After a five-week run at the oneC1TY in Nashville, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival continues its annual tradition of performing Summer Shakespeare at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park in Franklin for a final weekend of performances September 16-19. .
This year, for the first time in its history, Nashville Shakes has teamed up with a black theater company, Kennie Playhouse Theater, and will present August Wilson’s âJitneyâ for the first two evenings. The second play will be William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night”. This free, late-summer outdoor event will feature late-summer academic discussions, pre-show music, and food trucks.
Wilson’s “Jitney,” a poignant snapshot of black life in 1977 in Pittsburgh through the lens of a tight-knit group of independent taxi drivers, is directed by award-winning Chicago Goodman Theater resident director Chuck Smith and has the original music composed by Victor Wooten, five-time Grammy Award winner. “Jitney” will play Thursday and Friday September 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. This show is rated MA for an adult audience due to its strong language.
Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” is a light-hearted comedy about mistaken identity, directed by award-winning American Shakespeare Center Founding Art Director Jim Warren, with original contemporary music composed by Nashville singer-songwriter Tom Mason. “Twelfth Night” will play on Saturday and Sunday September 18 and 19 at 7 pm. This show is family-friendly.
Each night begins at 5:30 pm with âInsight,â free science talks featuring guest experts on Wilson and Shakespeare.
At 6 p.m., the pre-show night concert will begin, with local entertainment. At 6:45 p.m., the kids attending Elf & Fairy Camp will perform, followed by the Apprentice Company, leading directly to the main performance at 7:00 p.m.
Food trucks will be on site and dogs on a leash are welcome. The festival is free and the public can come with their own blanket or chairs or reserve chairs in advance with âNobleâ seats available for $ 40. VIP Royal packages, which include reserved parking, comfortable reserved seating, and dinner prepared by Bacon & Caviar Gourmet Catering, cost $ 100 each and support festival programming.
Academy Park Performing Arts Center is located at 112 Everbright Ave. in Franklin. Go to www.ticketsnashville.com or www.nashvilleshakes.org to purchase VIP tickets.
Summer Shakespeare 2021 is funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission, Metro Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Shakespeare at Academy Park is made possible in part by Williamson County Parks and Recreation.