Expanding exposure to the arts



Education and Outreach

Studio Tenn Theatre Company's Education and Community Outreach Program exists to foster a direct and passionate engagement for youth, educators, artists and the broader community in all aspects of the theatre experience and connects students of all ages to their most fearless, creative self to create enlightened audiences and artists who will shape the future.

The Education and Community Outreach Program includes:

  • Student education and matinees

  • Summer theatre master classes

  • College audition preparatory classes

  • Company apprenticeships/internships

  • Sensory Friendly performances

  • Gift of Theatre for underserved populations

For more information email us at info@studiotenn.com or call our offices at (615) 541-8200.

In rehearsals for Studio Tenn's 'EVITA'. Photo by MA2LA.

In rehearsals for Studio Tenn's 'EVITA'. Photo by MA2LA.


Trauma Queen: The True Life Story of Idol Underdog, Crystal Bowersox

Presented by: The Franklin Theater

Saturday, October 26, 2019 at7pm

American Idol Crystal Bowersox tells her heroine story of finding her power as woman, artist, and mother with her unique theatrical autobiographical rock concert. Through immense challenges and triumph her journey opens a conversation for audiences to explore pain and healing through her music and heart. A mix of rock, country, and folk music combined with conversation with the audience and scenes from Crystal's past; this one one of a kind event show us that some heroes survive a dark past to grow into a brighter tomorrow.

Developed and produced by Studio Tenn.
Book by Crystal Bowersox and Willy Hotlzman
Music and Lyrics by Crystal Bowersox and Marty Dodson
Directed by Benji Kern
Music Direction by Miles Aubrey

For ticket information please visit www.franklintheatre.com
or call (615) 538-2075

It’s My Party! Developmental Reading

Studio Tenn is excited to collaborate with the producers of a new musical, It’s My Party! Set in fall semester, 1963, and the University of California, Malibu campus is all a buzz over the pinning of their “favorite campus couple”, JOHNNY GOODE and PEG DAVIS. Little does Peg know her perfect Senior year will soon come unraveled upon the arrival of two new students (CHARLENE “CHARLIE” WOZNIAK and BRIDGET BARKLEY), and the scheming of her long-time “frenemy” and Rush Chairman (JUDY MONROE). Judy hatches her plan to steal Johnny away from Peg, while Charlie and Bridget quickly befriend each other and pledge Peg’s Sorority, Kappa Pi. Unbeknownst to them, Charlie and Bridget both fall prey to the flirtations of the ever-charming Johnny and begin dating him.  Peg and the girls soon discover his double-dealing at the Alpha Psi Toga Party and beach bedlam ensues as they plot out their revenge.

Jamison Lingle
Nicholas Hirata

Jamison Lingle

Costume Design: 
Nicholas Hirata

Creative team: Jamison Lingle and Nicholas Hirata


Johnny and the Devil’s Box Reading

Studio Tenn is excited to host a 29 hour reading for a new musical on November 9th. More details will be coming soon!

Johnny & the Devil’s Box by Douglas Waterbury-Tieman is a new, folk musical about a brash young fiddler from Georgia. Johnny Baker must evade the law, outwit a devilish preacher and navigate young love on his journey to prove he’s the greatest fiddler the world has ever known. But can he overcome the greatest obstacle of all, his own pride, before it’s too late? Johnny & the Devil’s Box proclaims the immense healing power of music to bring broken communities together through jubilant song and dance.

Johnny &the Devil’s Box has been developed with support from the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony at Goodspeed Musicals, The Drama League Rough Draft Residency, Rockwood Music Hall, Belmont University, The Jalopy House School of Music and the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Frank Young Fund which supported a week long retreat and cabaret at Goodspeed Musicals in January 2019.

In August, a new music video was released for the song “Johnny’s Best”, with filmography by James Jin and Choreography by Jen Jancuska, (currently the choreographer in residence at Hamilton on Broadway). The creative team also includes Music Supervisor Scott Wasserman (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen, Margaritaville).

The team is excited to share their work with Studio Tenn as they prepare for a workshop production in 2020. Details to be announced soon!

Visit www.johnnyandthedevilsbox.com for more information on Johnny and the Devil’s Box. Be sure to check out the music video a song from musical, “Johnny’s Best.”

Regional Premiere of Kate Hamill’s Adaptation of Little Women

Studio Tenn is excited to produce the TN regional premiere of Kate Hamill’s new adaptation of Little Women. Running concurrent with Steel Magnolias, February 13, 14, 18, 19 and 20, 2020, the show will be free for schools to attend with an additional two public performances as part of Studio Tenn’s continual efforts to widen theater education and literacy of classic texts. Studio Tenn is honored to have René D. Copeland directing this landmark production continuing to celebrate a season of unforgettable women.

“One of the most joyous experiences in my career was working on Kate Hamill’s adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, so having the opportunity to now tackle her adaptation of Little Women is one that I relish with all my heart. The way she captures her female characters is particularly delicious, and she always approaches literature with a theatricalism in staging that I love to work with.” - René D. Copeland

Jo March doesn't want to be like other girls; in fact, she's not even sure that she wants to be a girl. Jo is ambitious, rough around the edges, headstrong and yearns for a future she can’t yet articulate. As the nation is torn apart by civil war, Jo and her sisters struggle with what it means to grow up. Gender roles, political beliefs, poverty, and even love itself threaten to break family ties, as the March sisters try to reconcile their identities with society’s demands. How do you stay true to yourself when the world wants you to become a perfect little woman?

To schedule a school field trip or learn more, email caseyhebbel@studiotenn.com.

Adaptation by Kate Hamill

Adaptation by Kate Hamill

Pipeline Collective.png

The Salon by Pipeline-Collective

Studio Tenn is proud to partner with Pipeline-Collective to launch The Salon, a biweekly gathering of playwrights, directors, and actors to shape theatrical works-in-progress.  The pilot program will launch in March.

Curated by Pipeline-Collective’s Producing Artistic Directors David Ian Lee and Karen Sternberg, along with Studio Tenn's Interim Artistic Director Benji Kern, The Salon combines Studio Tenn's mission to support the development of new work and local artists with Pipeline-Collective’s mission to empower theatre makers to tell their stories. Each three-hour session is designed to not only benefit playwrights, but to bring together all collaborators in a crucible of time and creativity, exploring new relationships and furthering the development of new, visceral theatrical work.

At The Salon, playwrights can maintain the momentum of their writing and hear pages aloud at regular intervals – a critical component of new play development – while directors and actors can work “on their feet,” investigating new texts and partnerships in a model more accommodating than the constraints of an audition or the product-based needs of a rehearsal hall.

The Salon is a free program and is welcoming of artists from all backgrounds. For more information and to sign up for regular email updates, click the button below!


Studio Tenn and Backlight Productions:
New Works Writer's Lab

Studio Tenn Theater Company and Backlight Productions are collaborating to create and workshop a new play for artists with special needs!  Led by Interim Artistic Director Benji Kern, and Backlight Production Artistic Director Melissa Smith, the play will cover the themes of celebrating the perspective of artists with special needs in this world premiere. The lab will end in a public performance June 28 at 7 p.m. at Generations Church in downtown Franklin (408 Church St, Franklin, TN 37064). Seating will be general admission. 

There are two free parking garages, one on Second Avenue and one of Fourth Avenue that offers free four-hour parking. Free street parking is also available, as well as paid parking in Generations Church parking lot.

Backlight Production Mission:

Backlight Productions is a non-profit theater arts program for adults with special needs that provides opportunities for its students to gain education in the arts and perform significant roles before live audiences, enabling them to enhance their social skills through artistic expression and grow in confidence both on and off the stage. LEARN MORE HERE!

Backlight Logo.png