Arts & Culture: The Brains Behind TPAC

Sep 06, 2022 at 02:36 pm by RMGadmin

BY Amelia Rose Smith
Jennifer Turner has served as President and CEO of Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) since May 2019. TPAC, located in downtown Nashville, “Administers one of the largest and most comprehensive arts education programs in the United States, serving students from pre-school to high school, educators and adults” – an enormous undertaking for one person. But, when her predecessor, Kathleen O’Brien, announced her retirement, Jennifer saw a fantastic opportunity to broaden her career in the growing city of Nashville!
Before coming to TPAC, Jennifer served as the Executive Vice President and Managing Director for Segerstrom Center for the Arts, located in Southern California. In addition, Jennifer has held roles at Harper College, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Michigan Opera Theatre and was the Chief Operating Office for Auditorium Theater, The National Historic Landmark in Chicago. Jennifer credits her success in these impressive roles to her undergraduate studies at Michigan State University and a Master of Public Administration/Nonprofit Management from Roosevelt University. But her true passion and success are rooted in her love for performing and cultural arts.
After three years on the team – and a pandemic in the middle – Jennifer is proud to present a remarkable 2022–2023 season that reaches beyond Broadway shows. The team at TPAC has worked to curate a package that appeals to a broad demographic, presenting a new theater series including dance, family shows and TPAC’s Inaugural Theater series, Perspectives - indeed a show for all! 
So, without further ado, here is the 2022 – 2023 non-Broadway programming lineup at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. 

2022–23 Non-Broadway Schedule

Inaugural Theater Series: Perspectives
A three-show series of dramatic theatre performances will begin with RHAPSODY IN BLACK, a one-man show by LeLand Gantt that is a powerful, personal narrative about racism, identity and self-image. The show follows his life story from an underprivileged childhood in the ghettos of McKeesport, Pennsylvania, to teenage experiments with crime and drugs, to scholastic achievement and an acting career that lands adult LeLand in situations where he is virtually the only African American in the room. This show will run the weekend of September 23rd – 25th, 2022. 
Next in the series lineup is a creative, nonfiction show called WHY WOULD I MISPRONOUNCE MY OWN NAME?. The show follows Irma Herrera’s journey from a small, segregated South Texas town to California’s multicultural mecca. The story is shaped around the moment when she says her name in its correct Spanish pronunciation and some people assume she is not a REAL American. Catch the show’s premiere at TPAC, February 10th – 12th, 2023! 
The Perspectives theater series will finish up with 17 BORDER CROSSINGS. The story takes the audience on a trip around the world using only lighting, shadows, comedy, drama and cheap magic. “Award-winning theater director, designer and raconteur Thaddeus Phillips weaves a dramatic, visual and surreal examination of imaginary lines, arbitrary passports and curious customs.” The show will run next summer, June 23rd – 25th, 2023. 
International Dance Series 
The International Dance Series will kick off January 27th - 28th, 2023 with Momix’s ALICE!. This show, inspired by Lewis Carroll’s classic “Alice in Wonderland,” showcases acrobatics, illusion and magic. Join the company on a mind-bending adventure, as ALICE! encounters time-honored characters including, the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, Caterpillar and a variety of other surprises that only Momix can provide.
Next, Ballet Hispanico presents DOÑA PERÓN, an explosive portrait of one of the most controversial yet recognizable women in Argentinian history, Eva “Evita” Perón. This ballet brings to light the extremes of power at the forefront of Evita’s life. The audience  will see over eighty costumes in this world premiere; With beautiful costuming by Marc Eric, choreography by Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, music by Peter Salem, as well as lighting, set and video design by Christopher Ash, this is a performance you will not want to skip.
To close out the International Dance Series, Scotland’s acclaimed national dance company, The Scottish Ballet, brings the riveting retelling of the Salem witch trials with THE CRUCIBLE. After its 2019 sell-out premier and a 2022 London run, this conspicuous ballet is returning in 2023 with a tour to only two theaters in the United States, TPAC and Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.). Helen Pickett’s choreography and the Scottish Ballet Orchestra take you along a village’s witch hunt through a powerful ballet presentation. 
Family Series
The Family Series will begin on February 25th, 2023, with Acoustic Rooster’s BARNYARD BOOGIE: Starring Indigo Blume. “New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander brings two of his beloved children’s books—Acoustic Rooster and Indigo Blume—to the stage in a world premiere Kennedy Center commission.” 
On the 29th of April 2023, for one day only, join Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria as they bound out of the zoo and onto the stage in this live musical spectacular, MADAGASCAR THE MUSICAL. DreamWorks, producer of Shrek the Musical, presents this brand-new musical that will leave the audience with no choice but to “Move it, Move it” in the renowned Andrew Jackson Hall.
BLUEY’S BIG PLAY is a theatrical adaption of the Emmy Award-winning children’s television series Bluey. The show tells an original story by creator Joe Brumm, and new music by Bluey composer Joff Bush. Join Bluey and Bingo as they pull out all the games and cleverness to get Dad off the bean bag and up, having fun! Don’t miss this brand-new show at TPAC next summer, June 3rd – 4th, 2023!

For more information and additional theater series, visit or call the box office at 615.782.4040.