His acting career has taken him across the country, but this summer Christopher Brown will be returning to the city where his love for theater began.

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival announced July 23 that Brown will star in this summer’s Shakespeare in the Park production "Coriolanus."

“We are thrilled to have Chris playing the role of Coriolanus,” said Nancy VanReece, executive director for the Nashville Shakespeare Festival. “He is an extremely talented Shakespearean actor and we know that our audiences will appreciate the intensity and passion he brings to the part.”

Born and raised in the Mid-South, Brown moved to Nashville in his 20s to pursue a music career. While there, he discovered his love and talent for film and theater, thus beginning his acting career. During the course of his career, Brown has worked with Nashville’s Mockingbird Public Theater, the GATE conservatory in New York City, and The Shakespeare Theater in Washington, D.C. In addition to acting, he has lent his talents as a director to various film and theater projects. Brown is currently a member of Chicago’s Blue Man Group.

Brown is starring in the title role of "Coriolanus," one of Shakespeare’s political tragedies. Set in ancient Rome, "Coriolanus" is about the internal and external struggles facing a political candidate.

Brown, in full regalia as Roman consul candidate Coriolanus, participated in a mock press conference in downtown Nashville to answer questions pertaining to his "platform" and raise money for his "campaign".

The war hero spoke to a crowd of supporters at Estel Gallery in a live ”satellite feed” from Rome. He addressed questions on subjects ranging from his views on Social Security to his battlefield experiences.

“My support is only comprised of the most noble, most generous, most kind, most fair patrons,” said Coriolanus when asked about the support base for his campaign. “I depend on those with open hearts, open hands and open check books.”

Excitement was high at the event, despite Coriolanus’ patronizing and sarcastic demeanor.  

“Though Coriolanus’ attitude can be a bit off-putting, I believe that the people of Nashville will see that he is the most qualified candidate for consul,” said VanReece, who is also serving as Coriolanus’ "campaign manager". “Unlike other candidates who don’t consider Tennessee an important state to campaign in, Coriolanus has seventeen appearances planned in Nashville from August 14 through September 7. He obviously values the citizens of Middle Tennessee.”

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival will present Shakespeare’s tragedy for Shakespeare in the Park every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. beginning Thursday, Aug. 14, and ending Sunday, Sept. 7, with an additional performance on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 1.  All performances will be at the Centennial Park Bandshell, located at 2600 West End Ave.  

The mission of the Nashville Shakespeare Festival is to educate and entertain the Mid-South community through professional Shakespearean experiences. The Festival accomplishes this primarily through its public productions of Shakespeare in the Park in the summer and Winter Shakespeare at The Troutt Theater and its educational workshops for young people and businesses.

For more information about Coriolanus’ campaign, visit www.nashvilleshakes.org.

This article has been republished from Out & About Nashville, and was part of a series of first-person pieces written by the late Bobbi Williams.

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