Presented by
Nashville Shakespeare Festival
     
     
Directed by Jim Warren      
Original music by Tom Mason      
       
Starring
     
       
Alison Campbell
Nettie Chickering
Richard Colley
Topher Embrey
Kenneth La'Ron Hamilton
Andrew Johnson
Tom Mason
Gerold Oliver*
Miranda Pepin
Melissa Rakiro
David Wilkerson
     
       
       

A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF NASHVILLE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL

2020 was a tough year of isolation, uncertainty and reckoning. Through that time my faith in the value of Shakespeare to the 21st century American did not lessen, but the need for cultural inclusion and awareness in all we do intensified. For 33 years, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival has been committed to diversity and making sure the cast on stage reflected the audience attending, but now is the time for more equity and greater unity.

When my friend Kenny Dozier, a highly esteemed Black producer/director/actor, approached me after seeing The Tempest in 2019 and said, “I want to present an August Wilson play on your stage,” I said, “Yes.” A cultural alliance was formed and the despair of 2020 turned into hope for 2021 and the future. Kennie Playhouse Theatre had limited resources but has presented high quality theatre since 2006. Some of the best actors and directors have eagerly stepped up to work on KPT shows, just for the chance to do the plays Kenny chooses. Having internationally renowned creators like Chuck Smith and Victor Wooten involved as well as the stellar cast and crew of Jitney is an honor for the Festival and we are grateful to Kenny for assembling these magnificent artists.

I am over the moon about Jim Warren being here to direct 12th Night with original music by beloved local musician, Tom Mason. Nashville was one of Jim’s first stops after he left the American Shakespeare Center which he founded 30 years ago. Jim is one of the top authorities on Shakespeare’s original staging conditions and his way of presenting Shakespeare “with the lights on” has attracted actors from across the country to work with him. His collaborative spirit and generous heart combined with his unfathomable creativity make him an invaluable contributor to this community. Songwriter and musician Tom Mason brightens every venue he steps into.

The two master playwrights, August Wilson and William Shakespeare, cover a gamut of topical issues in these plays: incarceration, gentrification, support for Black businesses, gender identification, bullying, love, and reconciliation.

Our pre-show lectures and post-show conversations will build crucial bridges between traditionally separate communities and life-long friendships and memories will be made.

Live theatre is back. The Festival is happening. This partnership between the NSF and KPT is one of the most exciting collaborations I have seen in my 41 years of doing theater in Nashville.

I hope you love both productions and continue to support local art.
Onward!
Denice Hicks

 

A NOTE FROM THE DIRECTOR, JIM WARREN

“If music be the food of love, play on.” 
It’s the first line of the play and one of Shakespeare’s most famous.  And it’s also the heart and soul of our 2021 Summer Shakespeare production at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival.

TWELFTH NIGHT is a wildly funny and musical celebration of the insanity of unrequited love.  Hilarious and heartbreaking, this powerhouse comedy was written around the same time as HAMLET, with Shakespeare at the height of his theatrical genius.  A lovelorn Duke Orsino is head over heals for the grief-stricken Lady Olivia; shipwrecked Viola thinks her brother is drowned, so she disguises herself as a boy to serve Orsino, who sends her/him to woo Olivia for the Duke, and Olivia then falls in love with the boy.  Olivia’s household is run by her overprotective and puritanical steward Malvolio, who secretly loves Olivia and drives her gentlewoman, drunken uncle, and fool to play a massive prank on him.

This masterfully crafted comedy of mistaken identity and gender-bending hijinks is the perfect entertainment for NSF’s outdoor Summer Shakespeare – rollicking fun for the whole family.

In our 2021 production, Shakespeare’s island of Illyria will look and sound like today’s Nashville.  We are crafting new, original music from Nashville songwriters and composers to be the soundtrack of this chaotic, lyrical world of romance and laughter.  Shakespeare wrote several songs in the play to be sung by Olivia’s fool, Feste.  He also had other characters sing snippets of songs that would have been well-known to his contemporary audience.  Nashville is a world-wide tourist destination with a universal appeal in its musical heritage, a welcoming attitude of its people, an accessibility of professional arts of every kind, and a diversity that includes many cultures and nationalities.  We want to blend Shakespeare’s use of music with Nashville style.  We want our audiences to see (and hear) themselves in this remarkably accessible and modern play.  Our actors and musicians will speak (and play) directly to the audience and include them in the world of the play, creating a unique community every evening that takes the ride together – just as Shakespeare’s actors/audience did over four hundred years ago.  The goal is for audience members to gain a greater sense of community and connection, and leave with lasting memories.  Returning to live theatre after such a long break, we are thrilled to gather together to create the “community and connection” we’ve all been craving. 

The first time this play appeared in print, it had a subtitle:  TWELFTH NIGHT, OR WHAT YOU WILL.  Many scholars believe that Shakespeare wrote the play specifically to be performed for Queen Elizabeth I to celebrate the holiday of Twelfth Night that is often a blow-out party at the end of the Twelve Days of Christmas; servants would sometimes dress up as their masters, men as women, etc.  Because the story and plot of the play doesn’t seem to have any connection to Christmas, some scholars argue that the play’s true title was WHAT YOU WILL, a phrase that appears in the play and captures some of the major themes.  We hope our audiences take the cue from that subtitle: please take away what you will as we invite you to have a grand time with the music, the fun, and the joy Shakespeare captures.

     

Follow Us:

Cast

Alison Campbell
Olivia/Ensemble
Nettie Chickering
Fabian/Ensemble
Richard Colley
Andrew Aguecheek
Topher Embrey
Sir Toby Belch
Kenneth La’Ron Hamilton
Orsino
Tom Mason
Feste
Andrew Johnson
Captain/Antonio
Gerold Oliver *
Sebastian
Miranda Pepin
Maria
Melissa Rakiro
Viola
David Wilkerson
Malvolio
Jameson Boylan **
ApCo
Sarah Brumagin **
Servant, u/s Maria
Vinny Caccese **
2nd Officer, u/s Aguecheek
Jeffrey Casey**
Curio, u/s Sebastian
Caroline Conner **
1st Officer, Priest, u/s Antonio & Fabian
Raven Cotton**
1st Officer, Priest, u/s Viola
Andrew Freeland**
Curio, Valentine, u/s Feste
Victoria Griffin **
SM Intern, u/s all ApCo roles
Emma Hawkins **
DA Intern
Shelby Smith **
Servant, u/s Olivia
Johnathan Thompson **
1st Officer, u/s Orsino
Tyler Worden **
Valentine, u/s Malvolio

Creative Team

Jim Warren

Director

Dan Brewer *

Stage Manager

Scott Baker

ASL Interpreter

Janet Berka

Lighting Designer

Tracy Bidochka-Deakin

Wardrobe Assistant

Sarah Bolek

House Manager

Carrie Brewer

NSF Marketing Director

Katie Bruno

NSF Education Administrator

Vance Buchanan

Sound Engineer

Lucy Calaway

NSF Marketing Intern

Patricia "Pixie" Convertino

Prop Master

Brooke Leigh Davis

Assistant House Manager

Kenny Dozier

NSF Producer

William Finley

Sound Assistant

Kiare Green

Production Assistant

Denice Hicks

NSF Executive Artistic Director

Taryana Hatley

Light Board Operator

Denese Kelley

Costume Designer/ Wardrobe Supplier

Sarah Katherine Kessen

Box Office Manager

JR Knowles

Run Crew

Alexis LaVon

Assistant Stage Manager

Shane Lowery

Set Designer/ Builder

Robert Marigza-Yeo

NSF Managing Director

Tom Mason

Music Director/ Composer

DJ Ranta

Site Technical Director/ Master Electrician

Anita Reed

Volunteer Coordinator

Keenya Riley

Production Assistant

Mary Sack

Concert Director

David Wilkerson

Fight Choreographer

Meet the Company

Alison Campbell

Olivia/Ensemble


Alison (She/Her) received her BFA in Acting from Azusa Pacific University in Los Angeles, CA and is represented by the Leighton Agency. This is her debut performance with Nashville Shakespeare Festival and she is thrilled to be back on stage and a part of this exceptional cast and crew. She is a member of The Bridge Initiative: Women+ in Theatre. Her credits include: “Lady Macbeth” in Macbeth with Southwest Shakespeare Company (SSC), “Caroline” in Detroit ’67 with Tempe Center for the Arts (TCA) co-produced with Black Theatre Troupe, “Shelby Eatenton” in Steel Magnolias with Florida Repertory Theatre, “Heather Clark” in Gidion’s Knot with the TCA and Stray Cat Theatre, “Portia” in The Merchant of Venice and “Elizabeth Bennet” in Pride & Prejudice both with SSC. Check out her website at www.alisonpcampbell.com. Thank you for being here, supporting live theatre. All the love in the world to her family, her ladies and Kyle.

 

Nettie Chickering

Fabian/Ensemble


Nettie Chickering is a  New York City based actor and New Hampshire native. Nettie recently joined the original Off-Broadway cast of Billy Porter’s While I Yet Live, voicing stage directions for the online reading directed by Sheryl Kaller (Play-Per View). NY/Regional Theatre: Feste in Twelfth Night (60 Hour Shakespeare), Mama Nadi in Ruined (Brooklyn Heights Players), Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Hub Theatre Boston),  Romeo & Juliet (Faire Shakespeare). Nettie has sung and composed jazz/blues scores for both Twelfth Night and Romeo & Juliet. Training: Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. Nettie is a Resident Acting Company member of Hamlet Isn’t Dead and a vocalist for free jazz/poetry group Heroes Are Gang Leaders. @nettiechickering 

Richard Colley

Andrew Aguecheek

 

Richard Colley is a New York based Actor and graduate of Shenandoah University’s  BFA Acting program. Richard co-founded Liminality Theatre and currently serves as the Co-Artistic Director. This fall, the company is launching Band of Bards, a touring company, where he will be teaching and performing Shakespeare in high schools along the east coast. Some past credits include Peter (Peter and the Starcatcher) Macduff/Fight Captain (Macbeth) Planchet/u.s. D’artagnan (Three Musketeers) and Jasper (The Aliens)

Topher Embrey

Sir Toby Belch

Topher Embrey  is a graduate of Christopher Newport U with a BA in Theatre Arts and a minor is Philosophy. Theatre's/roles: 1st Swordsmen in A King and No King, Mercutio/Lord Capulet in Romeo and Juliet (Redbull Theater, New York, NY) Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night; Montano in Othello, Mrs. Jennings in Sense and Sensibility; Biondello in The Taming of the Shrew; Lennox, Scottish Doctor in Macbeth; Shepherd’s Son/Clown, Lord in The Winter’s Tale; Tiresias, Chorus in Antigone; Dromio of Ephesus in The Comedy of Errors; The Bear in 16 Winters or the Bears Tale; Ghost of Christmas Present in A Christmas Carol; Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Cloten in Imogen aka Cymbeline, and Grandpa/ensemble in Grapes of Wrath (American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA)Simon Fernando in The Lost Colony 79th Season (Waterside Theater, Manteo, NC); Ted in Peter and the Starcatcher; Francisco/Alonso, understudy in The Tempest; Ensemble/Cleon, understudy in Pericles; Merlin, Mr. Pinch in Magic Treehouse: A Ghost Story for Mr. Dickens; Eros in Antony and Cleopatra (Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Orlando, FL); Morocco in The Merchant of Venice; Outlaw in The Two Gentlemen of Verona; Titinius, Ensemble in Julius Caesar; Lord Grey, Ely in Richard III (Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Williamsburg, VA) Awards include: Best Featured Actor in a Drama as Eros in Antony and Cleopatra at Orlando Shakespeare Theater 2017.
 

 

Kenneth La’Ron Hamilton

Orsino


Kenneth La'Ron Hamilton is a Chicago based actor originally from the Cincinnati area. He studied theatre at the University of Kentucky and upon graduation joined the ensemble at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. He completed the acting apprenticeship at American Players Theatre, and is a teaching artist when not acting. He stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, and dedicates this performance and all to come to the ancestors that have allowed him to stand where he is. 

 

Tom Mason

Feste

In the years since Tom Mason (Feste the Fool) was murdered in  Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Richard the 3rd while playing the accordion, Tom has toured the world with his band of pirates Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, who Pyrate’s Way magazine called “The Pirate Beatles.” He’s been a fixture in Nashville’s Americana music scene, and has released eleven CDs, including 2020’s rocking holiday CD Under The Mistletoe Sky and the brand new Songs from Shakespeare’s 12th Night. Tom sends love to his family and wife Whitney, and big thanks to Denice, Jim, Jack Kingsley, NSF and to his musical collaborators. Tom’s music can be found at www.tommason.net and on iTunes and streaming sites.

Andrew Johnson

Captain/Antonio


A graduate from Lipscomb University, Andrew Johnson is so thankful to be back in the theater; in this production of Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Twelfth Night. He has recently been seen in the Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s winter performance of Macbeth. His other credits include Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Romeo and Juliet, Pericles (Pericles), Julius Caesar (Lepidus), Antony and Cleopatra (Mecenas), The Winter’s Tale (Archidamus, The Nashville Repertory’s production of Shakespeare in Love (Lambert and Nole), and Pipeline’s World Builders (Max). He wants to thank his incredible family and friends for their love and support. -Romans 12:21

 

Gerold Oliver *

Sebastian

 

Gerold Oliver is a Nashville native who has been performing for 7 years. This is his second performance with Nashville Shakespeare Theatre. He is very grateful and blessed to be a part of a show with a talented cast.

Miranda Pepin

Maria

 

Miranda (any pronouns) is ecstatic to be back on stage with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. Most recently found on the road with National Player's Tour 71,  Miranda has worked with NSF(Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale, Antony and Cleopatra), Pipeline Collective, Woven Theatre, Radical Arts, and Birmingham Children's Theatre. website: mirandapepin.com

Melissa Rakiro

Viola

 

Melissa Rakiro is very excited to be making her Nashville Shakes debut! Previous credits include: Off-Broadway Julius Caesar (Shakespeare in the Park) Performance for One (Untitled Theater Co.) Regional: Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lantern Theater Co.) TV/Film: "Luke Cage" "FBI" "Little Things" (Oregon Short Film Festival: Finalist) Melissa holds a BA in Acting from Temple University. MelissaRakiro.com

David Wilkerson

Malvolio

 

David Wilkerson is a professional actor, director, fight director, stage manager, and dialect coach with over 100 credits. He’s thrilled to be returning once again after directing NSF’s last pre-pandemic show, Macbeth. David is a full-time Lecturer in Middle Tennessee State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance. He’s so excited to be able to welcome you back to live, safe, in-person theatre!

Jameson Boylan **

ApCo

 

Jameson Boylan is a 2021 graduate of Hillsboro High School in Nashville, TN, where he was born and raised. He has studied acting at 4th Wall Acting Studio for the past two and a half years under William Arnold and Sally Harvey Anderson.  Jameson appeared in a number of country music videos as a young child, namely Colt Ford, Jerrod Neiman, and Montgomery Gentry. He also appeared in several short films, such as Rough Customer Films’ “Way Far Gone”, and GDPC Films’ “Grapefruit” and “MASH”.  Jameson is grateful and excited to be involved with the Shakespeare Apprentice Company 2021. He would like to thank 4th Wall, his family and friends, and the Nashville Shakespeare Festival for the opportunity and support.

Sarah Brumagin **

Servant, u/s Maria

Sarah is so excited to be working with Nashville Shakes this summer! As a recent Lipscomb graduate with her BFA in Acting, she is thrilled to be continuing education and performance here in Nashville post-graduation. Previously, Sarah has performed in Songs For a New World, Jacques in As You Like It, and Kiki in Significant Other, among various other roles in theatre and film throughout her time at Lipscomb.

Vinny Caccese **

2nd Officer, u/s Aguecheek

 

Vinny is an aspiring actor, playwright, and theatre teacher as well as a current sophomore at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville. He is incredibly thankful for this opportunity given to him and would like to thank his loved ones for supporting him throughout the process.

Jeffrey Casey**

Curio, u/s Sebastian

Jeffrey is a senior at Fisk University, studying business. He is a native Nashvilian who loves to take the stage. He has recently been seen in Fisk's productions of Facing our Truth and The Colored Museum. He is also a member of the multi-award winning Fisk Jubilee Singers. Jeffrey has had a blast as part of this year's Apprentice Company, as well as being a member of the Twelfth Night cast. 

Caroline Conner **

1st Officer, Priest, u/s Antonio & Fabian

 

Caroline is thrilled to be a part of her second ever ApCo with Nashville Shakes, having played Ariel in 2019's The Tempest. She is a senior at Belmont studying Theatre and Math and minoring in Japanese. Much love to Nash Shakes for having her back and helping her grow as an actor and person!

Raven Cotton**

1st Officer, Priest, u/s Viola

Raven Jeannette Cotton is from Huntsville, Alabama and a graduate from The
University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa with a BFA Acting major and Criminal Justice
minor. She is honored and blessed to have received this opportunity to dive into the world of Shakespeare with the Apprenticeship Company. Her previous UA credits include: The Merchant of Venice (Portia), Intimate Apparel (Mrs. Dickson). Other credits include: Necessary Blessings (Frances), The Night of the Living Date (Jen), Unsung (Kova). Raven would like to thank God and the support of her family. She is excited to be working alongside a talented group of artists.

Andrew Freeland**

Curio, Valentine, u/s Feste

 

Andrew is a recent graduate of The Jeanine Larson Dobbins Conservatory of Theater and Dance at SEMO. During the fall of 2020, Andrew helped to produce, write, and create four thirty minute comedy shorts with Dramatically Incorrect Improv. Earlier this summer, Andrew was fortunate enough to direct a reading for a new play, “Lawncare” by Paul Vinter, for the Lanford Wilson New American Play Festival. He is grateful for the opportunity to play with such a dynamic group of humans, and to bring Shakespeare back outside for 2021! Other Credits: An American Hero (NYMF), Chicago Women’s Funny Festival (Spork Nation)
 

Victoria Griffin **

SM Intern, u/s all ApCo roles

 

Victoria Griffin is thrilled to be a part of Nashville Shakespeare Festival this year! As a rising Junior at Lipscomb University, she has been seen in As You Like It and Good People as Dottie. Some previous credits include Titania in A Midsummer’ Night’s Dream, Éponine in Les Misérables, Kathy in Singin’ in the Rain, Mrs. Pearce in My Fair Lady, and more. Victoria wants to give a special thanks Denice and Katie for wonderful training. She would also like to thank her parents for investing in her, sisters – Nicole, Kaitlin, and Kenzie, Gigi, Nana, and her boyfriend, David, for all their support!

Emma Hawkins **

DA Intern

 

Emma Hawkins is a first time member of the Apprentice Company, but is no stranger to Shakespeare, or theatre. She is currently the Education and Outreach Director of Murfreesboro Little Theatre and has previously played Miranda in The Tempest, Hamlet in Hamlet, and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She would like to thank her family and her theatre family for supporting her throughout this incredible opportunity.

Shelby Smith **

Servant, u/s Olivia

 

Shelby Smith is a Nashville based actress and is super excited to be here! She is currently a sophomore at Lipscomb University and studies acting. You may have recently seen her as a finalist in the National Youngarts competition for musical theatre. She was also an apprentice for the Commonwealth Shakespeare company in Boston. Shelby is immensely grateful for this opportunity as she dives into the world of Shakespeare!

Johnathan Thompson **

1st Officer, u/s Orsino

 

Jonathan Thompson is delighted to be working with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival this summer. A returning apprentice from NSF’s 2020 online training, he is ready to be back in person doing the bard’s work! A Nashville native, Jonathan is currently a Junior at Lipscomb University pursuing a B.F.A. in Acting. He would like to thank his family, friends, and the NSF company for their continued support. “Enjoy the show!"

Tyler Worden **

Valentine, u/s Malvolio

 

Tyler Worden is going into his third year at Lipscomb University, pursuing a BFA in Theatre: Acting with a minor in Playwriting. He is excited to be in the Apprentice Company and to learn under such great teachers. He has been in Lipscomb's productions of Bright Star (Ensemble) and As You Like It (Touchstone u/s) and in 2nd Theatre Company's 26 Pebbles (Actor 3). He would like to thank his friends and family for all their support. He hopes you enjoy the show!

Jim Warren

Director

Jim Warren is the award-winning Founding Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center and Blackfriars Playhouse.  He directed the ASC’s first show and a total of 128 ASC productions, including 32 of Shakespeare's 38 plays, modern plays, classic plays, and world premieres.  Jim co-founded the ASC in 1988 as the traveling troupe Shenandoah Shakespeare Express.  He grew the ASC touring scope from fourteen performances of RICHARD III in Virginia to over two hundred performances of three full-length Shakespeare plays and one modern classic in six countries during 1995; by the end of the millennium, the ASC had performed in 47 U.S. states and one U.S. territory.  In 2001, the ASC opened the Blackfriars Playhouse, the world’s only re-creation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre.  In 2008, Tim Kaine presented Jim Warren and Ralph Alan Cohen the Virginia Governor’s Award for the Arts.  Before retiring from the ASC in 2017, Jim created Shakespeare’s New Contemporaries, a groundbreaking project to develop a canon of 38 new plays that are inspired by and in conversation with Shakespeare’s work. After a 29-year run of guiding the ASC from startup to international acclaim, Jim is pursuing new opportunities as a director, educator, and consultant, currently freelancing and working on the American Globe Center​ project in Stratford, CT while writing a book about the first three decades of the bellwether company he started.  He is a member of the Theatre Communications Group and Shakespeare Theatre Association who now enjoys traveling the country making art, sharing his experience and expertise, and empowering a new generation of actors to explore the text and ​make the most of every moment. 
 

Dan Brewer *

Stage Manager

Dan Brewer is thrilled to rejoin NSF with their Summer Production of TWELTH NIGHT. Dan stage managed NSF’s Winter Shakespeare production of Macbeth “just before…” He has worked as a professional stage manager, director and sound designer since 1976. Dan holds a BA from Virginia Tech and an MFA from UNC-Greensboro. Notable credits include Waiting For Godot and Nashville Children’s Theatre’s Jack’s Tale, both at the Kennedy Center, as well as a national tour of Hansel and Gretel with the Center for Puppetry Arts. Since 1985, Dan has stage managed 185 productions at NCT where he was proud to serve as NCT’s Acting Artistic Director during the 2016 season. My love to Danger Taber.
 

Scott Baker

ASL Interpreter

Janet Berka

Lighting Designer

 

Design credits include: The Tempest and Pericles, Nashville Shakespeare Festival (2019); Svetlyachki, NYC Fringe Festival; A Piece of My Heart, IVP at the Museum of American Armor; Utah, Wyoming Theatre Festival; Radio Golf, African American Repertory Theatre, Dallas; Uncle Vanya, Dallas Actor's Lab. Assistant Lighting Design credits: Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical; Les Misérables; FLY (all Dallas Theater Center). Television: Lighting Director, CNN New York. MFA Southern Methodist University; BFA Penn State University. Web: jberka.com

Tracy Bidochka-Deakin

Wardrobe Assistant

Sarah Bolek

House Manager

Sarah is delighted to be back for Summer Shakespeare at oneC1TY. She Assistant House Managed for the previous two Summer Shakespeares and designed props for their 2019 winter production of Julius Caesar. Born and raised in the Middle Tennessee area, Sarah has a BS in Theater from Middle Tennessee State University and currently works freelance in Nashville.

Carrie Brewer

NSF Marketing Director

Carrie works with the Nashville Shakes team as an actor, teaching artist, and fight choreographer, but is happily putting her graphic design and marketing skills to use in her main role as Marketing Director. Before moving to Nashville in 2013 she lived in NYC and LA. On the coasts, Carrie worked as an actor, fight choreographer, and stage combat teacher for over 15 years. 12 of those years were spent as full-time stage combat faculty at The American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA).  She is also a singer and mom to two amazing daughters.

Katie Bruno

NSF Education Administrator

Katie is thrilled to coordinate all classes, camps, and workshops for learners of all ages. She recently studied with Shawnda Moss at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and is eager to share new teaching techniques with teachers and students in the greater Nashville area.

Vance Buchanan

Sound Engineer

Lucy Calaway

NSF Marketing Intern

Lucy is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying Vocal Performance and European Studies. She performed in numerous community theatre shows, with some highlights including Mary Poppins, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Seussical and Oliver!. Earlier in the summer, Lucy was a member of the Druid City Opera Workshop, and has also participated in other classical voice programs such as the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Interlochen Vocal Artist Program. Lucy graduated from the high school program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2020 with a concentration in music. She hopes to pursue a career in classical voice and arts administration after college.

Patricia "Pixie" Convertino

Prop Master

 

Patricia ”Pixie” Convertino is excited to be working as Prop Master with Nashville Shakespeare Festival for a second summer. Pixie graduated with a Bachelors in Theatre from Rhode Island College and went on to work on a national tour as prop manager for 2 years. Recently, she has been working as a performer and technician at local Community theatres, Consider This and Brava Boro and has restarted the Drama Club at Smyrna Middle School where she will be directing Willy Wonka Jr. this fall. Pixie is grateful to her family and friends for their encouragement and support in all her theatrical adventures.

Brooke Leigh Davis

Assistant House Manager

Kenny Dozier

NSF Producer

Kenny Dozier is the Artistic Director of Kennie Playhouse Theatre and Producer at Nashville Shakespeare Festival. He is a Producer, Director, and Actor. He graduated from Florida A&M University in Chemical Engineering. Kenny’s name was mentioned twice in the Wall Street Journal (2016 & 2017) for an “impressive” performance as “Cutler” in August Wilson’s award winning play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “ Piano Lesson”. In 2004, his portrayal of ”Hedley” in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” earned him the Best Supporting Actor award from the Nashville Tennessean. He also was nominated for Director of the Year for the play “Amazing Grace”. In 2019 he worked in collaboration with Metro Housing Department on teaching Fine Arts with emphasis on set design with youth from the Preston Taylor Public Housing Community. The project
received the “2019 Richie Resident Leadership Award” for having the best public housing community Involvement & Resident Participation. For the past 14 years KPT has produced over 20 play productions and readings under Kenny’s Leadership.

William Finley

Sound Assistant

Kiare Green

Production Assistant

Denice Hicks

NSF Executive Artistic Director

Denice has been working for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1990 as an actor, director, teaching artist, and administrator. Educated at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, she moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland. Denice started directing in 1992, while enjoying a successful career as a stage, film, television and voice over actor. From Shakespeare to Dollywood, she approaches every production as a new work, where creativity, collaboration and audience connection prevail. An Ingram Fellowship award winner, she has developed and facilitated workshops for students of all ages and designed and implemented the NSF Apprentice Company Training and Shakespeare Allowed programming. She has been a guest lecturer at several universities, and served as a Teaching Artist for the Folger Shakespeare Library Institute, and the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad program for three weeks in Stratford-Upon-Avon and London. She was honored by the Nashville Scene as one of the “Twenty- five Nashvillians who’ve shaped the city for the better since 1989”.

Taryana Hatley

Light Board Operator

 

Taryana Hatley is a recent graduate of the illustrious Fisk University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology. She now pursues her dream of research to eventually obtain her PhD in nutrition. In her free time, she enjoys longboarding and adventuring with friends. Taryana has a passion for helping others and believes small changes in the right direction results in long lasting success.

Denese Kelley

Costume Designer/ Wardrobe Supplier

Denese, a local freelance costume designer, wardrober/wardrobe stylist and seamstress,  is absolutely thrilled to be back working with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival. This is her 4th production with NSF and is looking forward to being a part of bringing theater back to the stage, better then ever!!!  She works for a couple of local fashion designers here in Nashville and has been designing costumes for local professional and community theaters throughout Nashville as well as high school theater productions and dance productions. She has four children and four grandchildren and as a fifth generation Nashvillian she is honored to be a part of Nashville’s Theatre community!! She is thankful to everyone she is working with on this production and ‘hopes y’all enjoy the shows!!
 

Sarah Katherine Kessen

Box Office Manager

JR Knowles

Run Crew

Alexis LaVon

Assistant Stage Manager

Alexis is an arts enthusiast who grew up in Nashville by way of Chicago. She recently worked as stage manager on the productions of “Natural Shocks” (Tennessee Women’s Theatre Project) & “Last Season” (Kennie Playhouse Theatre). She also works as 1st Assistant Director on Feature Films locally and abroad. She is thrilled to be back with Nashville Shakespeare Festival after completing their Winter Season productions of “Romeo & Juliet” & “A Midsummers Night Dream” earlier this year. She has numerous productions to her credit and has worked with the following companies in Nashville: Kennie’s Playhouse Theatre, The American Negro Playwright Theatre, Sista Style Productions, Destiny Theatre Experience, Dream 7 Productions, Circle Players, Street Theatre, Nashville Children’s Theatre, Chaffin’s Barn, Humanity Theatre Project & Tennessee Playwrights Studio. Hugs and Kisses to the entire NSF Staff. Cast/Crew: You All Rock ! Enjoy the Show and Thank you for supporting Live Theatre!

Shane Lowery

Set Designer/ Builder

 

Shane Lowery lives in Franklin, TN, works as Hydrologic Data Technician for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has worked on more than 100 sets in Middle Tennessee over the last Twenty years. Owner/operator of Constructis Set Design, Shane has recently designed and built sets for "Too Heavy for Your Pocket", "The Colored Museum", and "Breathe" at Fisk University. Shane has been attending the Nashville Shakespeare Festival since he was a teenager and is honored to be a part of their production.

Robert Marigza-Yeo

NSF Managing Director

Robert first became involved with NSF as an actor in the 1994 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over these 27 years, he has served The Festival as an actor, stage manager, designer, technical director, crew, teacher, and IT person. From 2005 to 2018, he was the full-time Operations Manager of the company and Producer of Antony & Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Richard III, Shakespeare’s Case, Complete Works, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Pericles, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado about Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Henry V, King Lear, and The Comedy of Errors. As an actor, Robert has also worked with Nashville Children’s Theatre, People’s Branch Theatre, Mockingbird Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Green Room Projects, and Actors’ Bridge Ensemble, as well as in commercials and independent films. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Mary Washington University. Robert sends his love and thanks to his wife Jayme and son William.

Tom Mason

Music Director/ Composer

In the years since Tom Mason (Feste the Fool) was murdered in Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s Richard the 3rd while playing the accordion, Tom has toured the world with his band of pirates Tom Mason and the Blue Buccaneers, who Pyrate’s Way magazine called “The Pirate Beatles.” He’s been a fixture in Nashville’s Americana music scene, and has released eleven CDs, including 2020’s rocking holiday CD Under The Mistletoe Sky and the brand new Songs from Shakespeare’s 12th Night. Tom sends love to his family and wife Whitney, and big thanks to Denice, Jim, Jack Kingsley, NSF and to his musical collaborators. Tom’s music can be found at www.tommason.net and on iTunes and streaming sites.

DJ Ranta

Site Technical Director/ Master Electrician

DJ has been working with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1992, and this marks his 21st year on the production staff. D.J. is the Theatre Manager/Technical Director for Harpeth Hall School. He has also been Technical Director for Circle Players, ACT I, and others, as well as lighting designer for numerous productions. He is a past board member of ACT I as well as Circle Players, where he is currently the company TD. Recent credits include light design for Les Miserables and Master Class, TD for Titanic the Musical, and set design for To Kill A Mockingbird. The top 3 memorable productions that D.J. has worked on are A Chorus Line, Pippen, and Masterpieces. D.J. would like to thank his wife Laurie and daughter Vonnie for putting up with all the long hours and even helping into the wee hours of the morning on many an occasion.

Anita Reed

Volunteer Coordinator

Keenya Riley

Production Assistant

Mary Sack

Concert Director

Mary Sack is delighted to join the NSF as the Pre-Show Entertainment Coordinator in 2021, having participated in 2014 and 2016 in an ancillary role in support of then Music Director/Actor/Singer-Songwriter/Musician David Olney. She currently represents recording artists and published authors in all aspects of their career. Ms. Sack has extensive press, radio, internet and marketing promotions experience having worked for several record labels (Columbia Records,  Capricorn Records, Relentless/Nashville,  Rising Tide, Naxos Jazz, Pat Boone’s The Gold Label) and retail outlets (Blockbuster Music, Wherehouse Music, Waxie Maxie’s, Olsson’s, Turtle’s and more) before starting her own Mary Sack Management company in 2002. She earned a B.S. from Towson University with a degree in Mass Communications/English specializing in Public Relations and World Literature. 

David Wilkerson

Fight Choreographer

David has over 100 professional credits as a stage manager, fight director, actor, and director. He is a full-time lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University. He recently directed the NSF’s Winter Shakespeare 2020 production of Macbeth.

*member AEA

**Apprentice Company

Thank you to our major sponsors: Tennessee Arts Commission, Metro Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Jackson National, and Advance Financial

Learn More About Stage Mag