The Franklin Theatre Launches Phased Reopening for 2021
Beginning with small, private rental events, theater now looking to bring back live entertainment, movies and hybrid live-streamed shows that conform to current COVID restrictions
FRANKLIN, TN (March 10, 2020) – After going dark to public performances last year due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, parent organization of The Franklin Theatre, is excited to announce the theater’s phased reopening plan for 2021.
Currently the theater is open for private rentals, including Monday nights through April where another local non-profit, Studio Tenn, is hosting its popular virtual talk show: Studio Tenn Talks: Conversations with Patrick Cassidy. In addition, as part of its mission to be a platform for local philanthropy, The Franklin Theatre is currently working in partnership with local video production companies and The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) to provide an opportunity for non-profits to film affordable promotional videos to support their participation in The Big Payback, CFMT’s annual 24-hour giving event that kicks off on Wednesday, May 5 at 6 p.m.
The current reopening plan, which will be modified as needed based on any future COVID-related restrictions, will bring back limited-capacity weekend movies, limited-capacity plus livestream performances through June. Until the state guidelines indicate otherwise, the theater’s capacity is approximately 75 guests, which accounts for adequate social distancing.
Beginning in July, the theater will begin presenting movies and live performances with increasing regularity and possible increased capacity. The Franklin Theatre will continue to follow the governor’s Tennessee Pledge and CDC guidelines and update reopening plans as needed.
The theater’s box office will reopen with limited hours beginning on Friday, March 12, in time for Sandi Patty’s ticket on-sale date. The box office’s limited hours will run through April and will be 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday, Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to new shows going on sale over the next several weeks, many 2021-2022 shows are currently on sale.
- Sandi Patty (Limited Capacity & Livestream) – Saturday, May 8 | 3 p.m. & 7 p.m.
- Deborah Allen (Limited Capacity & Livestream) – Saturday, June 5 | 2 p.m. & 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 2
- The Isaacs – Friday, July 9 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- James Gregory – Saturday, July 10 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 2
- Jeff Allen – Thursday, July 15 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- Larry Carlton – Saturday, July 17 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 9
- Farewell Angelina – Thursday, July 29 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- John Ford Coley, Billy Dean & Tom Wurth – Backgrounds and Bridges Acoustic Tour – Thursday, August 5 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- Allie Colleen – Friday, August 6 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- Henry Cho – Saturday, August 14 | 4 p.m. & 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- Gary Puckett & The Union Gap – Thursday, August 19 & Friday, August 20 | 8 p.m. – ON SALE FRIDAY, APRIL 16
- David Wilcox – Saturday, August 21 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
- BJ Thomas – Friday, August 27 & Saturday, August 28 | 8 p.m. – CURRENTLY ON SALE
“We are emerging from an incredibly challenging season for The Franklin Theatre,” said Heritage Foundation COO Meg Hershey. “While we had to temporarily close the doors to public events, we are diligently working behind the scenes to reschedule some of the amazing programming that was planned for last year. We couldn’t be more excited about getting this cherished venue back open to continue its mission, bringing inspiring arts and entertainment experiences to our community.”
Hershey went on to say that surviving an unprecedented season which left the theater with very few options for programming has been nothing short of challenging.
“This theater has been sustained by the community’s embrace of underwritten marquee messages, limited small group private rental events and through the commitment of corporate sponsors and donors of the nonprofit Heritage Foundation and its division The Franklin Theatre,” she said.
The Heritage Foundation is also making plans for a 10th anniversary celebration later this year to commemorate 10 years since the theater’s restoration and grand re-opening.
Historic Franklin Theatre announces new Performing Arts Series and names Paul T. Couch new executive director
Theater announces new mission and vision for 2020 and beyond with artistic expansion.
Since its original opening in 1937, the historic Franklin Theatre has seen many exciting changes, and 2020 is proving to be no different.
The Franklin Theatre kicked off the year with two major announcements including the naming of Paul T. Couch as the theatre’s permanent executive director as well as introducing an entirely new lineup of performing arts programming which will build upon the excellent track record the Franklin Theatre already has for its live music and movie showings by adding programming that features diverse musical, dance and family performances.
Bari Beasley is the CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, which owns the Franklin Theatre. She said bringing Paul Couch to the executive director role was an important step towards the expansion of the entertainment happening in the theatre that focuses on the theatre’s new mission and vision.
“This theater is such a gem to this entire county, and we want to focus on making it accessible to even more people with even more exciting programming,” Beasley said. “Naming Paul Couch as the executive director is a crucial part of that goal and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge in programming, managing and promoting world-class venues and the shows they offer. One of his first ideas in this role was to introduce this new season of diversified programming and we are so excited to bring this added entertainment to Williamson County and to this beautiful theater.”
The new season of programming season will begin September 19 with Black Violin and run through April of 2021. The new season consists of three series, each made up of five shows doing three performances each. Tickets for each series go on sale today, with individual performance tickets going on sale in April.
“Under the thoughtful guidance of the Heritage Foundation, the Franklin Theatre will welcome a new era of entertainment to its stage with this new season,” executive director Paul T. Couch said. “Our new programming will enrich the cultural offerings available to Williamson County
residents and visitors. Audiences will have new opportunities to create memories in the heart of downtown Franklin.”
Another important aspect of the Performing Arts Series is the implementation of educational outreach with these performers. Couch and his team will be seeking opportunities to bring these international acts into schools and working with area non-profits and organizations to offer young people the chance to benefit from the talents, skills and knowledge of these accomplished artists.
With this new season, the theater has also created new mission and vision statements to better reflect the overarching goals moving into 2020 and beyond. The theater’s vision is to be a catalyst for social change, where diverse peoples are unified, lives are touched, and memories are made. The mission is to provide world-class performing arts experiences to diverse Williamson County residents and visitors and to be a platform for local philanthropic engagement and education, while providing unparalleled guest service.
The 2020-21 Performing Arts Series schedule is:
Great Performances Series
World-class musicians and ensembles will fill the auditorium of The Franklin Theatre with virtuoso musical performances.
September 19-20, 2020
Lead by two classically trained string players, the band uses their unique blend of classical and hip-hop music to overcome stereotypes while encouraging people of all ages, races, and economic backgrounds to join together to break down cultural barriers.
The Academy of St. Martin In The Fields Chamber Ensemble
October 9-10, 2020
This London-based chamber ensemble is one of the finest in the world, renowned for their fresh, brilliant interpretations of the world’s greatest chamber music.
October 23-24, 2020
Renowned for her vocal performance for the Disney/Pixar movie Brave as well as her
collaborations with James Taylor and Mary Chapin Carpenter, her ‘crystalline’ and ‘intoxicating’ vocals have enchanted audiences around the world.
Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea
January 22-23, 2021
A unique, multi-cultural ensemble, this all-female group with its foundation and roots based in Mariachi creates music that is traditional and so much more. Their Grammy-winning music can be heard in venues ranging from Disney parks to the Universal Amphitheatre.
Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
February 19-20, 2021
For more than three decades, the members of this Grammy-winning ensemble have continually set the standard for expression and virtuosity, bringing a new energy to the concert stage with programs ranging from bluegrass to Bach.
Celebration of Dance Series
Combining the creativity of artists with the discipline of athletes, these amazing displays of music and movement will bring a whole new energy to Main Street.
Rhythmic Circus – Holiday Shuffle
Dec 4-5, 2020
An internationally renowned, 12-member live music and tap dance ensemble whose magnetic, high-energy shows are all about juggling a combination of dancing, humor and music – all wrapped within a bundle of positive messages.
Giordano Dance Chicago
Feb 12-14, 2021
Presenting new and innovative jazz dance choreography, often redefining and expanding the very definition of jazz dance, bringing the invaluable American art form to audiences and students of all ages and from all ethnic backgrounds.
February 26 -27, 2021
Combining flamenco, ballet, martial arts, street dance, theatre and acrobatics with charisma, showmanship, and an exceptional sense of rhythm, these seven brothers are setting audiences ablaze around the world.
Eireann, A Taste of Ireland
March 12-13, 2021
These award-winning Irish Dancers and musicians explore magical tales spanning generations of Irish storytelling and culture.
April 23-24, 2021
Two modern-day clowns play out their hilarious and unique pas de deux through the universal language of gesture and look, as they sweep us up in a timeless and award-winning performance with all the seriousness, innocence, and unkindness of the human condition.
Family Spotlight Series
Topflight performances by jugglers, magicians, acrobats and some very big dinosaurs will not only entertain but create experiences that will engage and expand young minds while creating experiences families can enjoy together.
Mark Nizer 4D Theatre
September 25-26, 2020
A new dimension in entertainment combining original comedy, juggling, movement, music and technology that promises a spellbinding performance.
October 16-17, 2020
Using items commonly found in a junkyard, JunNk combines singing, percussion and comedy to create a world of music and laughter that has never been seen before.
October 30-31, 2020
Spooks, specters, and scaredy-cats contort and cavort through a high-flying circus of scare. Vampires soar, skeletons stagger, and acrobatic cats romp through a humorously haunted bazaar of the bizarre. Indulge your inner eerie in this family-friendly, bone-chilling delight!
Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live!
Nov. 21-22, 2020
Observe, meet and interact with an eye-popping collection of amazingly life-like dinosaurs and other creatures presented in a theatrical performance that will thrill and entertain kids while stimulating their imaginations in ways that will forever connect them to their world
SNAP – Contemporary.Mystery.Performance
Jan 15-16, 2021
Playing with space, time and the otherworldly, this eclectic ensemble of South Korean illusionists will boggle your mind with their impressive powers of prestidigitation. Their mixture of dexterous sleight of hand, vaudevillian comedy and ingenious visual effects conjures a marvelous, magical cabaret perfect for the whole family.
Tickets for the entire series go on sale today, with individual performance tickets going on sale in April. For more information or to buy series tickets, go to www.franklintheatre.com.
Second City Brings the Cure for the Common Comedy to Franklin Theatre
Leading Improv and Comedy Touring Company Will Perform With The Audience For a Night of Fun and Laughs
Are you sick and tired of jokes that make you feel sick and tired? Don’t let it all get you down! The Second City has the fix. Edgy, thought-provoking and always spectacularly funny, Chicago’s legendary sketch and improv comedy theater brings, ”The Cure for The Common Comedy,” to the Franklin Theatre on Saturday, September 2nd at 8pm.
Recognized as one of the most influential and prolific comedy theatres in the world,
The Second City is celebrating nearly six decades of producing cutting-edge satirical revues and launching the careers of generation after generation of comedy’s best and brightest (Mike Myers, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey).
Tyler Samples, Director, describes the six veteran performers as “funny and weird” playing characters that everyone will undoubtedly find familiar. Samples adds, “They’re planning to do a lot of improv and audience interaction, to the point where it will feel like they’re playing to a group of friends. It’s a moment in time specific to what is in the room and who’s watching. A lot of silly versions of everyday things, family dynamics, adult children and their parents, couples and first dates.”
The Second City continues to produce the premiere comic talent in the industry and has grown beyond a single stage to become a diversified entertainment company. Training centers in Chicago, Toronto, and Los Angeles teach thousands of students every week, and four touring companies perform Second City revues all over North America and abroad. The Blue Co. will be the cast for the Franklin Theatre show.
Tickets for The Second City can be purchased online at www.FranklinTheatre.com or by calling the Box Office at 615-538-2076.
Franklin Theatre Celebrates Fifth Anniversary
The historic Franklin Theatre will celebrate the fifth anniversary of its reopening in June and invites the community to a special series of complimentary movies, backstage tours and a music concert to say thanks for helping make it an important cultural showplace in such a short period of time. The historic movie house reopened in 2011 to inspire, enrich and connect our community as a world-class music venue and multi-purpose arts facility after an $8.5 million rebuild.
In just its first five years, over 350,000 patrons have laughed, cried and been touched by award winning musical talents from most every genre, world class live theater, special movie experiences, and scores of community and business events. As a new centerpiece on Franklin’s renowned Main Street, it has spurred a new emphasis on music and art in Williamson County that complements the area’s Civil War history, unique shopping and amazing local food scene. The venue now averages more than 600 events each year and contributes a direct annual economic impact of $3.8 million. As a non-profit recipient of the community’s generosity, the theater’s leadership is especially proud to have helped area charities host events that have raised over $3 million since reopening.
To celebrate its patrons, several complimentary events are planned. Ticket reservations will begin at 11 AM on May 27th
June 11 at 10 AM, 1, 4 & 7 PM – Free Movie Day
Celebrating the Franklin Theatre’s longest tradition of movies on Main Street, the Franklin Theatre will screen classic movies all day for free. Movies will include the original Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs, American Graffiti, and The Sting. Patrons are also encouraged to bring a canned food donation for OneGenAway, a charitable organization that provides food to the hungry. Movies will be shown at 10 AM, 1, 4 & 7 PM.
June 19 all afternoon – Open House and Backstage Tours
You’ve seen the marquee and possibly the lobby and auditorium…but have you been backstage and heard the whole story about the Franklin Theatre? Tours to be given on the hour from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.
June 24 at 8 PM – SHEL Live Performance/Album Release
Celebrating the Franklin Theatre’s newest tradition, live music, nationally recognized Americana band and Franklin favorites, SHEL join us for an album release concert. The show will be complimentary, but please reserve tickets in advance. We’ll also encourage a donation that evening to Tails of the Trail, an animal advocacy group.
July 1 at 7 PM – Art Scene at the Theatre
Also celebrating their fifth anniversary is Franklin Art Scene. Franklin’s monthly art crawl takes participants through downtown Franklin’s historic buildings, and celebrates Williamson County’s unique artistic talent. Visit us to see an art exhibit as well as an artist creating works on site. Following Art Scene, at 9:30 PM the Franklin Theatre will present a screening of Saving Banksy.
Originally opened in 1937 as Franklin’s Main Street movie house, the Franklin Theatre was shuttered in 2007 amid rising rents and operational costs. A massive fundraising effort and total renovation allowed the theatre to reopen in 2011 as a world-class music venue that continues its original purpose as a movie house.
The Franklin Theatre has hosted a remarkable talent roster of award winning artists including Sheryl Crow, Art Garfunkel, The Judds, Michael McDonald, Amy Grant & Vince Gill, Ronnie Dunn, Michael W. Smith, Guy Clark, Ray Price, Del McCoury, Jars of Clay, Switchfoot, Leon Russell, Mac Davis, Little River Band and many, many more. The theatre has also served as a backdrop for a host of television productions, videos, webcasts, live album recordings and the ABC network series Nashville.
For tickets and more information about these events, visit: www.franklintheatre.com or call 615-538-2076.
The Franklin Theatre is located at 419 Main Street, Franklin Tennessee.
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