Writer's Stage was founded in 2007 to provide opportunities for literary and performing artists to create and develop new works in front of a live audience. Our mission to support and nurture the development of new work from diverse artists and to build new audiences through the following objectives:
-- to present and encourage new and experimental work in performance art, literature, dance, and music by providing opportunities for emerging and established artists to develop this new work in a safe, supportive environment.
-- to discover the needs and interests of artists of color by providing a venue in which cultural, personal, and societal issues may be explored and addressed.
Writer's Stage is committed to maintaining an intimate yet relaxed environment, while providing a serious laboratory for literary artists from Tennessee. Writer's Stage is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and contributions may be tax deductable.
Funding for staged reading programs and world premiere productions have been drastically cut across America, effectively silencing a generation of playwrights and performing artists who would otherwise bring life and voice to new works.
Writer's Stage, Nashville's newest theatrical production company has embarked upon a journey to revolutionize the American Theater experience for artists and audiences alike. Please support a future world premiere production of 21 Baker Road and other NewVoices productions. Now you can own all of the memorable melodies from 21 Baker Road on this limited edition soundtrack CD.
Simply make a $100.00 tax-deductible donation to the production of 21 Baker Road and we'll send you an autographed copy for your collection. Use Paypal or send a check with your tax-deductible contribution. Please include your name and address. This limited edition soundtrack CD of 21 Baker Road is not available anywhere else. Thank you for your support. Writer's Stage is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) and contributions may be tax deductible.
The staff of Writer's Stage will contact you with more details when purchasing the premium packages. For more information call 615-636-9177
"A Terrible Lie" Tickets
Performances - November 16th through 20st - 7:30pm
A Small Business Sponsorship in the "A Terrible Lie" program
$500 per sponsorship
A Star is Born
Walk right on! A walk on role with two lines of dialogue as part of "A Terrible Lie" There will only be six packages so get them quick.
Product placement for your business
We'll prominently place your business's logo on set for all to see. Each package entitles you to show your company logo during all six performances as well as during all 100 hours of public workshop.
A working lunch for two at the Palm Restaurant.
Join Barry Scott and Jim Reyland as they discuss the creation of "A Terrible Lie".
Theater spaces in Nashville can be hard to find. Most are too expensive for small companies and the rest are either already tapped by resident groups or scheduled way into the future. When Barry and I started looking for a space to do STUFF, we thought that perhaps starting from scratch was the way to play it. The old ‘my dad has a barn idea.’
Friends of our, Steve Armistead and Bill Barkley are successful developers here in Nashville. Possibly they had an old building we could use? As it turns out they did. 1008 Charlotte Ave was scheduled for the wrecking ball at some point in the future. Due to Bill and Steve’s kindness, it was now ours to use.
Now the hard part, we would literally tear down hundreds of partitions and move as many desk and chairs. Clear the ceiling for the lights and sound, build a control room and clean two years of dust and grim from the old boat. (It kind looks like a ship from the front) Paint and replace the awning in the front and hang banners inviting the world, however briefly to our new theatre space. It has been months and many hours of work to be ready Dec 4th for the world première of STUFF.
In the next year or so Writer’s Stage and the American Negro Playwright Theater, headed by its artistic director Barry Scott, will produce plays; hold workshops and offer student instruction for as many as possible. We will work hard to be good stewards of our gift until the bull dozers arrive.
For more than a decade, Jim Reyland has passionately pursued the life of a playwright—an endeavor that’s taught him plenty about fortitude and resilience in the face of disappointment. Ever determined, Reyland now draws on his own experiences as a dramatist to found Writer’s Stage, a new nonprofit theater company whose main goal is to serve as an advocacy organization for Tennessee-based playwrights.
“Writer’s Stage is about the playwright—an individual I totally understand,” says Reyland. “I understand the frustration, the bitterness, the politics of everything he or she runs into. I understand how they feel on a daily basis, because I have felt it for the last 10 years. I’m trying to take what I feel and say to playwrights, ‘Look, keep writing. Keep producing. Don’t let ‘em knock you down. Don’t let ‘em bowl you over. Don’t be mad, don’t be bitter—but instead write your best piece.’ ”
Reyland has had his share of encouragement and modest success. He’s completed seven one-act and full-length plays and three musicals. His first production was “Stuff” in 1999 at Nashville’s Belcourt Theatre. In 2006, his “Shelter”, a play about life among the homeless, was produced at Tennessee State University. On March 1, 2008, at Belmont University’s Troutt Theater, Reyland’s musical “21 Baker Road” receives a formal staged reading under the direction of noted actor Barry Scott.
But Reyland also knows the downside of the lonely playwright’s life, having pounded his head against the literary theatrical gatekeepers, and having received his share of polite, if only occasionally helpful, rejection letters.
“It occurred to me,” he says, “that there must be other writers in Tennessee who are in the same boat—looking for that developmental vehicle that allows them to get their pieces read, workshopped and maybe eventually produced. That’s the lifeblood of a playwright. If you can’t hear your play out loud, then it’s just a stack of papers. It’s a long, hard road, and anytime you can get a positive response—some note of encouragement, because someone actually read your play—those little victories make you want to sit down and write again.”
With a strong Web presence to help link the playwriting community through feedback and forums, Writer’s Stage—incorporated in Nov. 2007 as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit arts organization—will also strive to lay a foundation for fundraising to support future projects.
“Ultimately,” says Reyland, “we’d like to position Writer’s Stage as a developmental theater—a farm system if you will—for new works. We want this to be a regular, ongoing thing, where new plays can be read on a monthly basis—with good actors and in front of an audience.”
Reyland also foresees Writer’s Stage entering into collaborative arrangements with other theater companies. “If we have this play, and it resonates, and we’ve read it and see its value, then we’d invite other theater companies to have a listen. We need to see if we can merge both the funds and the energy to help playwrights get off square one and take things to the next level.”
Reyland has co-owned a successful audio production company on Nashville’s Music Row for years. But the theater is where his heart is. “It’s the most exciting and compelling medium to work in,” he says. “It’s the last pure art form there is, and I really believe that. Everything else can be duplicated, everything else can be mass-produced and distributed and manipulated. But theater’s right there, it’s happening right in front of you—and when its over, you’ve been touched and you’ll never be the same.”
In the music biz, it all starts with a song. In the theater, the play’s the thing, and that’s where Writer’s Stage comes in. “I don’t want to lose playwrights because they don’t at least have a place to hear what they’ve done,” says Reyland. “Writer’s Stage is about providing that platform, or basic starting point, to writers, because I know how they feel, and I’m trying to use whatever background or connections I have to encourage their craft.”