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The Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department (WCPR) will host a variety of family friendly entertainment in the coming weeks at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park, 112 Everbright Avenue; located off of Columbia Avenue just south of historic downtown Franklin.

The Rising Stars present Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR.

Thursday, February 13 and Friday, February 14 at 7:00 p.m.; Saturday, February 15 at 10:30 a.m. (Sensory-Friendly Performance); and Saturday, February 15 at 2:30 p.m. The production will include an Interactive Theatre Experience with opportunities for audience participation.

Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories, Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR. is an enchanting look at the sacrifices we all make for love and acceptance. In a magical underwater kingdom, the beautiful young mermaid, Ariel, longs to leave her ocean home, and her fins behind and live in the world above. But first, she’ll have to defy her father, King Triton, make a deal with the evil sea witch, Ursula, and convince the handsome Prince Eric that she’s the girl whose enchanting voice he’s been seeking. Tickets: $10 available at

The Sensory-Friendly performance on February 15 at 10:30 a.m. is designed to create a more comfortable experience for those with sensitivity to sensory input and their families in a welcoming, non-judgemental environment. This special performance will include: lower sound level; reduction of loud, startling or jarring sounds; house lights remain on at a low level in the theatre during the performance; a reduction of stage lighting and special effects lighting on stage and on the audience; space at the front of the theatre for standing, laying down or moving (with seats close by for a family member to sit); designated “take a break” areas and more. Please feel free to bring comforting objects, such as fidget toys and weighted stuffed animals or lap blankets, as well as noise-reducing headphones. More information available at

Disney’s The Little Mermaid JR is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Celtic Rhythms on Fire
Saturday, March 7 at 7:00 pm and Sunday, March 8 at 2:00 pm

Celtic Rhythms on Fire is an energetic fusion of live Irish dance, music and song. This groundbreaking performance is produced and performed by the Nashville Irish Step Dancers (NISD), a local Irish dance troupe. NISD, founded in 1990 by Chicago native Mary Moran is now celebrating their 30th year anniversary of teaching and performing Irish dance in the Nashville area. You’ll experience a celebration of the rich and vibrant artistry of Irish dance and music, and the fiery spirit of the Irish culture and heritage. NISD has built an impressive resume of local and national exposure having 20 appearances on the ‘Grand Ole Opry”, eight performances with the legendary “Chieftains” as well as being featured on “The Chieftains: Down the Old Plank Road”. Since 2000, NISD has won numerous Championship Awards at the Regional, National and World Championship level.

Tickets: Adults – $20, Seniors & Kids – $15 – Group of 10+: $5 off Adult tickets. Available at

Willy Wonka Kids

Friday, March 27 at 7:00 pm and Saturday, March 28 at 1:00 pm

Presented by WCPR’s Musical Theatre Experience program in Franklin, Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS follows the mysterious candy maker Willy Wonka as he stages a contest by hiding golden tickets in five of his scrumptious candy bars. The delicious adventures experienced by Charlie Bucket on his visit to Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory light up the stage in this captivating adaptation of Dahl’s fantastical tale. Whomever comes up with these tickets will win a free tour of the Wonka factory, as well as a lifetime supply of candy. Four of the five winning children are insufferable brats, but the fifth is the likeable Charlie Bucket, who takes the tour in the company of his equally kind grandfather.

WCPR’s Musical Theatre Experience program for youth offers a fast-paced, but FUN education in musical theatre: singing, dancing, and acting, while working towards a culminating production. 

Tickets: $7 available at available at

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka KIDS is presented through a special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI.

Juke Box Saturday Night Series featuring Five Points Swing Band

Saturday, March 28 at 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a fun night of music featuring Williamson County’s premier swing band favorite, “Five Points Swing.” Sit back, relax and enjoy the music or bring your favorite dance partner to jump, jive and boogie on the dance floor. Optional dance lessons start at 6:00 pm and are provided by Champion Ballroom Center.

Tickets: $10 available at

Shine Your Light Youth Vocal Competition
Auditions on Sunday, March 29; Competition on Saturday, April 4 at 6:00 pm

Williamson County Parks and Recreation and Dreams Do Come True Princess Parties have partnered together to host “Shine Your Light”, a youth vocal competition to benefit Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in honor of Ray of Light. 

Auditions will be held Sunday, March 29 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm. The competition will be divided into three age divisions: Youth Ages 5-8; Middle Ages 9-13; Teen Ages 14-18.  The audition application and competition rules are available at An application fee of $30 must be included when application is submitted. Preliminary entries must be received by March 27.

The competition on Saturday, April 4 will showcase youth talent (ages 5-17) selected from the earlier audition. 

Ray of Light was founded by Raymond Cruz, who was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing’s Like Sarcoma in January of 2017. Through this battle, he was given the opportunity to share his message of hope with people through his music, from the Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital to the stage of the Ryman Auditorium. Ray’s dream and mission was to make a difference by raising funds to provide Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital with research and programs to help children and families in need.

Tickets are $10 and available at

For additional information on upcoming events at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center visit

The Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park is a part of the Williamson County Parks and Recreation Department, a public organization benefitting the community. For additional information, visit You may also receive information about events and productions at the Williamson County Performing Arts Center at Academy Park by “liking” Academy Park TN on Facebook; following @AcademyParkTN on Twitter or @academyparktn on Instagram. Information on all other department programs can be found by “liking” Williamson County Parks and Recreation on Facebook; following us on Twitter at @wc_parksandrec or Instagram at @willcoparksandrec or on Pinterest or YouTube.