Tennessee Shakespeare Co Presents PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE For Third Annual Free Shout-Out Series
Tennessee Shakespeare Company launches its third annual Free Shout-Out Shakespeare Series on Sept. 11 with an 80-minute stage production of "Pericles, Prince of Tyre." Opening the company's 2019-20 season, the touring production of Shakespeare's rollicking late romance will be presented in ten different indoor and outdoor venues throughout the Greater Memphis area.
All 10 performances, from Sept. 11-21, are free to the public and do not require tickets to attend. Taylor St. John directs the fast-paced production with four company actors playing 15 roles.
"When we say that Shakespeare is for everyone, we mean it," said TSC Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary. "Our hope with this Series is that one day soon most Memphians will feel an ownership of both the playwright and his stories - all of them. And to do that, we need to perform where all Memphians live, work, and play. Even if someone sees and hears Shakespeare near them for five minutes every year, they may come to know that Shakespeare is already part of their DNA and that TSC is their Shakespeare company."
The Free Shout-Out Shakespeare Series is sponsored by Evans|Petree, P.C. and First Tennessee Foundation through an ArtsFirst grant. New sound and lighting equipment, funded by ArtsMemphis and the Plough Foundation, will enhance the stage experience for 100-200 patrons per performance.
"I am deeply grateful to Evans|Petree P.C., First Tennessee Foundation, ArtsMemphis, and the Plough Foundation for helping us turn this notion of community service into a fully-produced and fun reality," McCleary said.
"Pericles, Prince of Tyre" tells the story of a prince who leaves home to escape death and then wins a jousting contest and marries a princess. Once he is allowed back home, a storm separates Pericles from his family, during his return sea voyage. Years later, he discovers his daughter and reunites with his wife whom he thought was dead.
TSC's production is set in an ancient time and place, but the story is relevant to today - a separated family from another land endures extreme trials before being reunited, encouraging audiences to consider their responses to those they meet in similar need.
"People being displaced from or escaping their homelands is an ancient act, particularly in the Mediterranean," St. John said. "Our production is set in a refugee camp where the storytellers use the flotsam of their world and the few precious garments and relics from their homelands to bring their story to life."
Tennessee Shakespeare Company's Education and Outreach Manager Carmen-Maria Mandley serves as line producer for the Series, and TSC veteran Kristen Fisher is the production stage manager. The design team includes Jeremy Fisher, TSC's resident lighting designer; Lindsay Taylor, scenic/props design; Alex Perel-Sams, TSC's costume shop manager; and resident TSC artist-manager Merit Koch, original music composer.