Cassidy brings production to life in Franklin

Patrick Cassidy is living a dream of a different kind in Franklin as artistic director of Studio Tenn.
Updated: Dec. 9, 2021 at 6:30 PM CST
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FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WSMV) - Many teens growing up in the 1970s sang along with teen idol Shaun Cassidy, danced with David Cassidy and the Partridge Family band and harmonized with the boys’ real-life mom Shirley Jones.

Younger brother Patrick Cassidy didn’t have to dream. He grew up with the real thing.

Now he’s living a dream of a different kind in Franklin as the artistic director of Studio Tenn.

He is currently working at rehearsals for the long-time musical theater star’s directorial debut of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play at The Factory’s Jamison Theater.

“Hopefully it brings maybe some credibility in the theater,” Cassidy said. “I’ve had 40 years in the theater. The theater is everything to me.”

Cassidy said when one of his two sons, with wife Melissa Hurley, signed a record and publishing deal in Nashville and moved to Music City, the couple, who were living in California, started looking into Tennessee theaters.

A job listing for an interim artistic director at Studio Tenn caught his eye.

“And I thought, ‘Oh, there’s a job possibility,” Cassidy said.

Multiple open doors came next, from calls to conversations to quick house closings.

“Ending up in Tennessee is totally an act of God,” Cassidy said.

Even the pandemic felt like part of the plan.

“It gave me a chance to learn the history of Studio Tenn, the present situation, and where we need to go,” Cassidy said.

It’s a future he hopes includes this signature holiday show, a radio play of the beloved Christmas movie, set in 1941 before a live studio audience.

“This show represents not just the holidays, but the show also represents coming together again and combing back into a live space. Nothing replaces live theater,” Cassidy said. “The idea is that this becomes our Nutcracker as the ballet has. This becomes our becomes our Christmas carol. This becomes Studio Tenn’s holiday show that people expect.”

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