Nashville, Tenn. – One hundred years later, the great ship Titanic still has the ability to deliver a surprise or two. The cast and crew of Nashville’s Circle Players learned this first-hand while preparing for a return engagement of Titanic the Musical, April 5-8, at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Polk Theatre. The ship allowed a new surprise to rise to the surface when one of the play’s cast members learned of her own family’s unexpected connection to the shipwreck.
The return of the Tony Award-winning musical to Nashville is made possible through the sponsorship of Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge as part of the museum’s 100th anniversary tribute to passengers and crew aboard RMS Titanic.
“It is easy to believe the Titanic is a story about a ship,” says John Joslyn, co-owner of Titanic Museum Attractions and co-leader of the first private expedition to the ship’s final resting place. “In reality, it is the stories of her passengers and crew that captivate us. We use first-person stories and artifacts to tell those stories everyday at the museum. The musical brings those stories to life right before our eyes.”
“On the 100th anniversary of the ship’s maiden voyage, the play is a fitting way to pay tribute to the lives changed forever by Titanic,” said Joslyn.
Circle Player cast member Jennifer Kleine discovered her family was one of those changed forever by the disaster. While researching her role for the musical, Jennifer Kleine learned a distant relative was among the survivors rescued after the ship struck an iceberg in April, 1912. The infant relative, Trevor Allison, was the sole survivor of his family thanks to the efforts of his nanny to get him to a lifeboat. The boy’s parents and sister perished in the disaster and baby Trevor was left in the care of relatives in Canada. These relatives were the great-great aunt and uncle of the actress.
“My father remembers his grandmother telling him stories about the ‘Titanic baby’ raised by the family,” said Kleine. “And now, a century later I have the chance in my own way to tell my family’s story along with the stories of all the families touched by Titanic.”
“The actual events of Titanic may have taken place 100 years ago, but the drama and emotions are just as relevant to our 21st century lives,” said Tim Larson, the play’s director. “In every age, we look to technology to prove our progress as a civilization. When that technology fails, we are left with the question of whether we will allow the failure to define our generation or if we will build anew. Titanic the Musical is a chance to look at the different ways we all react to that dilemma.”
A cast of more than 60 local actors and surprise celebrity walk-ons will take the stage at the James K. Polk Theatre to perform the Tony Award-winning musical. The musical will be performed nightly from April 5-8 with a matinee performance also scheduled for Saturday, April 7. As part of the centennial tribute to Titanic, the Circle Players will also host a gala dinner at the 100-year-old Hermitage Hotel on opening night, April 5. The dinner will include a presentation by John Joslyn about his expedition to Titanic.
Tickets for Titanic the Musical are currently available from the TPAC Box Office in downtown Nashville (505 Deaderick), by phone at 615-782-4040 or online at www.tpac.org. Tickets for the April 5 opening night gala dinner are sold separately on the Circle Players’ venue page at www.ticketsnashville.com.
Additional sponsorship of the 100th anniversary performance of Titanic the Musical is provided by First Tennessee Bank, the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee and Nashville Parent Magazine.
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About Circle Players: Founded in 1949, Circle Players is Nashville’s oldest community theater company and completely staffed and operated by volunteers. The non-profit organization is community-based, and focuses on arts participation and arts access for all. Circle Players was the first theater company in Tennessee to stage Titanic the Musical, one of the most popular productions in the company’s history. For additional information about Circle Players visit www.circleplayers.net or call (615) 332-7529.
About Titanic Museum Attractions: Titanic Museum Attractions operates the world’s largest permanent monuments to the history of the ship, its passengers and crew. With locations in Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, the museums house the largest permanent collection of Titanic artifacts. The museum is open daily at 9 a.m. Reservations are strongly suggested since many days sell out entirely. Passengers may purchase tickets online at www.titanicattraction.com or by phone at (800) 381-7670.
Media: For interview opportunities or images, please contact Rick Laney at Ackermann PR, (865) 584-0550 or Amanda Saad at the Andrews Agency, (615) 242-4400.