Online Productions — The Nashville Shakespeare Festival

I'm watching this Romeo & Juliet right now, and really enjoying it. (I will watch the production of Midsummer Night's Dream later.) Kudos to the Nashville Shakespeare Festival for creating these truly unique production! Consider giving one or both of them a view. They are available for online viewing for a modest donation.

Online Productions

In lieu of Winter Shakespeare 2021 and our live educational touring productions, we are offering two virtual Shakespeare experiences: a 5-actor ROMEO & JULIET, and a 2-actor A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM.

5-actor Romeo & Juliet

This 75-minute video is a 5-actor rendition of Shakespeare’s timeless classic ROMEO & JULIET. Edited and directed by Denice Hicks, the video is presented in 24 short scene segments, and emphasizes the language, characters, and story. Closed Captioning in English and Spanish available. Original score by Rollie Mains.

Elyse Dawson - Actor 1
Abbey Rhyne - Actor 2
Meggan Utech - Actor 4
Gerold Oliver - Actor 4
DéYonté Jenkins - Actor 5

2-actor A Midsummer Night's Dream

This compact and creative version of the Bard's magical comedy A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM is edited and directed by Katie Bruno. The play is performed by 2 actors and intended for all ages, especially those who love stories of fairies, forests, and feelings! Closed Captioning in English and Spanish available.

Katie Bruno - Actor 1
Jarvis Bynum - Actor 2

Crew & Creative Team:

Stage Manager / 1st Asst. Director: Alexis LaVon

Alexis is an arts enthusiast who grew up in Nashville by way of Chicago. She has numerous productions to her credit and has worked with the following companies in Nashville: Sista Style Productions; Kennie’s Playhouse Theatre; The American Negro Playwright Theatre; Destiny Theatre Experience; Dream 7 Productions; Circle Players; Street Theatre; Nashville Children's Theatre; Tennessee Women’s Theater Project; and Chaffin's Barn. She loves her work as a Stage Manager and her most recent ventures into the Film Industry as 1st AD. She is happy to be working with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival for these fantastic productions. "Hugs and Kisses to our team - Love you guys so much! Audiences - Enjoy the Show! Instagram: @lexbiz77

Asst. Stage Manager / COVID Safety: Kilby Elisabeth Yarborough

Kilby Elisabeth Yarbrough is native Memphian, pleased to return to Nashville Shakes after serving as Assistant Stage Manager for Macbeth, The Tempest, and Pericles. Before COVID necessitated cancellation, she was slated to appear as Isabella in Measure for Measure with New Moon Theatre Company in Memphis. Previous performance credits include: As You Like It (Amiens) and Julius Caesar (Portia) with Tennessee Shakespeare Company; The Nature of Captivity (Lulu) with Chatterbox Audio Theatre in Memphis; and The Drowning Girls (Bessie) with Fourth Wall Down in St. Louis.

Director / Editor ROMEO & JULIET: Denice Hicks

Executive Artistic Director Denice Hicks has been working for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1990 as an actor, director, teaching artist, and administrator. Raised in Lenni, PA, she made her stage debut at the age of five. Educated at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, she moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland USA. Denice was an original company member of the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, and was among the founders of both the Darkhorse Theater and of People’s Branch Theatre. An Ingram Fellowship award winner, she has edited, directed, and acted in over 70 productions of Shakespeare’s works, developed and facilitated workshops for students of all ages and designed and implemented the NSF Apprentice Company Training program, Shakespeare Allowed, and Pop-Upright Shakespeare. She has been a guest lecturer at many universities and with the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad program for three weeks in Stratford-Upon-Avon and London. She has also been a Teaching Artist for the Leonard Bernstein Center, Nashville Institute for the Arts, the Folger Shakespeare Library Institute, and TPACed.

Director / Editor A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM: Katie Bruno

Katie is a Nashville-based professional actor, musician, and teaching artist. She serves as the Director of Education at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and loves sharing theatre and Shakespeare with students of all ages. Katie is a graduate of the University of Miami in Florida, and continues to practice and study with teachers Sam Ashdown and Corey Parker.

Director of Photography & Editor: Anthony Popolo

Anthony is a Nashville filmmaker, photographer, scenic, and lighting designer. Film projects include co-directing, cinematography and editing for Nashville Opera’s One Vote Won, Nashville Opera’s Opera Jukebox; Cinematography for Hell or High Water – The Story of the Nashville Rollergirls. He is the live performance film archivist for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and Nashville Opera. Scenic design projects include Act Too Pro’s Matilda, Mary Poppins, Boiler Room Theatre’s Urinetown, Next to Normal, Assassins, Jesus Christ Superstar, Sweeney Todd, The Rocky Horror Show. In his spare time, Anthony is the owner and Creative Director for Sunnyside Entertainment, specializing in visual communication.

Lighting & Sound Op / Metro Parks Liaison: Samuel Frazee

Sam Frazee is a Nashville musician that loves retro and world music. Playing guitar and upright bass, he loves to see the audience light up when they hear an old favorite. Sam has always been a theater fan and enjoys playing for musicals and leading youth improv workshops. He serves as the supervisor for the Metro Parks Music and Theater departments. Relishing all things technical, he is excited to be running sound and lights for Nashville Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. His new hobby is amateur radio and he is known by his call sign KO4KGE.

Costumes / Props: Denese Kelly

Denese Kelley is a local freelance costume designer, wardrober/wardrobe stylist, and seamstress. 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 is married and has four children and four grandchildren. She is thrilled to be back working with the Nashville Shakespeare Festival, meeting new people, and seeing some familiar faces again! She’s very excited and honored to be working on this project with NSF.

Composer / Music Director: Rolin Mains

Rolin Mains has been a self-employed musician for over 25 years. He has played keyboards on national concert tours, recorded in studios from Indiana to Nashville, produced concerts for shows at Carnegie Hall and the Kennedy Center in NYC, conducted/music directed for musical theater in Nashville and NYC, and has composed music for non-musical theatrical productions and feature films. He was named "Best Music Director" by the Nashville Scene in 2011.

Fight Director R & J: Carrie Brewer

Carrie has worked as a fight choreographer and stage combat teacher in NY, LA, and Nashville for over 20 years. Choreography credits include: Nashville Shakespeare Festival's Romeo & Juliet (Winter Shakes and Edu tour) and Macbeth (Co-FD); A Streetcar Named Desire for Nashville Repertory Theatre. In NY: Classic Stage Co., Women’s Project & Productions, Cherry Lane, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Boomerang, and PS 122. Carrie had the privilege of teaching stage combat at AMDA New York and AMDA L.A. for a total of 12 years and also has also taught at the Yale School of Drama, NYU, School for Film & TV, Broadway Classroom, and the Open Jar Institute among others.

Cast Bios:

Katie Bruno - Actor 1, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Katie is a Nashville-based professional actor, musician, and teaching artist. She serves as the Director of Education at the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and loves sharing theatre and Shakespeare with students of all ages. Katie is a graduate of the University of Miami in Florida, and continues to practice and study with teachers Sam Ashdown and Corey Parker.

Jarvis Bynum - Actor 2, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM

Jarvis is a local actor, improvisor, and a graduate of Austin Peay State University. He’s a cast member of Nashville Improv where he’s able to live his best life. He’s done numerous shows in and around nashville over the past six years. He’s super excited to be working with such a talented group of people those familiar as well as new! Jarvis is delighted to be working with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival for the 1st time!

Elyse Dawson - Actor 1, ROMEO & JULIET

Elyse is so proud to return to Nashville Shakespeare Festival after playing Macduff in last winter's Macbeth! After graduating with a BFA in Acting from Wright State University, she spent 8 years performing, creating, and producing storefront theatre in Chicago before relocating to Nashville. She is a former Co-Artistic Director and ensemble member of Babes With Blades Theatre Company. Elyse has shared the stage with many companies including Oak Park Festival Theatre, First Folio Theatre, Red Tape Theatre, and WildClaw Theatre. She is passionate about play development and increasing the canon of fighting roles for female, trans, and non-gender conforming actors.

Abbey Rhyne - Actor 2, ROMEO & JULIET

Abbey Rhyne is a Nashville and Atlanta based actor who has been working professionally in TV, film, theatre, and voice-over since 2012. Her stage credits include The Winter’s Tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Dante’s Inferno (Island Shakespeare Festival); TYA Premiere of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Nashville Children’s Theatre); A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo & Juliet (Nashville Shakespeare Festival); Little Women, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Studio Tenn); and Much Ado About Nothing, 7 Ways to Sunday (The Theater Bug). In Fall 2020 she also performed virtually in The Communist Revolution with the Ashland New Play Festival.

Meggan Utech - Actor 3, ROMEO & JULIET

Meggan "GiGi" Utech is so honored to be making her Nashville Shakes debut in Romeo And Juliet. She was most recently seen in the filmed staged version of Pete the Cat for the Nashville Children’s Theatre. Pre-pandemic she was a part of Nashville Repertory Theatre’s Urinetown, Studio Tenn’s Mama Mia, and Pipeline’s The World Over. Favorite roles include Deloris VanCartier in Sister Act, Dionne in Hair, Joanne in RENT, and, most importantly, Arista (the pink mermaid) in the Little Mermaid.

Gerold Oliver - Actor 4, ROMEO & JULIET

Gerold is a Nashville native. He has been performing for 6 years. He is very excited to have the opportunity to be performing alongside a talented cast!

DéYonté Jenkins - Actor 5, ROMEO & JULIET

DéYonté received his B.F.A in Theatre Performance from The University of Evansville in 2016, and has been a working artist here in Nashville ever since. A native of Tennessee, he has performed on multiple stages in the Nashville area including The Nashville Children's Theatre, Actors Bridge Ensemble, and The Manna From Heaven Dinner House. You may have also caught a glimpse of him in a few episodes of the hit T.V. series Nashville. DéYonté would like to thank his mother and family for their continued support in his career and The Most High for blessing him with gifts to help motivate and inspire others through the magic of Theatre.

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