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Studio Tenn Announces New Theater

Studio Tenn Announces New Theater

Turner Theater in The Factory at Franklin Will Become a Centerpiece for the Arts

Studio Tenn and Holladay Properties hosted a news conference on Tuesday, February 7th with Franklin and Williamson County officials to announce Studio Tenn’s first permanent home at The Factory at Franklin. 

Holladay Properties Representative Allen Arender says, “Today we are setting the stage for The Factory at Franklin as a cultural destination to engage in the arts and connect with each other.”

Rendering of Studio Tenn’s Turner Theater, revealed on Feb. 7, 2023.

Studio Tenn is a professional theater company as well as a nonprofit, aiming to educate and inspire the next generation of artists with Broadway-level performances and innovations of classics and originals. 

“I really don’t think anything is more fulfilling than theater,” says four-time Emmy winner Kathie Lee Gifford. “I think there’s a hunger in people for storytelling, and this can be the place where new artists have an opportunity to shine.”

Rendering of Turner Theater’s LeHew Lobby, revealed on Feb. 7, 2023.

The multi-million dollar project of conceiving and building Studio Tenn’s new theater was made possible by support and donations from the community, specifically from philanthropists Cal Turner and Marilyn LeHew. 

“You can’t do something like this without a lot of dedicated people who see the vision,” says Studio Tenn’s COO Tony McAlister. 

Studio Tenn and Holladay Properties leaders; philanthropists Cal Turner and Calvin & Marilyn LeHew; TV personality Kathie Lee Gifford; and Franklin Mayor Dr. Ken Moore announce the Turner Theater.

In honor of these generous donations, Studio Tenn’s new home will be named Turner Theater and its gorgeous lobby will be named the LeHew Lobby. 

“The arts have always been my secret hobby,” says Turner. “It’s something that brings you out of yourself and into a greater realm of spirituality. I couldn’t believe how the world could come alive on stage.”

Philanthropist Calvin LeHew speaks at the announcement of Turner Theater.

Turner Theater aims to be the jewel of The Factory at Franklin with state-of-the-art productions, room for 329 patrons, gathering areas, and even a balcony. 

“I come from a lineage of big theaters,” says Studio Tenn’s Managing Director Todd Morgan. “When you think of a professional theater, you think of something purposefully built. It’s a venue that reflects the productions and adds to the experience.”

Rendering of Studio Tenn’s Turner Theater, revealed Feb. 7, 2023.

The Turner Theater is expected to be finished in August 2023, just in time for Studio Tenn’s 2023-24 season! It will be Studio Tenn’s first season with all of the performances taking place in the same location since the theater company’s inception in 2009. 

“We had made our own makeshift aisles and dressing rooms, we rented equipment, and we did it around all the buckets collecting raindrops from the roof,” says Studio Tenn’s Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy. “We made something, and now we have a real home. This will be a real theater.” 

Studio Tenn’s Artistic Director Patrick Cassidy speaks at announcement of Turner Theater.

The “Make.Believe.” campaign was created to fund the short-term and long-term goals of the theater, seeking to raise $3.5 million for construction and management. You can donate to Studio Tenn’s vision here