Pull-Tight Players theater group certainly has seen a lot of drama over the years.
Bringing live theater to Franklin for more than 40 years, this nonprofit community theater company continues to remain a favorite among theatergoers.
Known for its production of shows such as "Bye, Bye, Birdie," "The Nutcracker," "Footloose," "Kiss Me, Kate," "The Taming of the Shrew" and "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," the company strives to bring entertainment enjoyable for the whole family.
"Nobody gets paid here – not the directors, producers, actors or stagehands," says Ricki Keckley, president of Pull-Tight Players. " We are just a bunch of volunteers who do this because of our love for theater."
Pull-Tight Players History
Pull-Tight began in 1968, when Vance Ormes, a 16-year-old high school student at Battle Ground Academy, thought it was time for Franklin to have its own community theater. With the help of his parents, the young Ormes and local residents launched what has become an artistic institution in Williamson County.
As for its unusual name, the Pull-Tight moniker originated from a former road in Williamson County that had a steep incline. Farmers driving their crop-loaded wagons had to “pull tight” on their mules’ reins in order to successfully ascend the precipitous hill.
“It is a symbolic name for us because as an all-volunteer organization, everyone has to pull tight to make every theatrical production a success,” Keckley says.
Pull-Tight Players Today
There are eight to 10 performances of each production, with the plays scheduled primarily on weekends. Shows take place at 112 Second Ave. S., in downtown Franklin, at the Pull-Tight Players Theatre, which seats 92.
“Our theatre on Second Avenue is in a great location – I just wish it seated more people,” Keckley says. “It is a very intimate and unusual setting. The stage is on the same level as most of the audience, while other audience members are in elevated seats that look down on the stage. It’s quite interesting.”
Pull-Tight Players also sponsors a Youth Actors’ Guild, made up of two entities. The company's Junior Youth Guild is made up of youth ages 6-12, while the Teen Youth Guild, ages 13-18, presents two shows each year in June and December. Both groups give youth in the community an opportunity to learn about and experience all aspects of live theater.
The company's Youth Guild Scholarship Program, founded in 1993, rewards graduating seniors who have made a significant contribution to the organization and who plan on furthering their education.
“It might sound cliché,” Keckley says, “but Pull-Tight is proud to be a part of the lives of so many people of Franklin and Williamson County.”
Here's more on Franklin, Tennessee's Performing Arts.