony, the one night event featured some of Nashville's finest stage talent with four stars from Broadway completing the cast to create a truly magical evening.

To achieve their goal to be embraced locally, engaged regionally, and respected nationally, Studio Tenn plans to offer innovative and proven methods of artistic instruction for the continuously rising talent of middle Tennessee. Last week was the first in a number of single day Master Classes utilizing instructors from Broadway and National Tour casts.

Studio Tenn is a member of the Center for Nonprofit Management (CNM). The company has formed strategic alliance with nationally known writers, producers, directors and performers, along with locally based organizations, such as Humanities Outreach Tennessee, Belmont University, Lipscomb University and ShowHope.

Tickets for Hello, Dolly! are now available through the company's website at www.StudioTenn.com. The show will be staged at the Troutt Theatre on the campus of Belmont University and will run from October 21-24, with evening performances Thursday through Saturday in addition to Saturday and Sunday matinees.

At press time, the production's cast features Nan Gurley in the title role, Ashley Anderson McCarthy (of NBC's Grease: You're The One That I Want) as Minnie Fay, Michael Mindlin of Broadway's Mamma Mia, 9 to 5 and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Carrie Tillis, daughter of country legend Mel Tillis.

The season's other productions will include A Christmas Carol in December, The Glass Menagerie in February, and back by popular demand, Show Hope's Cinderella in April.

For more information and to inquire about season tickets special, please visit StudioTenn.com. 

 

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About Matt Logan, Studio Tenn's Executive Vice President and Artistic Director: Logan has directed a full array of works from dramas, musicals, comedies, benefit productions and more in venues ranging from the small and intimate to the grandeur of New York's Lincoln Center. Other capacities of acclaim include stage and set design for more than 20 productions, four Broadway casting credits and four Broadway wardrobe credits. Logan is likewise an actor, having worked with companies from New York to L.A. To cap it off, he has garnered national acclaim as a Broadway illustrator and graphic artist. His signature line drawings capture both the spirit and personality of his subjects. The New York Times just named him as an heir to the Hirschfeld tradition, having completed almost 100 pen and ink portraits commissioned by celebrities such as Hugh Jackman, Bernadette Peters, Morgan Freeman, Jude Law, Martin Short, Dolly Parton, Mary Tyler Moore, Harry Connick Jr., Alec Baldwin and many more.

 

 

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About Jake Speck, Studio Tenn's President and Managing Director: Whether the vast skill set required to perform solo a 90-minute tribute show to Danny Kaye, the vocal range required on Broadway in the Jersey Boys lead role of Bob Gaudio, a Broadway swing (7 roles) for the same smash hit, the role of Smudge in Forever Plaid, roles of pure comedy or intense drama, Speck has exceeded all expectations of directors, critics and patrons alike. Speck has appeared at the Emmy and Tony Award shows, as the featured entertainment for an official state dinner at the White House, and as part of the entertainment for the Yankees celebration parade following the 2009 World Series. He has sung the National Anthem at Soldier Field and had the coveted honor of singing the seventh inning stretch at Chicago's Wrigley Field. Speck purposed long ago to avail himself of opportunities to learn the business-side of theatre even while continuously living a career onstage in regional theatres across the country and on Broadway.

 

 

 

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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, held during Labor Day Weekend, which honor oustanding theater artists in Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors. Midwinter's First Night, held the first Sunday in January after New Year's Day, honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. Further, Ellis directed the Nashville premiere of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show, with Ellis honored by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror.


 
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