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Americana Experience comes to Franklin May 22-June 1

Music Fills Region Highlighted by “Cross-County Lines” Festival

Venues and community leaders in Franklin, Tennessee have come together to create the Americana Experience, ten music-filled days featuring more than 50 acts performing throughout the area’s restaurants, theatres and music venues.  Events begin on Thursday May 22nd and are highlighted by the Americana Music Association’s “Cross-County Lines” Festival (presented by Nissan) on May 31st.  The “Experience” was created to shine a light on the distinct-but-connected genres and places that make up the roots of Americana music.


For most, the term “Americana” evokes images of small towns and Norman Rockwell scenes and, more recently, has become a banner under which various styles of American roots music have found a home.  From the delta blues to bluegrass as well as Cajun, jazz, soul, country, rock and gospel…Americana is a contemporary celebration of the sounds which history helped define in the triangle roughly framed by New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville.


“We tip-off with Grammy winning Cajun artists, BeauSoleil from Lafayette, Louisiana,” says event chairman Aubrey Preston.  “And then take a musical cruise through places like Muscle Shoals, Alabama with members of the legendary Swampers, to Clarksdale, Mississippi and authentic delta-blues acts like the colorful “Super Chikan Johnson, 81 year old Leo Bud Welch and 15 year-old prodigy “Kingfish” Ingram.  We’ll wrap up on Sunday (June 1) by inviting the entire county to an unplugged gospel sing-a-long near a beautiful creek in Leiper’s Fork.”


A variety of venues have joined the festivities, including Puckett’s Grocery (both Leiper’s Fork and Franklin locations), the Lawnchair Theatre (Leiper’s Fork), the Franklin Theatre, Music City Roots (Loveless Barn), The Factory (Franklin), Grays on Main (Franklin), Kimbro’s (Franklin) and more.  A detailed schedule follows and will be updated as more events are added at Some events are free and others are ticketed. Those events that require tickets can be purchased directly from the venues.


The crescendo of the Americana Experience happens Saturday, May 31st with the Americana Music Association’s “Cross-County Lines” Festival featuring Patty Griffin, John Hiatt, Ashley Monroe, Brandy Clark, Joe Pug, Parker Millsap and Luther Dickenson.   This ticketed event will be hosted at The Park at Harlinsdale Farm, on Franklin Road located across from the Factory at Franklin.  For more information or tickets for the Cross-County Lines Festival, go to or visit the Franklin Theatre box office.


“We’re fired up about the Americana Experience and expect, in highlighting the Americana Music Triangle and the growth of the Cross-County Lines Festival, it will become a signature event for the region,” says Franklin Theatre director Dan Hays.  “There will be amazing music everywhere and a chance to see friends from around the world.”
Visit for the latest information on all shows and venues.


A New Catalyst for Creativity and Charity

Since being reinvented in 2011, the Franklin Theatre has become one of the most important cultural catalysts and social gathering places in middle Tennessee.  The historic venue reports almost 700 events were hosted last year and it has helped raise more than $1 million for area charities since reopening.

“The Franklin Theater has exceeded every dream we could imagine when we first took on the project to save it,” says Mary Pearce of the Heritage Foundation of Franklin & Williamson County.  “We continue the tradition of movies on Main Street, but the rehabilitation has added a new dimension of entertainment as it becomes better known for the world-class live music, social and charitable events.”

The caliber of talent for live music events surprises many as the 300-seat theater hosts award winning artists as diverse as The Glenn Miller Orchestra and Switchfoot to Smash Mouth and Booker T. Jones.  Sheryl Crow has become a regular (6 concerts with 3 more scheduled for June) and the iconic Art Garfunkel recently chose the venue to re-launch his singing career.  With such a high level of talent the theater boasts a 92.5% average ticket sales rate which means live shows are routinely packed.

Thanks to an investment in technical capabilities and the theater’s aesthetics, a growing number of concerts are also being filmed and recorded for worldwide distribution and national broadcast by artists like John Hiatt, Travis Tritt and David Phelps.  The space was recently used for the prime-time television series “Nashville.”

The Franklin Theatre averages around two events per day and, in addition to live music and movies, is honored to work with schools, students, police and fire departments, senior groups, press conferences, merchant groups, medical societies and major corporations.  “When you want to host a social, educational or corporate event, it’s a very engaging place.  We like to think of it as Franklin’s family room,” says theater director Dan Hays.

Professional theater company Studio Tenn has built a loyal audience in Williamson County and, while it will move to new space in The Factory this year, its growth was fostered by a relationship with the Franklin Theatre with over 50 live performances last year.

In total, more than 65,000 patrons were ticketed for events in 2013 and generated an estimated $3.5 million economic impact.  Almost 12% of patrons were visitors from outside of middle Tennessee, representing growth of 70% in that category over the prior year.

Attendees are the theater’s greatest champions as over 96% say they are “extremely” or “highly likely” to recommend events hosted at Franklin Theatre to others.  In surveys, 95% rate the quality of programming as “above average” or “excellent.”

The theater recently created a new board governance structure and recruited high profile area business and entertainment professionals to shape priorities and oversee new opportunities.  According to new board president Wendell Moore, “The theater has a compelling future and while we continue to seek out sponsors and financial support, it’s on solid financial footing.  We’re exploring new opportunities to expand on the community’s dreams and are proud of its role in reshaping the creative and social landscape of our community.”

Details about upcoming events, arrangements to rent the facilities and how to make a contribution can be found here on the theater’s website or by calling 615-538-2076.

Studio Tenn Brings Thrilling Historical Drama “Frost/Nixon” To Franklin Theatre Stage

Live Play With Ten-Person Cast Opens February 20, Runs through March 2

6 January 2014 – Nashville, Tenn – This February at the Franklin Theatre, Studio Tenn Theatre Company brings to life one of television’s most riveting moments—the most watched political interview of all time—in an intimate, live-on-stage experience. The “Frost/Nixon” runs February 20 through March 2. Tickets are available at or by calling the Box Office at (615) 538-2076.
Written by Peter Morgan and debuted in London in 2006, this gripping play relays the true account of British talk show host David Frost, who, in 1977, against all odds, booked the first televised interview with Richard Nixon after his resignation from the presidency—and who got him to admit in front of 45 million viewers his involvement in the infamous Watergate scandal.
Studio Tenn Managing Director Jake Speck said, “’Frost/Nixon’ is the story of two tenacious, prize-fighter public figures gambling on their careers, each trying to unravel the other on live television in front of a world audience.”
Chock-full of drama, “Frost/Nixon” and its ten-person cast goes beyond the interview and reveals the impossibly high stakes and close calls involved in the making of one of broadcast journalism’s most audacious pursuits. “This is a compelling play of risk and reward, desire and desperation,” said Speck. “Especially if you enjoyed Studio Tenn’s 2012 production of ‘Twelve Angry Men,’ you will not want to miss this show.”
The play’s original director Michael Grandage serves as an aesthetic inspiration to Studio Tenn’s Artistic Director Matt Logan. “He was a master at bringing cinematic elements into live theatre in a very precise, edited fashion,” Logan said.
“Frost/Nixon” was adapted into an Oscar-winning film by Ron Howard in 2008. More recently, several other Hollywood titles in the political thriller genre have enjoyed phenomenal success, including 2012’s “Argo” and 2013’s “American Hustle,” both set in the same era as the famous Frost/Nixon interviews.
Logan shares, “historical dramas allow you to immerse yourself in a momentous [past] event that is so often taken for granted, to experience with immediacy the adrenaline, the tension, the urgency, as though it were presently unfolding. History books are written with the distance of retrospect; theatre places you into the moment and humanizes the story.”
David Frost will be played by Brent Maddox, who has been featured in Studio Tenn’s productions including “Into The Woods” (The Baker) and “A Christmas Carol” (Bob Cratchit). The play opens in Franklin amid world-wide remembrances of the real David Frost, who passed away in 2013 at the age of 74.
Studio Tenn Theatre Company’s production of “Frost/Nixon” runs February 20 through March 2 at the Franklin Theatre in downtown Franklin. Tickets are available at or by calling the Franklin Theatre Box Office at (615) 538-2076. To wrap their 2013-2014 season, Studio Tenn will present “Les Miserables” for a two-night run at the Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 3 and 4. For more information about Studio Tenn’s productions and ways to get involved as a sponsor or donor, visit

ART GARFUNKEL COMING TO FRANKLIN THEATRE: Third Performance (January 29) Added Due to High Demand for Tickets


Third Performance (January 29) Added Due to High Demand for Tickets

Although it has been 40 years since “Bridge Over Troubled Water” was recorded, Art Garfunkel’s image and signature vocal remain among the most instantly recognizable in popular music.

The Franklin Theatre is honored to welcome him for three nights in January which includes a newly added show (Wed., January 29) to accommodate a high demand for tickets.  Patrons will join Mr. Garfunkel for an evening of acoustic performance with songs, anecdotes, prose and a unique audience Q&A session.

Garfunkel earned five Grammy Awards and legions of fans as part of the legendary duo Simon & Garfunkel, which he formed with Paul Simon. The duo created a string of hits through the early 1970s, including “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” “The Boxer,” “Cecilia,” “Mrs. Robinson” and “Sound of Silence.” After they disbanded, both went on to solo careers, but were inducted as a duo into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.

Garfunkel has been selling out auditoriums all over the world on his recent “An Evening with Art Garfunkel” tour and brings his intimate performance to Franklin for the benefit of “The Nicaragua Project,” a local nonprofit started by singer songwriter, Gene Cotton. The organization works in Nicaragua rehabbing schools and orphanages, providing educational scholarships, and other humanitarian efforts. (

Cabaret seats (nearest stage) are $200.00 and all others are $100.00 each. (80% of the ticket price is tax-deductible.)

Tickets are available at the Franklin Theatre box office, online at or by calling 615-538-2076.




Christmas Film Fest and World-Class Live Music Featured

FRANKLIN, TENNESSEE – From Celtic to Country and Big Band to Bluegrass, the Franklin Theatre presents a variety of award-winning musical experiences this Holiday season with something for the entire family. In addition, the 75 year tradition of movies on Main Street is in high gear with a Christmas Film Festival.

Among the musical giants slated for Christmas themed shows are Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Phil Vassar, Christmas with the Celts, Sarah Darling, The Street Corner Symphony and Mark Schultz.  The season caps off with two shows on New Year’s Eve with the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra.

“Each of these acts represents the finest in their genre and promises an evening to lift the spirit during the holiday season,” says Programming Director Dolly Chandler.  “Pairing a show with a visit to the shops and great eateries or just to see the Christmas lights in historic downtown Franklin is a magical experience.”

Everyone familiar with the Franklin Theatre will also enjoy favorite movie classics during the five-week Christmas Film Festival.  Partnering with print media partner Nashville Scene, classics and favorites like It’s A Wonderful Life, Christmas Vacation, Miracle on 34th Street and Polar Express take on a different hue in the recently restored theater.


12/6            Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver Christmas Concert
12/10 & 11 Christmas With The Celts
12/13          Sarah Darling & Friends Acoustic Christmas
12/14          Street Corner Symphony Christmas Show
12/19          Mark Schultz
12/21          Phil Vassar
12/31          Glenn Miller Orchestra – Two shows


12/3-4          A Christmas Story
12/7             Home Alone
12/7-9          Miracle On 34th Street
12/7             Love Actually
12/14-16      The Polar Express
12/15-18      White Christmas
12/17-23      Elf
12/22-23      It’s A Wonderful Life



Tickets for all shows are available by calling the box office at 615-538-2076 or online at  Many of these shows will sell out and advance reservations are encouraged.



Available in any denomination and usable for any event or concessions at the theater, Franklin Theatre has gift cards make a perfect present for the “hard to shop for.”  To purchase, please stop by the box office or call 615-538-2076.


Franklin Theatre also provides the opportunity to rent the balcony (44 seats) for private groups for movies or events when space is available. Balcony rentals include a private bar.  Make holiday plans now for a special event for social groups or your company party by calling: 615-538-2083.