What’s Cooking at the Park: 9/11 – 9/14

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It’s time for the fifth weekend of Shakespeare in the Park! This sadly means that you have only 4 chances to come out to the park and catch the show so best make the most of it! The weather is looking beautiful so pack up your picnic blankets and your family and come on out to Centennial park. If you need a few incentives, we’ve come up with a list of 7 reasons why you should come out to the park, including David Olney and some bluegrass music. Who else is gonna be there? Lots of fun people, a few dogs and some great vendors and talented musicians.

Here’s what’s cooking this weekend: Continue reading

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David Olney, Bluegrass and Puppies: 7 Reasons to see Shakespeare in the Park

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Thank you for making this summer of Shakespeare such a successful and memorable summer. We’ve performed before representatives from Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, in the rain, and even had one particularly memorable performance in Barnes and Noble at Vanderbilt. As You Like It will soon take its final bow, but don’t shed those tears yet! You have one more weekend to stretch out under the stars at the Centennial Park Bandshell and bid  Shakespeare in the Park and summer farewell!

So here are a few reasons why you should grab your lawn chairs (or picnic blankets) and head to the park:

1. It’s free!

All performances of As You Like It are offered free to the public. Nashville is one of only about 10 U.S. cities that still have a summer outdoor Shakespeare festival, where anybody and everybody can show up to enjoy a performance without paying a cent. We do ask for a $10 donation (so we can keep bringing affordable Shakespeare to you), but if you can’t pay, we won’t turn you away. Shakespeare for everybody!

Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

2. It’s fun!

As You Like It with guitars, banjos, ukuleles and a little contra dancing? This is not a stuffy, pretentious production of Shakespeare. In the words of Nashville Scene Theater Critic Martin Brady “”Where Shakespeare in the Park is concerned, this summer’s extravaganza, As You Like It, ranks up there with the folk-friendliest of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s annual efforts. …the show takes on the flavor of the Bard meets O Brother, Where Art Thou?, with a lively cast energetically conveying the spirit of director Denice Hicks’ reimagined 1930s setting.” In other words: It’s a thing of joy not to be missed!

Which leads us to: Continue reading

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Get the Royal Treatment at Shakespeare in the Park

View from the Royal Box. Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

View from the Royal Box. Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

When Shakespeare was born in 1564, Elizabeth I was on the throne. Queen Elizabeth I was an active and generous patron of the theatre, and had her own acting company called the ‘Queen’s Men’. She stood against the people who wished to close down the theatres and without her support the Elizabethan theatres would probably not have survived. In the 1590s, court performances by acting companies became popular and Shakespeare’s company was selected more than any other. In fact, During the last ten years of her reign, Shakespeare’s company of actors, the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, performed at court thirty-two times, compared to thirty-seven performances by all other companies combined. It could be said then that Shakespeare was given “the royal treatment.”

You can get your own “royal treatment” at Shakespeare in the Park in our VIP ringside seats! Whether you want to treat your friends, your family or yourself like royalty, we have a Royal Box reserved just for you.

For $50* per person enjoy:

• VIP private covered seating
• Gourmet picnic dinner
• Reserved VIP parking adjacent to the Bandshell
• Bottled water
Pre-show shout-out from the stage (optional)
• And more!

And to make the benefits of being a patron of the arts even more sweet: all proceeds from the Royal Box support our Educational Outreach and Programming.

There is a 10 seat limit per night in the Royal Box.

Hurry! Shakespeare in the Park ends on September 14th and this popular package goes fast, and advance booking is required. Click to purchase your Royal Box tickets.

*A portion of the price is tax-deductible

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What’s Cooking at the Park: 9/4 – 9/7

Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

Photo by Rick Malkin / NSF

Despite the frequent close calls with rain, close to 6,000 people have stepped into our Tent City over the past three weeks and now it’s time for the fourth weekend of Shakespeare in the Park! If you’re thinking about coming out to the park this weekend, or are thinking about coming back to the park, this weekend is a great one (and you’ll have a better chance at a better seat)! Who is gonna be there? Lots of fun people, a few dogs, some great vendors and talented musicians. If you need a visual aid to help you convince your neighbors/roommate/that cute guy down the street to come with you, check out the NPT Arts Break!

Side Note: Did you know Savoy Events Catering provides the dinner for our Royal Box VIPs every night. Not a VIP? You can be! Find out how to experience Shakespeare in the Park in style.

Here’s what’s cooking this weekend:

Special Events:

9/6
The first Saturday of the month means Shakespeare Allowed! If you’ve never been, every month we get together at the Downtown Nashville Public Library and read a Shakespeare play, out loud in a reading circle. The reading starts at Noon. There will be 16 chairs in a  circle and whoever wants to read out loud can choose one of the 16. There will be additional seating available for anyone who wants to read along silently. (Although we might ask you to pipe in for crowd scenes!) The reading starts at 12:00 pm. And best of all? IT’S FREE & FUN! Join us Saturday as we read Antony & Cleopatra. Continue reading

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What’s Cooking in the Park: 8/28 – 9/1

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Photo by Rick Malkin Photography for NSF

It’s time for the third weekend of Shakespeare in the Park! This weekend is a special one because it’s Labor Day weekend, that means there will be a special Monday showing of As You Like It. That means you have 5 opportunities to come see us in the park this weekend! Who else is gonna be there? Lots of fun people, a few dogs and some great vendors and talented musicians.

For those of you that view Labor Day as the unofficial start to the fall season and thus sports: Did you know that As You Like It features a wrestling match? AND you can get VIP ringside seats to that particular sporting event? Find out how to experience Shakespeare in the Park in style and book your seats to the event of the weekend today!

Here’s what’s cooking this weekend:

Pre-show Entertainment

This weekend, as with all upcoming weekends, we’ll be joined in the park by some wonderfully talented musicians (and we mean besides the amazing musicians who accompany David Olney and our cast every night). Who’s going to be serenading you this week?

All pre-show performances begin at 6:30 p.m

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Photo by Rick Malkin for NSF

8/28 
Randy Lancaster

8/29
The Mables

8/30
Plaidgrass

8/31
Bill Crosby

9/1
Say No More It’s Freddy Labour

Many of these musicians will have music available in the Nashville Shakes tent during their performances. They’re all performing in the park for free, so if you like what you hear, support them!

Food Vendors

We like to see what people pull out of their picnic baskets every night at the park, but just because you can bring your own food, doesn’t mean you have too. Every weekend, we’re joined in the park by several food vendors. What will you find to snack on this weekend?

foodtrucks8/28
Lil’ Choo Choo BBQ
Moosehead Kettle Corn
Crepe A Diem

8/29
Lil’ Choo Choo BBQ
Moosehead Kettle Corn
Crepe A Diem
King Tut’s

8/30
Lil’ Choo Choo BBQ
Moosehead Kettle Corn
Deg Thai
Slow Hand Coffee Truck

8/31
Lil’ Choo Choo BBQ
Moosehead Kettle Corn
Music City Pie Co.
Retro Sno

9/1
Lil’ Choo Choo BBQ
Moosehead Kettle Corn

See you at the park!

Side Note: We will be catering a picnic for our Royal Box VIPs every night. Not a VIP? You can be! Find out how to experience Shakespeare in the Park in style.

As You Like It will run through September 14th at Centennial Park in Nashville. More info here.

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Tennessee and the Great Depression: A Brief History

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Photo by Jeff Frazier for NSF

In Shakespeare’s As You Like It, the noble Duke Senior and his friends have been pushed out of their places, which took our Artistic Director’s imagination to the American Great Depression. Our country was beset with hard times in the 1930’s. So many people lost their homes, jobs and wealth. Others were challenged by greed and corruption. Frivolous comedies of the era, were designed to lift the general spirits, so we’ve set our “Forest of Arden” in an idyllic tent city outside of Nashville where peace and equality reign and everyone is a friend. The course of the play replaces despair with joy, idleness with song and dance, anger and frustration with love. 

The 1930’s were a time of resilience and progressive thinking for us. But it was also a time of great hardship and we believe it’s important to remember the past in order to look forward into the future. The following is a brief look at Tennessee and the Great Depression, an excerpt from our As You Like It Educator’s Guidebook. Continue reading

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What’s Cooking in the Park: 8/21 – 8/24

Photo by Rick Malkin for NSF

Photo by Rick Malkin for NSF

“In a week that has brought such distressing and heartbreaking news, it seems only fitting that audiences should retreat to Centennial Park for a much-needed respite. As we are reminded by Shakespeare’s timeless comedy, the forest — and indeed theater itself — can provide healing and a renewed sense of optimism. And in these troubled times, that’s something we all could use.” — Amy Stumpfl, The Tennessean [full review]

Thank you to the almost 2,000 people who came out for our opening weekend of Shakespeare in the Park! For those of you that missed it, don’t worry, you still have four weekends to come see As You Like It and play and sing with us! In addition to some great food trucks and musicians, this weekend is particularly exciting because we will be joined by a few friends from across the pond: The Shakespeare on the Road team from Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-Upon-Avon and Warwick University!

The Shakespeare on the Road travelers are: Dr. Paul Edmondson, head of research and knowledge at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in Stratford-upon-Avon; Dr. Paul Prescott, reader in English at the University of Warwick;  AJ Leon, founder of Misfit, Inc.; and Melissa Leon, chief of staff at Misfit, Inc. They will be visiting The Nashville Shakespeare Festival this weekend as part of a 60-day, 10,000-mile road trip to 14 Shakespeare festivals in the U.S. and Canada to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. The team is gathering material for a book, podcasts and a radio program so come help us welcome them to Nashville!

So, here’s what’s cooking this weekend:

Continue reading

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