Post-pandemic Nashville theater audiences have witnessed a groundswell of creativity as local companies have made the production of original works part of their programming initiatives. While the result might best be described as hit-or-miss depending on perspective, one company’s efforts have been constant, abiding and transformative. Tennessee Playwrights Studio, co-founded by Molly Breen and Kenley Smith, has led this creative renaissance since its very beginnings and over the past several years has been responsible for nurturing the talents of a wide array of artists. We could not be more grateful to TPS and its founders for everything they’ve accomplished; it is truly noteworthy. - Jeffrey Ellis, BroadwayWorld Nashville
Directed by Shawn Whitsell - Original Research by V. Yalewa Sparrowhawk Ferguson
When Victoria sets out to learn more of her family's history, she opens a portal to a past full of loss, pain and indomitable perseverance. Her mother reluctantly joins her, and the two women uncover old wounds - a scandalous affair in segregated Virginia, a stolen child, a lost parent, a horrific accident - that linger unhealed in the present. Based on true events.
Cast: Tanya Anderson, Briana C. Finley, Dee Hammonds, Leslie Hammonds, Tony Insignares, Myah Jackson, Ethan H. Jones, JR Knowles, Josh Kiev, Angela Martin, Kysa Siovan, and Kinston Smith
What astonishes (but given the talent level doesn’t surprise) is “That Woman: The Dance Show” was seamlessly woven together in terms of the choreography and performances. There was no “dip” in either quality or energy throughout the 100-minute, two-act piece. It was moving, entertaining, thrilling, stunning and beautiful to watch. --Evans Donnell, stagecritic.com, Review of That Woman - The Dance Show
"The performances delivered by the actors who breathe life into the women are stunning. No matter how well you think you know each of the actors personally or from previous onstage performances, you will be staggered by their bold and brash performances, the authenticity and honesty each woman brings to the stage will leave you breathless and hoping for more." Jef Ellis, BroadwayWorld Nashville, Review of That Woman - The Monologue Show
That Woman - The Dance Show
"The TPS fellowship (in every sense of the word) was a gift. I started the year with a huge stack of pages and no idea whether any of it made sense. Hearing the words read aloud by actors, and hearing feedback from everyone in the room, helped me cut the chaff and revamp the rest. Every deadline was incentive to write, and every meeting gave me a sense of progress and anticipation: I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next in the other Fellows’ plays. It all culminated in the wonderful festival, where we sat back and watched as the most talented directors and actors brought our work to life." -
- Claudia Barnett, 2018 Fellow
TPS stands in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement and is committed to creating opportunities for Black playwrights, actors, directors and other theatre artists. Some Black-Owned Theatre Companies to know in Nashville:
Tennessee Playwrights Studio is committed to inclusion and a safe, harassment-free work environment.