Backstage Series

Backstage productions are selected especially for presentation in the intimacy of the backstage theatre setting. Playgoers are seated on stage where the action is, near enough to hear every word, every sigh, to see every comical expression and gesture, and to feel part of every scene. The staging and seating arrangements change with every Backstage show.


The Backstage at CPAC seats are general admission:

$15 for adults

$12 for seniors

$10 for students


Online purchases: 

Tickets may be purchased in person at the CPAC Box Office Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm or by calling 931-528-1313 during box office hours. Online tickets are available only through the CPAC website at The Cookeville Performing Arts Center uses ETIX for ticketing. Tickets purchased from other online vendors or 3rd party sites may not be authentic. Vendors other than ETIX are not authorized to sell for CPAC events. If in doubt, please contact the box office.  

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thank you 5 art

5! …THANK YOU, 5 

Live Theatre Returns to CPAC!
Show dates: June 6 and 7

The Cookeville Performing Arts Center will broadcast an evening of five ten-minute plays. Due to unique social distancing challenges affecting our lives (and this performance), each one-act has been carefully selected and staged and will be presented online only. Our director and actors will consist of CPAC staff along with their spouse/life partner. Ticket information will be available on May 26 by calling the Box Office at 528-1313 or visiting

A Backstage at CPAC event

Produced by the Cultural Arts Division of the Cookeville Department of Leisure Services

Executive Producer: Chad McDonald

Director: Steven Gwilt

Assistant Producer: Kim Frick Welker

Technical Director: Matthew Wilson

Assistant Technical Director: Patrick Mannle


by Craig Pospisil                                                                                                                                                    
Katie Mannle ……Megan
Patrick Mannle……Billy
THE STORY: Billy is a shy, sweet six-year old, nervous about his first day of school. His new classmate Megan Devenaux is a pint-sized lawyer, who considers herself an adult already, and is ready to take her case to the Supreme Court and then cash in.
Class Conflict katie patrick_________________

by Craig Pospisil                                                                                                                                                    
Matthew Wilson….Gene
Emily Amonett ……Sammy
THE STORY: There’s a party inside, but Gene stands on the ledge of an apartment building. Distraught because the girl he loves is making out with someone, Gene is ready to jump. Sammy, a classmate, discovers Gene on the ledge and mocks him for being melodramatic. But as Sammy realizes Gene’s pain runs deeper than a girl, will she pull Gene back from the edge? Or push him over?
on the edge emily matt_________________

by Craig Pospisil

Melissa ……Kimberly Frick-Welker
THE STORY: In a darkly comic monologue, Melissa calmly explains her reasons for taking a parent’s natural desire to protect her child a little too far.

by David Ives

Woman….Emily Amonett
Man….Patrick Mannle
Waiter….Chad McDonald
THE STORY: Two people meet in a cafe and find their way through a conversational minefield as a bell interrupts their false starts, gaffes, and faux pas on the way to falling in love.

by Romulus Linney

Father…..John Fowler
Mother….Kimberly Frick-Welker
THE STORY: A retired couple bask in the solitude of Florida, while reminiscing, with some regret, about their chronically hell-raising children.
claire de lune kim john_________________

CLASS CONFLICT, ON THE EDGE, A MOTHER’S LOVE, SURE THING, and CLAIRE DE LUNE are presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Special thanks to Craig Pospisil


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Conversations from Backstage

On the Cookeville Leisure Services YouTube channel.

New episodes Thursdays at 7:00 pm.

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Already this season...

vanya image

Winner of the 2013 Tony Award for Best Play. Middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home in Bucks County, PA, where they bicker and complain about the circumstances of their lives. Suddenly, their movie-star sister, Masha, swoops in with her new boy toy, Spike. Old resentments flare up, eventually leading to threats to sell the house. Also on the scene are sassy maid Cassandra, who can predict the future, and a lovely young aspiring actress named Nina, whose prettiness somewhat worries the imperious Masha.

Pat Frank as Vanya
Sharon Henry as Sonia
Elizabeth Mitchell as Cassandra
Nancy Dennis Campbell as Masha
Michael Evanichko as Spike
Montanna Chambers as Nina

cll image

THE STORY: A mother always knows when something is wrong. When Alice notices her beloved husband, Bill, has returned home on edge after a tennis match with their son, she grows suspicious and springs into action. Determined to piece together the puzzle, she invites her son, Billy, and daughter-in-law, Jane, over for drinks and dessert. Sidesplitting chaos ensues as Alice digs for the truth, resulting in even more honesty than anyone expected. Shattering and hilarious, CLEVER LITTLE LIES is a story of long-term love and marriage…for better…and for worse.

Bill Sr....Pat Frank
Alice...Kim Frick-Welker
Billy...Michael Evanichko
Jane...Brenna Edgemon

***CLEVER LITTLE LIES deals with mature situations and contains adult language. Discretion is advised.  

The Dock Brief smaller poster design by amy

The Dock Brief

by John Mortimer

directed by Patrick Mannle

A seedy lawyer has been waiting for years to make a grandstand defense. He is assigned to defend an innocuous little man accused of murdering his wife. The man cheerfully admits his guilt; he simply couldn’t stand his wife’s constant joking and laughing. The trial ends and the verdict is a foregone conclusion. The lawyer begs his client to let him appeal. Ironically the man is reprieved because of the ineptitude of his defense.

Morgenhall...Ryan Steele
Fowle...Lucas Flatt