Rutherford Arts Alliance (RAA) recently presented their first “Theater Crawl” at Oaklands Mansion featuring a number of new and old theater groups in Rutherford County. During the evening, there were performances by Murfreesboro Little Theatre, Consider This Theater Company, Bravo Boro, Acteeng Theatre Group, BoroTellers Hague, Ghost Light Studio, Candace Corrigan, and Count Drahoon’s Feature of Fright. There were also food trucks.
The Theater Crawl offered different stations around the grounds of Oaklands Mansion where each theater company presented selections from current, past, and future productions that were fun for everyone from the avid theater goer to the newbie. At every station, the audience was enthralled by what was offered. Over a three-hour period, guests had the opportunity to see snippets from all of the groups, as well as meet the actors. They also learned a little about the growing theater scene in the county, which is in the process of reopening after being closed down by COVID-19. Presentations included radio theater, comedy, horror, fantasy, drama, music, and storytelling.
“I came because I love to watch theater,” said Jennifer Robers. “They have done a great job.”
Murfreesboro Little Theatre is one of the oldest volunteer-run theater companies in the state of Tennessee. It was started in 1962 by a dedicated group of theater lovers with the play “Anniversary Waltz”. Currently homeless, they have presented plays everywhere from the old log cabin that was recently torn down by the city to the theater at the Center for the Arts to the hearse carport behind Woodfin’s Memorial Chapel when it was located downtown. They are currently performing “Spirit Level” at the Mills-Pate Art Center on Old Nashville Highway in Murfreesboro.
The Mills-Pate Art Center is also the home of the Consider This Theater Company. Organized in 2009, this company has been a gypsy group for many years before settling where they are now. Their productions consist of a mixture of comedy, drama, murder mystery, musicals and talent showcases. In December, they will be doing “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe”.
Rutherford County’s newest community theater is called Bravo Boro. They call themselves “community theater for the community.” For their second season, they will be presenting “Dracula” in February and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” in April.
Acteeng Theatre Group is for … yep, teens. They performed a 15-minute version of “The Laramie Project”. The group is dedicated to producing “Age-Relevant Art” that puts teens and their issues center stage.
Boro Tellers have long been involved with Haunted Murfreesboro at Halloween. Diana Hague shared a few of the stories the group tells for various events in town, including Uncle Dave Macon Days. Telling a story that keeps audiences engaged is quite a talent.
Another new theater group is Ghost Light Studio. They will be producing plays and teaching acting classes for kids serious about pursuing theater as a career very soon in a facility on Almaville Road in Smyrna.
Just listen for the lovely warbling voice at local events and you will have found Candace Corrigan. She plays at various events, including the annual tree ornament announcement every year at Country Gourmet.
Radio and vampires go together like, well like nothing you have seen before. Count Drahoon is the creation of local actor Taylor Gentry, who is also the instigator of this event. Gentry has been interested in acting for as long as he can remember. And he’s also long been a fan of classic horror. He put the two together to create the Count Drahoon Feature of Fright podcast.
It ended up being a great night for all. Shane Lowery with Murfreesboro Little Theatre said, “We expected there to be breaks, but the audiences have been steady and we have so far performed our selection three times back to back, and more to go.”
“We’ve had a great crowd,” said RAA Board Member Carol McCauley.
Added event chairman Taylor Gentry, “I thought it went very well…I’d like to see it happen again next year.”