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Franklin Theatre Announces New Director

Music Industry Executive to Take Office at Historic Franklin Theatre

December 20, 2011–The Board of Directors of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County today announced that Dan Hays will become the new Director for the Franklin Theatre.

Hays’ acceptance of the post culminates a rigorous leadership search for the historic Main Street institution which recently underwent an $8 million renovation with a commitment to be the best 300 seat music venue in the world. Since its re-opening, The Franklin Theatre has hosted a diverse, world-class musical lineup including Sheryl Crow, Michael McDonald, The Judds, Keb’ Mo’, Sam Bush–with much more on the horizon–and has sold out every show in its concert series,Franklin Theatre Live.

Heritage Foundation President Cyril Stewart said the four-month executive search process was purposely intensive. “We owed it to our community to be very deliberate about finding the right person to lead the Franklin Theatre,” Stewart said. “We feel strongly that Dan Hays is the ideal choice and the theatre will build on its already phenomenal trajectory under his leadership.”

Executive Director of the Heritage Foundation Mary Pearce said she believes in Hays’ leadership. “Dan has tremendous nonprofit management experience and a wealth of contacts in the music industry,” Pearce said. “He has proven his dedication to music and truly understands and appreciates the fabric of this community and all the Franklin Theatre is and can be.”

Since 1990 Hays has headed the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA), a music industry trade organization headquartered in Nashville. During his tenure, IBMA developed from an association in its infancy to an influential music industry player. IBMA Board Chair Stan Zdonik said, “IBMA will sorely miss Dan’s presence. In his 21 years, IBMA has grown into a multifaceted resource for the bluegrass community. He approached the work of the organization with vigor and integrity and we were all the better for it. Speaking for the IBMA Board, we wish Dan all the best in his new position.”

“I am honored and look forward to joining the extraordinary staff at the Franklin Theatre,” Hays said. “This intimate historic Theatre is bursting with promise and is a vibrant cultural asset for our community and the talents we present.”

Hays will initially split time between IBMA and the Franklin Theatre until a new director is hired for the IBMA, the search for whom is already underway. He expects to take office full time at the Franklin Theatre in early 2012.

Originally built in 1937, the Franklin Theatre re-opened to the public on June 3, 2011 following a multi-year, multi-million-dollar restoration. The Main Street landmark is owned and operated by the nonprofit Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County. More information is available online at www.franklintheatre.com.

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Studio Tenn Theatre Company Adds “The Sound of Music” to its 2011-2012 Season at the Franklin Theatre

Encore musical production planned for May-June 2012

Franklin, TN – December 9, 2011 – At Opening Night of Studio Tenn’s “A Christmas Carol” Thursday at the Franklin Theatre, the crowd went wild before the performance even began. Company Managing Director Jake Speck and Artistic Director Matt Logan greeted the audience with an announcement that Studio Tenn would stage a fourth production, “The Sound of Music,” as part of their 2011-2012 season.

Speck said the announcement—met with resounding cheers—was due to the unprecedented success and popularity of both “A Christmas Carol” and the company’s Franklin Theatre debut production, “Guys And Dolls.”

“We are so glad to see such a healthy demand for professional live theater here in Franklin and Williamson County, and we want to keep feeding that demand,” Speck said. “We are especially excited about “The Sound of Music” because it hasn’t been done in this [Nashville area] market for several years.”

Though tickets to “The Sound of Music” will not go on sale to the public until March 5, 2012, an exclusive pre-sale package including tickets to “The Miracle Worker” (Feb 23-March 4) and “The Sound of Music” is being offered to patrons of “A Christmas Carol” throughout the run of the show (Dec 8-18). The pre-sale combo ticket will be available to the public beginning December 19.

“We want to thank our closest fans and supporters by giving them first dibs on tickets to “The Sound of Music,” which may well turn out to be our most popular show of the season,” Speck said. “There’s certainly a possibility we could sell out “The Sound of Music” before the public on-sale date. If you want a guaranteed seat, the combo tickets are your best bet.”

Demand for Studio Tenn tickets has been on the rise throughout their inaugural season at the Franklin Theatre. In fact, the company decided to open up two additional performances of “A Christmas Carol” after the initial 10-show run came within 5% of a total sellout just days after Thanksgiving.

Speck said he has equally high hopes for The Sound of Music. “It’s such a treasure of musical theater,” he said of the show. “We cannot wait to bring it to the Franklin Theatre stage.”

About Studio Tenn

Studio Tenn, proudly tapped by the Franklin Theatre to be their resident theatre company for the 2011-2012 season, made quite a splash with their highly lauded inaugural 2010-2011 season, and their upcoming productions have fulfilled their promise to be even more stellar. Following “A Christmas Carol”, “The Miracle Worker” is set for Feb. 23rd-March 4th. And just announced, “The Sound of Music” will wrap up the season in for May and June 2012.

Showcasing this city’s great artistic talent alongside Broadway stars, the first four shows from this young company–”Our Town,” “Hello Dolly!”, “A Christmas Carol”, and “The Glass Menagerie”, were heavily lauded by audiences and critics alike.

Studio Tenn Theatre Company is lead by Artistic Director Matt Logan and Managing Director Jake Speck, both Nashville natives who made good on Broadway and have brought their experience back home to middle Tennessee. Studio Tenn was founded in the Fall of 2009 by Logan, a nationally recognized director and artist, along with Emmy Award-winning producer Philip Hall and Broadway and film actress Marguerite Lowell Hall. The company’s inaugural production of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” was an enormous success and enough to convince Studio Tenn’s founders this was something that should continue. Shortly thereafter, Jake Speck left the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys” where he played the lead role of Bob Gaudio to join Studio Tenn as its Managing Director.

Studio Tenn’s mission boldly states that they will “use a rich combination of talent from Nashville and Broadway to bring classic works of drama and musical theatre to life in Middle Tennessee; and provide innovative educational programs designed to entertain, educate and inspire the rising artists of our unique community.”

___________________

Coming Up Next:

The Miracle Worker
February 23-March 4, 2012

Tickets on sale as of November 11, 2011.
William Gibson’s three-act play tells the inspirational story of Anne Sullivan’s struggle to teach the blind and deaf Helen Keller how to communicate.

 

The Sound of Music

May 31-June 10, 2012

Tickets go on sale March 5, 2012

*Pre-sale opportunity for those who purchase tickets to The Miracle Worker beginning December 19, 2011.
For more information, visit StudioTenn.com or FranklinTheatre.com.

 

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FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

FOR THE FRANKLIN THEATRE:

Leah Dennison, Public Relations & Marketing

leah@franklintheatre.com

615-538-2075 ext. 2 in Staff Directory

 

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“A Christmas Carol” Performances Added Due to Popular Demand

Tickets on sale now at FranklinTheatre.com

 

Franklin, TN –  December 1,  2011 – The Franklin Theatre and Studio Tenn Theatre Company today announced that two additional performances of “A Christmas Carol” will take place on Sunday, December 11 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 18 at 7 p.m. Tickets are on sale now at www.FranklinTheatre.com.

With the initial ten-show run more than 95% sold out, Studio Tenn’s Managing Director Jake Speck said the two Sunday evening shows are being added due to enduring demand for tickets in the local and regional community.

“We are thrilled with the response to this show,” said Speck. “I am elated that we are able to add these two performances and supply what the Franklin and Middle Tennessee communities have clearly demonstrated as a demand.”

Named “Best Christmas Show in Nashville” by the Nashville Scene’s Annual Best-Of issue, Studio Tenn’s “A Christmas Carol” is now in its second season and opens the same weekend as the Heritage Foundation’s annual “Dickens of a Christmas Festival” on Main Street in Franklin.

“We are so excited that Studio Tenn and the Franklin Theatre will be lending this new dimension to the ‘Dickens of a Christmas Festival’, a holiday tradition that is already so well established and beloved in this community,” said Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce.

Studio Tenn brought Broadway players to Main Street Franklin for the first time in history this past August, with a sold-out eight-show run of the 1950 classic, “Guys and Dolls.” Studio Tenn’s Managing Director Jake Speck said he is looking forward to returning to the Franklin Theatre this December to perform another beloved piece.

Chip Arnold–recently voted “Best Actor in Nashville” by The Tennessean–will be reprising his stunning role as Ebenezer Scrooge. Speck will serve as Executive Producer, and the company’s Artistic Director Matt Logan will direct and design the show. The production is an original adaptation by Paula Y. Flautt of the classic Dickens novel. The show will be scored by a live four-piece Mozart ensemble led by Nathan Burbank and will also incorporate original compositions by Mr. Burbank.

Individual tickets can be purchased at franklintheatre.com or by visiting or calling the Franklin Theatre box office at 419 Main Street, 615-538-2075. Group rates are also available for parties of 10 or more. Email leah@franklintheatre.com for group sales. For more information, please visit FranklinTheatre.com

What the Critics are Saying:

“Yes, it’s back – but this Christmas Carol is worth the trip, even if it’s your 20th.”
– Martin Brady, Nashville Scene

“…the best holiday theater experience that exists in Nashville this year!”
– Chad Young, Nashville Parent Magazine

(Photo of Chip Arnold as Ebenezer Scrooge courtesy of ANTHONYMATULA)

 

About Studio Tenn

Studio Tenn, proudly tapped by the Franklin Theatre to be their resident theatre company for the 2011-2012 season, made quite a splash with their highly lauded inaugural 2010-2011 season, and their upcoming productions have fulfilled their promise to be even more stellar. Following A Christmas Carol, The Miracle Worker is set for Feb. 23rd-March 4th.

 

Showcasing this city’s great artistic talent alongside Broadway stars, the first four shows from this young company -Our Town, Hello Dolly!, A Christmas Carol, and The Glass Menagerie, were heavily lauded by audiences and critics alike.

Studio Tenn Theatre Company is lead by Artistic Director Matt Logan and Managing Director Jake Speck, both Nashville natives who made good on Broadway and have brought their experience back home to middle Tennessee. Studio Tenn was founded in the Fall of 2009 by Logan, a nationally recognized director and artist, along with Emmy Award-winning producer Philip Hall and Broadway and film actress Marguerite Lowell Hall. The company’s inaugural production of Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” was an enormous success and enough to convince Studio Tenn’s founders this was something that should continue. Shortly thereafter, Jake Speck left the Broadway production of “Jersey Boys” where he played the lead role of Bob Gaudio to join Studio Tenn as its Managing Director.

Studio Tenn’s mission boldly states that they will “use a rich combination of talent from Nashville and Broadway to bring classic works of drama and musical theatre to life in Middle Tennessee; and provide innovative educational programs designed to entertain, educate and inspire the rising artists of our unique community.”

 

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Heading Back Home Film Returns to Franklin Theatre for Encore on Nov. 30

Three Showings Coincide with Anniversary of the Battle; Film-maker to Moderate Panel Discussion

 

FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Those who weren’t able to purchase tickets for the sold-out premiere of the film Heading Back Home: Franklin’s Unknown Soldier and the Civil War’s Five Bloodiest Hours are getting a second chance to see it on the big screen. The Franklin Theatre will hold three encore showings of the film on Nov. 30 – the 147th anniversary of the Battle of Franklin – with the evening showing followed by a panel discussion.

 

“There has been so much pent-up demand around this film that we wanted to provide another opportunity for the public to experience it at the Franklin Theatre,” said Sara Preston, Program Director for the theater. “It made good sense to tie in with the anniversary of the battle for the encore presentation.”

 

The film will be shown at 2 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Nov. 30, with the evening showing to include a panel discussion with Battle of Franklin Trust Director of Operations Eric Jacobson, Lotz House Foundation President J.T. Thompson, and Columbia State History Professor Thomas Flagel. Brian Speciale, who wrote, directed and produced the film with his wife, Jodi Jones-Speciale, will moderate the discussion.

 

Tickets are available now at www.franklintheatre.com, with the early showings at $5 and the 7 p.m. presentation for $12.

 

Heritage Foundation Executive Director Mary Pearce says the film has added a new dimension to the story of what happened in Franklin on November 30, 1864.

 

“It’s so important that people of all ages understand our history, and viewing this film is such an enjoyable way to gain an understanding of the Battle of Franklin, ” Pearce said. “The discovery of the soldier’s remains and the way the community honored his sacrifice illustrated that our history matters to our citizens. I encourage everyone who hasn’t yet seen the film to come. You won’t be disappointed.”

 

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Franklin Theatre Announced Third Sheryl Crow Concert After First Two Shows Sell Out in Minutes

Proceeds of all three shows to benefit New Hope Academy

Franklin, Tenn.—Friday, November 4, 2011—The Franklin Theatre  announced that singer-songwriter superstar Sheryl Crow will perform a third concert on Sunday, December 4 at 8 p.m. Tickets go on sale at 1 p.m. Friday, November 4, at www.FranklinTheatre.com and sold out the same day.

 

The announcement  of the third show came mere hours after tickets for Sheryl Crow’s December 2 and December 3 concerts sold out within six minutes of going on sale to the public. Some patrons lined up at the box office as early as 8 a.m. Most tickets were purchased online at www.franklintheatre.com.

 

“The response this morning has been wonderfully overwhelming,” said Franklin Theatre Program Director Sara Preston on Friday. “We are beyond thrilled that Sheryl has decided to open up a third show. We know many of her fans will be just as excited to hear this news.”

 

All three Sheryl Crow concerts at the Franklin Theatre will benefit New Hope Academy, a Franklin school whose mission is to provide classical Christian education to an economically, racially and culturally diverse student population. Concert proceeds will go toward providing scholarships and financial assistance for New Hope Academy students.

 

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