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The Boy from Oz Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:     February 24, 2015 

CONTACT:Randall Hartzog, Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications                                                 rhartzog@theatrememphis.org / 901.682.8601   

 Guest Artist Follows Road to Oz at Theatre Memphis

Memphis, TNThe Boy from Oz opens March 6 and runs through March 29, 2015, on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. Touted as one of the national premieres on its return to the United States, this “life of” musical tells the story of Peter Allen's rise from an intro act for Judy Garland, to his marriage to her daughter, Liza Minnelli, through his triumph as an Oscar-winning song writer and Radio City Music Hall concert star and his untimely death. Featuring the original songs made popular in night clubs and on tours, memorable hits as “Don't Cry Out Loud,” “Love Don't Need a Reason,” “Everything Old is New Again” and “I Go to Rio” are included In this all out extravaganza.

As guest artist at Theatre Memphis in the lead role of Australian Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz, Josh Walden lives up to the challenge of portraying one of the  most energetic and prolific songwriters and performers of the modern era. His talents extend to both sides of the boards in that he directs and produces for theatre, as well. His production as director of TM’s A Chorus Line in 2013 led to a partnership that set him on a path that brought him back to Memphis to perform on the Lohrey Stage in his own right. Walden returns to Theatre Memphis with open arms and is happy to be on the boards this time. He says, “I love watching the company perform … I'm just so impressed by this community of artists who live completely different lives by day and then shed all their cares to sell this show at night.  They truly inspire me to be better. I love Theatre Memphis.  There is such joy around the theatre.  Everyone is proud of the work and strives towards excellence in all departments.”

Besides his accomplishments in singing and acting, his dancing skills pushed him to create his own company, Walden Dance Theatre, which according to Walden, “couples the technical skills of dancing with the tools of the acting world to create a highly charged theatrical setting while exploring the power of being still.” However, not one to stand still, he also created the film company Walza Productions in 2012 and has already had a film accepted into the New York City Independent Film Festival and the Big Apple Film Festival. An author of a children’s book and an entrepreneur in event planning and publishing, Walden spends most of his time in the theater having performed in national tours and Off-Broadway and regional theater venues. His Broadway credits include 42nd Street, La Cage aux Folles and A Chorus Line.

Jerry Chipman directs his first musical with this production of The Boy from Oz. Having directed a fair amount of comedies and dramas he says, “I saw this show as a drama with production numbers. The biggest difference has been the shared vision.” Chipman adds, “When I signed on to direct I told executive producer Debbie Litch to line up the best musical director and choreographer so they could make a novice ‘look good’. Gary Beard (musical director) and Jared Johnson (choreographer) are an amazing duo. I’ve been amazed by their tireless enthusiasm for getting each number exactly right.” 

Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch (who is performing in this production as the legendary Judy Garland) sings not only Walden’s praises, but also the talents of the totally committed cast. “There is no way we can do a show of this magnitude without the talent and dedication of our volunteer performers,” she remarks. “For them to be able to do this type of musical is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. And to experience it with a seasoned professional like Josh only elevates the experience for them and the audience.” Chipman supports that thought, “ Josh brings exactly the essential elements: a great sense of showmanship supported by boundless energy and a strong vocal and dancing talent.” 

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TITLE: The Boy from Oz 

MUSIC AND LYRICS BY: Peter Allen 

BOOK BY:  Martin Sherman and Nick Enright 

DIRECTOR: Jerry Chipman 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: March 6 - 29, 2015 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays 

TICKETS: $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 

WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

MEDIA SPONSOR: The Best Times   

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants. Theatre Memphis receives season sponsorship and funding from:  First Tennessee/ArtFirst, The Jeniam Foundation, The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation, ArtsMemphis and Tennessee Arts Commission. 

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, February 25, 2015
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Copenhagen Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                 January 28, 2015 

CONTACT:   Randall Hartzog, Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications, 901.682.8601, rhartzog@theatrememphis.org                                                

Copenhagen Fuses Conflict in the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis

  

Memphis, TN – Copenhagen, a Tony Award winner for Best Play, explodes onto the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis and runs February 13 – March 1, 2105. Written by Michael Frayn (best known for his farce Noises Off), this drama is based on “what may have happened” when two internationally known physicists, Niels Bohr and Werner Heisenberg, meet in 1941 to discuss the creation and ultimate use of nuclear force … for good or for mass destruction. Copenhagen was the location of the actual meeting yet the public never settled on the reason or results for such a meeting which lead to much speculation. 

This sometimes funny, sometimes serious work ingeniously presents the two men in a complex relationship coming together in the afterlife to understand their earthly friendship and its strains. Despite feeling like father and son, the men are divided by politics and basic beliefs leading to tension. Their encounters in this fictional recollection include a wife who adds her own insights into their memories.   

Director Stephen Huff relates, “On one level, this play is about new theoretical nuclear physics and its real-world ramifications. On another level, however, it is about three people whose personal and professional lives intertwined and collided as a result of the development of exciting new scientific theories. Amid the experimentation, competition, and camaraderie of the scientific community and global upheaval of war, there were private joys and agonies lived every day.” The veteran cast includes Jason Spitzer, Gregory Szatkowski and Mary Buchignani Hemphill.   

Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says a show like Copenhagen is important to be on the Theatre Memphis season.  “Engaging and significant historical reference makes for a thought provoking production,” she says. “This play literally sets the stage for intellectual discourse and debate about human intentions and moral obligations. What better use is there of theatre?”   ### 

 TITLE: Copenhagen BY: Michael Frayn 

 DIRECTOR: Stephen Huff 

 VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis in the Next Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: February 13 – March 1, 2015 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays 

TICKETS: $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID 

 BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 

 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 SPONSORED BY: Gene & Sandra Cochran MEDIA SPONSOR:  WKNO 91.1FM   

 Production photos available 02/10/15   

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Tuesday, February 3, 2015
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Of Mice and Men Press Release

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                 

January 7, 2015 

 CONTACT: Randall Hartzog, Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications                                                              rhartzog@theatrememphis.org             901.682.8601   

 Of Mice and Men Finds a Home on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis   

Memphis, TN – Of Mice and Men opens January 23, 2015, and runs through February 8, 2015, on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. Adapted from John Steinbeck’s own classic novel of the same name, the play hauntingly follows George and Lennie, California migrant workers searching for a better life during the Great Depression.  The unlikely and protective friendship between the two resonates as they strive for the American dream. Their dependence on one another is the strength and the weakness of the relationship. Recognized as a masterpiece of literature, the relevance of the story still rings true today. 

 Director Tracy Zerwig Ford has found that the show’s story has a powerful message that can cross generations and statuses. “I approached this from the perspective of telling a story of dualities,” she relates. “On one hand we are seeing a small story about small working class people over a small period of time, wandering, homeless.  On the other hand we are seeing an epic allegory about the fall of man from God's grace … Cain and Abel's story … where we can chose to be our brother's keeper but compassion and mercy is as violent as the world we find ourselves in.” Ford has previously directed at Theatre Memphis leading the helm for Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Proof.   The cast is led by Stuart Turner (George) who has performed at many venues across the city as well as working backstage, many times as stage manager. His versatility allows him a unique perspective and an appreciation for what goes on “off stage”. He says, “I have thoroughly enjoyed discovering new things with the rest of the cast and production team--things that I haven't seen before or things that I had to see through someone else's eyes.” His sidekick (Lennie) in the production is played by Jeremy D. Bukauskas, a native Memphian having graduated from Overton High School and attending Arkansas State. He worked with a touring show and various theatres across the country before coming back to Memphis for graduate school. The remainder of the cast includes: Willie Derrick, James Dale Green, Joshua Hitt, Todd Nelson, Joseph Prestigiacomo, Ryan Spearman, S. A. Weakley and Taylor Wood.   

“Classic storytelling is always so gratifying,” says Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch. “To have such a strong story as Of Mice and Men on our season just emphasizes our commitment to bring our audiences substance as well as entertainment. Tracy has such a grasp on her material that the story always comes out fresh and moving. We have been lucky to have her to work on this beautifully imagined production.”   

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TITLE: Of Mice and Men WRITTEN BY:  John Steinbeck DIRECTOR: Tracy Zerwig Ford VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 RUN DATES: January 23 – February 8, 2015 TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays TICKETS: $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID 

BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org SPONSORED BY: Strategic Financial Partners, an office of MetLife     

Production photos available 01/20/15. Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.


Posted by Randall Hartzog at Monday, January 19, 2015
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A Christmas Carol Press Release


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:               November 20, 2014 

CONTACT:                                            

Randall Hartzog,Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications

rhartzog@theatrememphis.org             901.682.8601    

Everything Old Is New Again in A Christmas Carol at Theatre Memphis   

Memphis, TN – A Christmas Carol at Theatre Memphis will open December 5, 2014, for the 37th consecutive year but with a new spirit, David Shipley, performing as Ebenezer Scrooge. Theatre Memphis, having completely redesigned the set and costumes a few years ago, will have additional updates to other Spirits (Past, Present and Future) costumes and particular scenes that will enhance the storytelling further. Evening and matinee performances will run through December 23, 2014, Tickets are available by calling 901.682.8323 or by going online to http://theatrememphis.org/a-christmas-carol-2014.   Weekday school matinee performances (a truncated version with Ron Gordon as Scrooge) are on the Lohrey Stage December 3– December 18, 2014 (2 performances per day at 9:30am and 11am). FOR INFORMATION REGARDING THE TRUNCATED VERSION PLEASE GO TO  http://theatrememphis.org/a-christmas-carol-student-matinees   

Director Jason Spitzer returns to direct A Christmas Carol evening performances for the seventh time at Theatre Memphis. “I think the clearest benefit of having worked on the show so long,” he states, “is that when TM's artistic staff and I overhauled the show in 2010 we agreed on a common vision for telling the story and, in the last five years, we've been able to not only achieve that vision but build upon it.” Spitzer is and has directed the daytime version generally marketed to school groups and considers the two versions to be true to each other. He says, “I try not to keep the two shows separate. We've worked very hard to unify both shows, both to simplify the process of remounting them year after year, and to ensure that everyone in the audience gets to see a consistently great show whether they're visiting us with a school group or seeing our closing performance the night before Christmas Eve.”   

For several years Scrooge has been portrayed by local actor Barry Fuller who announced his “retirement” from the role last year. Shipley was an early frontrunner for the role to move forward. According to Spitzer, “David Shipley is delightful in the role of Scrooge. He's tall and lean. He has sharp features. Physically, it's as if Charles Dickens conjured him up especially to play the role. He perfectly captures Scrooge's bitterness regarding the merry-making all around him, and his transformation is truly moving. He's also pretty funny.”   Shipley’s take on the role reveals a respect for what the audience expects. “My primary expectation as an audience member would be to see a faithful and straight-forward telling of the original Dickens story, which most Theatre Memphis' patrons already know in advance they are going to get,” he relates.  “To that end, I base my characterization on a lifetime of having read the book over and over.” He says it is exciting and daunting at the same time to follow in Fuller’s Christmas slippers but he has accepted the task with grace, “Mostly because I like working with Jason Spitzer and Theatre Memphis. I have also been in A Christmas Carol enough times that returning to this show is always very comfortable.” Enough times includes playing the parts of Marley’s Ghost, Bob Crachit, Fred and Topper in various years and combinations.   

Debbie Litch, Executive Producer of Theatre Memphis, celebrates that Theatre Memphis has such a great tradition and so many actors who perform during the busy holiday season and become part of the TM family. Litch proclaims, “One of the most exciting elements of this holiday show is that we see families come back to see A Christmas Carol year after year who have truly made this a family tradition. We love our actors who give of their time and talents at this special time too … and to them all I say ‘God Bless you, every one!’ “   

 TITLE: A Christmas Carol 

 BASED ON THE NOVEL BY: Charles Dickens 

 DIRECTOR: Jason Spitzer 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: December 5 - 23, 2014 

 TIMES OF SHOWS: December  5 – 23 Evening performances @ 7pm December 5,6,11,12,13,14,17,18,19,20,21,22,23 Saturday and Sunday matinees @ 3pm December 7,13,14,20,21 TICKETS: $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children 11 and under BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 PRESENTING SPONSOR: AutoZone/ArtsZone 

 SPONSORED BY: Dina & Brad Martin and Davey Tree Expert Company    

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.   Theatre Memphis receives season sponsorship and funding from:   

First Tennessee Foundation, The Arthur F. and Alice E. Adams Foundation, The Jeniam Foundation, ArtsMemphis and Tennessee Art Commision              

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Monday, November 24, 2014
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Tintypes Press Release

TINTYPES  Sings of Americana in the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis

  

Memphis, TN – Tintypes, a timeless musical romp set between the turn of the 20th century and the onset of World War I, is a musical journey takes the audience through an exciting and tumultuous period of American history.  The rousing score features songs by George M. Cohen, John Philip Sousa, Scott Joplin and Victor Herbert, among others.  A wonderful blend of songs … patriotic, romantic, ragtime and popular… brings to life the Great American Songbook. Tintypes will have two performance runs, November 7 – 22, 2014 and January 8 – 18, 2015.   

Conceived by Mary Kyte, Mel Marvin and Gary Pearle with musical and vocal arrangements by Mel Marvin and orchestration and vocal arrangements by John McKinney, Tintypes tells of a time when change and patriotism went hand in hand. Using archetypal characters as a vehicle to perform some of the best known songs of the time, the larger than life personas take on a universal meaning to celebrate the change and progression of America.   According to director Kell Christie, "Tintypes is a celebration of America in all her glorious diversity. Immigrants, vaudeville performers, robber barons, socialists, warriors, cowboys, and activists are all represented in this musical that features compelling arrangements of classic turn of the century favorites." She continues, "It's interesting how each generation manages to have the same discussions about equality, class differences, immigration, even as we find different ways to have these debates. All points of view are necessary, vital, even, to a thriving democracy."   

Cast members include Courtney Church Tucker as Anna Held, Justin Willingham as Charlie Chaplin, Jessica Spencer as Emma Goldman, Annie Strong as Savannah and Joe Lackie as Teddy Roosevelt. Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch delights in a production like Tintypes. “When the message is so positive and the performers are so talented it just makes for great entertainment,” she says. “This is truly an All-American standout.”   

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 TITLE: Tintypes 

CONCEIVED  BY: Mary Kyte with Mel Marvin & Gary Pearle 

 DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Kell Christie 

MUSICAL DIRECTOR:  Gary Beard 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis in the Next Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: November 7 – 22, 2014 and January 8 – 18, 2015 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays

 TICKETS: $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID 

 BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 SPONSORED BY: Gene & Sandra Cochran and Stage Set 

 MEDIA SPONSOR:  WKNO 91.1FM 

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Friday, October 31, 2014
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Heiress Reviews

From The Commercial Appeal

The Heiress" hits right tone in Theatre Memphis production

by Jon W. Sparks, The Commercial Appeal  Oct 18, 2014

There’s something simple and even stately about “The Heiress” now playing at Theatre Memphis’ Lohrey Stage through Nov. 2. Adapted from Henry James’ short novel “Washington Square,” it’s a straightforward story of love, trust, family and motives where the principal characters fascinate because they attract and repulse us.James, who published the story in 1880, sets it in New York City in 1850. The play, written by Ruth and Augustus Goetz and performed on Broadway in 1947, takes a few liberties with the original but maintains the essential conflicts and conversations that make this such a thoughtful, penetrating work.

The story takes place in the household of Austin Sloper, a wealthy and successful doctor living with his shy, plain daughter Catherine in their elegant home on Washington Square. Catherine’s mother was the love of Sloper’s life, vibrant and talented. She died soon after childbirth and he is thoroughly disappointed in his daughter, who exhibits none of the verve or ability of his late wife.Catherine is, in fact, quite sharp, but introverted and intimidated by her father. By chance, a young man named Morris Townsend visits the home and begins a courtship with Catherine, who is starved for the attention and affection. They resolve to wed, but the doctor sees only that Townsend is without money or prospects and clearly wants only to get his hands on Catherine’s fortune.What’s compelling about the story is that instead of sinister people, the main players behave in ways they feel are perfectly sound, whether from love or duty. Their inabilities to change propel the situation, yet as we observe them, we’re unsure where it will end up.

Tony Isbell directs, giving it a proper, well-paced formality that reflects the social time and place. There’s nothing like strained politeness to elevate the level of discomfort.There is a fine intelligence in the performances. Newcomer Michelle Miklosey deftly reveals the shadings of Catherine, who changes in remarkable ways through the story. As her father, Barclay Roberts is well cast as the no-nonsense patriarch, assured of and wearied by his devotion to family.Evan McCarley is a charmer as Townsend, leaving us unsure whether he’s running a con or has sincere intentions. Ann G. Sharp is a pure pleasure as Lavinia, Sloper’s sister who provides comic relief, but whose love of romance and intrigue serves no one well.The set — a front parlor in Sloper’s elegant home — and the costumes of hoopskirts and frock coats are all on the money.

From The Memphis Flyer

by Chris Davis,  The Memphis Flyer  Oct 23, 2014

The Heiress director Tony Isbell asks: "What's wrong with a little melodrama?"

In his day, author Henry James, who wrote the play's source material, would probably give Isbell an answer he wouldn't like. The Washington Square author grew to hate the simplicity of his story. His inability to love the slender, unaffected novel is especially ironic, considering it tells the story of Catherine Sloper, a cripplingly shy woman who is ultimately unable to love because she was perceived as being plain and unclever and grew up unloved as a result. Fortunately, the author's straightforward portrait of a woman struggling with cultural expectations still captures our imagination. It's helped along in no small part by solid to stellar acting and an attractive set and costume design.Isbell appeared in Theatre Memphis' landmark 1986 revival of the show. He starred as Morris Townsend opposite Christina Wellford Scott, who has also returned in a supporting role in this production. Their collective experience is felt in a play that feels grounded and complete.The Heiress is set in New York in the 1850s, and the story goes something like this: Sloper's mother died in childbirth, and as a result, her father, a successful and worldly doctor, sees his daughter as the person who murdered his happiness. Worse, the daughter (so unlike the mother) has the audacity to be plain and ungraceful, with no great ear for music or conversation. Worst of all, she's beguiled by Townsend, a charming but unemployed young profligate who may actually love her a little but is fantasizing openly about the prospects of a wife worth $30,000 a year.There is something uncommonly likeable about actor Barclay Roberts. You can cast him as a complete scumbag, but no matter how vile his character, there's always something that makes you want to give the guy a hug. That intrinsically squeezable quality brings warmth to Dr. Sloper that may or may not really be there. It's one of Roberts' most convincing efforts.Memphis newcomer Michelle Miklosey is especially good at showing audiences just how debilitating shyness can be. Ann Sharp, a Theatre Memphis mainstay, provides comic relief as Catherine's compulsively romantic aunt.To answer Isbell's original melodrama question: When it's presented this thoughtfully, there's nothing wrong with it at all.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Thursday, October 23, 2014
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The Heiress WKNO interview

WKNO interview

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Friday, October 17, 2014
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The Heiress Promo Video

See the video here.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Friday, October 10, 2014
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The Heiress Press Release

The Heiress Befalls the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis  

Memphis, TN – The Heiress opens October 17, 2014 and runs through November 2, 2014 on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. A timeless story of New York society and status by Ruth and Augustus Goetz, the cost of love in this story focuses on Catherine Sloper, a shy, withdrawn young woman living under the tyranny of her father. Conflict comes as she is suddenly exposed to a world of hope by a handsome young suitor, Morris Townsend.  Is it true love? Can the suitor triumph for love nor money? It comes to light that heartache has a long memory.

Tony Isbell directs the production that reunites him and actress Christina Wellford Scott from a previous Theatre Memphis production of The Heiress in 1986 … only in different roles. In the former production Isbell played the aggressive gentleman caller that seduces Catherine and Scott played Catherine. In this show with Isbell at the helm staging, Scott portrays Mrs. Almond, the eccentric aunt. The dynamic of taking on the different roles brings a perspective to their parts that can elevate the audience experience. “In ’86, I was fortunate enough to play Morris Townsend,” Isbell says. “This was actually my first Main Stage (Lohrey Stage) role at TM. That’s one reason this play has always held a special place in my heart.” He continues, “Christina brings a thorough understanding of the entire play and especially the plight of Catherine Sloper. She is able to use her understanding to deepen her portrayal of Catherine’s aunt.”

The other members leading the cast are Michelle Miklosey as the title character, Cartherine Sloper, Barclay Roberts as her father and Evan McCarley as Morris Townsend, the suitor in question. Rounding out the cast is Ann Sharp, Chelsea Robinson, Jarrod B.Taylor, Bussy Gower and Andria Wilson. Miklosey is experiencing her first time on the TM stage, or any other in Memphis. Isbell revealed, “From the moment of her first reading, I knew there was something about this young woman. She seemed to have an intuitive grasp of the character that came through everything she said and did.”

Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says The Heiress is an example of what Theatre Memphis embodies. “Not only is this a story that has proven over time to be popular with audiences and is completely in accord with the variety we seek for our patrons, but we love this kind of production because of the set and costume opportunities and the good roles for women.” She continues, “To have the likes of Tony and Christina to be engaged in a production in which they played such critical roles some time ago, to come back and challenge themselves and their peers to elevate the show to the Theatre Memphis standards is a tribute to what TM has stood for over the past 96 years.” ###  

TITLE: The Heiress

WRITTEN BY:  Ruth and Augustus Goetz

DIRECTOR: Tony Isbell 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117

RUN DATES: October 17 – November 2, 2014

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays

TICKETS: $25adults, $15 students with valid ID

BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org

SPONSORED BY: First Tennessee Foundation

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Monday, October 6, 2014
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SCOTCH TASTING INFO

CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Friday, September 26, 2014
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"Wedding" BWW.com Review

Full Story

 It's a nice touch.Ms. Crist has done a fine job with this show. Even before it opens, you know that a lot of love has gone into this production. Spirituals, Big Band numbers, blues - all can be heard by artists ranging from Billie Holiday to Bing Crosby. The set, designed by Jack Yates, is lovingly evocative of the time and characters - oval mirror, kitchen table, old refrigerator and sink in the kitchen; rattan chairs, grape arbor, stump in the garden. I also greatly enjoyed the performers: Lanky Lauren Ledger has worked hard on her Mississippi accent and hits those up and down emotional moments with the skill of a seasoned performer; Judi Bray's "Berenice" (a part she also undertook some seventeen years ago) is loving and warm, yet a woman whose life has been full; and Holden Guibao is an amazing little "John Henry" (I was astonished at the performance Ms. Crist has elicited from him). The entire supporting cast is expert, with a special nod to Delvyn Brown's pomaded, pained, angry "Honey." Through October 5.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Tuesday, September 23, 2014
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The Member of the Wedding Press Release

The Member of the Wedding Not Married to Traditional Interpretation in the Next Stage at Theatre Memphis

Memphis, TNThe Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers will ceremoniously take over the Next Stage at Theatre September 19 – October 5, 2014, as the first production in the 100-seat black box space for the current season. An American classic, this story is funny as it is touching and heart-warming, Frankie, a 12-year-old tomboy, is coming of age in a small Southern town in the 1940s.  She is a troubled adolescent who dreams of escape from her seemingly hopeless environment and is befriended by her loving confidante housekeeper and younger cousin. A plot that has timeless relevance, it is a mid-century look at attitudes on racial and sexual identity that has lessons that can be applied to society today.   Director Irene Crist has assembled a cast that has come together to perform what is conceivably a period piece with modern day messages. She says, “It has been both interesting and horrifying to be working on The Member of the Wedding during this turbulent time in our nation's civil rights history. Our play takes place when civil rights were but a whisper in the community and I want the cast and audiences to understand what strength it took  - takes - to be grounded in one’s belief.”  Leading the cast is Judi Gray as Berenice Sadie Brown and Lauren Ledger as the freedom– and love- seeking child, Frankie Adams. Holden Guibao who recently appeared as Winthrop in TM’s The Music Man plays the young cousin, John Henry West. Other cast members are Paul Webb, Joseph Prestigiacomo, Taylor Wood, Chris Wilson, Delvyn Brown, Thomas King, Leigh Ann Evans, Baylee Thielemier, Hannah Newsom and Thymia Rogers.   Crist reveals, “The play has the power to shock an audience in the way it suddenly depicts wounds in friendships that will likely never heal. The old ways versus the new ways and the thinly veiled, if veiled at all, racism of the late 40s and early 50s are themes that McCullers visits in this epically beautiful tale of one's search for belonging.” Theatre Memphis Executive Producer Debbie Litch says the importance of mounting such a strong story is about the message as well as the opportunity. “As a community theatre, Theatre Memphis constantly looks for scripts that will ignite a conversation or bring to light a broader face of our community. The issues addressed in The Member of the Wedding can be related to events currently facing our city and nation and we feel a thoughtful presentation of this show to be absolutely timely and appropriate.” ### 

 TITLE: The Member of the Wedding 

 WRITTEN  BY: Carson McCullers 

 DIRECTOR: Irene Crist 

 VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis in the Next Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: September 19 – October 5, 2014 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays

 TICKETS: $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

 SPONSORED BY: Gene and Sandra Cochran 

 MEDIA SPONSORs:  WKNO 91.1FM and  The Best Times

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, September 10, 2014
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Auditions for A Christmas Carol August 16 & 17

Click here for detailed information

Based on the novel by Charles Dickens

Directed by Jason Spitzer                                                                                                           Musical Direction by Jeffery B. Brewer                                                                                 Choreographed by Kathy Caradine

This show requires two casts: A cast for regular evening and weekend performances (full version) and a cast for weekday school matinee performances (truncated version). Auditionees have the opportunity to select the cast for which they would like to be considered. Auditionees may choose to be considered for both casts.While most actors on the Theatre Memphis stage are volunteers, actors who perform in the weekday school cast of A Christmas Carol do get a small stipend.Regular performances (full version) are on the Lohrey Stage December 5 – December 23, 2014Weekday school matinee performances (truncated version) are on the Lohrey Stage December 3 – December 19, 2014 (2 performances per day at 9:00 and 10:45 AM.)

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, August 6, 2014
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Tintypes Audition August 23

Click here for full details.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, July 30, 2014
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BB Awards Party for Volunteers, Sunday, July 13

Named after long time Theatre Memphis volunteers, Bea Miller & Betsy Reeder, this annual TM tradition is held in honor of all our volunteers. Whether you’re a crew member, cast member, usher, director, designer, costume stitcher, scene shop volunteer, or help out in some other way at TM, we hope you will be able to join us for this complimentary, casual celebration.Sunday, July 13, 2014 Social Hour with soda, wine, and beer begins at 4:30.Awards begin at 5:15-5:30. Dinner following.
Posted by Randall Hartzog at Thursday, June 26, 2014
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Auditions for The Heiress and The Member of the Wedding

AUDITIONS for The Heiress & The Member of the Wedding coming up next weekend (June 28-30) at Theatre Memphis. 
Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, June 18, 2014
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Tickets

Members Reserve

Buy Tickets

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Friday, June 13, 2014
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Season 2014-15 PRESS RELEASE

Season 2014-15 press release
Posted by Randall Hartzog at Monday, May 12, 2014
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The Music Man Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                 May 8, 2014 

CONTACT:                                              Randall Hartzog                                                                 

Theatre Memphis, 

Director of Marketing and Communications                                                                 

rhartzog@theatrememphis.org              

01.682.8601   

The Music Man Marches onto Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis   

Memphis, TN – The Music Man, an All-American musical classic, opens June 6, 2014 and runs through June 29, 2014 on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. Professor Harold Hill, descends on River City, Iowa, to con the town into organizing a young people’s band and, along the way, selling them “76 Trombones.”  But he didn’t count on meeting Marian the Librarian, hearing “Till There Was You” and finding the love of a good woman and a gaggle of youngsters to tender his fast-talking, sham artist heart.   Director Amy Hanford returns to Theatre Memphis at the helm of the production and will be supported by Music Director Gary Beard and Choreographer Christi Hall. Also in the production is her husband Rob Hanford as the lead, Professor Hill. This is not the first production director Hanford has utilized her spouse’s skills, but it may be the most trying. “With so much going on with a production this big, I usually can always rely on Rob to bring his natural talents to the table and trust his agility,” she says. “This one is different in that we had to be patient while Rob healed from a broken leg before he could “dance on the scenery.”   The cast includes some well known Memphis actors in prime roles including Emily Chateau as Marian, Steve Swift as the Mayor and a custom-cast barbershop quartet that includes the eclectic group of Doug Hardin, Joe Lackie, Kevin Kenny and Charles Hodges. “Besides being talented performers, I wanted authenticity in every element and the cast and special touches we have been able to add to this show makes it something very special,” Hanford relates. “We’ve incorporated several things that will make this production a standout”   Theatre Memphis Executive Director Debbie Litch sings the praises of this The Music Man production, too, “Ending our 2013-14 season with Amy mounting an upbeat, family-friendly musical really reflects how versatile we are at TM and how we strive to have artistic excellence with every show we do.” Hanford concurs, “I can always count on Theatre Memphis to give me the support I need and help me share my vision..” ###  

 TITLE: The Music Man 

 BOOK, MUSIC AND LYRICS  BY: Meredith Willson 

 BASED ON A STORY BY: Meredith  Willson and Franklin Lacey 

 DIRECTOR: Amy Hanford 

 VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 RUN DATES: June 6 - 29, 2014 TIMES OF SHOWS: Wednesday June 25 and Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays TICKETS: $30 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children 11 and under BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org SPONSORED BY: Deborah Dunklin Tipton and Kitty Cannon & Jim Waller and John & Anne Robilio, Hope House and Georgia Pacifi8   Production photos available 4/22/14.   Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.   Theatre Memphis receives season sponsorship and funding from:    

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Thursday, May 8, 2014
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Harvey initial PR

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                 April 16, 2014 

CONTACT:    Randall Hartzog,Theatre Memphis, Director of Marketing and Communications                                          

 rhartzog@theatrememphis.org             901.682.8601   

Harvey Hops to Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis     initial_pr_harvey.docx

Memphis, TN – Harvey, a time-honored classic comedy, opens April 25, 2014 and runs through May 11, 2014 on the Lohrey Stage at Theatre Memphis. The lead character, Elwood P. Dowd, is inseparable from his best friend and confidant, Harvey, an over six-foot magical white rabbit. Only Elwood can see Harvey so is it any wonder Elwood’s family decides a peaceful sanatorium might be suitable for him – and Harvey?  As it turns out, a sanatorium is the perfect place for a comedy of errors that proves Elwood and Harvey may be the sanest characters around.    Director John Rone has assembled a cast that includes many Theatre Memphis veterans and TM newcomer, Zach Pless in the lead role of Elwood. Pless, a recent graduate of Rhodes College, has performed in various roles during his time at Rhodes College in the McCoy Theatre and is now taking on Memphis community stage roles to the delight of Rone. “I think Zach is a remarkably gifted young actor, “ Rone says. “ Since I work at Rhodes, I try to attend all the productions at the McCoy Theatre on campus. I noticed Zach in a small role in McCoy’s production of The Elephant Man when he was a first year student. I have enjoyed watching his progress through larger and more important roles during his college years.”  Evidence of his growth is that Pless was awarded the top honors for Actor in a Leading Role, College Division (for his role as the Baker in Into the Woods) at the 2013 Ostranders (Memphis Theatre Awards). The remainder of the cast includes: Ann G. Sharp, Robbie Phillips, John Reynolds, Jo Lynne Palmer, Parker Dinwiddie, Jason Spitzer, Brian Everson, Lena Wallace, Jillian Barron and Chris Tracy.   Theatre Memphis Executive Director Debbie Litch muses, “I think it is so great to be able to present such a quirky, funny classic show. Harvey is so accessible to all ages and we love our family friendly shows. So many times our patrons just want to be entertained and not challenged … well, I challenge anyone to not like Harvey.” Rone agrees, “There are some serious themes woven throughout the play and I thought at first I would want to bring those to the forefront. But during rehearsal I realized that all I really wanted to do was to make the show as funny as possible and try my best to realize the vision of the playwright, Mary Chase.” ###   

TITLE: Harvey 

WRITTEN  BY: Mary Chase 

DIRECTOR: John Rone 

VENUE AND ADDRESS: Theatre Memphis on the Lohrey Stage, 630 Perkins Ext, Memphis, TN, 38117 

RUN DATES: April 25 – May11, 2014 

TIMES OF SHOWS: Thursdays @ 7:30pm, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm with matinees @ 2pm on Sundays 

TICKETS: $25 adults, $15 students with valid ID, $10 children 11 and under 

BOX OFFICE: 901.682.8323 WEB: www.theatrememphis.org 

SPONSORED BY: Dorothy O. Kirsch and Pageboy Salon & Spa   

Production photos available 4/22/14.   

Theatre Memphis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization located at 630 Perkins Extended (corner of Perkins Extended and Southern) and is a community theatre whose mission is to provide outstanding theatrical experiences to enrich the lives of our audiences and participants.   

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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MBQ: The Making of TM

The Memphis Business Quarterly issue for April/May/June 2014 features an in-depth and insightful article about the founding and growth of Theatre Memphis. Celebrating long-time cultural organizations, the magazine will be featuring other groups with a 50 year plus history in future issues. Check out the great press for TM by clicking here.

Posted by Randall Hartzog at Monday, April 7, 2014
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