FRANKLIN, Tenn. – Studio Tenn has already set the bar high in its quest to present Broadway-quality theater productions. They’ll continue to challenge themselves toward the goal of rewarding their ever-growing audiences with “A Season of Contemporary Classics” for 2013-14 that includes stops at Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.
Artistic Director Matt Logan and Managing Director Jake Speck announced next’s season’s schedule from the stage of the Franklin Theatre prior to Thursday’s opening night performance of Big River. Three of their five shows next season will be at that historic venue where Studio Tenn is the resident theater company.
“We feel we really needed to up our game,” Logan told ArtsNash today. “We were drawn to what we felt were great pieces that were contemporary in nature and classic in terms of their storytelling qualities.” While some of the source material for next year’s shows isn’t modern (A Christmas Carol appeared as a novella in 1843, for example), Logan noted that the theatrical versions Studio Tenn will produce utilize recent scripts, music and/or concepts to connect with today’s audiences.
The opener is Randal Myler and Mark Harelik’s look at the music and legend of a country great in Hank Williams: Lost Highway Aug. 29-Sept. 15 at Franklin Theatre. Then it’s Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods Oct. 17-Nov. 3 also at Franklin Theatre.
Studio Tenn plans to present A Christmas Carol again, but as was the case in previous years expect some changes to the Charles Dickens classic from prior productions. One change is already known – the show will run Dec. 13-22 at TPAC’s Polk Theater.
Peter Morgan’s Frost/Nixon takes the Franklin Theatre stage Feb. 20-March 9. The 2006 play was adapted into a successful 2008 film by Ron Howard that starred Michael Sheen and Frank Langella; both actors appeared in the original Donmar Warehouse theater production in London.
The season concludes in spectacular fashion with two nights of Les Misérables at Schermerhorn Symphony Center May 3-4. There will be no revolving barricades, but Studio Tenn promises plenty of musicians, singers and actors will appear.