As small businesses on Main Streets across America are working to find new ways to keep doors open and employees employed during this pandemic season, one business on our own Main Street right here in Franklin, The Franklin Theatre, could possibly be the poster child for our #KeepItGoing initiative.
Like so many other businesses, the theater is currently dark, but the marquee stays lit. It’s a bright, beautiful reminder that the show will go on.
This is an unprecedented time for us all as we have been forced to navigate through some tough changes. But if there’s anything that has the power to heal and bring us together again it’s music and the arts.
Thanks to months of hard work late last year by theater Director Paul T. Couch and his team, individual show tickets go on sale TODAY for the venue’s 2020-21 Performing Arts Season. Beginning in September of this year and running through next Spring, this new season will bring a whole new type of entertainer – and audience member — to the theater.
“The theater has done a good job of appealing to a specific audience, and that isn’t going to change, but this is our opportunity to make this theater available to a wider audience,” Couch said. “Our new season is a chance for families to do things together and for theater patrons to see things in the theater they’ve never seen before. This theater is called the ‘crown jewel’ of Main Street, but these performances are going to allow us to really showcase what that represents.”
The 15 individual shows that are on sale as of today include The Great Performances series, The Celebration of Dance series and The Family Spotlight series. Dates for each of the shows can be found at the end of this blog with additional detail at www.franklintheatre.com.
The tickets going on sale today (which was planned before the word pandemic was part of our current vocabulary) carry with them such a deeper meaning than just the seats that will be filled when patrons buy tickets. They symbolize that life will get back to a time where we can gather in groups and do things like experience live shows and performances again.
Although there won’t be a show in the theater tonight, or this weekend, or next week, there will be shows here again before we know it. The doors will open. The spotlight will shine. The popcorn aroma will waft down the halls and the performers will prepare in the green room anticipating the curtain going up.
Many of the theater’s live music performances that were originally planned for this month and next have thankfully been rescheduled. Couch said performers, managers and everyone involved in booking tours has been eager to find new dates in lieu of a cancellation. In fact, he went on to say there has been more ‘tangible camaraderie’ in the tour business right now than there’s ever been.
That’s also a strong reminder that the show will go on. In addition, Couch said many ticket holders have been more than willing to keep their tickets for the rescheduled dates with very few refunds being given. Patrons also know the show will go on and they are eagerly anticipating the chance to experience it.
“Our theater, like most in this industry, has a policy that once you have bought a ticket, you’ve bought it and we don’t typically offer refunds,” Couch said. “But we feel that during this time, while we encourage people to hold on to their tickets for the rescheduled performances, if they are at all uncertain and would prefer a refund, we are honoring that preference out of respect for their concerns. We want the relationship with our audience to be built on that kind of trust. We know they’ll be back soon enough.”
As Couch walked the halls of the dark theater this week just checking to make sure everything in the old building was still functioning properly, he envisioned the space in its element. Patrons bustling to their seats. Instruments being tuned. Excitement and anticipation filling the air.
“I think it’s important for people to think of this theater as what it’s going to be as opposed to what it is right now,” he said.
“I don’t think of the theater as dark.
I think of it as waiting to open.”
All the things this theater has ever meant to downtown, Williamson County and the visitors who have come here, it will continue to mean to them and so much more to so many more people.
Hopefully this spirit of ‘waiting to reopen’ as opposed to being ‘closed’ can permeate to everyone on Main Street and beyond. Because we are a strong community and we will #KeepItGoing.
When you drive by and see the theater’s beautiful, art deco marquee lit up with affirming messages and promoting upcoming shows, just know that they are #SavingYouASeat.
If you would like to purchase tickets to an upcoming show, make a tax-deductible donation to the theater or join the 1937 club, please visit the theater’s website at www.FranklinTheatre.com
Click HERE to see the entire season.
GREAT PERFORMANCES SERIES — CLICK HERE TO PREVIEW
World-class musicians and ensembles will fill the auditorium of The Franklin Theatre with virtuoso musical performances.
9/19-9/20, 2020: Black Violin
10/9-10/10, 2020: The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble
10/23-10/24, 2020: Julie Fowlis
1/22-1/23, 2021: Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea
2/19-2/20, 2021: Los Angeles Guitar Quartet
CELEBRATION OF DANCE SERIES — CLICK HERE TO PREVIEW
Combining the creativity of artists with the discipline of athletes, these amazing displays of music and movement will bring a whole new energy to Main Street.
12/4-12/5, 2020: Rhythmic Circus Holiday Shuffle
2/12-2/14, 2021: Giordano Dance Chicago
3/12-3/13, 2021: Eiriann, A Taste of Ireland
2/26-2/27, 2021: Los Vivancos
4/23-4/24, 2021: Pss Pss
FAMILY SPOTLIGHT SERIES — CLICK HERE TO PREVIEW
Jugglers, magicians, acrobats and some very big dinosaurs will not only entertain but create experiences that will engage and expand young minds while creating experiences families can enjoy together.
9/25-9/26, 2020: Mark Nizer 4D Theatre
10/16-10/17, 2020: JuNk
10/30-10/31, 202: Cirque-Tacular’s SpookTacular
11/21-11/22, 2020: Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live
1/15-1/16, 2021: SNAP