Tony Award-winning Best Musical ‘Fun Home’ premieres at TPAC Oct. 10-15

Fun Home

Fun Home, the 2015 Tony Award winner for Best Musical based on Alison Bechdel’s hit graphic memoir, makes its Nashville debut at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall with a one-week engagement Oct. 10-15.

Tickets go on sale Friday, July 21, at 10 a.m. at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040 and at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville. For groups of 10 or more, call 615-782-4060.

Fun Home introduces us to Bechdel at three different ages as she explores and unravels the many mysteries of her childhood that connect with her in surprising new ways. A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Fun Home is a refreshingly honest, wholly original musical about seeing your parents through grown-up eyes.

Fun Home was the event of the 2015 Broadway season, receiving raves from critics and audiences alike, winning five 2015 Tony Awards including Best Musical and making history along the way as the first show written exclusively by women to win theater’s highest achievement. It was named to several major Top 10 lists including The New York Times, Associated Press, The New Yorker, Entertainment Weekly, BuzzFeed, The Daily Beast, The Chicago Tribune, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.

An uplifting musical drama of rare intensity, honesty and beauty. Fun Home speaks universally about BIG THINGS THAT MATTER: LIFE, LOVE, FAMILY, SURVIVING. It’s unconventional, to be sure, and musical theatre is better for it. – New York Daily News

The Broadway production of Fun Home opened on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre on April 19, 2015, and ran through Sept. 10, 2016. Tony Award-winning director Sam Gold, who staged both the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Fun Home, restaged the national tour.

Robert Petkoff (Broadway’s Ragtime, All the Way, Anything Goes) will play Bruce, Susan Moniz (Broadway’s Grease, Chicago’s Marriott Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater) will play Helen and Kate Shindle (Broadway’s Legally Blonde, Cabaret) will play Alison.

Fun Home features music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and direction by Sam Gold, whose work on this production earned them Tony Awards for Best Score, Best Book and Best Direction. With this win, Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori also made history by becoming the first female writing team to be awarded the Tony Award for Best Score.

Fun Home is a ground-breaking and unforgettable new musical that is bound to be a contemporary classic, says Kathleen O’Brien, TPAC’s president and chief executive officer. “Lisa Kron and Jeanine Tesori have crafted a truly moving and deeply honest portrayal of Alison Bechdel’s story in a piece of art that should resonate with audiences. They peel back the layers of complexity for this family and portray their raw emotion in a way that is rarely seen in the theater.”

Fun Home also was nominated for 2015 Tony Awards for Best Scenic Design of a Musical (David Zinn), Best Lighting Design of a Musical (Ben Stanton) and Best Orchestrations (John Clancy). The creative team includes Danny Mefford (Choreography), Kai Harada (Sound Design), David Zinn (Costume Design) and Chris Fenwick (Music Direction).

The Grammy-nominated original Broadway cast recording of Fun Home is now available on PS Classics, www.psclassics.com.

For more information on Fun Home, visit www.funhomemusical.com and follow the show on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


If You Go:
Fun Home
Oct. 10-15, 2017
Andrew Jackson Hall
505 Deaderick St.

Tickets:
TPAC.org
615-782-4040

Fun Home is the second production featured in the 2017-18 HCA/TriStar Health Broadway at TPAC season. Performance schedule, prices, and cast are subject to change without notice. The Broadway season is supported by the HCA Foundation on behalf of HCA and the TriStar Family of Hospitals, and media sponsors for the season include NewsChannel 5 and The Tennessean. Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission.

TPAC is an accessible facility that provides a variety of services including wheelchair accommodations, accessible parking, and assistive listening devices. Open captioning, American Sign Language, audio description, and large print and Braille programs are offered at the Sunday matinee performance of each Broadway series and Broadway special engagement. For more information about accessible services, contact Lori Ward at LWard@TPAC.org or 615-782-4077. TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is TPAC.org.

TPAC Education included in 44 programs receiving CMA Foundation grants

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Students at Rose Park Magnet Math and Science Middle perform a song from their production of “The Lion King” at the DMIS Student Share at TPAC.

We are so proud and grateful to be included as one of 44 recipients of the 2017 CMA Country Music Association Foundation’s annual donation to support music education programs. The record-setting $3.1 million, issues this year thanks to the generosity of Country artists and fans who attend the annual CMA Music Festival, was announced last week on Giving Tuesday. The grants bring CMA’s total contributions since 2006 to more than $17.5 million.

“If it weren’t for the artists, who all perform for free during CMA Music Festival, and the thousands of fans who support the event each year, these donations would not be possible,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The CMA Foundation donates to causes that are important to our community, but every dollar is given on behalf of the artists and fans that support Music Fest each June.”

According to the press release, “Studies show students who participate in the arts are more likely to graduate, have better attendance rates, and higher GPAs than students not enrolled in arts classes. The CMA Foundation recognizes the importance of music education in keeping kids engaged and in school as well as providing access to higher education through scholarships and supporting music educators.”

As one of the recipients, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center will use the CMA Foundation grant to support TPAC Education’s Disney Musicals in Schools program, a free semester-long, after-school musical theater program that inspires students and their school communities to organize around the challenging work of mounting a 30-60-minute musical production. Guided by TPAC teaching artists, the program utilizes active partnerships that combine school, professional, and community resources to create rich avenues for student learning while providing teachers with the training and tools needed to strengthen their arts programs. DMIS is expected to reach nearly 1,600 Metro Nashville Public Schools students in 30 elementary and middle schools this school year. Disney Musicals in Schools currently engages 26 Metro Nashville Public Schools, 1,200 students, 130 educators, 600 volunteers, and 12 teaching artists.

For more information on the CMA Foundation, visit CMAfoundation.org.

For more information on TPAC’s comprehensive arts education programs, visit TPAC.org/Education.

“School Patrol” explores TPAC Education’s TechShop for teachers

“Now that school is back in session, there are many fond memories of summer camp. But as you’ll see in this week’s School Patrol, while one of the most beloved camps didn’t attract any children, it was attended by a number of curious students.”  – Vicki Yates, NewsChannel 5

 

 

Click the video above to watch NewsChannel 5’s “School Patrol” feature on TPAC Education’s TechShop, an annual workshop on theatre production designed NOT for curious students but FOR curious teachers so they can learn about lighting design and other aspects of producing theatre in their schools.

“You go back to school inspired with some new ideas, new ice-breakers, new strategies,” teacher Gina Kelly tells Vicki Yates of NewsChannel 5, which broadcasts a weekly “School Patrol” on diverse education topics. Kelly, a teacher Overton High School, takes her students to TPAC for student performances and participates each year in the technical theatre workshop for educators.

The popular, professional development opportunity — held over three days in various TPAC spaces, on stage and backstage — offers tips and tools as the experts, from TPAC’s Tech Department and the community at large, lead sessions on lighting, scenic and costume design, choreography, and other theatrical necessities such as making a lighting “GOBO” with a .99 cent pie plate and an x-acto knife.The workshop is held over three days in various TPAC spaces, on stage and backstage.

TPAC Education and Technical Department staff in the spotlight during the two-and-a-half-minute, action-packed story included Cassie LaFevor, Bill Rios, and Jessica Costello.

TPAC receives 2016 grant from CMA Foundation

CMA and TPAC - Main ImageCMA Foundation announced today its annual donation for music education as well as grant recipients for 2016, totaling a record $2.68 million thanks to the generosity of Country artists and fans at CMA Music Festival.

“If it weren’t for the artists, who all perform for free during CMA Music Festival, and the thousands of fans who support the event each year, these donations would not be possible,” said Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “The CMA Foundation donates to causes that are important to our community, but every dollar is given on behalf of the artists and fans that support Music Fest each June.”

TPAC is proud to be among the 29 charitable groups receiving this generous support. The 2016 grant will go to TPAC Education and fund the organization’s Disney Musicals in Schools (DMIS) program. DMIS is a free semester-long, after-school musical theater program that inspires students and their school communities to organize around the challenging work of mounting a 30-45-minute musical production. Guided by TPAC Teaching Artists, this program utilizes active partnerships that combine school, professional, and community resources to create rich avenues for student learning while providing teachers with the training and tools needed to strengthen their arts programs. DMIS is expected to reach nearly 1,300 Metro Nashville Public Schools students in 26 elementary and middle schools this school year.

Thank you CMA Foundation!

Q&A with Babs Rector: A teacher’s view on the value of arts education

Babs Rector - Cropped“I cannot tell you how much I grew as a teacher and a patron of the arts by participating in ArtSmart,” wrote Babs Rector on the eve of her retirement as a 5th grade teacher at Meigs Middle Magnet School. “TPAC Education has consistently offered superior professional development and stayed current with educational trends, which is a feat itself! I am so glad to have had the opportunity to be part of it.”

After teaching in three different Metro Nashville Public Schools over the course of three decades, Rector took time answer a few questions from SPOTlight about her experience with arts education. Throughout her 30-year teaching career, she was an active participant in TPAC Education’s ArtSmart, a program which blends professional development training, collaboration with teaching artists on classroom residencies, and attending performances on TPAC’s annual Season for Young People.

 

Q: We so appreciated your sending a note about your TPAC experience as you retired. Tell us more about your growth as a teacher and a patron of the arts after participating in TPAC Education’s ArtSmart.

Babs Rector: As a teacher, I realized that arts education helped me reach children with different learning styles. That’s important. TPAC Education also taught me to be more creative with any subject matter.  If I was teaching science, for instance, I wanted the lessons to be creative.  I wanted my students to relate to the subject.  I learned to apply and adapt ArtSmart principles in other creative ways across the curriculum. I also found that TPAC Education excels at understanding current trends in education.  The current emphasis on project-based learning (PBL) in Metro Schools is a great example of that.  Arts education is not just something ‘extra.’  TPAC provides teachers with the resources on plugging into the latest standards and requirements, across the curriculum.

Q: Describe the impact of ArtSmart in your life, both personally and professionally.

BR: For me, in the beginning, the ArtSmart Institutes helped me to define different ways to look at different works of art. Personally, that exposed me to a variety of art forms, from modern dance to visual arts. I’d choose one focus for the classroom from the different options.  After I was introduced to them, however, I was likely to attend a performance or go to Cheekwood to see the sculptures. I also benefitted from working directly with professional artists — actors, musicians, dancers, painters, sculptors and others. Their perspectives were not something I had ever experienced personally. To work closely with the artists gave me so many different ideas on how to work with students.  And then, I did something that is so critical to the student experience and collaborated with the teaching artists. We brainstormed ideas for each ArtSmart unit in the classroom.  We came up with unique ideas for student learning and we came up with them together.  That helped me with professional development in other areas, especially collaborations with other teachers.

Q: The training and teaching artist residencies culminate with a field trip to TPAC for a performance or to another place to view visual art.  How was that beneficial to classroom learning?

BR: First of all, TPAC’s performances or ArtSmart works of visual art relate directly to various subjects. Going to a performance at TPAC?  You cannot even begin to tap into the depth of what those performances have to offer.  The quality of the shows is always top-notch. The highlights of going to TPAC were seeing how the students reacted during the performance or talked about it after the experience because they had experienced something similar in the classroom. Clearly, they connected with the live performance and it reinforced what they’d learned.  One example: Before we saw A Midsummer Night’s Dream we experimented with talking in couplets and explored how difficult it is to come up with something with that pattern of rhyme. We talked about the names of the characters.  Why would Shakespeare choose those names?  This play is not something that students would normally study in the 5th grade. ArtSmart helped them to connect to the work of art and give them an early introduction to William Shakespeare in a way that was relevant to them at their age.

Q: What kind of impact did you see in the lives and learning of your students?

BR: When we focused on the plays, for example, we did a lot of work with writing, including crafting short skits. I saw so much development and creativity when we did those activities.  Some of the students, who were perhaps not so academically talented, really shined when they acted out a skit.  When they performed a theatrical piece, let’s say, they were very witty and creative. They had a chance to shine in a different way.

Q:  Any parting words?

BR: I wish that every teacher, every student, had more opportunities in arts education.  I firmly believe that the arts are vital to a well-rounded education. I believe that the arts open doors for children. TPAC Education provides opportunities that many children do not otherwise experience in their young lives. When they see a play or study a work of visual art, it helps them to work through some of their own challenges and problems.  As a teacher, it’s been very rewarding to see how the arts draw out the creativity and ability of all children regardless of their cultural and economic circumstance. Kids need this experience. The arts enrich their lives.  At the same time they enjoy the arts activities and performances, they work out some things that are very tough in life.

Click here to learn more about ArtSmart and TPAC Education’s other programs.