Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces 11th Season

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Announces 11th Season

Tennessee Shakespeare Company today announced its 11th season as the Mid-South's professional, classical theatre and education organization.

The announcement was made on the future Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage, part of a $3 million renovation in and around TSC's new home.

Over the next 11 months, TSC will renovate and double the size of its public restrooms, then pause construction for performances through December, then continue the renovation process into next summer with the creation of the Elizabethan playhouse-inspired Tabor Stage, Rehearsal Hall, Education Hall, foyer, dressing rooms, green room, and the addition of a full-size catering kitchen.

TSC's architectural firm is Memphis-based archimania. The general contractor is Grinder, Tabor, Grinder. The theatre consultant is Schuler Shook.

Once completed, TSC will become Tennessee's first and only permanent, professional home for year-round Shakespeare, education, and training.

TSC's Brave New World Capital Campaign goal is $6 million, of which more than half has been raised and includes last year's outright purchase of the property and facility.

TSC's generous season sponsors include International Paper; FedEx; C. Cato Ealy; the family of Ernest and Pat Kelly; Nancy R. Copp; Independent Bank; Tennessee Arts Commission; the family of Owen and Margaret Tabor; Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund; Arts Midwest; and The National Endowment for the Arts. TSC's season is funded under a Grant Contract with the State of Tennessee.

Season 11 includes a new Elizabethan mainstage repertory of Macbeth and As You Like It, the second annual Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, touring productions of Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest, The Southern Literary Salon featuring F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, the Broadway Gala at the Memphis Hilton, and an expanded Education Program.

The future Tabor Stage will pilot an Elizabethan-inspired playhouse with exposed timbers, balcony, and an intimate playing relationship between the actors and 160 audience members within an octagonal space. Both Macbeth and As You Like It will perform in the new theatre, each exploding with a distinct modern magic.

Zak Ozmo, a world-renowned Early Music musician and the director of the period instrument ensemble L'Avventura London, will compose and arrange the period music. He and other master musicians will play live in the balcony over the stage for every performance, as was the practice during Shakespeare's life in the Rose and Globe Playhouses.

Brian Ruggaber (TSC's The Comedy of Errors, Henry V, All's Well That Ends Well, Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III, A Midsummer Night's Dream) returns as scenic/props designer for the Elizabethan mainstage season.

Jeremy Fisher, now TSC's resident lighting designer and technical director, will light the Elizabethan mainstage season. Jeremy has designed most of TSC's productions over the past four years.

"Macbeth might not be many theatres' first choice as the play to pilot their new season in their future new home," said founder and Producing Artistic Director Dan McCleary, "but in dealing with the play intimately for the last half of my life, I appreciate the haunting and tragedy of the story now as it relates to Shakespeare's 'grace of grace,' his most soaring yet popular poetry, and his need to reflect his current events by hearkening back 600 or so years.

"And we have not produced Shakespeare's rich, woodland romantic comedy of As You Like It since our very first production at St. George's Church and in Barbara Apperson's outdoor Arden. That production launched us against many odds and made a promise to our community that we have worked diligently to keep. The play's grace of inclusiveness and embrace of opposites continue to inspire.

"We are determined to create a classical playing space that is unique in Memphis, our state, and in the southeastern United States. It will be flexible, comfortable, reverberant with natural materials, and it will be able to open out through our facility's walls in order to host our 400-seat Gala as well as rent out to other parties through the year. We are creating a festive, classical, workhorse of a playspace that will educate our children, train tomorrow's actors, and never have a line at the bathrooms!"

Elizabethan Mainstage Season Two-Day Sale

A special two-day Elizabethan Mainstage sale occurs on August 14-15. When you purchase tickets for both Macbeth and As You Like It, you receive a 25% discount off the regular price. You could see both shows for only $60. Mark your calendars today!

The 11th Season: Brave New World

Free Shakespeare Shout-Out Series

The Two Gentlemen of Verona

by William Shakespeare

directed by Stephanie Shine+

September 8-29

sponsored by Evans/Petree, P.C.

75-minute running time

It's free, fun, fast, and for everyone! Last season's inaugural Shout-Out Series returns by popular demand with 11 performances at 10 outdoor/indoor locations throughout Shelby County. Ideal for families and picnics, this quick-fire version of Two Gents provides a rare opportunity to laugh at Shakespeare's first comedy - and perhaps even his very first play.

He takes a well-known comedy of a love triangle and re-shapes it into a love rectangle, introduces strong female characters (one of whom takes on Shakespeare's first "pants role" before the more famous Viola and Rosalind do), creates wise-cracking servants Speed and Launce, and even adds bandits to the mix. But for all that, the play remains famous for one particular role: Crab the dog. Even as the story ranges from the shocking to the hilarious, Crab sits non-plussed.

No tickets or reservations needed. Patrons are encouraged to come early for available seating.

8 at 2:00 pm
Stax Amphitheatre
(Open Rehearsal)

8 at 6:00 pm
Orange Mound Community Center
(Open Rehearsal)

September 14 at 6:00 pm
Collierville Town Square

September 15 at 2:00 pm
Germantown Library

September 15 at 6:00 pm
Loflin Yard

September 21 at 6:00 pm
Beale Street Landing

September 22 at 2:00 pm
Wiseacre Brewery

September 22 at 6:00 pm
Overton Square at the Chimes Square Amphitheatre

September 28 at 6:00 pm
International Harvester Managerial Park

September 29 at 2:00 pm
Benjamin Hooks Public Library

September 29 at 6:00 pm
Overton Square at the Chimes Square Amphitheatre

Elizabethan Mainstage Rep


by William Shakespeare

directed by Dan McCleary+

October 18 - November 4

Actors' Equity Association (AEA*) production

sponsored by C. Cato Ealy

The Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage at TSC

In his horrific, poetic tragedy, Shakespeare begins with a man "too full of the milk of human kindness" and concludes with "the grace of grace." In between, with alarming speed and majestic verse, he reveals an evil not in our stars nor gods, but from the most frightening source: our own humanity. A play famous for its witches and blood is never more rousing than when it prompts Macbeth's conscience to speak and act.

A leader lusting for power believes he is above the law of humans, morality, and God. His atrocities will be pardoned, he believes. For his own prosperity, he claims all people and the world will give way, that he may lie, that he may kill, that he is impenetrable. But Shakespeare revels in pitting the man persistently against his own better angels.

Veterans Paul Kiernan* and Caley Milliken* return to TSC to play the Macbeths, with Dave Demke*, Gabriel Vaughan*, Michael Khanlarian, Claire Hayner, Nic Picou, and Blake Currie. The full cast will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are $39. The October 18 Preview performance is $19. October 25 and November 1 are Free Will Kids' Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian (call the Box Office to secure Free Will tickets). Seniors (62+): $34. Students (18+): $19. October 19 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors. Thursday-Saturday performances are at 7:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm.

General Admission/Free Parking. All performances take place at TSC's new home, located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis 38018-6297. Tickets are on sale now at www.tnshakespeare.org and (901) 759-0604.

Elizabeth Mainstage Rep

As You Like It

by William Shakespeare

directed by Dave Demke+

dance choreography by Caley Milliken

November 29 - December 16

Actors' Equity Association (AEA*) production

Sponsored by Pat and Ernest G. Kelly, Jr.

in The Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage at TSC

In his comedic masterwork, Shakespeare boldly reinvents his secret personal loves for the stage. There is his Dark Lady, his handsome Rival Poet, and his mother Mary Arden. In exile in the Forest of Arden are the singular creations of Rosalind, Touchstone, and Jaques ("All the world's a stage..."). The result of the city-dwellers mixing with those of the country might otherwise have proved a gender-bending, female-driven, frothy scandal on the Elizabethan stage were it not for the revelations of heart and humanity in the woods - a scandal-plagued world righted.

In nature, Shakespeare's characters discover little use for the restrictive laws of the court and societal forms. The wild wood reminds us it is un-natural not to evolve, that clinging to the status quo imperils us. Shakespeare's reward for the courage of his new characters is a surprise visit of spirituality in Arden where opposite worlds are united.

The cast includes Caley Milliken*, Paul Kiernan*, Gabriel Vaughan*, Michael Khanlarian, Merit Koch, Nic Picou, Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough, Claire Hayner, Shaleen Cholera, Carmen-maria Mandley, Marlon Finnie, Stuart Heyman, and Zach Williams. The full cast will be announced at a later date.

Tickets are $39. The November 29 Preview performance is $19. December 6 and 13 are Free Will Kids' Nights: children 17 years and younger are admitted free when accompanied by a paying/attending guardian (call the Box Office to secure Free Will tickets). Seniors (62+): $34. Students (18+): $19. November 30 is Opening Night, which welcomes patrons to a post-show reception with the actors. Thursday-Saturday performances are at 7:00 pm; Sunday matinees at 3:00 pm.

General Admission/Free Parking. All performances take place at TSC's new home, located at 7950 Trinity Road, Memphis 38018-6297. Tickets are on sale now at www.tnshakespeare.org and (901) 759-0604.

Southern Literary Salon and Brunch

Boats Against the Current: F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

curated and directed by Stephanie Shine+

Sunday, January 27 at Noon

at The Memphis Hunt and Polo Club

Sponsored by Anne O. Keeney in memory of Mr. Joseph Orgill, III

Join us for jazz, brunch, and the writings of F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald acted out in the beautiful ballroom of the Polo Club. When the "golden girl" of Montgomery, Alabama, met St. Paul's party-penning author, a romance as complex and unpredictable as the new jazz age would light America on fire. F. Scott and Zelda would create self-reflective literary works so clear of form and period as to place them in the vanguard of what we now call the Jazz Age and of the Lost Generation: The Great Gatsby, This Side of Paradise, The Last Tycoon, and Save Me the Waltz.

The elegant brunch buffet and cash bar opens at Noon with seating through 1:30 pm. TSC actors will read and act the Fitzgeralds' works from 1:30-2:30 pm. Tickets are $55 and include all but the cash bar. Attire: cocktail/business casual. Limited seating. Host members: Margaret and Owen Tabor.

+ member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SDC)

Tenth Annual Broadway Gala

Benefitting TSC's Education Program

Join us in the spacious ballroom and lobby of the Memphis Hilton on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 6:00 pm for an Elizabethan boardwalk, fun festivities, auctions, dinner, open bars, and a brilliant Broadway headliner to be announced shortly.

Ten-seat tables are now available. Single tickets are on sale now through February 21 for $100. Single tickets purchased after February are $125. Attire is semi-formal and cocktail.

Education and Outreach

TSC's popular Education Program is expanding widely again this season. Led by director Stephanie Shine and manager Carmen-maria Mandley, the program now teaches and performs in the Memphis area, throughout Tennessee, and in six other states almost every day of the year.

The Program anticipates eclipsing last season's 30,000 student interactions with its nationally-acclaimed Romeo and Juliet Project in area high schools. The Project is made possible by FedEx, International Paper, the National Endowment for the Arts/Arts Midwest, and the Tennessee Arts Commission.

Components of the Romeo and Juliet Project and TSC playshops will continue to expand in important work at Hope Academy, Jail East, with military veterans at the Memphis V.A., and with specific groups in the hearing-impaired, visually-impaired, and physically-challenged communities. The Junior League of Memphis makes possible the work with adjudicated youth at both Hope Academy and Jail East.

Schools touring productions of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (October-December; nine actors; 90 minutes) or The Tempest abridged (January-June 2019; three actors; 50 minutes) are available throughout the academic year.

More than ten specially-crafted playshops and residencies also are available in schools, including text secrets, playing with a teacher's chosen play, stage combat, clowning, rhetoric, writing one's own verse, theatre games, teacher's took-kit for classical plays, and creative movement.

Special Student Morning Matinees (flexible start times) of Macbeth and As You Like It are offered to school classes at just $10 per student. Macbeth matinees are October 23, 24, 30, and 31. As You Like It matinees are December 4, 5, 11, and 12. These matinees are made possible by the Barbara B. Apperson Angel Fund.

About Tennessee Shakespeare Company

Tennessee Shakespeare Company is a professional 501(c)(3) theatre and education organization which performs the plays of William Shakespeare seasonally; performs classical and Southern writers seasonally; and provides innovative, year?round educational and training programming.

TSC was founded in 2008 by Memphian Dan McCleary as the city's first and only professional, classical theatre and education organization. On August 31, 2017, TSC purchased outright the former home of Ballet Memphis, which TSC now is renovating into the state's first and only permanent home for professional, year-round Shakespeare performance, education, and training.

Now beginning its eleventh season, TSC has produced 42 site-specific plays and events for over 50,000 patrons in its ten years. Its innovative Education program has reached 120 schools across seven states, totaling 200,000 student interactions.

TSC now performs and teaches every month of the year, tours to 5?6 southern states with its education shows, and is welcomed into at least 80 schools. TSC's education program has achieved a high regional and national profile. The program has been endorsed by Shelby County Schools, Germantown Municipal Schools, Collierville Municipal schools, and the National Endowment for the Arts (one of just 40 U.S. theatres to be acknowledged).

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