In Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s inaugural theatre series, PERSPECTIVES, we invite you into the lives of three compelling storytellers where you will explore a powerful personal narrative on racism, identity, and self-image; experience a mashup of history and comedic insights into stories about names; and travel the world in a captivating contemplation of the ins-and-outs of our fragile rite of passage. Tied together by warmth and humor, these unique performances challenge us to see the world from another’s point of view and expand our understanding of what brings us together.
Select your preferred performance and purchase a series ticket to TPAC’s Theatre Series.
Rhapsody in Black
September 23-25, 2022
Written and performed by LeLand Gantt and developed at NYC’s Actors Studio by Estelle Parsons, Rhapsody in Black is a powerful personal narrative on racism, identity, and self-image. LeLand shares his journey to understand and transcend racism in America. We follow him from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to a teenager experimenting with crime and drugs to scholastic achiever and an actor with a career that lands him in situations where he is the only African American in the room. Charming and self-deprecatingly funny, LeLand imbues every word from his mouth with the passion and poignancy of a preacher speaking the Gospel and gives Rhapsody its super-powered emotional punch.
Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name?
February 10-12, 2023
A work of creative nonfiction, Irma Herrera’s Why Would I Mispronounce My Own Name? has been enthusiastically received around the country. The hour-long show is a mashup of personal narrative, lessons in American history, and stories about respecting people’s names, even when they don’t sound like “real” American names. The 20+ characters Herrera portrays invite audiences to experience what’s in store for a Mexican-American girl who leaves a segregated South Texas town in search of educational and economic opportunities. Her political commentary about life in the United States is shared with humor and warmth, and by weaving history and comedic insights into stories about names, this solo performer asks us to consider how open and welcoming we really are.
June 23-25, 2023
A trip around the world via storytelling at its most fluent: award-winning theatre director, designer, and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips uses minimal props and magnetic charm to recreate 17 Border Crossings. Using lighting, shadows, comedy, drama, and cheap magic, Thaddeus weaves a dramatic, visual, and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports, and curious customs. Climb aboard a train on its journey from Prague to Belgrade or lie low in the wheel well of a transatlantic jet to Heathrow. Thaddeus’ true-life journeys recreate invasive body searches at Charles de Gaulle, run-ins with Ace of Base on Croatian ferries, KFC smuggling in Palestine, and ayahuasca experiments in the Amazon in this captivating contemplation of the ins-and-outs of our fragile rite of passage.
Tennessee Performing Arts Center continues to adjust health and safety protocols according to recommendations of health and government officials. At this time, our Patron Entry Policy no longer requires proof of a negative COVID-19 test or vaccination, and masks are recommended for Theatre Series performances.
All visitors must follow TPAC’s health protocols which are designed to protect the safety and well-being of our artists, patrons, educators, students, staff, and volunteers. TPAC protocols are developed from recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), local health officials, and TPAC’s official health and safety partner, HCA Healthcare/TriStar Health. They may be modified according to current public health and government directives. By visiting TPAC, you voluntarily assume all risks of exposure to COVID-19 and other communicable diseases. We encourage all TPAC guests to take precautions, as recommended by the CDC, to protect themselves and others in public spaces. Please help keep each other safe.