Tennessee Shakespeare Company Stages World Premiere Of I DWELL IN POSSIBILITY: EMILY DICKINSON EMERGES

Directed by Stephanie Shine and featuring Denice Hicks as Emily Dickinson, I Dwell in Possibility runs December 1-11.

By: Nov. 15, 2022
Tennessee Shakespeare Company Stages World Premiere Of I DWELL IN POSSIBILITY: EMILY DICKINSON EMERGES

Tennessee Shakespeare Company hosts the "Belle of Amherst" on its Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage as she shares her poetic relationship to isolation, nature, literature, and love, in the world premiere of I Dwell in Possibility: Emily Dickinson Emerges.

Directed by Stephanie Shine and featuring Denice Hicks as Emily Dickinson, I Dwell in Possibility runs December 1-11 (Emily's birth month) and is generously sponsored by Independent Bank and in honor of teacher Pat Casserly Kelly.

The discounted ($20 tickets) Preview performance is Thursday, December 1 at 7:30 pm. Opening night is Friday, December 2 at 7:30 pm. Subsequent performances are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 pm, and on Sundays at 3:00 pm.

Thursdays, December 1 and 8 are Free Will Kids' Nights when up to four children 17 years and younger may attend for FREE when accompanied by at least one, full-price-paying Adult Guardian.

As imagined by Shine and Hicks in this one-woman, 65-minute play, Emily Dickinson is invited into our modern world through the immortality and spirituality of her writing. As she shares with us, she reveals a commonality across the centuries. What will humankind do as we emerge from a pandemic and lock-down. With our imaginations fueled for action, will we choose destruction or will we choose creativity? Can the words of a poet entrust, inspire, and heal? Emily would like to imagine so.

"Emily Dickinson's poetry speaks to everyone who lived through the forced reclusion of the pandemic," says Hicks, who is the Artistic Director of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. "Emily was an original artist, who boldly refused to conform to the social expectations of her day. I am thrilled to be working with Stephanie to bring Emily's words to life in the 21st century for Tennessee Shakespeare Company. I hope our audience leaves the show revitalized with a renewed appreciation that 'forever is composed of nows.'"

"Denice and I have known each other to say hello to at national conferences for years, but this is the first time we have had occasion to work together," says Shine. "It's been joyful. Denice brings a dense relationship with Emily's works gathered over three decades and is a most generous and patient collaborator with me as I fall in love with Dickinson for the first time. It's exhilarating when we land on similar thoughts about the structure or specific pieces of writing. It's equally exhilarating when we differ. In our collective, it feels like we are closer to universal truths masterfully shared in Emily's poems.

"Our mutual Shakespeare foundation, a foundation we share with Emily, also serves us with heightened sensitivity to image and poetic intent. So far, we've been writing, writing, writing to each other, much like Emily with her friends. That, in itself, has been a good study in inching us closer to Emily's own experiences."

I Dwell in Possibility: Emily Dickinson Emerges will feature over 30 of her poems and letters as visual and photographic projections of what Emily conjures are revealed through the windows of the Dickinson family homestead, connecting her world to ours. She shares with the audience reflections on her bodily life and the insights she has into our own society now.

Dickinson, born in 1830, was an intellectual from a young age. Her father encouraged her to remain in school and deeply invested in learning. Over the course of her life, her intellectualism walked hand-in-hand with increasing reclusiveness - though once her companion dog died after the Civil War, letters replaced visits as Dickinson completely retreated into a world of her own at her homestead in Amherst, Massachusetts.

This was not an idle isolation. Emily oversaw domestic matters, apart from those social in nature, as her mother's health declined. She counseled those closest to her via correspondence and sought their insights as well. She was known in her time for her garden and interest in botany. What Dickinson is most known for now, however, is her writing. In addition to the continuous correspondence, and sometimes included therein, Dickinson penned nearly 1,800 poems - only a few of which were published in her life, anonymously.

After Dickinson's death in 1886, her family found her hand-sewn books, which contained the majority of those poems, and published them despite the fact that she requested all of her writing be destroyed upon her death. Emily Dickinson is now known as one of America's ground-breaking poets.

Jeremy Allen Fisher (Scenic and Lighting Designer) TSC: Ada and the Engine, Macbeth, As You Like It, Waiting for Godot, Much Ado About Nothing, To Kill a Mockingbird, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Richard III, The Taming of the Shrew, Unto the Breach, It's a Wonderful Life, Hamlet. Jeremy is a member of United Scenic Artists Local USA 829 and a graduate of Oklahoma City University. He has worked with Theatre Memphis, Youngblood Studios, Opera Memphis, Ballet Memphis, University of Memphis, Memphis' Orpheum Theatre, Seattle Opera, Desoto Family Theatre, New Day Children's Theatre, and New Ballet Ensemble. Some of his other credits include lighting Memphis' Broad Avenue Water Tower, Wiseacre's new Taproom, and several works at Saint Jude's Research Hospital and Lebonheur Children's Hospital. Awards: 2017 TAC Individual Artist Award, and 11 Ostrander Award nominations with four wins for Lighting Designs.

Denice Hicks (Emily Dickinson and Co-Creator) has been performing for over 50 years and is currently the Artistic Director of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, a company dedicated to community enrichment through professional theatrical experiences and interactive workshops. Educated at Point Park University, her first Shakespeare role was Juliet at the historic Pittsburgh Playhouse in 1979. She moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland USA, toured for two years on the dinner theater circuit, was an original company member of the Nashville Repertory Theatre, and was among the founders of both the Darkhorse Theater and People's Branch Theatre. She has been a guest lecturer at many universities and with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad program for three weeks in Stratford-upon-Avon, and London. She was honored by the Nashville Scene as one of the "Twenty-five Nashvillians who've shaped the city for the better since 1989" and is frequently voted "Best Stage Actor" by their readers. Denice has been involved in over 70 productions of Shakespeare's works, with some of her favorite roles being Puck, Ophelia, Juliet, Rosalind, Viola, Olivia, Katherine, Cassius, the Duke of York (Richard II), and Ariel. Non-Shakespeare favorites are Stella (A Streetcar Named Desire), Ouiser (Steel Magnolias), Lenny (Crimes of the Heart), Major Barbara, various roles in numerous new works, and as Emily Dickinson she toured the entire state in The Belle of Amherst for Humanities Outreach of Tennessee.

Desiree Ruiloba (Stage Manager) is a graduate of the University of Houston's School of Theatre and Dance, earning her B.F.A in Stage Management. Stage Managing credits: The Vineyard Theatre: 2022 Gala; Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival: Romeo & Juliet, Mr. Burns; Stages Theatre: The Ultimate Christmas Show: Abridged; Mildred's Umbrella Theatre Co.: El Huracan; EDG Lighting: School of the Americas; University of Houston: An Ideal Husband, Come and Take It, and Haroun and the Sea of Stories.

Stephanie Shine+ (Director and Co-Creator) TSC directorial credits include Henry VI: Wars of the Roses, Macbeth, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Henry V, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar, It's a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, Southern Yuletide, Shakespeare's Greatest Hits, Shake(s), Rattle, and Roll, Shakespeare Said It, Lend Me Thy Sword, eleven productions of Romeo and Juliet, and many Literary Salons. On stage at TSC, she played the Abbess in The Comedy of Errors, Countess in All's Well That Ends Well, the female roles in Unto the Breach, and Gertrude in Hamlet. Prior to joining TSC, she was Artistic Director of Seattle Shakespeare Company, a position she enjoyed for 13 years. Other directorial credits include King Lear and As You Like It for Houston Shakespeare Festival, The Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors for Colorado Shakespeare Festival, the award-winning one-woman internationally-touring Marilyn Monroe Biopic, Marilyn: Forever Blonde, and several new works for Seattle's Book-It Repertory Theatre. Her production of I am of Ireland (which she also conceived and adapted) opened Book-It's 25th Anniversary Season in 2014. As an actor, she has performed with the Oregon Shakespearean Festival, NYC's Theatre for a New Audience, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, ACT, The Empty Space, and Seattle Children's Theatre, among others. Roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, the Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and the Chorus in Henry V. The Germantown Arts Alliance honored her with its 2016 Distinguished Arts and Humanities Medal for Performing Arts. Education: graduate of the Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts; B.F.A in Acting from the University of Washington's Professional Actor Training Program; M.F.A. in Directing from the University of Memphis.

Allison White (Costume Designer) Design credits: Tennessee Shakespeare Company: King Henry VI: The Wars of the Roses, Ada and the Engine, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth; Theatre Memphis: You Can't Take It with You; University of Florida: Pippin, Between Riverside and Crazy, The Day is Long to End; Cape Fear Regional Theatre: Caroline, Or Change; Sarasota Youth Opera: The Secret World of Og; Theatre Raleigh: Smokey Joe's Café, The Wolf, All My Sons, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Carousel. Allison has also worked at several regional theatres and opera companies as a member of their costume production staffs. She has an M.F.A. in Theatre from the University of Florida.

+ member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, Inc., an independent national labor union.

Purchase tickets online here or by calling (901) 759-0604. Open Monday-Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm, and one hour prior to curtain. TSC is located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis, TN 38018-6297.

All TSC personnel are fully-vaccinated, and ventilation systems in TSC's facility have been newly upgraded. Hand-sanitizer and free, disposable masks will be made available to all patrons.

Tickets for I Dwell in Possibility: Emily Dickinson Emerges in Seating Section One are $40 (Students $20/Seniors $35). Seating Sections Two and Three are $30 (Students $20/Seniors $25). The preview performance on December 1 is $20. Thursday night performances are Free Will Kids' Nights, up to four children 17 years and younger may attend for free when accompanied by at least one, full-price-paying Adult Guardian; while seats last. Must be purchased either over the phone or in person.

No refunds/exchanges. House opens 30 minutes prior to curtain. Credit Card charges require a $1 per-ticket fee. Casts and schedules subject to change with notice. Free parking and covered drop-off at front door.