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Nashville Shakespeare Festival to bring ‘The Tempest’ to Williamson County

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The Tempest

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will perform their production of “The Tempest” at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park.

After a six-week run at their brand-new location at oneC1TY in Nashville, The Nashville Shakespeare Festival is bringing their production of “The Tempest” to the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park in Franklin. 

This is the fourth year in a row The Nashville Shakespeare Festival has come Williamson County. Last year’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” drew nearly 2,500 people to Academy Park over the four-day run.

“The Tempest,” one of Shakespeare’s most famous romance plays, is set on an enchanted island ruled by the wizard Prospero and inhabited by spirits. Directed by NSF Artistic Director Denice Hicks and featuring Mark Cabus as Prospero leading a cast of 24 actors, “The Tempest” is a magical play about love, betrayal and forgiveness that will delight the whole family. 

Set designer Andy Bleiler, costume designer Lynda Cameron-Bayer and props designer Patricia Convertino have created the magical world of the play. Local composer Rollie Mains wrote the score and plays it live alongside musicians Luke Easterling and Jack Kingsley, and Tosha Marie choreographed the lively and colorful dances performed by the spirits of Caliban’s Island. 

The Festival runs Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 26-29, with “The Tempest” performances at 7 p.m. at Academy Park Performing Arts Center, located at 112 Everbright Ave. in Franklin. Vendors will open at 6 p.m. 

The pre-show concert series at 6 p.m. nightly will feature Franklin-based performers, such as the Belles of Franklin and Sweet Home Symphony. 

There will also be local food trucks and free “Talking Shakespeare” guest lectures nightly at 6 p.m. 

This is a family-friendly festival, and dogs on a leash are welcome. While the festival is always free, a $10 donation is encouraged. Audience members may come with their own blanket or chairs, or reserve chairs ahead of time with “Noble” seating available for $30. The special Royal Packages, which include VIP parking, comfortable reserved seating and dinner catered by Frothy Monkey are $75 each and support educational outreach programming. Go to ticketsnashville.comto purchase. 

More information is available at

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival’s programs are funded in part by the Tennessee Arts Commission and Metro Arts. Shakespeare at Academy Park is made possible in part by Williamson County Parks and Recreation.

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