NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The education program of the Tennessee Performing Arts Center (TPAC) will present “Me and My Shadow” for family audiences at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14. This lighthearted work from the award-winning Patch Theatre Company in Australia, celebrates the natural curiosity and creativity of children as they explore their world. Tickets for the 45-minute performance in TPAC’s James K. Polk Theater are $8 for children 10 and under and $12 for adults. They are available now at TPAC.org, by phone at 615-782-4040, and in person at the TPAC Box Office, 505 Deaderick Street, in downtown Nashville.
With fantastical imagery, quirky physical performances, and an intriguing musical score, “Me and My Shadow” creates sensory experiences that appeal to both the young and the young at heart. In a playground of paper, light, music, and color, a whimsical story about childhood friendship comes to life when one young girl meets a particularly sly and silly fellow – her shadow. Specifically crafted with younger kids in mind, its deceptively clever staging delights audiences of all ages.
Geared to children ages four through eight, the play has been equally well-received by older children and adults, reviewed as “a feast for the eyes that reaches straight, crystal clear to the hearts of all ages,” in Australia’s Db Review.
“I loved seeing how young children responded to this play when I watched the performance,” said Sherri Leathers, TPAC Education’s director of programming. “There’s a huge, dynamic range from the children who sometimes laugh out loud and then, in a moment, are moved to total silence. The piece engages them in the action and the story, holding their complete attention. Older children and adults also enjoyed the show. They appreciate the high production values, especially the acting and the technical effects, which are at times mind-boggling and spectacular.”
“Me and My Shadow” is one of the shows featured in TPAC Education’s “Annual Season for Young People,” bringing students from across the state to TPAC and providing curriculum connections, study guides, and lesson plans to teachers. TPAC selected the play for a public performance because of the unique quality of the work, the international reputation of the company, according to Leathers. “In addition to working closely with Nashville arts organizations on our season for student audiences, we bring different styles of performing arts to TPAC that people might not otherwise have the opportunity to experience,” she said. “Incredible work is produced here in Nashville and throughout Tennessee. On occasion, it’s fun to see what’s being produced, or what’s popular in Australia and other countries. Their work broadens our perspectives.”
Touring in Australia and internationally for more than two decades, Patch Theatre Company has a diverse repertoire of productions for children and their families. Based in Adelaide, South Australia, the company has presented over 100 new productions to more than 1.6 million children and their families since 1972. At the International Performing Arts for Youth Showcase (IPAY) in 2013, Me and My Shadow won the top prize, the prestigious Victor Award.
A limited number of “pay what you can” tickets are available at the TPAC Box Office through the day of the performance. With a minimal contribution to TPAC Education, patrons may gain admission for up to eight people based on an honor system of what they can afford to pay. The production of Me and My Shadow has been assisted by the Australian Government through the Australia Council, its arts funding and advisory body.
Institutional sponsors for TPAC include Nissan North America, and Coca-Cola. TPAC is funded in part by support from the Tennessee Arts Commission and the Metropolitan Nashville Arts Commission. TPAC reminds ticket buyers that the only official place to buy tickets online is TPAC.org.