OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM Directed by Tim robbins
OZ ARTS NASHVILLE PRESENTS THE ACTORS’ GANG’S ACCLAIMED PRODUCTION OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE’S A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, DIRECTED BY ACADEMY AWARD-WINNER TIM ROBBINS, SEPTEMBER 12 & 13
The Actors’ Gang Kicks Off Groundbreaking Contemporary Arts Center’s Second Season with First U.S. Engagement of the Production Outside of the Troupe’s Home Theater in Los Angeles
Company Will Also Bring Its Prison Project to Nashville, Working with Inmates in the Charles Bass Correctional Facility Neighboring OZ
OZ Arts Nashville launches its 2014-15 season by hosting Tim Robbins and The Actors’ Gang, the theater company he founded and leads, for two performances of their highly acclaimed production of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, September 12 & 13. These are The Actors’ Gang’s first U.S. performances of Midsummer outside of their home theater in Culver City, CA. The troupe will also bring their Actors’ Gang Prison Project to Nashville, engaging inmates of the Charles Bass Correctional Facility in theater-style workshops as a means of rehabilitation.
Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will take place at OZ (6172 Cockrill Bend Circle, Nashville) at 8pm. Tickets, $47.50 - $57.50, can be purchased at www.oznashville.com.
William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a surreal world of fairies, spells, incantations, magic and disorder made right by the mischief of the night. Working with director Tim Robbins and the company’s Co-Artistic Director, Cynthia Ettinger, thirteen actors and three musicians from The Actors’ Gang illuminate Shakespeare’s forest with original music, kinesthetic movement and a fervent approach to the surreality and magic of the classic play. The production features minimal costumes, props and scenery, relying mainly on Shakespeare's extraordinary text to realize this magical world. The Huffington Post has said of the production, “This is the Midsummer Shakespeare dreamed…original, madcap and completely engaging…astonishing…you want to get up and dance in the aisles…a jovial evening has never been so well spent.”
The Actors’ Gang is a true theatrical ensemble. Members train together regularly and develop pieces through a rigorous workshop process. The actors in the company, in addition to their training and performance schedule, are dedicated participants in The Actors’ Gang Prison Project, one of the few arts programs in California’s correctional system. Through a series of eight-week workshops, the Prison Project engages inmates in ensemble theatre-making in order to help them build the emotional and social skills they’ll need to return to society.
This year The Actors’ Gang received its first state funding, from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, to expand the work they do through the Prison Project. Now OZ Arts has helped arrange for the company to do their first Prison Project workshop outside of California; they will conduct an abbreviated workshop with inmates of the Charles Bass Correctional Facility, located just over a mile from the venue.
About Tim Robbins and The Actors’ Gang
Tim Robbins ranks among contemporary cinema’s most acclaimed and provocative voices; a multifaceted talent, who has acted in, written, directed, and produced films including Mystic River, Catch a Fire, Dead Man Walking, The Shawshank Redemption, The Player, Bob Roberts, Bull Durham, Jacobs Ladder, Hudsucker Proxy, The Secret Life of Words, and Cradle Will Rock.
Robbins has served as the Artistic Director of The Actors’ Gang since the company’s founding in 1981—by turns writing, directing and acting in the company’s productions.
The Actors' Gang has presented the work of innovative theater artists including Georges Bigot and Simon Abkarian of the Theatre du Soleil, Bill Rauch and the Cornerstone Theatre Company, Culture Clash, Oskar Eustis, Tracy Young, Charles Mee, Ellen McLaughlin, Roger Guenver Smith, Eric Bogosian, David Schweizer, Danny Hoch, Beth Milles, Brian Kulick, Stefan Haves, Namaste Theater Company, Jason Reed, Michael Schlitt, and Tenacious D.
The acclaimed theater ensemble has included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Jeremy Piven, Jon Favreau, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Ebbe Roe Smith, Brent Hinkley, Kate Mulligan, Lee Arenberg, Kyle Gass, and Tim Robbins.
Most recently, The Actors’ Gang returned from their successful international tour of China, performing A Midsummer Night’s Dream in both Beijing and Shanghai as well as taking the show to Spoleto, Italy. After the run in Nashville, the company will be bringing the show to Brazil from September 19 – 21. The Actors’ Gang began touring its productions throughout the world in 1989, representing the U.S. at the Edinburgh Festival with Carnage, a Comedy, which moved to the Public Theater in New York. The theater group has toured all throughout Europe, Asia, Australia, Central and South America and throughout the US with productions such as 1984, The Trial of the Catonsville 9, Tartuffe, The Guys, and The Exonerated and Embedded. In 2004, The Actors’ Gang performed its anti-Iraq war satire Embedded to four months of sold-out houses at New York’s Public Theater and then went on to a successful run at the Riverside Theater in London. In 2001 Bat Boy: The Musical, developed at The Actors’ Gang, won the Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics awards for best new musical Off-Broadway.
Robbins has been instrumental in the development and expansion of education and outreach programs at The Actors’ Gang: arts programs that have reached thousands of children currently without school funding for theater programs. In addition, Robbins and several other Actors’ Gang members regularly conduct theater workshops with incarcerated men and women in an effort to fill the gap in arts rehabilitation programs in the California correctional system.
The Actors’ Gang has received many prestigious awards in Los Angeles for its productions including the Margaret Hartford Award for Continued Excellence, and has received numerous commendations and honors for its social outreach, education programs, and prison work.
About OZ Arts Nashville
As the first 501(c)3 contemporary arts institution in the region, the arrival of OZ Arts has begun to transform the cultural landscape of Nashville. Through a year-round program of performing and visual arts events, OZ supports the creative explorations of leading artists from around the world and inspires curious audiences of all ages. Nashville’s Ozgener family established the non-profit OZ Arts in the building that once housed their cigar company, C.A.O. Under their leadership, OZ has been transformed into a column-free, 10,000 square-foot performance and installation venue nestled amidst artfully landscaped grounds.
In addition to presenting celebrated national and international artists, OZ Arts serves as a catalyst for local creativity. Conceived by OZ Artistic Director Lauren Snelling, TNT (Thursday Night Things) is a monthly series of unexpected collaborations with Nashville-based artists from varying creative disciplines. OZ provides a platform for these artists to create, develop and present a one-time-only event that would traditionally not be seen in a visual art gallery or theatre—utilizing the vast expanse of the Grand Salon, entrance gallery and/or surrounding grounds.
OZ Media Contacts
Nashville press, please contact Amy Atkinson at Amy Atkinson Communications, 615.305.8118 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
National press, please contact Blake Zidell at Blake Zidell & Associates, 718.643.9052 or email@example.com.