Harman Patil (Editor)

Tennessee Performing Arts Center

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Opened  1980
Founder  Martha R. Ingram
Phone  +1 615-782-4040
Type of business  Performing arts center
Tennessee Performing Arts Center
Capacity  Andrew Jackson Hall: 2,472 James K. Polk Theater: 1,075 Andrew Johnson Theater: 256
Address  505 Deaderick St, Nashville, TN 37219, USA
Similar  Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Ryman Auditorium, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Cheekwood Botanical Garden a, Nashville Children's Theatre

Tennessee performing arts center new season preview

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center, or TPAC, is located in the James K. Polk Cultural Center at 505 Deaderick Street in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, occupying an entire city block between 5th and 6th Avenues North and Deaderick and Union Streets. Also housing the Tennessee State Museum, the cultural center adjoins the 18-story James K. Polk State Office Building.


The idea for a large-scale performing arts facility developed in 1972 when Martha Rivers Ingram was appointed to the advisory board of the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C. She proposed a similar center for her home city of Nashville. Ingram's proposal involved a public-private partnership that would operate within a state-owned facility. Her idea met with considerable resistance, but she persevered—for eight years and during the terms of three governors. The result was the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, a three-theater facility located beneath a state office building across the street from the Tennessee State Capitol. In 1980, TPAC opened as the state's premier theater venue.

Among its many operations, TPAC presents a series of touring Broadway shows and special engagements, and administers a comprehensive education program. Martha Rivers Ingram and her supporters also raised an endowment to defray operating losses and to fund a program that grooms future audiences for TPAC performances. The endowment goal was $3.5 million, and they surpassed it, raising $5 million. Today, the endowment has grown to $20 million. Each year, more than 100,000 students, from kindergarten through 12th grade, are brought to Nashville for performances by Nashville Ballet, the Nashville Opera, and the Tennessee Repertory Theatre, which are all resident performing arts groups of TPAC and provide year-round programming. Other companies also use TPAC's facilities for plays, dance performances, concerts and other cultural programs.

The Tennessee Performing Arts Center Management Corporation is governed by a 27-member Board of Directors. Directors serve for a term of three years.

Tennessee performing arts center tpac community impact

Performance Venues

The performance venues are named for the three Presidents of the United States who hailed from Tennessee:

Andrew Jackson Hall

Andrew Jackson Hall is the largest of TPAC's multi-purpose theaters with a seating capacity of 2,472 seats, including 47 pit seats. The stage is more than 130 feet wide by 53 feet deep. The stage has a proscenium opening of more than 57 feet by 36 feet. Up to 112 performers can be accommodated in 14 dressing rooms, including a star suite, two onstage quick change rooms, and high-capacity choral spaces. Expansive wings, fly space, rigging and catwalks provide for productions of every kind - from Broadway's biggest tours to award shows, stylish television specials, and major concerts.

James K. Polk Theater

James K. Polk Theater is amazingly intimate for its size, with a seating capacity of 1,075 seats, including 44 pit seats. The stage is more than 87 feet by 50 feet, with a proscenium opening of nearly 47 feet by 30 feet. The theater features spacious wings and expansive fly space. Up to 86 performers can be accommodated in 10 dressing rooms, including one quick change room and two high-capacity choral spaces.

Andrew Johnson Theater

Andrew Johnson Theater is TPAC's smallest theater, ideal for adventurous and experimental art and entertainment. The 59 feet by 54 feet center open floor performing space is surrounded by three sides with banks of theater seating. With seating up to 256 configurable seats, this theater can host a variety of seating arrangements. Wing and storage space adjoin the theater, which features a 22-foot catwalk. Two dressing rooms can accommodate up to 24 performers. Designed for live theater and intimate performances, Johnson Theater has hosted a variety of acoustic concerts, "in the round" performances, readings, lectures and video shoots.

War Memorial Auditorium

TPAC also governs the War Memorial Auditorium (1,661 seats), a historic building that anchors the War Memorial Plaza, adjacent to Nashville's capitol building and across 6th Avenue from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center.

Resident companies

  • Nashville Ballet
  • Nashville Opera
  • Tennessee Repertory Theatre
  • References

    Tennessee Performing Arts Center Wikipedia