Chip Arnold as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Photograph by Shane Burkeen

Chip Arnold as Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman. Photograph by Shane Burkeen

It’s another exciting year in the Nashville theatre world, and the casts for the 2014–15 season pay tribute to Tennessee Rep’s 30 years, both by bringing back familiar faces and welcoming new ones.
– Producing Artistic Director René D. Copeland

by Jim Reyland

The Tennessee Rep staff, crew, and artists surely won’t be insisting they’re 29 again this year. There’s a great deal of pride in what they’ve accomplished in the first 30 years, and they want everyone in Middle Tennessee to know about it. It starts with an ambitious 2014–2015 season that promises to take you on one amazing ride after another—a celebration rooted in the past and looking to the future.

Martha Wilkinson as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Martha Wilkinson as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, October 4–25, 2014, featuring Matthew Carlton as Sweeney Todd and Martha Wilkinson as Mrs. Lovett.

“This is the 25th anniversary of my first show with the Rep, so Todd’s silver razors are the perfect gift. The cast is full of the most talented actors around, and they happen to be some of my best and dearest friends. What a joy it will be to share the stage with such wonderful people. And kill them.” – Matthew Carlton

A Christmas Story. Photograph by Britanie Knapp

A Christmas Story. Photograph by Britanie Knapp

A Christmas Story adapted by Phillip Grecian, based on the motion picture by Jean Shepherd, November 29–December 21, 2014, featuring Samuel Whited as Ralphie.

“Doing A Christmas Story for the last five years has been like hosting the best holiday party in Nashville. I love seeing people who have been with us year after year and those who are seeing us for the first time. Folks show up and we do what families do at Christmas; we all share the family stories.”  – Samuel Whited

Eddie George in The Whipping Man. Photograph by Robert L. Poole

Eddie George in The Whipping Man

The Whipping Man by Matthew Lopez, February 7–21, 2015, featuring Eddie George. The Rep has worked with Pulitzer Prize winners, Tony Award winners, and Oscar winners. Now they can add a Heisman Trophy winner to that list.

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller, March 14–28, 2015, featuring Chip Arnold as Willy Loman.

“One of the most poignant lines in the play comes from Willy Loman’s only friend: ‘A salesman is got to dream. It comes with the territory.’ I have dreamed of the opportunity to play this role for a long time. It is easy to look at Willy and render a simple verdict of tragic hero. But each human being carries a measure of Willy Loman in his soul.”  – Chip Arnold

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike by Christopher Durang, who takes characters and themes from Chekhov, pours them into a blender, and the hilarious and touching result is set in present-day Bucks County, Pennsylvania. April 11–25, 2015

Tennessee Rep’s first performance: Macbeth, 1985. Tennessee Rep archives

Tennessee Rep’s first performance: Macbeth, 1985. Tennessee Rep archives

It’s been 30 years since the Rep’s first production of Macbeth at the Polk in 1985. Since then, many talented theatre artists have kept the fires burning—greats like Barry Scott, David Alford, Mike Miller, Mary Jane Harvill, Henry Haggard, Nan Gurley, Brian Webb Russell, Denice Hicks, Shelean Newman, Gary Hoff, and so many more.

Also, let’s not forget wonderful benefactors like Founders Martha Ingram and Mac Pirkle and myriad corporate sponsors, subscribers, board members, and other Rep supporters. All of them have made it possible for Tennessee Rep to thrive, and their dedication has been shown under the lights, up on the Rep stage, in 175 productions over 30 seasons.

So let’s get started on 30 more. Subscription information for Tennessee Repertory Theatre’s 2014–2015 Season is available at www.tennesseerep.org or at the TPAC box office.

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Photograph by Harry Butler

Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Photograph by Harry Butler

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