HISTORY OF THE TENNESSEE THEATER COMPANY
The Tennessee Theater Company is a non-profit professional touring organization that performs for students at their school; and produces community involved productions for the public. The company was formed in 1998; and issued 501(c)3 non-profit status in 1999. In the company’s decade of existence, we have produced over 60 productions, 20 one-act plays with all children casts, over 100 student workshops, two festivals and have performed for over 50,000 students. Since the group was established, we have been an active part of the community. We have ongoing children’s workshops, which have taught hundreds of children the art of theatre. TTC has participated in the Boy Scouts of America Explorer program, which encourages students to participate, identify and promote their talents. We have worked with the Chamber in writing and performing skits and other activities. We have displayed artwork by local artist to give them an opportunity to have their work exhibited publically. We have performed at local retirement homes and for civic organizations to share the arts with the community and elderly. We have been involved with The Jason Foundation (a teenage suicide prevention group) writing, directing and co-producing a short video that has been distributed in schools throughout the country and overseas.
TTC has made it a priority to work with students and new artists, giving them opportunities and helping them develop their abilities. Since the company’s inception in 1998, we have produced our productions, children’s shows, festivals and other activities for the public using professional and community talent, including over 800 volunteers and over 80,000 volunteer hours from students, actors, artists, set people, tech personnel and others.
The group has performed a variety of diverse productions from classic dramas like “Glass Menagerie”, “Becket” and “The Boys Next Door; to hit musicals like “Grease”, “Annie” and “Smoke On The Mountain”; to comedies like “Harvey”, “The Odd Couple” and “The Foreigner”; to original works like “Heaven Admittance”, “The Disciple” and local favorite “The Bell Witch Story”.
At present, the Tennessee Theater Company is primarily focusing on in-school productions, giving thousands of students a wonderful opportunity to experience live theatre every year. The company performs curriculum based productions such as “Tales from Poe”, “Grimm’s Fairy Tales”, “Aesop’s Fables” and “Beauty and the Beast”, to name a few. The enthusiasm for the company’s in-school productions has been tremendous, as is evident by TTC’s daytime student attendance growing 500% in three years. Principals and teachers have said the company’s productions are so popular and they continually invite us back year after year, because we incorporate comedy, interact with the students, teach moral lessons and hold their student’s attention throughout our performances.
The theatre group works with many schools in rural and inner-city areas that might not otherwise experience a theater production. By exposing students to the arts in their schools, we eliminate the expense of buses and gas; which lowers the cost for schools and students with each program. TTC’s in-school production benefits teachers, principals and staff, by better utilizing instruction time. We work with teachers on study guides and conduct a “Question and Answer” after many of the programs, to help students gain a greater knowledge, appreciation and interest in each program. TTC works with the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee on ticket subsidy, helping students attend at no cost that might not be able to participate due to financial hardship.
The Tennessee Theater Company has performed in partnership with not only schools, but also Belcourt Theatre, Vol State College, Historic Rock Castle, the City of Adams, the Donelson Performing Arts Center and other organizations. The excitement and support in the community for TTC's efforts and the quality of our productions has been overwhelming, as attested to by the very positive reviews, student response, teacher evaluations and patron’s letters to local papers and to us.
The mission of the Tennessee Theater Company is to produce quality theater and student productions that are relevant to the life of our community, to pursue a standard of excellence and to promote, develop and support arts education and artists of our region.
Thank you to all who support the “ARTS” in Tennessee!