“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:
Join us at 11 a.m. at the Downtown Nashville Public Library for a short public lecture and reception as we welcome the Shakespeare on the Road team to Nashville!
Then at 7 p.m. in the park, the Shakespeare on the Road team will present Nashville Shakes with a commemorative plaque to mark the visit. Come celebrate with us!
Join us at Belmont’s Black Box Theater from 2-4 p.m. for a lively conversation with experts in Shakespearean theatrical production, teaching, and scholarship entitled “Shakespeare on Page and Stage: Teaching and Staging Shakespeare in the 21st Century.”
For more information on local Shakespeare on the Road events visit here
This weekend, as with all upcoming weekends, we’ll be joined in the park by some wonderfully talented musicians. About half of our performers will at the park courtesy of the Musical Heritage Center of Middle Tennessee at Fiddle & Pick in Pegram. We recommend checking them out (they often have concerts and showcases, and even offer lessons). So, who’s going to be delighting you at the park this week?
All pre-show performances begin at 6:30 p.m.
Fendrick & Peck
Jim Holland & the Tennessee Pigweeds with Flatfooter Jay Bland
The Music City Doughboys
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!
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. They’re there to help you out with all your picnic needs (and subsidize the picnic stuffs you brought yourself). If you’re joining us at the park for opening weekend, check out who’s going to be at the park while you’re there. If you’re merely thinking about joining us (or wondering if you should wait until a later weekend), peruse the whole list. Who knows? You might find something to entice you to come on down!
Stop by, grab a snack and say hello! 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.