‘The Rotten Core’ gives TN Rep Interns Chance to Shine

therottencore2The folks at Tennessee Repertory Theatre make their shows look so good. I’ve often written about the vets on the front line like Producing Artistic Director René Copeland that make that happen.

Sunday and Monday, though, it’s about some of the folks you don’t get to see at TPAC as you sit there marveling at the professional work in front of you at Johnson Theater.

I’m talking about the interns that do so much to make things tick. They’re also getting ready for their roles tomorrow with all the hard work they’re doing today.

therottencore1Now they’re coming together for The Rotten Core by John Bumpus. Director Liz Fletcher and the playwright are friends so she knows all about this work: “It’s about three super-villains who get their worlds shaken up when they fall for a dame,” she says, summarizing the show better than many Hollywood types might pitch their latest script.  “I’ve actually seen this show from page to stage…and it’s exciting to be part of presenting it.”

Fletcher has been the Rep’s stage management intern this season. “I think their internship program is a wonderful program,” she says. “Being able to work with five different stage managers has opened my eyes to how different people stage manage and helped me develop my own ways of stage managing.

“I love René. She’s given me a lot of advice throughout my journey. And I’ve actually found a job after this working as a stage manager at Chaffin’s Barn (Dinner Theatre), so it’s nice to see that I can have an internship, grow from these experiences and actually go out in the real world and use them.”

therottencoreYes indeed. And there’s also the pleasure of working with actors like Ricardo BeairdStefani PaigeSteve ParnellLee DanielNathan Gracia and Andy Riggs. “It’s lovely working with a great bunch of talented actors,” Fletcher says.

And with scenic design by Ashley Byszkowski, costume design by Amber Bray and marketing by Britanie Knapp (that includes the terrific photos for this article) the best isn’t just yet to come – there’s plenty of evidence it’s here now.

Performances of The Rotten Core by Jon Bumpus, take place in Studio A at Tennessee Repertory Theatre (161 Rains Ave.) today (April 28) at 1:30 pm and today and Monday at 6:30 pm. For more information call (615) 244-4878 or visit here.


*Photos by Britanie Knapp courtesy Tennessee Repertory Theatre.

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About Evans Donnell

Evans Donnell is the chief theater, film and opera critic as well as co-founder of ArtsNash. He wrote reviews and features about theater, opera and classical music for The Tennessean from 2002 to 2011. He was the theater, film and opera critic for ArtNowNashville.com from 2011 to 2012. Donnell has also contributed to The Sondheim Review, Back Stage, The City Paper (Nashville), the Nashville Banner, The (Bowling Green, Ky.) Daily News and several other publications since beginning his professional journalism career in 1985 with The Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat. He was selected as a fellow for the 2004 National Critics Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and for National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) arts journalism institutes for theater and musical theater at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism in 2006 and classical music and opera at the Columbia University School of Journalism in 2009. He has also been an actor (member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA), founding and running AthensSouth Theatre from 1996 to 2001 and appearing in Milos Forman's "The People vs Larry Flynt" among other credits. Donnell is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association (www.americantheatrecritics.org).