History

Actors Bridge was founded in 1995 by Bill Feehely and Vali Forrister. Bill saw the need to create ongoing professional actor training in Nashville and Vali longed to bring to her hometown the new socially-relevant plays she was seeing in New York, Chicago and London.

In the last 20 years, we have trained over 4,000 students in the Meisner Technique. Those actors have gone on to perform on local, regional and national stages as well as in film and television.There are few local productions that do not include a performer in some way influenced by Actors Bridge training.

As a professional theatre company, we have produced over 85 plays, including 14 World Premieres and 60 Nashville premieres.

Actors Bridge began in the Belmont Little Theatre in 1995. In 1996, we became the theatre-in-residence at St. Augustine’s Chapel on the campus of Vanderbilt University. We spent 7 amazing years performing cutting-edge theatre in the little A-frame chapel, while the gracious congregation received the Eucharist on our funky sets. In 2003, we left St. A’s to become pioneers in Germantown at the Neuhoff Site. In 2013, we joined the revitalization of Charlotte Avenue by moving our studio space to the LeQuire Gallery building. In 2015, we outgrew our space at LeQuire and moved a few blocks down the road to the Darkhorse Chapel (behind Darkhorse Theater) at 4610 Charlotte Avenue.

Since 2007, we have been a professional theater company in residence at Belmont University.  At that time, Bill became head of the acting program at Belmont until his retirement in 2014.

Actors Bridge continues to be led by co-founder, Vali Forrister. We are proud of our longstanding partnership with Belmont. Our season takes place at the Troutt Theater Complex, the Darkhorse Theater and our studio space at the Darkhorse Chapel.