Tennessee Performing Arts Center launches new dance, theater and family series with renewed focus on intentional, diverse programming

The nonprofit’s goals include developing new audiences for the performing arts through diverse presentations and community partnerships.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) announces its non-Broadway programming lineup for 2022-23, including the launch of new series for dance, theater, and family presentations as well as the return of its Cabaret On Stage series, co-presented with Studio Tenn.

With plans for more intentional programming, in addition to its annual Broadway at TPAC series, TPAC will focus on presenting more purposeful, diverse artists and touring companies to grow audiences for dance and unique theatrical experiences.

“For more than 40 years, TPAC has been so much more than Broadway performances. Many in our region experienced their first live performance as a student attending our annual Season for Young People or experiencing the great work of the Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera and Nashville Repertory Theatre,” says Jennifer Turner, TPAC President and CEO. “Our goal returning from the pandemic is to strengthen our role as an anchor for the arts and culture community. That means taking risks, programming with purpose, and investing in audience growth for a variety of genres.”

Adding to the dance offerings in Nashville, TPAC’s new dance series for 2022-23 will feature MOMIX’s ALICE!, a mind-bending adventure inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland” from the company recognized worldwide as a maverick of creativity and invention; Ballet Hispanico’s DOÑA PERÓN, an explosive portrait of Eva "Evita" Perón, one of the most recognizable and controversial women in Argentinian history and The Scottish Ballet’s THE CRUCIBLE, an unmissable and thrilling ballet that unleashes the emotional force of Arthur Miller’s masterpiece, vividly accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra performing Peter Salem’s haunting score.

“With our non-Broadway offerings, we hope to entertain you, but we also want to use the live arts experience as a lens to view the world and provide audiences with opportunities to foster connections between people and cultures,” adds Turner. “We believe it’s important to present art that reflects our community and sparks understanding in ways that are compelling and meaningful.”

A three-show series of dramatic theater performances will feature RHAPSODY IN BLACK, a one-man show by LeLand Gantt that is a powerful personal narrative about racism, identity, and self-image; WHY WOULD I MISPRONOUNCE MY OWN NAME?, Irma Herrera’s journey from a small segregated South Texas town to California’s multicultural mecca that invites us to consider how open and welcoming we really are and 17 BORDER CROSSINGS, a trip around the world in which award-winning director, designer and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips uses minimal props and magnetic charm to recreate 17 (unforgettable) border crossings.

TPAC also will co-present with Studio Tenn the return of its popular Cabaret On Stage series, featuring four intimate evenings on TPAC’s Jackson Hall stage from Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer KRISTIN CHENOWETH (“Schmigadoon!,” “Wicked”); Emmy Award-winning actress and recording artist LIZ CALLAWAY (“Merrily We Roll Along,” “Baby”), known as the singing voice of Jasmine in Disney’s “Aladdin,” with Broadway, television and film actor JASON GRAAE (“Falsettos,” “Wicked”); award-winning actor and multi-platinum recording artist SAM HARRIS (“The Life,” “The Producers”) and four-time Tony nominee JUDY KUHN (“Fiddler on the Roof,” “Les Misérables”) who sang the title role in Disney’s “Pocahontas.” Harris and Kuhn will be joined by JOHN McDANIEL, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning music director, composer, director, arranger, and producer who will serve as the emcee.

A full 2022-23 lineup is below with dates and show descriptions. Series package sales and single ticket sales to be announced soon. For more information, stay tuned to TPAC.org or TPAC social channels.


Presented for the second year in a row in partnership with Studio Tenn.
SAM HARRIS with John McDaniel – July 2, 2022
KRISTIN CHENOWETH* – September 10, 2022
*Limited number of VIP Packages available
JUDY KUHN with John McDaniel – October 15, 2022


MOMIX’s Alice! – January 27-28, 2023
Ballet Hispanico’s DOÑA PERÓN – April 28-29, 2023
The Scottish Ballet’s THE CRUCIBLE – May 19-20, 2023

January 27-28, 2023

Seamlessly blending illusion, acrobatics, magic and whimsy, MOMIX sends audiences flying down the rabbit hole in a new production inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland.” Join this dazzling company on a mind-bending adventure, as ALICE! encounters time-honored characters including the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Caterpillar and a variety of other surprises that only MOMIX can provide. “I don’t intend to retell the story, but to use it as a taking off point for invention,” says famed MOMIX director, Moses Pendleton. One of America’s most wildly creative companies, MOMIX is recognized worldwide as a maverick of creativity and invention.

Ballet Hispanico’s DOÑA PERÓN
April 28-29, 2023

DOÑA PERÓN is an explosive portrait of Eva “Evita” Perón, one of the most recognizable, and controversial, women in Argentinian history. The illegitimate daughter of a prosperous farmer, Evita concealed this shameful past as she rose the ranks from dancehall performer to Argentina’s First Lady – all before her untimely death at the age of 33. DOÑA PERÓN brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. Her work as an activist and advocate for Argentina's women and working class raised skepticism as she indulged in the opulence of a high-class life. A voice for the people, or a deceitful actress? Annabelle Lopez Ochoa explores these diverging legacies and more in her first-ever evening-length work for Ballet Hispanico.

May 19-20, 2023

The village of Salem stands on the brink. A teenage girl imagines her future. A marriage is tested. Church bells ring, uniting the community in prayer. These are good people; this could be anywhere. They fear the shadows in the forest, but the real monsters are much closer to home. You’ll be on the edge of your seat watching this tight-knit society unravel into chaos. Ask yourself: when everything is in the balance, what are you prepared to pay for the truth? After its acclaimed 2019 premiere and sell-out Scottish tour, this unmissable ballet returns to thrill audiences again. Helen Pickett’s choreography unleashes the emotional force of Miller’s masterpiece, vividly accompanied by the Scottish Ballet Orchestra performing Peter Salem’s haunting score.


BLUEY’S BIG PLAY – June 3-4, 2023
NOTE: There will be three shows on the family series, but two have been confirmed at this time.

February 25, 2023

Created by Kennedy Center Theater for Young Audiences on Tour in Washington, DC, New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander brings two of his beloved children’s books—Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume—to the stage in a world premiere Kennedy Center commission. Alexander teams up with his writing partner Mary Rand Hess and long-time musical collaborator Randy Preston to tell a story about being scared, being brave, and believing in yourself. With special guests like Duck Ellington and Ms. Dairy Parton—plus Preston appearing as Acoustic Rooster—this musical adaptation will have children (and families) dancing in their seats.

June 3-4, 2023

A glorious celebration of everything you love about the show” [5 Stars] – The Guardian. When Dad feels like a little bit of Sunday afternoon time out, Bluey and Bingo have other plans! Join them as they pull out all of the games and cleverness at their disposal to get Dad off that bean bag. BLUEY’S BIG PLAY is a brand-new theatrical adaptation of the Emmy® award-winning children’s television series, with an original story by Bluey creator Joe Brumm, and new music by Bluey composer, Joff Bush. Join the Heelers in their first live theater show made just for you. Featuring brilliantly created puppets, this is Bluey as you’ve never seen it before, brought to real life. BLUEY’S BIG PLAY is presented by BBC Studios and Andrew Kay in association with Windmill Theatre Co.


RHAPSODY IN BLACK – September 23-25, 2022
17 BORDER CROSSINGS – June 23-25, 2023

September 23-25, 2022

Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC’s Actors Studio by Estelle Parsons, RHAPSODY IN BLACK is a one-man show that explores LeLand’s personal journey to understand and eventually transcend racism in America. We follow his life story – from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to teenage experiments with crime and drugs, to scholastic achievement and an acting career that lands adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African American in the room. His efforts to cope with the various psychological effects of consistently being marked “The Other” are recounted in remarkable and exquisitely moving detail, guaranteed to leave lasting impressions. RHAPSODY IN BLACK is a powerful personal narrative about racism, identity, and self-image. 

February 10-12, 2023

When Irma Herrera gives her name in its correct Spanish pronunciation, some people assume she’s not a REAL American. WHY WOULD I MISPRONOUNCE MY OWN NAME? is one woman’s journey from a small segregated South Texas town to California’s multicultural mecca. What part of Irma’s identity is she asked to give up for the sake of fitting in and getting along? How can a simple introduction turn into a potential battle to be heard and seen? Weaving history and comedic insights into stories about names, this solo performer invites us to consider how open and welcoming we really are.

June 23-25, 2023

A trip around the world via storytelling at its most fluent: award-winning theater director, designer, and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips uses minimal props and magnetic charm to recreate 17 (unforgettable) Border Crossings. Using only lighting, shadows, comedy, drama, and cheap magic, Phillips weaves a dramatic, visual, and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports, and curious customs. Climb aboard the communist-era type train on its journey from Prague to Belgrade or lie low in the wheel well of a transatlantic jet to Heathrow, on true life journeys recreating invasive body searches at Charles de Gaulle, run-ins with Ace of Base on Croatian ferries, KFC smuggling in Palestine, and ayahuasca experiments in the Amazon in this captivating contemplation of the perplexing ins-and-outs of our fragile rite of passage. 


MEOW MEOW – October 28, 2022   
Co-presented with OZ Arts Nashville
CHRISTMAS EVE WITH C.S. LEWIS – December 15-18, 2022
VOCTAVE – February 16, 2023
TABLAO FLAMENCO – April 20-22, 2023

Co-presented with OZ Arts Nashville
October 28, 2022
Post-post-modern chanteuse MEOW MEOW has hypnotized, inspired, and terrified audiences around the world with jaw-droppingly fabulous and frequently hilarious cabaret performances. Audiences have given her rhapsodies of praise from New York’s Lincoln Center to London’s West End; from The Sydney Opera House to Berlin’s famed Bar Jeder Vermunft. Delivering a riotous mix of theatrical concert and comedic performance art, MEOW MEOW arrives in Nashville with an unforgettable one-night stand. Prepare for Piazzolla tangos, Weill, Brecht, Brel, and even Radiohead alongside original chansons and wickedly divine comedy. Named one of the “Top Performers of the Year” by The New Yorker, the international diva and comedienne extraordinaire recently made her Kennedy Center debut on Renee Fleming’s VOICES series. Fleming described MEOW MEOW as “a performer who gleefully tramples the barriers of genre... Her shows may be moving, hilarious, or even shocking, but you can be sure she is never dull.”

December 2-4, 2022

MINTON SPARKS' SMOKIN’ WORD AND POETRY FESTIVAL will bring in top poets from around the country as well as local poets and songwriters who represent a wide variety of cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Minton will perform material from “Where Humans End and Birds Begin” along with other post-pandemic material. Sparks, a wildly original poet, performance artist, novelist, teacher and essayist, earned degrees from the University of the South and Vanderbilt University. Her appearances range from the prestigious Jonesborough National Storytelling Festival to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and the American Songbook Series at Lincoln Center in New York City. “Not since Whoopi’s debut one-woman-show have we seen such intelligent humor, searing insight and exuberance on the stage,” says Kelly Falzone of Poet People.

December 15-18, 2022

In the early years of his young adult life, C.S. Lewis believed the story of Christ’s birth was nothing more than feel-good myth. That all changed after a particular encounter with his great friend and fellow author, J. R. R. Tolkien. Although both men loved mythology in general, Tolkien was convinced that the Jesus myth was the one true myth. That was the start of Lewis’ journey from Atheism to Christianity. From that point on Christmas, for Lewis, took on an entirely different meaning. Here we find him at his home near Oxford on Christmas Eve hosting a group of Americans who are Christmassing in England. They are about to experience an unforgettable assortment of Yuletide recollections which stimulates a whole range of emotions – curiosity, laughter, gladness, and even some tears. Above all, they will discover how that encounter with Tolkien forever changed his Christmas celebrations.

December 30, 2022

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER CHRISTMAS BY CHIP DAVIS has been America’s favorite holiday tradition for over 35 years! Grammy Award winner Chip Davis has created a show that features Mannheim Steamroller Christmas classics along with a selection of compositions from Chip’s groundbreaking “Fresh Aire” series, which introduced the distinctive Mannheim sound to all of America. The program celebrates the group’s recent anniversary of 35 years since the first Christmas album, over 40 years since the first “Fresh Aire” album, and it includes dazzling multimedia effects performed in an intimate setting. Experience the magic as the spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. Their holiday CDs have become synonymous with Christmas and continue to occupy top spots on Billboard’s Seasonal Charts every year!

February 16, 2023

A cappella sensation VOCTAVE's 11-member vocal ensemble brings incredible harmonies to some of the most beloved songs and has been inspiring their millions of social media fans since 2015. From Disney showstoppers to Broadway masterpieces, "The Corner of Broadway and Main Street" is a treat for music lovers of all ages.

March 17, 2023

The Syncopated Ladies are the ground-breaking all-female tap production weaving their inspiring stories with intricate footwork, feminine prowess, and life-renewing energy. It is a celebration of sisterhood, empowerment, and black girl magic wrapped up in the package of a music video. Dancing to today’s cutting-edge music of Beyoncé and Megan Thee Stallion to the classics of Whitney Houston and Prince, The Syncopated Ladies are electrifying in this nonstop action-filled show. The company has worked with mega star Beyoncé, has amassed over 100 million views online, and been featured on the Late Late Show with James Corden, the Kelly Clarkson Show, Good Morning America, and performed to sold-out crowds of their Syncopated Ladies: Live tour.

April 20-22, 2023

Experience the magnetic energy of flamenco like you’ve never seen before. TABLAO FLAMENCO brings a fresh approach to an evening of flamenco, transforming the theater into an intimate flamenco nightclub like those found in Andalusia, Spain. Enjoy an evening of dynamic performance, improvisation, and passionate music delivered by a cast of the most sought-after award-winning flamenco artists in the U.S. and Europe. TABLAO FLAMENCO is as authentic as it gets without the need to renew your passport. This show is an artist-driven performance co-created and produced by Blumenthal Performing Arts & Rhythm of the Arts.

Institutional sponsors for TPAC include official health and safety partner, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health, Amazon and Nissan North America. TPAC is funded in part by support from the National Endowment for the Arts, Tennessee Arts Commission, and Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.


Since 1980, the nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center has welcomed more than 14 million audience members and served more than 2 million children and adults with performances at TPAC, teacher resources, professional development opportunities, classroom residencies, and enrichment programs. Each year, TPAC serves several hundred thousand audience members with the HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC series, a variety of special engagements, and the productions of three resident artistic companies – Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and Nashville Repertory Theatre. TPAC’s mission is to lead with excellence in the performing arts and arts education, creating meaningful and relevant experiences to enrich lives, strengthen communities, and support economic vitality. For more information, visit TPAC.org.