The Franklin Theatre to Host Regional Premiere of ‘Mysterious Circumstance: The Death of Meriwether Lewis’ Starring John Schneider and Evan Williams
The film, set on the Natchez Trace, follows the events surrounding the death of the famed American explorer & will feature Q & A with Director & Actor
A story of the allegedly unresolved 1809 demise of a national hero, Mysterious Circumstance, directed by Clark Richey, sheds light on Meriwether Lewis’s death by gunshot on the Natchez Trace, an isolated frontier road connecting Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. The film explores if the famed explorer committed suicide as history reports or was his end far more sinister?
In the film, entangled versions of Lewis’s tragic ending at a remote Tennessee inn are imagined by his friend Alexander Wilson (Billy Slaughter, Mindhunter) during a tense encounter with Priscilla Grinder (Gousset, The Card Counter) – the only witness to Lewis’s final night alive. The historical thriller brings together an award-winning cast and crew that includes Schneider (The Dukes of Hazzard), Sonny Marinelli (Entourage) and Evan Williams (Versailles) as Lewis.
“We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to premiere Mysterious Circumstance, at the historic Franklin Theatre,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of The Franklin Theatre. “Set just southwest of Franklin, this film is an opportunity for us to shine a light on the rich, and sometimes complicated, history of Middle Tennessee.”
In addition to the screening of Mysterious Circumstance, the evening will include brief remarks before the film and a Q & A with writer & director Clark Richey and Amye Gousset, lead actress & producer immediately following.
Tickets and more information can be found at www.franklintheatre.com/mysterious-circumstance/. Tickets are also available by calling 615-538-2076, or visiting the box office at 419 Main Street, Franklin, TN.
The Franklin Theatre to Host Broadway Bound Bluegrass Musical JOHNNY & the DEVIL’S BOX in Concert
The concert, written by Franklin, TN residents Douglas Waterbury-Tieman and Annabelle Fox, will feature veterans of the stage and screen.
The Franklin Theatre will play host to a concert version of JOHNNY & THE DEVIL’S BOX, a Broadway-bound bluegrass musical, on September 16th, 2022.
Written by Franklin, TN local and Belmont University graduate Douglas Waterbury-Tieman, and boasting a creative team of Broadway veterans, including Scott Wasserman (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, The Great Comet) and Jennifer Jancuska (Hamilton), JOHNNY & THE DEVIL’S BOX tells the story of a boastful fiddle player who attracts the attention of the Devil in his aim to prove his skills.
“Johnny & The Devil’s Box is an exciting and unique opportunity for The Franklin Theatre to present world-class performing arts experiences to our community,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of The Franklin Theatre. “Audiences will love its lively, bluegrass score, conceived right here in the heart of Middle Tennessee. We are honored to be part of the development history of this highly praised new musical theatre work and look forward to watching this musical become a hit in Tennessee and beyond.”
“We have such a history with the Franklin Theatre, having performed there many times over the years with Studio Tenn,” said Waterbury-Tieman. “Now to be able to bring our original music to the stage with such an incredible cast of guest artists is an incredible honor. We can’t wait to watch the audience tap their feet to the fiddle in our very favorite theatre.”
The musical’s journey began locally at Belmont University where Waterbury-Tieman conceived of the work, along the way presenting a 29-Hour reading with Studio Tenn. Momentum quickly gained for the show until plans for a production at the Tony Award Winning Goodspeed Opera House were put on hold due to the pandemic’s shut down of Broadway. The Franklin Theatre’s engagement is an opportunity to present a distinct concert interpretation of the show for audiences prior to its full production Regional Premiere this November at the Cumberland County Playhouse in Crossville, TN.
The Franklin Theatre concert will feature Waterbury-Tieman alongside his wife Annabelle Fox (No Strings Off Broadway Revival), Matthew Carlton (The Doyle and Debbie Show, Nash Rep’s Ragtime), Rachel Potter (X-Factor; Broadway’s Addams Family, Evita), A.J. Smith (The Kelly Clarkson Show), Jake Speck (Broadway’s Jersey Boys; Nashville), with more to be announced. The supporting band will feature Zach and Maggie White, Laura Ray and Ben Jones, with Matt Logan serving as Consulting Producer.
Tickets can be found at www.franklintheatre.com/johnny-devils-box. Tickets are also available by calling 615-538-2076, or visiting the box office at 419 Main Street, Franklin, TN.
Republic Bank partners with The Franklin Theatre for its 2022 Holiday Movie Lineup
Fan favorites, like White Christmas and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,
return to The Historic Franklin Theatre and go on sale this Friday.
We are excited to announce Republic Bank as the presenting sponsor for its holiday movie screenings throughout December. As part of their month-long “Christmas in July” promotion, all holiday movies will go on sale Friday, July 22 at 11:00 AM.
“Holiday movies at The Franklin Theatre have become a staple for many families in middle Tennessee,” said The Franklin Theatre’s Managing Director, Eric Dilts. “Our 2022 lineup is sure to excite all audiences with the beloved classics and fan-favorites. These holiday screenings often sell out, so everyone is encouraged to make their holiday viewing plans now if they can. Also, as a corporate partner that is helping keep this tradition alive, we’re thrilled to have Republic Bank work with us this year to bring these cherished movies to our historic theatre”.
“Republic Bank, for over 40 years, has really strived to be a community partner in all the markets that we serve. The Franklin Theatre, to us, is a treasure here. Not only for the historical aspect, but for the entertainment value that it brings,” said Chad Hart, Tennessee Market President for Republic Bank. “It’s become a time-honored tradition for many families in Williamson County to enjoy some of the holiday shows, and we’re excited to be part of it this year.”
As an added benefit, patrons that purchase any “Christmas in July” movie or live show will be entered to win a Franklin Theatre prize package that includes Franklin Theatre Merchandise, concessions and (non-holiday) movie vouchers, and a $100 Franklin Theatre gift card.
The “Christmas in July” movie lineup will include:
- THE LAST HOLIDAY; December 6th, 2022
- ELF; December 10th, 2022
- THIS CHRISTMAS; December 12th, 2022
- A CHRISTMAS STORY; December 13th, 2022
- NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION; December 18th & 19th, 2022
- HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS; December 19th, 2022
- IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE; December 20th, 22nd, & 23rd, 2022
- THE POLAR EXPRESS; December 21st & 22nd, 2022
- WHITE CHRISTMAS; December 22nd, 2022
Additional showings may be added throughout the season. Complete dates, showtimes and tickets can be found at https://www.franklintheatre.com/christmas-in-july/.
The Franklin Theatre Puts 10 Holiday Shows On Sale With “Christmas In July” Promotion
Ecclectic holiday-themed live performances include The Gatlin Brothers, The World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, Melinda Doolittle, and Studio Tenn’s “A Christmas Carol,”among others
The Franklin Theatre invites the community to make their holiday plans early by securing tickets to a variety of holiday-themed performances. During the month of July, The Franklin Theatre will put tickets on sale to the majority of its holiday programming, beginning with 10 live shows, Friday, July 15 at 11:00 AM.
“We’ve been working very hard and are delighted to share our holiday programming with everyone,” said The Franklin Theatre’s Managing Director, Eric Dilts. “Our calendar has something for everyone this holiday season, with fan favorites along with some new and diverse acts as well. It’s thanks to the support and feedback from our incredible community that we can offer such an exciting lineup.”
As an added benefit, patrons that purchase any “Christmas in July” show will be entered to win a Franklin Theatre prize package that includes Franklin Theatre Merchandise, concessions and (non-holiday) movie vouchers, and a $100 Franklin Theatre gift card.
The Franklin Theatre Partners with Atmos Energy for “Summer Pay What You Can” Movie Screenings
Atmos Energy will serve as the Presenting Sponsor for this series, running July 13-17
FRANKLIN, TN (July 6, 2022) – The Franklin Theatre is pleased to announce Atmos Energy as the presenting sponsor for its “Summer Pay What You Can” movie screenings to be held July 13th to July 17th.
These screenings are a way for Williamson County residents and visitors to engage with the historic theatre at a low cost while supporting the theatre’s mission and vision.
“We’re excited to invite the public into our beautiful theatre for a week of Pay What You Can movies,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of The Franklin Theatre. “Partnering with organizations like Atmos Energy gives us the ability to offer more low- and no-cost programming to our community. We can’t thank Atmos enough for their support.”
“Through our Fueling Safe and Thriving Communities program, we believe in making a difference in the communities we serve by partnering with vital organizations like The Franklin Theatre,” said Christina Christiansen, Atmos Energy manager of public affairs. “The Franklin Theatre is committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to experience the arts. When we work together, we multiply the impact for our neighbors.”
The Summer Pay What You Can lineup will include “The Bad Guys,” “Fantastic Beasts: Secrets of Dumbledor,” “Sonic The Hedgehog 2,” “The Lost City,” and “The Northman.” A total of 8 matinee and evening screenings will be held during the July 13-17 Pay What You Can series.
Complete dates and showtimes can be found at www.franklintheatre.com/tickets/movies/. The recommended donation is the normal movie ticket price of $10, but any level of donation will be welcomed during this week.
Learn more about Atmos Energy at www.atmosenergy.com.
Nashville Film Festival chooses Franklin Theatre for Regional Expansion
Nashville Film Festival Announces 53rd Annual Event,
Hosted at Iconic Nashville-Area Venues and Featuring New Programming Initiatives
The historic Franklin Theatre will host festival screenings Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2.
The Nashville Film Festival (NashFilm) today announces plans for the organization’s 53rd annual event, a week-long celebration of film, music and culture presented in-person at Nashville’s premiere arts venues and virtually through streaming film screenings and panels, September 29 through October 5, 2022. This year, the Nashville Film Festival will present more than 150 film screenings, a selection of post-film Q&As and in-depth discussions, and a live in-person Pitch session hosted at United Talent Agency in Nashville. Additionally, the organization announces the launch of FLIX (Film-Led Interactive eXchanges), a screening program that brings festival official selections directly to Metro Nashville Public School students.
Celebrating innovation, music and the many visions of the human spirit through the art of film, each year the Nashville Film Festival discovers, elevates and honors filmmakers, screenwriters and musicians from Tennessee and around the world while engaging, connecting and strengthening the Nashville community. With events slated to take place at the historic Belcourt Theater and the Andrew Johnson Theater at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, the festival expands to the greater Nashville area this year with satellite partner venue The Franklin Theatre in Franklin, TN.
2022 Festival screenings and events will be held as follows:
- The Belcourt Theater (2012 Belcourt Ave. – Nashville, TN) – Home to silent movies when it opened in 1925, then the Grand Ole Opry and more, the historical Belcourt Theater will host the Nashville Film Festival Opening Night presentation of The Return of Tanya Tucker on Wednesday, September 29, as well as screenings on Tuesday, October 4 and Closing Night on Wednesday, October 5.
- TPAC Andrew Johnson Theater (505 Deaderick St. – Nashville, TN) – The nonprofit Tennessee Performing Arts Center®, located in the Arts District of downtown Nashville, is dedicated to providing and supporting the presentation of the performing and cultural arts. TPAC’s Andrew Johnson Theater will host festival screenings Friday, September 30 through Monday October 3.
- The Franklin Theatre (419 Main St. – Franklin, TN 37064) – Dating back to the 1930s, The Franklin Theatre has been known for its diverse performing arts and philanthropic engagement in Middle Tennessee. The historic Franklin Theatre will host festival screenings Friday, September 30 through Sunday, October 2.
“As one of the country’s longest running film festivals in some of the most important and historic Nashville-area venues, we are proud to present an unforgettable experience with diverse stories from some of the world’s most talented filmmakers, screenwriters and music makers,” said NashFilm Executive Director Jason Padgitt. “We are delighted to deliver the best in the art of film, music and culture to the Nashville community.”
“I’m beyond thrilled that we are piloting FLIX this year, our screening program for students,” said Director of Programming Lauren Ponto. “Including Metro Nashville Public School students in our celebration of film is a wonderful opportunity for filmmakers from around the world to connect directly with MNPS students while promoting media literacy and cross-cultural understanding to young audiences.”
The full slate of films and programs selected for the 53rd Nashville Film Festival will be announced in August.
Beyond the traditional film festival, which is slated to feature 125 feature-length and short films across every genre, NashFilm will again host events and programs that highlight the many aspects of filmmaking, including: a Screenwriting Competition (September 30-October 6); a Music Supervisors Program (virtual panels, workshops and more, September 29-October 1); the Creators Conference (film industry panels and conversations, September 30 – October -2); and live music performances and new artist showcases throughout the week.
VIP Badges are now on sale for the Nashville Film Festival. For more information and to purchase passes, visit www.nashvillefilmfestival.org.
For information on Film Festival showings and events at The Franklin Theatre, visit www.franklintheatre.com/nashville-film-festival-2022/ .
The Franklin Theatre Premieres ‘Elvis’ to Packed House
On June 22nd, 2022, The Franklin Theatre hosted the Middle Tennessee premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” to a full house of local celebrities, actors, musicians, and theatre donors. The Warner Bros. Pictures film, which premiered on June 24th, explores the relationship between Elvis (played by Austin Butler) and his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks).
Among those in attendance were Nashville-based music producer and composer Shannon Sanders, The McCrary Sisters, and two of Elvis’ former bandmates, Tony Brown and Larry Strickland. Sanders moderated a short panel with Brown and Strickland who shared memories and insights from their time working with Elvis.
Sanders, who plays a pentecostal pastor in the film, surprised the crowd with a video call from director “Baz Luhrmann.” Luhrmann thanked everyone for their attendance and support and signed off by leading a chant of “it’s time to take care of business!”
This event served as both a film premiere and a fundraiser for the non-profit The Franklin Theatre. Events like this help us further our mission of providing world-class performing arts experiences to diverse Williamson County residents and visitors. We’d like to thank our staff for their hard work in producing this high-quality event, our advisory board for their continued leadership and oversight, our 1937 Society members, our Franklin Theatre donors, and all who attended on Wednesday. Special thanks to our in-kind event partners Cromwell Media, 102.1 The Ville, Menu Maker Catering, Leiper’s Fork Distillery, Curio Brewing Company, and Bite Club Baked Goods.
The Franklin Theatre ‘Elvis’ Premiere Press Coverage:
The Franklin Theatre to Screen Middle Tennessee Premiere of Baz Luhrmann’s “Elvis” Biopic
Regional Premiere for the widely anticipated film to serve as fundraiser for nonprofit Theatre.
The Franklin Theatre, in partnership with Shannon Sanders and Cromwell Media, will be hosting a one-night-only premiere screening of Oscar-nominated filmmaker Baz Luhrmann’s biopic “Elvis” on June 22nd. This event will include introductory remarks and a panel discussion before the screening.
The film explores the life and music of Elvis Presley (played by Austin Butler), seen through the prism of his complicated relationship with his enigmatic manager, Colonel Tom Parker (played by Tom Hanks). The story delves into the complex dynamic between Presley and Parker spanning over 20 years, from Presley’s rise to fame to his unprecedented stardom, against the backdrop of the evolving cultural landscape and loss of innocence in America. Central to that journey is one of the most significant and influential people in Elvis’s life, Priscilla Presley (played by Olivia DeJonge).
The film also features Nashville residents and artists with Nashville ties including Shannon Sanders (3-time GRAMMY award winner & Executive Director, Creative BMI), Yola, Gary Clark Jr., a gospel choir comprised of numerous local singers, and more.
“We’re incredibly proud to be chosen by Warner Bros. Pictures to present this historic film at our historic theatre two nights before the national release. Having hosted record releases and Hollywood premieres, like 2004’s Friday Night Lights and 2005’s Elizabethtown, The Franklin Theatre provides the perfect backdrop to this film exploring the life of Elvis Presley,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of The Franklin Theatre. “We’ll be using this event as a fundraiser to support our nonprofit Theatre’s operations so that it continues to shine and be the jewel of not just Franklin but for all of Middle Tennessee. The premiere will be a special event for our current supporters, many of which are artists living in the local area.”
Shannon Sanders noted, “I am honored to have played a role in the film, and grateful to Baz and all who worked on the film for their vision. Elvis made so much of his career in Nashville, and there’s no better way to celebrate his legacy and this film than bringing Hollywood to Middle Tennessee.”
The “Elvis” regional premiere Franklin Theatre fundraiser will be Wednesday, June 22 beginning at 6:30 PM. The event will include a reception immediately following the screening. A limited number of passes will be available to first time and legacy donors to The Franklin Theatre.
World-Renowned Illusion Artists, SNAP, Bring Their Family-Friendly Show to The Franklin Theatre, May 6 & 7
Concluding its 2021-22 Family Spotlight Series, The Franklin Theatre is pleased to present world-renowned SNAP: Illusion Artists, May 6th and 7th. Curated in order to expose young audiences to the power of the performing arts and create shared multi-generational theatrical memories, the Family Spotlight Series represents the latest in a diverse performance schedule at The Franklin Theatre.
Playing with space, time and the otherworldly, this eclectic ensemble of South Korean illusionists will boggle your mind with their impressive powers of prestidigitation. Mixing dexterous sleight of hand, Chaplin-esque vaudevillian comedy and ingenious visual effects, SNAP conjures a marvelous, magical and hilarious cabaret perfect for the whole family.
SNAP recently played the New Victory Theater in New York City and Mary Rose Lloyd proclaimed, “[SNAP is a] wonderful example of a well-executed, thoughtful and highly-entertaining theatrical magic production for young audiences and their families, performed with great care and artistry.”
The seven cast members bring to life characters such as The Alchemist, The Dreamer, The Florist, The Oddball, The Tricksters and a host of others to stage a fabulous fantasy experience for all audiences. Named The Best Magic Show in 2016 at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival by BroadwayWorld, SNAP has impressed audiences all over the world with their unique, family-friendly brand of magic and comedy.
“As we continue to grow our offering of diverse programming, we are thrilled to present SNAP at The Franklin Theatre,” said Eric Dilts, Managing Director of the nonprofit Franklin Theatre. “This show gives us a great opportunity to introduce children to the performing arts through a unique theatrical experience. People of all ages will be blown away by SNAP’s entertaining and mind-bending performance.”
SNAP performs at The Franklin Theatre, Friday, May 6 at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, May 7 at 2:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Tickets start at $28.75. For ticket information, visit www.franklintheatre.com or call 615-538-2076.
Eric Dilts Joins The Franklin Theatre As Managing Director
Experienced Leader to Oversee Nonprofit’s Operations
The Franklin Theatre, a division of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN, is pleased to announce the hiring of Eric Dilts as its new Managing Director. In the role, Dilts will be responsible for leading the nonprofit’s programmatic and operational business including spearheading community engagement and guest relations initiatives.
Most recently, Dilts was the Executive Director of the Nashville Jazz Workshop, a venerable nonprofit music education institution with its own live jazz performance venue in North Nashville. During his tenure, he led the organization in all phases of its business, building on its reputation as a jazz presenter, music education institution, and community partner.
Dilts has a long history in music business, finance, fundraising, and economic development. Having earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Business from the School of Music at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, he was the President/CEO of a Los Angeles-based, home entertainment company; the President of a Los Angeles-based, optical media tech company; a Co-Founder of a boutique production company; the Director of an Illinois-based business incubator; and an Advisor at Morgan Stanley. In addition, he has held executive board positions at various nonprofit organizations.
“This is a very exciting day for the entire community, as Eric assumes leadership for the cherished and historic “Jewel of Main Street’,” commented Bari Beasley, President and CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County. “His adept management skills displayed at the Nashville Jazz Workshop – another stellar cultural arts nonprofit in middle Tennessee – will undoubtedly help further The Franklin Theatre’s mission of providing world-class performing arts experiences to diverse Williamson County residents and visitors.”
“I am thrilled to be joining the team of The Franklin Theatre and the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County,” stated Dilts. “This opportunity to uphold the legacy of The Franklin Theatre and help usher it into the future is remarkable. It truly is a gem for the entire region, and I look forward to preserving this historic building, growing community relationships, and welcoming new and returning guests into our doors for powerful performing arts experiences.”