Franklin Theatre
photo by Donna Vissman

The Franklin Theatre made two big announcements Wednesday, including the naming of Paul T. Couch as the theatre’s permanent executive director and introducing a new lineup of performing arts programming that features diverse musical, dance and family performances. 

Bari Beasley is the CEO of the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, which owns the Franklin Theatre. She said bringing Paul Couch to the executive director role was an important step towards the expansion of the entertainment happening in the theatre that focuses on the theatre’s new mission and vision. Couch was hired as the interim executive director last June. 

“This theater is such a gem to this entire county, and we want to focus on making it accessible to even more people with even more exciting programming,” Beasley said. “Naming Paul Couch as the executive director is a crucial part of that goal and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge in programming, managing and promoting world-class venues and the shows they offer. One of his first ideas in this role was to introduce this new season of diversified programming and we are so excited to bring this added entertainment to Williamson County and to this beautiful theater.”

New Season Brings Three Series 

The new season of programming season will begin September 19 with Black Violin and run through April of 2021. The new season consists of three series, each made up of five shows doing three performances each. Tickets for each series go on sale today, with individual performance tickets going on sale in April.

“Under the thoughtful guidance of the Heritage Foundation, the Franklin Theatre will welcome a new era of entertainment to its stage with this new season,” executive director Paul T. Couch said. “Our new programming will enrich the cultural offerings available to Williamson County residents and visitors. Audiences will have new opportunities to create memories in the heart of downtown Franklin.”

Tickets for the entire series go on sale today, with individual performance tickets going on sale in April. For more information or to buy series tickets, go to www.franklintheatre.com.

The 2020-21 Performing Arts Series schedule:

Great Performances Series – World-class musicians and ensembles will fill the auditorium of the Franklin Theatre with virtuoso musical performances. The series will include Black Violin, The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields Chamber Ensemble, Julie Fowlis, Mariachi Divas de Cindy Shea, and Los Angles Guitar Quartet.

Celebration of Dance Series – 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. The series will include Rhythimic Circus – Holiday Shuffle, Giordano Dance Chicago, Los Vivancos, Eireann, A Taste of Ireland, and Pss Pss.

Family Spotlight Series – Topflight performances by 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. The series will include Mark Nizer 4D Theatre, JunNK, Cirque-tacular’s Spooktacular, Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo Live! and SNAP-Contemporary-Mystery Performance.

Educational Outreach Program 

Another important aspect of the Performing Arts Series is the implementation of educational outreach with these performers. Couch and his team will be seeking opportunities to bring these international acts into schools and working with area non-profits and organizations to offer young people the chance to benefit from the talents, skills and knowledge of these accomplished artists.

Theatre’s New Mission Statement 

With this new season, the theater has also created new mission and vision statements to better reflect the overarching goals moving into 2020 and beyond. The theater’s vision is to be a catalyst for social change, where diverse peoples are unified, lives are touched, and memories are made. The mission is to provide world-class performing arts experiences to diverse Williamson County residents and visitors and to be a platform for local philanthropic engagement and education while providing unparalleled guest service.

About the Franklin Theatre

Following a complete restoration and rehabilitation by the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County in 2011, the historic Franklin Theatre (Est. 1937), re-opened its doors as a state-of-the-art live music venue featuring performances by world-renowned artists.  The theatre also honored its heritage by continuing to show movies. The Theatre’s mission is to provide world-class, diverse performing arts experiences to residents and visitors alike and to be a platform for local philanthropic engagement and education, all delivered with unparalleled guest service.

For more information about The Franklin Theatre, visit https://www.franklintheatre.com/.

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