The Tennessee Repertory Theatre (505 Deaderick St., 615/782-4000, www.tennesseerep.org) is Tennessee’s largest professional theater company. It stages five big-name shows and three off-Broadway productions annually. The Rep performs in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, located in the James K. Polk Cultural Center in downtown Nashville.
This is the same building that houses the Tennessee State Museum, plus the Nashville Opera Association and the Nashville Ballet. Some of their productions have included The Crucible, I Hate Hamlet, and Doubt. The season runs from October to May.
Artists’ Cooperative Theatre (615/726-2281, www.act1online.com) is an organization dedicated to bringing theatrical gems, both classic and modern, to Nashville audiences. Founded in 1989, ACT 1, as it is called, has presented productions of more than 90 of the world’s greatest plays. Each year the theater puts on four or five productions. ACT 1 performs at the Darkhorse Theater at 4610 Charlotte Avenue.
New theatrical works are given the spotlight by the Actors Bridge Ensemble (1312 Adams St., 615/341-0300, www.actorsbridge.org), a theater company for new and seasoned actors. The Ensemble brings provocative and new plays to Nashville, often performing at the Belmont Black Box Theater in midtown.
Circle Players (www.circleplayers.net) is the oldest nonprofit, all-volunteer arts association in Nashville. As a community theater, all actors, stagehands, directors, and other helpers are volunteers. The company stages four or five performances every year at a variety of theater locations around the city. Performances include classic theater, plus stage adaptations of popular cinema and literature.
Nashville’s leading experimental theater group is the People’s Branch Theatre (615/254-0008, www.peoplesbranch.org). Founded in 2000, the group brings together local actors to produce bold and innovative professional theater. They perform at the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Tennessee, 5th Edition