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Review: Cynthia Harris' THE CALLING IS IN THE BODY Is A Universal Tale of Love and In Photo Review: Cynthia Harris' THE CALLING IS IN THE BODY Is A Universal Tale of Love and Inspiration
by Jeffrey Ellis - Aug 10, 2022

In much the same way that a piece of evocative music can suddenly whisk you away to another time and place, there are moments in Cynthia Harris’ beautifully written The Calling Is In The Body that can take one just as swiftly to the Nashville of the early 1990s. Almost imperceptibly, Harris’ heartfelt reminiscence – a tribute styled as a “choreopoem” – of a young woman who inspired her to believe in herself and to aspire to more than she might have believed possible at the time, becomes a universal treatise on how every life has meaning far beyond any expectation.

BWW Review: Actors Bridge Ensemble Returns With Gloriously Heartfelt TINY BEAUTIFUL T Photo BWW Review: Actors Bridge Ensemble Returns With Gloriously Heartfelt TINY BEAUTIFUL THINGS
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 10, 2022

After two years in real time – which seems like more than two decades in these weird pandemic times in which we’ve been living most recently – Nashville’s critically and audience-acclaimed theater company Actors Bridge Ensemble is back in the business of producing live theater. And may we say, on behalf of the company’s legions of fans: Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! You have been missed.

Music City Confidential: Where Nashville Theater Stands Now Photo Music City Confidential: Where Nashville Theater Stands Now
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jul 21, 2019

Nashville theater has always been progressive. There have always been people and companies focused on the cutting edge, delivering productions that challenge and compel their audiences to think and to consider where they are now and where they will go in the future, and there is no question that such forward-thinking creative types will continue to wield influence in the theater community for as long as theater is to be created here, there and everywhere.

FRIDAY 5 (+1): Actors Bridge Ensemble's CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC Photo FRIDAY 5 (+1): Actors Bridge Ensemble's CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 22, 2019

Four members of Jon Royal's ensemble of actors - Breanna Booker, Alicia Haymer, DeYonte Jenkins and Shawn Whitsell - made time this week, amid the hustle and bustle and general bedlam of technical rehearsals to give us some insight into the factors and events that led them to the theater and to share with readers the reasons why they think you should see Citizen: An American Lyric.

Jon Royal Directs CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC For Actors Bridge March 22-31 Photo Jon Royal Directs CITIZEN: AN AMERICAN LYRIC For Actors Bridge March 22-31
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 5, 2019

Actors Bridge Ensemble presents the Nashville premiere of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine, adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs and directed by Jon Royal, March 22-31, at the Actors Bridge Studio at Darkhorse Chapel.

Photo Coverage: Midwinter's First Night 2019 at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Nashville Photo Photo Coverage: Midwinter's First Night 2019 at The Larry Keeton Theatre in Nashville
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jan 18, 2019

Actors Bridge Ensemble's acclaimed production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves and Cumberland County Playhouse's rendition of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street were named as the top shows of the year during Midwinter's First Night, the annual tribute to theater in Tennessee, held at Nashville's The Larry Keeton Theatre last Sunday night, January 13. Photographer Rae Lynn Whetzel-Stickney captured many of the night's biggest moments with her camera, which are shared on BroadwayWorld Nashville today.

THE WOLVES, SWEENEY TODD Win Top Awards at 2019 Midwinter's First Night Photo THE WOLVES, SWEENEY TODD Win Top Awards at 2019 Midwinter's First Night
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jan 15, 2019

Actors Bridge Ensemble's critically acclaimed production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves and Cumberland County Playhouse's stunning mounting of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street were named as the top shows of the year during Midwinter's First Night, the annual tribute to theater in Tennessee, held at Nashville's The Larry Keeton Theatre Sunday night, January 13.

First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight Photo First Night's Top Ten of 2018 Announced in Nashville Tonight
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 10, 2018

In anticipation of the gala 30th anniversary celebration of The First Night Awards, Tennessee's best and brightest in live theater were revealed tonight as First Night's Top Ten of 2018 - reviewer and critic Jeffrey Ellis' annual recognition for theater in the Volunteer State - were announced during a Facebook Live presentation from Nashville.

BWW Review: Jaclynn Jutting's Direction of a Remarkable Cast Makes Actor's Bridge's T Photo BWW Review: Jaclynn Jutting's Direction of a Remarkable Cast Makes Actor's Bridge's THE WOLVES The Show to See
by Jeffrey Ellis - Dec 2, 2018

In a production that almost didn't happen - it was upended by college administrators' fear of the power of the words found in DeLappe's stunning script - The Wolves is a play about the evolution of a group of nine young women who find themselves together every Saturday morning for a soccer match at an indoor facility in some unspecified locale that could be in New York, California or even Tennessee (or any place in between), during which they reveal themselves and their lives in a no-holds-barred conversation that allows audiences an unfettered view of whatever happens to be on their minds at any given moment.

Change of Date and Venue for Actors Bridge Ensemble's Production of Sarah DeLappe's T Photo Change of Date and Venue for Actors Bridge Ensemble's Production of Sarah DeLappe's THE WOLVES
by Jeffrey Ellis - Nov 7, 2018

Performance dates and a change in venue are in order for the Actors Bridge Ensemble's production of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe. Originally scheduled to open this Friday night at Belmont's Black Box Theatre, the Nashville premiere of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about a girls' indoor soccer team will now run November 30-December 2 and December 6-8 at the Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue, according to ABE artistic director Vali Forrister.

Vali Forrister Videos

STAGE TUBE: Bryan Schlanger from Actors Bridge Ensemble's Upcoming TIME STANDS STILL
by Jeffrey Ellis - Apr 30, 2012

Gina D'Arco interviews Nashville actor Bryan Schlanger about the process of bringing Donald Margulies' Time Stands Still to the stage under the direction of Kim Bretton.

STAGE TUBE: Vali Forrister and Act Like a GRRRL
by Jeffrey Ellis - Mar 12, 2012

Vali Forrister, producing artistic director of Actors Bridge Ensemble, talks about Act Like a GRRRL. Act Like a GRRRL, Inc., is an autobiographical writing and performance program for teenage girls. Based in Nashville, the program offers space and support for young women to gain a public voice, work with professional female mentors in a variety of creative fields, and foster friendships with peers from diverse backgrounds.

STAGE TUBE: THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA from Actors Bridge and Belmont University
by Jeffrey Ellis - Feb 15, 2012

Jessika Malone, artistic associate at ABE, directs the cast of Emily Mann's adaptation of Lorca's work which has been described as 'a cross between Downton Abbey and The Bachelor with an added splash of Mommie Dearest.' Opening, Friday, February 17, and running through February 26, The House of Bernarda Alba plays Belmont University's Troutt Theatre at 2100 Belmont Boulevard. General admission tickets are $18, with tickets for seniors at $12.

STAGE TUBE: First Night Nashville promo released
by Jeffrey Ellis - Aug 18, 2011

First Night: The Honors Gala is set for Sunday, September 4, at the Troutt Theatre at Belmont University, which kicks off at 5:30 p.m. with the Red Carpet Event, hosted by Jennifer Richmond and Trey Palmer, with fashion commentary by Cary Street, Joshua Waldrep and Lisa Garner Harrison. Impresario Johnny Delarocco (aka John Pyka) will produce a special Red Carpet performance by his company just for First Night.

STAGE TUBE: Josiah Gibbs and CJ Tucker Talk BECKY'S NEW CAR
by Jeffrey Ellis - Jul 20, 2011

Josiah Gibbs (Chris) and CJ Tucker (Ginger) discuss Steven Deitz's BECKY'S NEW CAR, directed by Vali Forrister for Nashville's Actors Bridge Ensemble, playing July 29 through Aug 7 at Belmont's Black Box Theater.