Tennessee Repertory Theatre Announces Name Change: Professional Theatre Will Be Known as Nashville Repertory Theatre
Nashville, TN--The Board of Trustees of Tennessee Repertory Theatre has announced its decision to change the name of the thirty-year-old theatre to Nashville Repertory Theatre, commencing with the 2014-15 season, which is also the professional theatre’s 30th anniversary.
In the spring of 2014, the Board unanimously approved the strategic plan to move forward as Nashville Rep. The name change celebrates the theatre’s deep commitment to working with local, professional, actors, artisans, and artists as well as its commitment to fostering the city’s theatre ecology.
The name change to Nashville Repertory Theatre was announced publicly at an event honoring the company’s 30th anniversary. The event was held at Emma Bistro Café and featured the following speakers: Vicki Horne (President, Board of Directors, Nashville Repertory Theatre), René D. Copeland (Producing Artistic Director, Nashville Repertory Theatre), Martha Ingram (Co-founder, Nashville Repertory Theatre), Paula Roberts (President, Board of Directors, Metro Nashville Arts Commission), and Megan Barry (City Council Member At Large, Nashville).
Copeland said, “There's nothing like turning thirty to make you step back and do a little taking stock of yourself--who you are, what you've managed to do so far, what you aspire to. So as we were looking ahead to this time, we found ourselves digging deep into who we really are and how we want to communicate that. We have a thirty year history of which we are very proud. Tennessee Rep has from its inception been committed to serving this community through making great professional theatre. We certainly aspire to continue to be worthy of that heritage and we intend to honor the dedication of those who went before us by making sure we have a great future. And in thinking forward to our future we came to this strong conviction that the time had come for us to focus clearly and strongly on communicating who we are, locally, regionally and nationally.”
She continued, “We are, and have always been a company dedicated to serving Nashville through providing terrific theatre. We love that we are a part of a cultural life for Nashvillians who have a plethora of cultural and entertainment options. Since 1985, making sure that everyone who comes to see one of our shows has a stimulating, inspiring, entertaining experience in the theatre has been and will always be our first priority. But besides serving Nashville audiences, we have evolved to become a company of Nashville theatre artists and we have come to embrace the idea that it’s part of our job to help drive Nashville’s ‘theatre engine.’ We strive to be an inspiration and a resource and embrace a leadership role in Nashville’s theatre ecology. We even state explicitly in our strategic plan that we exist not only to provide great theatre to this city, but also to provide a home that enables professional theatre artists to live here. We're Nashvillians. And we thrive on the idea that we are in service to this town.”
Barry read a letter written by Nashville Mayor Karl Dean that commemorated the occasion. Dean said, “Congratulations as well on embracing your true identity as Nashville’s own regional, professional theatre by becoming Nashville Repertory Theatre. This evolution of your name celebrates your rich history along with your commitment to local professional actors, artists, and artisans. I am exceedingly proud to have a professional theatre serving our citizens by offering quality theatre on par with any other city in this country, all created and produced right here.”
Since 1985, Nashville Repertory Theatre has been a critically acclaimed regional theatre, creating the highest quality professional productions and by serving as a prime cultural, educational, and economic resource within the Nashville and Middle Tennessee communities. Nashville Rep produces work that is designed, built, and rehearsed in Nashville by highly skilled actors, designers, directors, and technicians. A non-profit organization, Nashville Rep is committed to consistently delivering thought-provoking theatre each year while creating “Ah-ha!” moments that inspire empathy, prod intellectual and emotional engagement, and expand the creative capacity of audience and artists though the dynamic connection unique to live theatre. For more information on Nashville Repertory Theatre, please visit www.nashvillerep.org.# # #
Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland and Marketing Director Pat Patrick will be available for live or taped interviews beginning September 18 (earlier by special arrangement).
Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, book by Hugh Wheeler
October 4 - 25, 2014 (previews: October 2 - 3)
Johnson Theater, TPAC
Back by Popular Demand! The rare instance of a musical thriller, this chilling, suspenseful, heart-pounding masterpiece of murderous “barber-ism” and culinary crime tells the infamous tale of the unjustly exiled Benjamin Barker (aka Sweeney Todd). He returns to 19th century London seeking revenge against the lecherous judge who framed him and ravaged his young wife. The enterprising (and unforgettable) pie-maker Mrs. Lovett helps Sweeney Todd exact his revenge in the most "delicious" of ways. Sophisticated, macabre, visceral and uncompromising, Sweeney Todd mixes intense drama with howlingly funny moments of dark humor.
"Nashville Rep turned TPAC's Johnson Theater sideways for its galvanizing mounting of the Sondheim classic. London looked foreboding and foggy per Gary Hoff's compressed set, and a small but mighty cast acted, sang and played stagehands as well in a marvelously brooding production that was daring in conception and right on the mark in execution." --Martin Brady, Nashville Scene (Best of Nashville, 2009)
A Christmas Story
by Phillip Grecian based on the motion picture by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark
November 29 – December 21, 2014 (preview: November 28)
Johnson Theater, TPAC
NASHVILLE’S ALL-AMERICAN HOLIDAY TRADITION! Humorist Jean Shepherd's memoir of growing up in the Midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his unflappable campaign to get Santa (or anyone else) to give him a “legendary official Red Ryder 200 shot carbine action range-model air rifle.” Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Goldblatt's Department Store. The consistent response: "You'll shoot your eye out." This irresistible piece of Americana is guaranteed to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.
"Thanks to Nashville Repertory Theatre's wonderfully evocative production of the play, based on the iconic holiday movie, if I could possibly have another more satisfying theatre experience, I could scarcely dream it." --Jeffrey Ellis, broadwayworld.com
The Whipping Man
by Matthew Lopez
February 7 – 21, 2015 (previews: February 5 - 6)
Johnson Theater, TPAC
In the post-Civil War South, three men are tied to each other by history and faith, but are also bound by secrets. A badly wounded Jewish Confederate soldier stumbles home at war’s end to find his family has fled to the countryside. Remaining behind to greet him are two of his family's former slaves… and a cobbled together Passover Seder. The three men unite to celebrate the holiday, even as they struggle to comprehend their new relationships at a crossroads of personal and national history.
“A compelling Civil War-era drama, filled with fine characterization and unexpected moments of humor.” —The New York Times
Death of a Salesman
by Arthur Miller
March 14 – 28, 2015 (previews: March 12 - 13)
Johnson Theater, TPAC
With its 1949 Broadway opening, Death of a Salesman struck a chord with audiences, and each generation since has embraced the play as an expression of their own struggle to achieve the American dream. In this Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Arthur Miller redefined the tragic hero in Willy Loman—the aging, failing salesman who makes his living riding on a smile and a shoeshine. Death of a Salesman compresses epic extremes of humor and anguish, promise and loss, within the unstable walls of a suburban American home.
"By common consent, this is one of the finest dramas in the whole range of the American theatre." —The New York Times
Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike
by Christopher Durang
April 11 – 25, 2015 (previews: April 9 - 10)
Johnson Theater, TPAC
In this 2013 Tony Award-winner for Best Play, Christopher Durang takes characters and themes from Chekhov, pours them into a blender, and serves them up dry as only this master of comedy can. Classic Chekhovian themes of loss and longing are given utterly hilarious (and occasionally touching) twists. Against the bucolic plague of a farmhouse in Pennsylvania, the stage is set for an absurd weekend of angst, hilarity, and global warming.
“I can imagine many satisfied patrons leave the theater muttering, Now if only real Chekhov plays were this funny, maybe I wouldn’t keep falling asleep.’”—The New York Times