Franklin, TN Arts and Culture Overview

Offerings range from painting and sculpture to medieval jousters and Broadway musicals

By Kevin Litwin on March 1, 2015 at 6:00 am EST
The Boiler Room Theater in Franklin, TN

PHOTO CREDIT: Michael Conti

The show must go on in Williamson County, where top-notch stage performances and celebrated art galleries are easy to find.

Act Right

Residents of Williamson County can enjoy several theaters including Pull-Tight Players, whose troupe has staged dramas, musicals, comedies and original plays since 1968. Located on Second Avenue in Franklin, the company produces 6-7 shows a season.

Local theater also thrives at Boiler Room Theatre, a 120-seat venue that celebrated its 14th season in 2015 and is situated at The Factory at Franklin. Also based at The Factory is Studio Tenn, an acting ensemble whose 2014-2015 season included performances of Fiddler on the Roof, Steel Magnolias and The Wizard of Oz.

Williamson County also houses the Towne Centre Players who perform at Towne Centre Theatre in Brentwood. Besides plays, the troupe hosts one-week acting camps throughout June and July for children ages 12-18.

For history and theater buffs, Tennessee Renaissance Festival occurs in Triune every weekend in May with more than 60 artisans showcasing everything from swords, jewels, clothes and music depicted from 16th century England.

The Eyes Have It

In Williamson County’s art galleries are works by local artists and nationally celebrated names who specialize in a variety of media. At Leiper's Creek Gallery, exhibits often change for fresh perspectives and provide a temporary home for works and workshops of talented artists. Historic Clouston Hall houses Gallery 202, which portrays original paintings, art glass, sculpture, artisan jewelry, pottery, woodwork, metal and photography from more than 45 artists.

Pump Up the Volumes

Two large libraries in Williamson County provide a vast selection of both materials and family-friendly activities, including public readings, community events, classes and workshops. The main building of Williamson County Library is in Franklin, with other branches in Bethesda, College Grove, Fairview, Leiper’s Fork and Nolensville.

The spacious Brentwood Library on Concord Road includes more than 165,000 books as well as audiobooks, DVDs, music CDs, magazines, newspapers and reference databases. Although library membership is free for Brentwood citizens, anyone can access the library for a small fee.

Festive Settings

Franklin hosts a series of family friendly festivals. Dickens of a Christmas is designated a Top 20 event in the Southeast by the Southeast Tourism Society, and the free street festival celebrated its 30th anniversary in December 2014. It features food, music, carriage rides and costumed volunteers who bring classic Charles Dickens characters to life.

Main Street Festival each April is a two-day weekend of music, handmade crafts, food, kid zones and entertainment on three different downtown stages. Also in April, Franklin Jazz Festival celebrated its 26th year in 2015 and raises money for the nonprofit Williamson County Cultural Arts Commission.

Every March, Main Street Brew Fest lets festival-goers sample local, national and international beers. Brew Fest, which also features Celtic performers, has sold out in advance the past five years.

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