NASHVILLE, TN — Nashville Repertory Theatre (NRT) is a true gem of the Nashville community. Founded in 1985 by Martha Rivers Ingram and Mac Pirkle, NRT is winding down its 38th annual season with the final curtain call falling on May 21st. If you have not had a chance to check out one of their performances, now is the time to do so! NRT’s commitment to producing shows that do not shy away from complex issues and their dedication to using the arts to spark meaningful conversations makes for a riveting evening of entertainment. It is a privilege to have NRT in this city and a pleasure to attend their performances. 

The final production of their current season is Violet, an off-Broadway musical masterpiece that first premiered in 1997 and is adapted from Doris Betts’ short-story The Ugliest Pilgrim. The show transports you to the 1960s American South and introduces you to Violet, a young woman who has been physically and emotionally scarred by a childhood accident. As she embarks on a journey to seek healing and redemption, you’ll be drawn into a world of soulful music, heartfelt storytelling, and unforgettable characters.

The score in Violet is simply breathtaking. Composed by Jeanine Tesori with lyrics written by Brian Crawley, the songs are infused with a blend of blues, gospel, and country that captures the essence of the Deep South. The music will leave you with chills, from the joyous gospel choir numbers to the hauntingly beautiful ballads.

The cast is equally impressive, with talented actors who bring each character to life with passion and conviction. Kelsey Brodeur stars as Violet and is joined by outstanding talents Mike Sallee Jr., Nathan Quay Thomas, Matthew Carlton, and Piper Jones to name a few. 

It’s not simply the music and performances that make Violet unique. At its core, the play is about finding beauty in the world, even in the face of adversity. It sends a message that we all can relate to as we navigate a society with quickly shifting and demanding beauty standards. Despite being set in the 1960s, Violet is a story meant to resonate with the modern-day viewer. 

So if you’re looking for a theatrical experience that will touch your heart, lift your spirits, and inspire you, don’t miss NRT’s Violet running May 12-21st. This musical gem is a true masterpiece and a testament to NRT’s power of using music and storytelling to unpack the nuances of the past and present. 

If you are looking to support NRT but are unable to attend its final show, there are many ways you can tap into what NRT has to offer! The company offers educational opportunities, hosts occasional REPalouds that are free to the community, and has an upcoming brunch event on August 13th. 

Visit their website to learn more!