The Talk of the Towne 5

Brentwood’s Towne Centre Players share 
their passion for the arts.

When it comes to paying it forward in the Brentwood arts community, no one does it better than the Towne Centre Players.

The Towne Centre Players perform in Brentwood’s historic Towne Centre Theatre. Built in 1885, the building originally was the one-room home of Williamson County Schools, and became the Mount Lebanon Missionary Baptist Church in 1905 and later, Brooks Chapel. The theatre is a small, culturally-rich building located at the corner of Church and Frierson Streets, which eventually becomes Brooks Chapel Road. “Standing in the building, it is hard to miss the atmosphere of 132 years of students taught, souls saved and lives enriched through participation in the arts,” says Jim Himelrick, a Brentwood Arts Society Board member.

The building belonged to the early African-American community in Brentwood, and the area from Church Street to what is now Cloverland Drive was known as Hardscuffle. According to the late Vance Little, a Brentwood native and distinguished author and historian, the street got its name from the nature of the terrain over which it passed. After the Civil War, slaves from plantations on Wilson Pike and Franklin Road eventually settled in this area. The next time you’re at the theatre, be sure to notice the historic marker located in the median of Church Street just east of I-65, commemorating the Hardscuffle area.

The Towne Theatre Players began performing here in 2006 and have entertained the community with numerous outstanding shows including Oliver, The Wizard of Oz, Footloose, Little Shop of Horrors, The King and I, and Night of January 16th.  The Players will be presenting Souther Hospitality, March 3-18. “Our theater strives to continue the tradition of excellence handed down to us from two beloved actresses who are no longer with us – Marianne Clark and Marsha Lewis Bryan,” says Himelrick.

Towne Centre Theatre also offers summer theater camps in June and July for ages seven through young adult, performs numerous youth productions throughout the year and has roles for young actors in many of their regular season productions. “As parents of three now-adult children with whom we have acted, sung, danced and played with – and who are now doing the same with their children – we can honestly say that nothing builds family, friendships and personal growth like early and active engagement in the arts.” says Karen Himelrick.

Towne Centre Theatre is also available for special events such as seminars, luncheons, recitals and receptions. And for those wanting a few chuckles, Exit Stage Left is Towne Centre Theatre’s resident comedy improv troupe. Founded in the spring of 2012, they perform approximately once a month for packed houses. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online or at the door.

With so much talent and fun to offer, it’s no wonder the Towne Centre Theatre is becoming the talk of the town.
Town Centre Theatre is located at 136 Frierson Street in Brentwood. For more information call 615.331.1174 or visit 
TowneCentreTheatre.com.