still had the old Nashville feel. And better yet, it had already shown itself to be open to the culture of theater-going. “The Dark Horse had really put their foot in the door and hung on,” Kraft said of the theater on Charlotte Avenue. But Dark Horse could still be too expensive, especially for budding artists to develop. Barbershop Theater offers a smaller venue with less overhead, making it more affordable not only for the players and producers of the shows but for the audience as well. “So many of the bigger venues have to bring in major productions and have conflated large production costs,” Kraft explained. “Small companies cannot afford to produce shows there.” Razorglam Production Director Kelsey Lane Dies, for instance, is able to put on fun and innovative burlesque shows along with her other productions. Having produced Off-Broadway shows in New York, she revels in the Barbershop Theater’s affordability and the free-
dom to create exciting new shows. “The space is similar to other black box theaters around,” she said. “But no other space is as flexible and accessible for small independent theater companies presenting live entertainment.” She also maintained that the Barbershop Theater has the best lighting of any other theater around. “It’s all LED lights, and it doesn’t get hot in here.” So the Collective seems to have found the theater perfect for their needs, and they enjoy their association with each other. “We are stronger together,” Kraft contended. The Barbershop Collective encourages new playwrights and talent. According to A.D. Timms of Woven Theatre Company, the theater gives new artists “opportunities to create IMAGE the art they feel passionate about.” Woven emphasizes LGBT and women’s stories, as well as
Scenes from a Razorglam burlesque show
372WN.com | June–July 2019
innovative original theater. Barbershop Theater’s variety of shows should appeal to many theater lovers. Frame encourages everyone to come see one. “An evening at the Barbershop is a solid MUST,” she insisted, also pointing out that it doesn’t cost much. Tickets are generally $15 and can be purchased on their website or at the door. Discounts are often available. The Garden Theatre Company, for instance, offers some discounts to those who receive SNAP, WIC or TANF benefits and some programs for homeless individuals in Nashville to make it even more accessible. The Collective members are very enthusiastic about the theater community and want the neighborhood to feel the theater belongs to them.
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