The Arts at Center Street

Local, Original, & Meaningful.

The Arts at Center Street is a performing arts center and home to the Arts at Center Street Theatre Company, located in Nashville, TN.

Breaking Out of the Loop: A Review of HOMELESS

After seeing HOMELESS for the first time, I left in a state of overwhelm. The creativity with which the narrative unfolded, the character development, the themes that emerged - it was all so incredibly powerful. As I mused on all that HOMELESS had presented to me, I heard my mother’s observations in my head. “Well, what in the world was THAT all about!?” she said to me, her annoyance (and her bias toward Disney movies) thinly veiled. I had to laugh at her incredulity. The next weekend, I went back and saw HOMELESS one more time; it was then that I realized perhaps I’m not so terribly unlike the story’s main character, Nod. Portrayed impeccably by Arts at Center Street player Benjamin Reese, Nod had “absorbed” voices from throughout his life, and his inner dialogue sets the scene for the entire play.

Nod, played by Arts at Center Street Theatre Company member Benjamin Reese, "had 'absorbed' voices from throughout his life, and his inner dialogue sets the scene for the entire play." 

Nod, played by Arts at Center Street Theatre Company member Benjamin Reese, "had 'absorbed' voices from throughout his life, and his inner dialogue sets the scene for the entire play." 

HOMELESS is deliciously disorienting from the moment the curtain goes up, which I believe is evidence of a trademark of playwright Gregg D. Garner. He is a multi-sensory writer; he intends for his audience to experience his productions with their whole selves. Thoughtful themes and relevant issues invoke the mind, the characters’ depth and their true humanness draw in the emotions of the audience. Before long, I was fully engulfed in the mental volleys happening onstage, feeling tears burn my eyes when the painful childhood memories played themselves out, and hoping alongside the characters that the story could possibly find a peaceful resolve.

Not a word is wasted in the wealth of dialogue that carries this production. I came expecting to receive the gift of meaning and truth and the provocation of better questions, rather than simplistic remedies, and I wasn’t disappointed. So, as I untangled the plot and got to know the characters, I was intent on what each might be offering me.

It’s not a straightforward mission. Right away, two characters emerge as more scholarly than the others, professors perhaps. The somewhat timid, insecure young writer turns out to be quite excellent, as her manuscript is read aloud. The sultry seductress is so effective, I find myself blushing in the dark. And then, shuffling in and out of the scene, the homeless character interjects seemingly incoherent rants - but are they incoherent after all? Is each blurted, shouted, screamed interjection more like an abstraction of a  proverb or a poem?

In a flashback narrative, Nod's parents (Jason Roufs and Heather Munoz) play out their story, revealing the beginning of Nod. As the scene freezes, other players in Nod's life are able to offer their own commentary.

In a flashback narrative, Nod's parents (Jason Roufs and Heather Munoz) play out their story, revealing the beginning of Nod. As the scene freezes, other players in Nod's life are able to offer their own commentary.

Indeed, as the plot unfolds, Nod’s stream of consciousness outbursts make more and more contextual sense. He is a deeply philosophical individual who began his early adult life as a promising young writer, but had over time become fragmented by the injuries sustained throughout his developmental years. There are direct connections between his homelessness and the home in which he was raised, and the proliferating effect it had on him. Despite his attempts to break free of what appears to be generational dysfunction, he finds himself unable to do so. This excerpt from the script serves as somewhat of a mantra for the voices, as they try to help Nod in this endeavor.

“Moving on can be hard to do. They say you can leave home, but home not leave you. Some people run. They run as far as they can from where they came from. Sometimes they escape. Other times they find themselves in a loop. Back where they started. A different setting, nonetheless the same.”
 

The play is a journey through the significant moments of Nod’s life, as he loops.  Moments that drastically altered who he became - a person who sleeps on park benches, wanders, mumbles, but who in many ways isn’t so different from you and me.

On a technical note, the excellence of the ensemble cast cannot be overstated. Their collective onstage chemistry was beautiful in and of itself; they interacted with each other and the material with grace and fluidity, filling the set with themselves, with rich dialogue, with the story. The simplicity of the set design juxtaposed the cast in the same way that a canvas serves an artist.

Joshua Nava and Canaan Kagay portrayed Bowman and Alfred, respectively. Their contradicting wisdom perspectives are the push and pull with which Nod grapples throughout the play. 

Joshua Nava and Canaan Kagay portrayed Bowman and Alfred, respectively. Their contradicting wisdom perspectives are the push and pull with which Nod grapples throughout the play. 

By the final scene, Nod is prepared to release the voices from inside his head. He has done some really difficult work to get to this point. One of the most significant offerings  of this play is the idea that we live our experiences twice. We live it the first time, and then again, in memory. The power of perspective is available to us that second time around. It’s an opportunity to “hear what people aren’t saying,” to bring mercy and forgiveness to the table when you look back on the more painful memories, times when you didn’t get what you needed, or worse. In walking back through these moments, Nod is able to do just this, and through this process, he finds a new start.

Ultimately, Homeless recognizes at once the vulnerability and the strength of the human spirit. Even as an individual fragmented by the difficulties of life, Nod is able to come to a point where he finally resolves, in his mind (where the play takes place) to change his life. To break out of the loop. To leave the bench behind. To pen a new chapter. When an individual makes that kind of determination, which can only come from within, then there is actually a chance for new life. There is hope.

This internal resolve is the critical turning point, and it has to transpire independent of external influence. As Gregg reflected during the discussion panel following closing night, “It’s more powerful than an earthquake. It shakes the universe they live in, when a person makes a quiet resolve, inside, to do something.”

Written by: Kristina Kennedy Davis

Kristina Kennedy Davis has a B.A. in English Literature and teaches at a private school in Nashville. She has worked in various sectors of editing and publishing over the years, most recently as a creative consultant to the California-based publishing house Cameron + Cameron. Kristina is also a contributing editor for a local publication, The Global Voice.

Kaytek the Wizard is Performed at The Arts at Center Street

Last month, The Arts at Center Street joined with Brian Hull and his team of artists, as well as NAZA (Nashville After Zone Alliance) to bring to The Arts at Center Street an original puppet show arrangement of the 1933 children's story, Kaytek the Wizard, written by Janusz Korczak. 

Two showings of Kaytek the Wizard were donated to NAZA as an opportunity for after-school programs to bring their students to an arts event that is beyond the scope of their normal exposure. C.A.S.E. after-school program lead, Craig Duffy, heard about the puppet show and immediately claimed one show for his site location in Old Hickory. After doing so, he reached out to the Arts at Center Street to sponsor the event by donating the use of our facilities, technical director and hospitality staff to put on a show for these kids that they would not soon forget. 

Two after-school programs and children from a largely low-income neighborhood were invited to attend. Nearly 100 kids were present to experience the story of Kaytek through beautiful original music, professional acting, and detailed artistry. 

BREATHE, A New Musical. A Review by Laurie Kagay

A few months ago, I was standing in the dentist office with my three kids. I began filling out the routine paperwork. After marking “none of the above” for the litany of potential health issues children encounter, for each of my three children, something happened in me. I was filled with a deep weightiness. Three times, I thought. I just marked that my kids have no health issues three times. None. Over the years, at doctors and dentists, I’d filled out the very same paperwork without considering its significance, but on this particular day, I stood crying in the dentist office. I wasn’t sure if I felt thankful, or indebted, or something else entirely. I just know that this moment was a rare gift.

 

I thought of the many mothers who cannot mark “no health issues,” even once. The mothers that suffer through even the most routine visits, having to explain why their child can’t talk yet, or explain  a rare condition, or list surgeries their baby had bravely endured. The inconvenience of changing physicians, only to have to go through the whole story all over again. The long days of driving to see experts. I’ve never had to do any of it. And while I’m thankful to God for that, it also makes me want to do better to serve those who do have to do it, all the time.

 

Last weekend I saw BREATHE: A New Musical, written by Gregg D. Garner and performed at the Arts at Center Street. This musical did to audiences what that moment in the dentist office did to me, and more. It took viewers out of their often comfortable experiences, and into a world where kids get sick (really sick). In the play program, Garner writes that the musical is a response to his greatest fear. “The mortal blows of life experience chip away at the fortitude of youthful optimism, and as a husband of 18 years, and a father to five kids (one is due this month), I have six powerful reasons to be afraid.” Cue tears, already.

Garner, with his family of 6, pictured left to right: Xavier Qodesh, Genesis Nicole, Malayah Alexia Karise, Gregg, Tara, Bonus Baby, and Justice Tsedeq. 

Garner, with his family of 6, pictured left to right: Xavier Qodesh, Genesis Nicole, Malayah Alexia Karise, Gregg, Tara, Bonus Baby, and Justice Tsedeq. 

 

The opening song, Breathe, takes viewers on a journey from the most optimistic (and normal) morning, where everyone is hustling to get ready for work, with their concerns being where they placed their phone or coffee, to the kind of disruption no one predicts--where a child jumping rope is suddenly rushed to the ER. As a mom and visitor to the ER a time or two, it’s never the day you expect. Even with the most basic injuries (or freak accidents, in the case of my children), you’re thrown off course. Rudely reminded: life is more fragile than we realize.

 

Garner’s play incorporates a wide variety of characters: kids, their parents, a janitor, a teacher, a mom, a CEO, and a variety of hospital personnel. Each of them are touched by the same mortal blow: they don’t have control, not even the doctors... even the most talented doctor,  Morten Walker. Different characters reach for that control in different ways: vying for position, choosing sensible “realism,” or my favorite outlook, typified in Charity Walker, played by Tori Roufs. “Cher” chooses faith against the odds, even in the midst of other people telling her she needs to be more realistic with the chances. Cher is a great mom who teaches us a profound lesson: in the midst of a very complicated world, worrying will get you nowhere. Dance parties will help.

 

BREATHE was like that, constantly moving you from light hearted laughable moments to tears, with more speed than you could predict. For me, most effectively in the “Dream Song,” which was a heartbreaking look into the effect of illness on the lives of children, but sung to a quite upbeat tune with perfect dramatic touches and choreography.

BREATHE, A New Musical has a cast of 14 children, who bring a vibrant energy to the stage. Their youthful enthusiasm and joy give needed moments of comedy and rest amidst a story that is constantly compelling you to feel deeply. 

BREATHE, A New Musical has a cast of 14 children, who bring a vibrant energy to the stage. Their youthful enthusiasm and joy give needed moments of comedy and rest amidst a story that is constantly compelling you to feel deeply. 

 

I can’t say too much without giving away the story (I know the production is finished, but I’m subtly hinting that it should be picked back up, perhaps in a bigger theater since all their shows were sold out). What I can say is that it was wonderful. I was truly impressed with the talent of the cast, and most notably the lead: Skylar Aaseby, a triple threat. His relationship to his friends, his wife, and the medical professionals he works with every day was so honest and relatable, you couldn’t help but laugh. But the story is just as notable a feat as its execution, or perhaps moreso.

 

BREATHE was able to take me back to that moment in the dentist office and attribute even more significance to it. I was no longer just able to say “I’ve been so protected from my greatest fear.” Instead, I was given a window into families who deal with illness every day, as well as the notable second families (compassionate health care providers) who care for them. I gained far more than an awareness of their journey, I gained their soundtrack, their heart’s cry.

 

But there were other members of the audience much stronger than I. Mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers who know those hospital rooms too well. The cast themselves were so moved by the story that they offered personal invitations to friends and family members who’ve had to brave this journey. On any given night, there were audience members present who were able to watch their own stories play out before them on the stage: the mother of a toddler leukemia survivor, a mother of an infant with a rare genetic condition, others with chronic illness, and still more who’ve won, or lost, the battle to live. From what I witnessed, this production was a gift to them as well. As one mother told me, “When this is your everyday, there are only so many moments you can process. Most of the time, you’re just holding your breath, you’re surviving.” Garner gave these precious families a gift as well--he gave them words they may not have formed yet, he gave the world a window into their struggle. He reminded them that they have to breathe, and also to dance.

BREATHE, A New Musical celebrates the possibility for life and joy even amidst trials and suffering. The story gives voice to the stories of many who deal with very difficult situations. 

BREATHE, A New Musical celebrates the possibility for life and joy even amidst trials and suffering. The story gives voice to the stories of many who deal with very difficult situations. 

 

BREATHE was an invitation to do more than watch and think, “What if it was me?” but instead to do good on behalf of those who struggle to be well.

 

“I’m gonna do good.

I’m gonna excel.

Not for myself,

But for others to be well.”

 

We’re not all doctors, but we’re all people, capable of a compassionate touch, or a listening ear. We’re capable of walking that short journey down the hall, or down our street, or downtown, to give company to those who are dreaming of a world without pain.

Choosing to BREATHE

AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH GREGG D. GARNER, WRITER AND DIRECTOR OF BREATHE, A NEW MUSICAL

The premiere of an original 3-act musical is an event.  There is hardly a more demanding, collaborative medium of artistic expression, so the appearance of an original work of this scale makes us wonder: What impelled a group to take this on? What artistic idea was so precious that it needed to be explored and questioned and presented with all the gusto that the musical format provides?

I sat down with the director, Gregg Garner, to explore this question. I met him in the theater, days before the performance, and he was gracious enough to answer my questions in between directing the lighting technicians on how the lighting of the stage should be done. That's right. Along with writing the script and all the songs for BREATHE, along with directing the musical from start to finish, he is also the lighting designer.

"What originally inspired you to start writing this musical--was there an idea or experience?" I ask in the darkness of the theater. "Well, nothing was really coming to mind, and I don't really like to force that stuff. I like to sit and wait. But as I was waiting, nothing was really hitting me."

Gregg tells me that he had even tried to start a musical, but it had ended up in some kind of dystopian future, and it turned out to be not what he was looking for at all. That's when he decided to take a different approach. "I started to ask myself hard questions," Gregg says, "And the question I decided to ask was: What are you most afraid of?"

Three of Garner's four children are in the BREATHE cast. His daughter, Genesis, wrote on the Arts at Center Street Instagram, "Something really special about me in relation to BREATHE is that my daddy is the writer and director. I LOVVVE watching my dad direct. It's cool to watch him lead people in making BREATHE come to life. Leading has always been something my dad is really good at. And I hope with all my heart to be like him when I'm older."

Three of Garner's four children are in the BREATHE cast. His daughter, Genesis, wrote on the Arts at Center Street Instagram, "Something really special about me in relation to BREATHE is that my daddy is the writer and director. I LOVVVE watching my dad direct. It's cool to watch him lead people in making BREATHE come to life. Leading has always been something my dad is really good at. And I hope with all my heart to be like him when I'm older."

"I thought about it, and what I am most afraid of is watching people I love suffer and die. More specifically, my children." The fear was far from an abstraction for Gregg. Life had already forced the issue. Physicians had told him and his wife that his son was going to be born with a hole in his heart, and that he would live a life of immediate decline and suffering.

The BREATHE children's cast "There are fourteen of us, ages 6-14. BREATHE has been a whole other way to continue to build our friendships. We all really enjoy hanging out with each other and singing songs together on our free time. You all are going to absolutely LOVE watching us perform and act on behalf of sick kids all around the world." (Genesis Garner)

The BREATHE children's cast
"There are fourteen of us, ages 6-14. BREATHE has been a whole other way to continue to build our friendships. We all really enjoy hanging out with each other and singing songs together on our free time. You all are going to absolutely LOVE watching us perform and act on behalf of sick kids all around the world." (Genesis Garner)

"I thank God Justice was born a healthy, thriving boy."

"But when he turned 8 years old," Gregg continued, "he'd have these crazy palpitations, running into the 250s for no reason. You're so helpless in those moments."  The search for diagnosis and a solution led him back to the hospital, where he encountered other children who faced their own threatening challenges. "In the end, with Justice's situation, he ended up being part of a very low percentage of kids that could actually live with his condition."

The whole experience made Gregg confront the fear of facing something you have no power to overcome. "For me, I'm a problem solver. I look for creative alternatives for how to do the things I want to do, and I typically don't allow a 'no,' or someone's statement of impossibility, to stop me. But when it comes to mortality, that's a whole other opponent. And it doesn't matter how gifted you are: you can't skirt the power of death."

In BREATHE, Gregg created a character who faces their professional limits in a very personal way. "I decided to create a story universe where a person handles major problems with the body for his profession. And he is quite brilliant. His name is Dr. Walker. He is a well-known, world-class physician. "

"Then what happens," Gregg continued, "is that his only daughter becomes sick.  She goes from being someone who he never wanted to bring to the hospital, to someone who is now coming for treatment."

Dr. Walker has that necessary drive to overcome, to solve, but there are limits to what a human being can do. Gregg explains, "A big question I wanted to ask was: As gifted as someone can be, will they be able to identify their limits enough to recognize that to give someone their presence--to sit with someone who is suffering at the end--may be more of a gift, than the exercises of what, as with many gifted people, comes very easy."

The lead will be played by Skylar Aaseby. Because BREATHE is being put on by a theater troupe, Gregg already knew some of the talent he had to draw form.  "When I write my characters, because of the theater company, and knowing the people in it, I can write my characters to fit certain personalities."

This was true of Dr. Walker's character, "I knew Skylar Aaseby could play Dr. Walker because he's quite an innovative guy himself. He doesn't let circumstances stop him from accomplishing what he wants to do. So he knows that sensation of coming up against a wall and finding a way around it. But he's also a tender-hearted guy."

Dr. Walker, a man split between being an insuperable physician and loving father, faces a fundamental human dilemma. There is such a drive in human beings to gain mastery over life, and so much innovation has come from it, but how do we keep ourselves from losing life amidst that drive--the life that is so precious and that we ultimately, despite our best efforts, can't hold onto.

I asked Gregg what question he wants people to be discussing after seeing BREATHE. After thinking a little bit -- "Wow. I have to narrow it down to one? That's tough," he tells me. He settles on this question:  "How are we spending our time?" 

Gregg continues:  "Am I building up my knowledge base, and expending my energy, because I anticipate this moment in time when I can exert it, and overcome the obstacles and challenges that hit us in life, that challenge our well being? Or, am I going to be able to concentrate on what life is in front of me?"

"In simple terms, it’s like the decision between, Are you going to work overtime or are you going to get to your kid's baseball game? And I'm biased. I'm telling you. My bias is: get to the baseball game. And I hope this play helps more people get to the game."


BREATHE, A New Musical runs March 2nd-12th at the Arts at Center Street, with 7pm shows on Thursday-Sunday evenings, 2pm matinees on both Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays. 

BREATHE, A New Musical runs March 2nd-12th at the Arts at Center Street, with 7pm shows on Thursday-Sunday evenings, 2pm matinees on both Saturdays and 3pm on Sundays. 

Press Release: New Work from Gregg D. Garner Opens at The Arts at Center Street

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For Immediate Release 

The Arts at Center Street Presents BREATHE, A New Musical

Nashville, TN (March 3, 2017)

 

BREATHE, A New Musical is the story of a gifted doctor’s ambition to save those he loves by overcoming the limitations set in place by the administrative powers bent on making money at the hospital, while coming to the sobering realization that he can’t save everyone. Can he confront the power of death, the constraints of time, and surrender his ambitions to be present with those he loves? Or will he risk losing those last moments in order to work and possibly save them from dying?

 

BREATHE is the latest original work by Gregg D. Garner, writer and director of the recent play MENTAL and the award-winning ALIEN: Musical. BREATHE features 28 original songs and a cast of 31 actors, including members of the Center Street Theatre Co. 

Tickets are available for purchase at The Arts at Center Street website: www.theartsatcenterstreet.com

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MENTAL Receives Glowing Reviews in its 2-Weekend Run

MENTAL was met with high praise from audiences over the course of its 2-week run. The Arts at Center Street modified its venue to allow for a personal and comfortable vibe in which to view the show. Members of the Center Street Theatre Co. performed for sold-out shows, with stunning and memorable performances that left a resounding impact on viewers, who are already asking for a return of this memorable play to the Arts at Center Street stage. 

Press Release: ALIEN: The Musical is invited to Vanderbilt University

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For Immediate Release 

December 2015

ALIEN: The Musical will be featured in the Chancellor of Vanderbilt's 2015/2016 lecture series as the first event of 2016. The performance will take place January 26. The musical will be performed at Ingram Hall in the Blair School of Music, Vanderbilt Campus, Nashville, TN. There is no charge for admission. 

ALIEN: The Musical, written and directed by Gregg D. Garner, was performed in 2015 at The Arts at Center Street in Nashville, TN, in Columbus Ohio, and at TPAC's Polk Theater. The show continues to receive praise as a deeply impactful communication that resonates in a unique moment in history. 

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The Arts at Center Street Hosts its Second Open Mic Night

The Arts at Center Street will host its second open mic event Saturday, May 30, 2015. The first, titled “Odes & Odysseys,” which debuted in Spring 2014, featured our very own artist in residence, Benjamin Reese. 

When asked about his motivation as a poet, Reese said, “I write poetry because I want to use language in surprising, inventive, and meaningful ways. I want to speak something that doesn’t just communicate facts, but moves, challenges, and awakens the listener.” 

Of last year's event, reviewer Brynn Buchanan wrote, “Poetry knows no borders. It crosses cultures, genders, and generations. It can be used and shared by both the literate and illiterate. It is a medium that powerful history writers cannot commandeer, for whoever can speak an honest word can tell a poem. It was in this spirit that the night of poetry was enjoyed, and, considering such, it was quite a success.” It is in this same spirit that we continue our tradition of creating a space and a moment for poets to share their words with others.

Odes&Odysseys april 2014 (38 of 51).jpg

This year, The Arts at Center Street invites musicians and poets to perform. Benjamin Reese will return as resident featured poet, with the addition of local artist, Saran Thompson. A bilingual hip-hop artist, poet and music producer from Antioch, Tennessee, Thompson strives to write in such a way that promotes positivity and reinforces integrity with his listeners.

The Arts at Center Street Press Release: By popular demand, ALIEN: The Musical returns to the stage for 2 weekends in January 2015

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For Immediate Release

 

The Arts at Center Street premiered ALIEN: The Musical, an original production in three acts, written and directed by Gregg Garner, the first weekend in December, 2014.

 

Critical reception was overwhelming. All shows were performed to a sold out crowd and in response, The Arts at Center Street has added more shows in order to meet the demand.

 

Newly scheduled performance dates are as follows: January 3rd, 9th and 10th at 7:30 p.m., January 4th and 11th at 5 p.m. and a matinee on January 10th at 2:00 p.m. Ticket prices are $12 general admission, and may be obtained by calling (615) 541-9716 or by visiting www.theartsatcenterstreet.com.

 

ALIEN: The Musical explores, in three acts, the historical amnesia related to American immigration. The play not only examines political issues, but also the social realities connected to migration. Themes of class struggle, race, power, and generativity come to life in the intersecting stories of two families over the course of 100 years. 

 

Regarding the relevant matters he grapples with in ALIEN, local playwright Gregg Garner states: “These issues are too complicated to respond to outside the power of a narrative. Our societal failure to remember is our refusal to accept our vulnerable condition as human beings – that we’re all the same, and we all need a chance.”

 

The Arts at Center Street is a performing arts venue known for featuring local playwrights and their original works. Since opening its doors, The Arts at Center Street has hosted musical theatre, poetry readings, dance competitions and music festivals. The Arts at Center Street Theatre Co. is in its third season and has produced seven very well received productions.

 

The Arts at Center Street is one of the only arts organizations in the Old Hickory, Donelson and Hermitage areas of Nashville. Part of its mission is to bring beneficial conversation concerning very relevant issues related to the community within which it’s situated – which is especially well accomplished with this particular production. ALIEN tells the story of an Irish family who migrated to the United States in the late 1800s and struggled to make a home. Continuing into present day, descendants of this Irish family come into conflict with Latino immigrants whose story mirrors that of their ancestors.

 

ALIEN: The Musical is a heartwarming, challenging story about real people, living real life. It promises to provoke many tears, much laughter and great dialogue. Don’t miss the opportunity to see this epic production, back by popular demand!

 

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"ALIEN: The Musical" Rating - ATTN Parents

Hey PARENTS!  (SPOILER ALERT TO EVERYONE ELSE!)

Please read below for an important announcement concerning ticket purchases for our “Alien” Production.  (Spoilers revealed under the SPOILER ALERT heading below!).

ANNOUNCEMENT: Kids under 7 are not recommended to attend.

The storyline of this production is not appropriate for all ages. There are some elements and moments that are a little intense for some children. The story is of a caliber that it requires a certain level of understanding, so that a small child will need to have it explained to them.  An older child will be able to articulate questions about what they’ve seen and heard, and the viewing can an educational one.

For this reason, we are giving “ALIEN: The Musical” what the MPAA would call a Y-7 rating. This means no kids under 7 are recommended to attend. If you choose to bring your child, you will be responsible for their theater etiquette in addition to the effect the play will have on them.

We strive to produce stories with purpose that engage our audiences in real life, relevant issues. This means that sometimes our content is not appropriate for all ages. This particular production contains themes and messages children under 7 would have difficulty understanding.

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SPOILER ALERT:

The word “hell” is used in song.

The word “pissed” is used in song.

There are multiple references to alcohol, and scenes in a pub.

There are 2 euphemisms used for intimate relations.

A character dies from gun violence.

There will be two scenes, a total of 90 seconds worth, of physical violence, limited to some beating, and wrestling characters to the ground.

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We guarantee this production contains meaningful themes, and thought provoking moments that some kids will benefit from, but we concede, it is not for all kids, and you parents would know best.  We thank everyone for their understanding, and are so excited to share “Alien: The Musical” with you.

 

ALIEN Rehearsals: A Few Moments Captured

A play on paper can be a good read. You can engage a plot, learn perspectives from the characters, and be moved by the message within the text. However, when the script meets the actor, the play takes on a whole new dynamic. The character is re-written by the actor and director as they find a moving way to communicate their place in the storyline. Here are some pictures from our latest rehearsal where this synthesis of character, actor, and director are finding their place on the stage." #alienthemusical #actor #director #writing #playwright #script

The Arts at Center Street: Remembering our Beginnings

It's hard to believe that we are nearing the close of our second full season here at the Arts! As we gear up for ALIEN: The Musical (hitting the stage December 5-7, 2014), I can't help but remember our first “Evening of One Act Plays," which had its debut around this time of year, December 2013. The show was a hit! After attending the Saturday matinee, some people immediately bought tickets to return to see the evening showing. I was flummoxed, standing on the other side of a long season of hard work, to see that my efforts, and those of my colleagues, had produced something that was not only enjoyable, but so impactful for our audiences that they wanted to soak in the experience twice - in one day!

This is the kind of experience I hope to bring to all who cross the threshold of the Arts at Center Street. We seek to provide you not just with entertainment, but with an experience that will move, challenge and inspire you. Though a "play" is indeed play in so many respects, we take seriously our goal to make our theater productions available to all demographics, to break the mold that says quality theater is reserved for the elite, and to push the boundaries on what "community" theatre can produce. 

Join us in this journey, and throughout our exciting 2014/15 season! 

 

Kim Ownby, featured in "In the Dark," written by Deborah Nava and Gregg Garner, December 2013.

Kim Ownby, featured in "In the Dark," written by Deborah Nava and Gregg Garner, December 2013.

Seth Davis, Brett Madron and Brittany Girton, featured in "The Arch Imperial," written and directed by Benjamin Reese, December 2013.

Seth Davis, Brett Madron and Brittany Girton, featured in "The Arch Imperial," written and directed by Benjamin Reese, December 2013.

"It's Elementary" closed "A Night of One Acts" with a bang! This original musical, written and directed by Gregg Garner, was performed with a live band. It was a blast! 

"It's Elementary" closed "A Night of One Acts" with a bang! This original musical, written and directed by Gregg Garner, was performed with a live band. It was a blast! 

Written by: Sara Davis 


The Arts at Center Street  |  401 Center St  |  Nashville, TN 37138  |  (615) 541-9716