FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Studio Tenn Theatre Company has found a permanent Williamson County home in The Factory at Franklin. The company will move all operations there beginning with its 2014-2015 season, which opens in September.
Company Managing Director Jake Speck says, “After three wonderful seasons building our programming, vision, and strong support base of donors and patrons here in Franklin, we are elated to have found a long-term, comprehensive solution to our multifaceted needs for administrative, rehearsal and performance space.”
Moving to The Factory will provide Studio Tenn the rare advantage of having office, rehearsal and performance space all in one location-which translates to significant savings of time and money, says Artistic Director Matt Logan. “Having this all-inclusive space will eliminate some logistical burdens and allow us to focus more of our energy and resources on our productions and educational initiatives, which are ultimately what our work is all about.”
Professional Live Theatre and Beyond
Tami Pryce, Events Manager for The Factory says, “We are thrilled to welcome Studio Tenn into the eclectic portfolio of high-caliber cultural attractions offered here.” According to Pryce, The Factory leadership was so impressed with Studio Tenn’s original musical revue “The Hank Legacy” that they have tapped the company not only to produce a theatre season but also to guide multiple entertainment concepts, including live music programming. “Our vision is to make The Factory an entertainment and cultural Mecca in Williamson County, and we see Studio Tenn as a foundational piece of that vision,” she said.
The re-purposed former industrial campus is located six blocks north of the Main Street corridor and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Studio Tenn’s new 6,000 square-foot administrative office and rehearsal studio will be located in Building 8. Performances will initially be held in Jamison Hall. Other spaces at The Factory are being studied to become Studio Tenn’s permanent performance home.
The facility will now sport two professional theaters since Boiler Room Theatre is a resident in Building 6. That building is currently being renovated and is scheduled to reopen in May.
A Versatile Venue
All spaces at The Factory are designed to be highly configurable, “which will allow us to scale from the most intimate to the most grand of productions,” Logan says. “This venue is just teeming with possibilities. It’s a very exciting new chapter for us.”
Studio Tenn has been the resident professional theatre company of Main Street’s historic Franklin Theatre since 2011 and produced the star-studded variety show for the venue’s grand re-opening gala.
Franklin Theatre Director Dan Hays says he greatly appreciates Studio Tenn’s consistent delivery of top-notch live theatre and congratulates the company on its new ventures. “From their new home at The Factory, Studio Tenn will continue to serve our common vision to promote Downtown Franklin as a regional and national destination for world-class live entertainment,” he says.
“Studio Tenn is immensely thankful for the wonderful partnership we’ve enjoyed with the Franklin Theatre over these past few years, which have really been formative years for us as a company,” Speck says. “As we take this next step, we feel especially fortunate to have found a new home right here among the core of neighbors, friends and partners we have grown to know and love during our time at the Franklin Theatre.”
An Up-and-coming Cultural Hub
Studio Tenn’s announcement comes amid a flurry of recent news for the northern Downtown area, including plans for a mixed-use development that will feature a boutique hotel and new projects at the city-owned Park at Harlinsdale Farm.
Downtown Franklin Association Director Nancy Williams says, “All of these things have potential to help grow our Main Street corridor. We are thrilled that Studio Tenn is putting down permanent roots here with us.”
With increased emphasis on live music and entertainment, The Factory is now home to nationally relevant music organizations the Americana Music Association (AMA), Dark Horse Recording Studios and Sugar Hill Records, whose prestigious catalogue includes Nickel Creek, Doc Watson, Townes Van Zandt, Ricky Skaggs, Guy Clark, Sam Bush, Don Williams, Dolly Parton and more. They also join other music-related businesses such as Artisan Guitars, E1 Entertainment, and Springtree Media.
Director of the AMA Jed Hilly – a self proclaimed “huge Studio Tenn fan” – says he is “glad to have neighbors who share a deep appreciation for music and performance, and who hold themselves to such a high standard of entertainment excellence. Welcome home, Studio Tenn!”
*Photo of (L to R) Jake Speck and Matt Logan by ANTHONYMATULA courtesy Studio Tenn.