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Parks and Recreation

The Theater Division

The Theater Division of the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation offers a wide variety of experiences in the theater arts. While our offices are located in the Centennial Arts Activity Center, our reach extends to other locations and parks sites as well, including our own Z.Alexander Looby Theater and the Centennial Black Box Theater.

Class Offerings

Actors at Rehearsal at Looby Theater

Currently there are no class offerings, but we anticipate new offerings in the near future.

History Through the Eyes of the Performing Arts

actorsCoordinating with other Parks' Departments, the Theater Division brings history and nature to the stage, allowing an enriched arts experience for all. Some of our past collaborations have been resulted in projects such as "My Soul As A Witness" (written by Nashville's Thomas Heine, directed by John Holleman) which was performed at Fort Negley, and "Signs of a New Day: The Z.Alexander Looby Story" (written and directed by Carolyn German) performed at the Z. Alexander Looby Theater. Programs such as these are presented using professional actors, and are appropriate for family audiences.

Special Focus on Youth Programming

Through the year we offer classes in the theater arts, taught by a combination of our own staff members as well as guest instructors. Our theater classes currently tend to focus on opportunities for ages 6 - 14. Additionally, our most popular program brings a focus on the Performance aspect of theatre with our Young Performers Program. This includes our Summer Musical, which is presented as a fully-staged production in June of each year. More the realm of ages 12 - 18*, the process includes afternoon and weekend rehearsals in May, and full-day rehearsals in early June. (Particiapants who are ages 8-12 will be considered based on the individual's readiness for this intensive program).

Vocalist Delaney AmatrudoWe also have a strong vocal-performance focus for our young singers. Our vocalists learn the intricacies of solo vocal performance, working with both our professional staff and local professional Music Directors. Our innovative "Cabarets at Two Rivers Mansion" series sparked a flurry of interest in vocal performance for young singers in an intimate setting. We now continue the series in our Centennial Black Box Theater. And we also continue our outreach by working with other organizations to bring our performers to a broader public. Some of our past "outreach" performances have been for "Celebrate Nashville Cultural Festival" and "TPAC Education's Arts Appetizer".

Centennial Black Box New Play Reading Series

Now in our fourth year, the New Play Reading Series continues to encourage new work by provided the theater space for the reading of a new play or musical. Each month (except June and December) our partners at the Nashville Dramaturgy Project and the Actor's Reading Room coordinate the details to bring audience and creator together. The series honors the labor-of-love process that is required to get a new piece of theater through the necessary stages, so that it will eventually be ready for a full-scale production. The New Play Reading Series is currently coordinated by Jaz Dorsey, whose years of experience allow for a selection of material that covers a broad range, from comedy to drama, from mainstream to the avant-garde. Playwrights who would like to be considered for the series may do so by sending a preliminary request to the Metro Parks Theater Department at the link below.

Theater News

  • Update: LYNNE ROTHROCK our Featured Artist at the Centennial Black Box - new show date! September 21, 7pm. 615-509-0247 for tickets.
  • New Workshop: "Basic Stage Make-up" with JoyTilley-Perryman. $75 includes supplies dates below
  • Basic Stage Make-up offered twice this fall: Aug 23 , or Sept 13 10am-1pm; Reserve: 615-509-0247
  • NEW CLASSES! Fall 14 Theater Schedule available now
  • "Open Studio"program. Aug 18-21 and Aug 25-28, 2014 (9am-2pm). Open Studio Guidelines
  • New Play Reading Series continues! Next reading: Sept 15, 7pm Free
  • Submissions now being taken for professional vocalists for our "Featured Cabaret Artist" in the CBB Featured Artist Cabaret Guidelines