The Education Program

I don’t believe there could be any performing arts company that could satisfy my love for the arts any better than the Tennessee Shakespeare Company.

– Caitlyn Knot, 11th Grade, Middle College High

Tennessee Shakespeare Company has been all of the things I want a community partnership to be…efficient, effective, educational.

– Ted Horrell, Principal, Germantown High School

It is imperative that students are given good first experiences with Shakespeare.  So much of the time they are turned off by having to “only read” the plays or they see less than stellar performances.  My students were entranced and delighted and asking for more.  They were on the edge of their seats.  I think that I enjoyed watching them as much as I enjoyed watching the performers.

– Ann Lane Neal, Director of Theatre Arts, St. Agnes Academy

My students never dreamed they could get so excited about “schoolwork.” Shakespeare moved out of the realm of schoolwork and into the realm of things they “love.” The themes and issues became real for them in their own present day world—relevant, you could say.

– Julia Goodwin, Bartlett HS

We are here to serve and play:  to be YOUR Shakespeare Company, because you deserve one, because Shakespeare is for everyone, regardless of your age, gender, color, knowledge, home life, grades, or aspirations.  Shakespeare is all questions.  And there are no wrong answers.  We promise to be a welcoming place for you to meet and explore these great plays with players and audiences who care about you and this community.

The Mission

To move the arts closer to the center of every child’s learning experience.

We are called:

  • To bring as many children as possible to experience live Shakespeare.
  • To revive our sense of play, discovery, and community with classical stories that demand retelling and in-depth explorationby learners of every age.
  • To offer residencies and workshops for classrooms statewide.
  • To offer one-third of our professionally produced performances of Shakespeare as specially priced student matinee events.
  • To bring professional actors into the educational setting and introduce playing into the study of Shakespeare, lifting powerful words and characters from the page and into the souls of children.
  • To offer intensive Shakespeare Player Training and fun Shakespeare World-of-the-Play immersion opportunities for your students in the summer.
  • To support and train teachers to activate our youth with playing Shakespeare.

The Promise:

We are going to arm children with Shakespeare’s canon in the Renaissance of their lives.  They will learn better, listen more intently, care for one another, create compassion, enjoy one anothers’ successes, support one anothers’ failures, and articulate how they feel.  Their grades will get better, they will stay in school longer, and they will be far less likely to become violent and poverty-stricken.  These are studied and published facts the Mid-South can take advantage of, and at the national level they are the direct results of the arts moving closer to the center of the learning experience.
– Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Dan McCleary


We will be the Mid-South’s Shakespeare Educational resource center: a center for inquiry, for play, and for empowerment.  Together, we will keep our promise and make our dream come true.


TSC’s Players in Education

Stephanie Shine, Education Director

Stephanie Shine

Stephanie Shine (Co-Productions and Education Director; Director/Adaptor of Rebel Shakespeare and His Women and A Christmas Memory; Director of the Mid-South Schools Tour; Asst. Stage Manager for Macbeth and The Tempest) spent 18 years with Seattle Shakespeare Company, 13 as Artistic Director, before departing in June of 2011 to join her husband in Memphis and the staff of Tennessee Shakespeare Company.  For Seattle Shakespeare, she directed 17 productions, including The Threepenny Opera, Cyrano de Bergerac, and the lauded all-male Taming of the Shrew.   Her other directorial credits include Romeo and Juliet for Tennessee Shakespeare Company, Taming of the Shrew and The Comedy of Errors for Colorado Shakespeare Festival; I Am of Ireland (which she also conceived and adapted) for Book-It Repertory Theatre; Love’s Labor’s Lost for Cornish College of the Arts; A Christmas Carol (also adapted) for Bainbridge Performing Arts; Romeo and Juliet for Seattle University, When the Messenger is Hot for Theater Schmeater, and the international award-winning one-woman Marilyn Monroe Biopic, Marilyn: Forever Blonde.  A well-known actress in the Northwest, she has performed for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT, The Empty Space, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and Tacoma Actors Guild.  Regionally, she appeared with the Oregon and New Jersey Shakespeare Festivals, Houston’s Alley Theatre, Arizona Theatre Company, and NYC’s Theatre for a New Audience.  Her Shakespeare roles include Juliet, Rosalind, Lady Macbeth, Beatrice, Regan, Feste, Kate, Bianca, Dionyza, The Princess of France, Hero, Perdita, and most recently The Chorus in Henry V.  Ms. Shine is the newly appointed Artistic Director of the robust young company Shakespeare Walla Walla in Washington State, and she is the lucky mother of Conor, Cahilan, Sullivan, and Collins.


Slade Kyle, Education Manager and Resident Artist

Slade Kyle

Slade Kyle is a founding company member of Tennessee Shakespeare Company.  TSC credits: As You Like It (Oliver, Fight Choreographer), A Midsummer Nights Dream(Puck, Fight Director), Othello (Fight Director), Themes on a Midsummer Night (Puck), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio/Prince Escalus/Gregory/Friar John, Fight Director), Macbeth (Malcom, Fight Director), Romeo and Juliet (Mercutio/Friar Lawrence/Abram/Peter, Fight Director), The Tempest (Fight Director), The Glass Menagerie (Tom).  Slade directed Germantown High School students in Prelude Scenes performed prior to each performance of Julius Caesar, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and The Tempest.  Memphis theatre credits include Metamorphoses (Orpheus/Eros – regional premier), tick,tick…BOOM! (Michael – first non-Equity production), Assassins (John Wilkes Booth), The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (El-Fayoumy), Parade (Gov. Jack Slayton), Much Ado About Nothing (Don John), The Writer’s Block(Cullen – originated), The Serpent (Cain). Mid-South credits include: Pandora’s Box (Zeus), You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown (Snoopy) and Lucky Stiff (Harry). A former SEWA Professional Wrestler (two-time Tag Team Champion, Light Heavyweight title holder, organization-wide Fight Choreographer), Slade is well versed in many forms of Stage Combat and serves as TSC’s resident Fight Director.  Other Fight Directing credits include: The Beaux StratagemFencesTom Jones, and the Harry Potter’s World Exhibition Tour (American Library Association).  Slade graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Memphis with his BFA in Theatre Performance with concentrations in Physical Theatre and Theatre Pedagogy.  Slade has been a regular Teaching-Artist at Playhouse on the Square, Theatre Memphis, The Delta Arts Council, New Day Children’s Theatre, and numerous other theatres, schools and conferences throughout the Mid-South. His teaching specialties include Stage Combat, Shakespeare’s Text, and Mask Performance. Directing credits:Dear Edwina (New Day Children’s Theatre); The Imaginators (Delta Arts Council).  Slade has also appeared on television (Fred’s, AFRTS, Last One Standing), film (Stained, Disturbed, Ritter), in print (Nashville Style, Jackson Sun), and on the runway (Macy’s, Clairol, Bugle Boy).


Dan McCleary, Founding and Producing Artistic Director (click here for bio)