Shakespeare in the Park 2014: AS YOU LIKE IT Cast

What an exciting line-up for this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park! We’re heading into our 27th year of Shakespeare with both new and familiar faces on our Shakespeare stage and we couldn’t be more excited. In addition, this production of As You Like It, set in the South during the Depression, will feature original music by folk singer/songwriter David Olney (who will also play the role of Amiens) and Stan Lawrence (who will also lead a jam band with players from the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee every night). This is a show not to be missed!

As You Like It will be performed in Centennial Park August 14 – September 14. For more information, please visit our website.

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Announcing Shakes Camp at The Theater Bug



Shakes Camp is led and coordinated by:

Nettie Kraft (Education Director, The Nashville Shakespeare Festival) graduated with an MFA from Roosevelt University’s CCPA in Chicago where she interned at Steppenwolf with Tracy Letts, Amy Morton, and many other amazing artists on a production of Betrayal, by Harold Pinter. Prior to that, while attaining her BFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder, she worked with the Colorado Shakespeare Festival and began a theatre company which produced six plays in two years and was counted a critical success. She has studied abroad in England, and lived all over the United States, all in preparation for her move to Nashville. While in the great state of Tennessee she has been in several commercials and seen on stage for the Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project, Actor’s Bridge Ensemble, and the wonderful Nashville Shakespeare Festival! Currently she is teaching at Belmont University, MTSU, TSU, and Watkins College as well as starting another theatre company, The Five Dollar Recession Theatre Company.

Cori Anne Laemmel (Artistic Director, The Theater Bug) hails from Santa Cruz, CA and has proudly called Nashville home for over five years. “Growing up in children’s theater had such a profound impact on my life, and I hope that as an educator I can provide the same kind of confidence building and sense of community for my students.” Cori attended the Musician’s institute in Hollywood, California for Vocal performance, and has been performing since age six. In Nashville Cori has performed professionally with Street Theatre Company, Tennessee Repertory Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, and The Nashville Shakespeare festival. Cori acted as youth programs director for Street Theatre Company for four years, and has also taught with The Nashville Children’s Theatre, Metro Parks and Recreation, and various home school organizations. Cori is the founder of The Theater Bug

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Nashville Shakes to be included in Shakespeare on the Road; 14 City Documentary Project by The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

“Shakespeare on the Road is the story of Shakespeare in contemporary North America told through an epic road trip during the summer of 2014. In July and August, our team will visit a range of Shakespeare festivals across the length and breadth of the US (with one notable Canadian incursion). …Over 60 days, we’ll travel roughly 10,000 miles, see dozens of Shakespeare productions and meet hundreds of the people who — year in, year out — make Shakespeare happen across the continent.” — The Shakespeare on the Road Traveling Team

Fasten your seatbelts, the British are coming! In celebration of William Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust in England’s Stratford-upon-Avon and the University of Warwick are embarking on a summer-long road trip to 14 Shakespeare festivals all around North America for a documentary project entitled Shakespeare on the Road, and we’re excited to be one of them! Continue reading

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The Big Payback: Help Us Raise $2000 for the High School Shakespeare Festival


Update: We received 53 individual donations and raised $3065.21 during The Big Payback! That’s going to provide for several area high schools to put on one AMAZING High School Shakespeare Festival next school year!

Update: As of 12 pm, we have met our $2,000 goal! Let’s raise $4,000 by 6 a.m. tomorrow! The more funds we raise, the bigger and better the 2nd Annual High School Shakespeare Festival will be! 

Tomorrow, starting at 6am, is the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee‘s The Big Payback! Heard of it (or haven’t) and aren’t exactly sure what it is? Jim Ridley of The Nashville Scene explains: “Think of The Big Payback as a citywide competition in which there are no losers. Starting 6 a.m. Tuesday, May 6, nonprofit organizations within 40 Middle Tennessee counties have exactly 24 hours to man phones, host rallies, fire off Tweets and refresh Facebook like crazy in a bid for supporters to fill their warchests. The organizations large and small that raise the most money overall will receive a $7,500 grand prize, with 11 additional prizes of $2,500 awarded every few hours. (Corporate and individual sponsors supplied the prize money.)” Continue reading

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Special Discount Code Offer for Digital Download of Kevin Spacey’s NOW: The Film

“[The title of the film] is the first word of the play, “Now is the winter of our discontent.” But it’s also the significance of how on the stage, it is all about now, what’s happening right in front of your eyes at that moment, and then it’s gone. To be able to have a film that reveals so much about what that experience is like … I specifically intended to make a film that would appeal to people who don’t go to the theater at all. — Kevin Spacey to Deadline, 2/28/14

Before Kevin Spacey took on the role of Frank Underwood in Netflix’s House of Cards, a role which has oft been compared to Shakespeare’s tyrannical King Richard III, he performed the role of King Richard III in the highly ambitious Bridge Project, a collaboration among London’s Old Vic, NYC’s Brooklyn Academy of Music and Sam Mendes’ Neal Street Productions that brought new productions of classic works — mostly by Shakespeare — to audiences around the world. In 2012, Spacey joined forces with Mendes, who directed him in the 1999 film American Beauty, on a staging of William Shakespeare’s Richard III that premiered at London’s storied The Old Vic theater, then traveled to 12 cities around the world.

That journey is documented in Now: In the Wings on a World Stage, directed by Jeremy Whelehan, a frequent assistant director at the Old Vic. In the film, Whelehan follows Spacey, Mendes and the rest of the company — composed of British and American actors — to nine of their destinations, providing a behind-the-scenes tour at venues ranging from Greece’s 2,500-year-old Epidaurus to Beijing’s state-of-the-art National Centre for the Performing Arts, chronicling the production from its rehearsals in London to its concluding performance in Brooklyn. The film offers plenty of access to the world of Spacey’s RICHARD III, both onstage and off.

now NOW: The Film is is playing in a limited number of theaters in the US, so while you may not be able to see it in theaters, NOW is also ‘now’ available to download via Enter the code NASHVILLE at checkout for a special discount and enjoy the film!

All proceeds from the digital release go to The Kevin Spacey Foundation which aims to train, support and mentor emerging artists in the performing arts and film.

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Join us on May 3rd for a very special edition of Shakespeare Allowed!

ImageOn May 3rd, Mayor Karl Dean will be joining us for Shakespeare Allowed to publicly announce that The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will be hosting some very special guests from The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Warwick University during this summer’s production of As You Like It.

In honor of Shakespeare’s 450th Birthday, The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the University of Warwick will visit NSF and thirteen other North American Shakespeare Festivals as part of their joint “Shakespeare on the Road” research project which will culminate in a book and documentary film. More information about the project can be found on their website.

We’ll be reading Pericles starting at noon in the Downtown Library’s Conference Room A. Mayor Dean will be making his announcement at 1:00pm. So join us to learn more about this exciting event!

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Volunteers Needed for Complete Works

Shakespeare in the Park 2009 / Photo Ken Allen

Shakespeare in the Park 2009 / Photo Ken Allen

As you may have heard, we are presenting the bodacious comedy The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) at Belmont University’s Troutt Theater April 10 – 13th, and we need you to make every evening a success! At each performance, we will need six volunteers to usher and work at our merchandise booth. Positions are available for every night and they are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ushering is a responsibility we deeply depend on our volunteers to fill. An usher’s nightly duties typically consist of help with the Will Call desk, operating the merchandise booth, checking tickets, and giving programs at the door. Volunteering is an active and interactive experience! As an usher, you will also help direct people to their seats as well as restrooms.

Shakespeare in the Park 2009 / Photo by Ken Allen

Shakespeare in the Park 2009 / Photo by Ken Allen

Ushers are expected to arrive just over an hour before the scheduled performance for orientation and are requested to stay until after intermission ends. Naturally, after each act of the performance begins and ushering duties have been fulfilled, volunteers may enjoy the performance free of charge! And we can promise this is one performance you don’t want to miss.

Performance Dates

Thursday, April 10th at 7:30pm
Friday, April 11th at 7:30pm
Saturday, April 12th at 2:30pm
Saturday, April 12th at 7:30pm
Sunday, April 13th at 2:30pm

For 7:30pm showtimes, volunteers must arrive no later than 6:30. For 2:30pm showtimes, volunteers must arrive by 1:30. Orientation will begin promptly at those times.

Please contact Anita Reed at with the date(s) you would like to volunteer. You may sign up for as many nights as you’d like, but please consider this as a genuine commitment and responsibility.

We hope that you will join our team for this wild ride of a production. We look forward to hearing from you!

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