About Newnan Shakes

Newnan Shakespeare in the Park (or Newnan Shakes) is a professional theatre company devoted to building community bonds and providing educational resources by bringing artistically excellent, free productions of the works of William Shakespeare to Newnan, GA. We are a 501c-3 non-profit theatre company producing works annually since 2018.

       The final performance on September 4th at 2PM has been moved to the Wadsworth Auditorium located at 25 Jefferson Street, Newnan, GA 30263 due to rain. 

Photos from A Midsummer Night's Dream, 2018

Support Us

What We Need & What You Get

We are currently seeking individual patrons and corporate sponsors to help us make our 2022 season a reality. Your financial support will allow us to pay our artists, cover our production costs, and most importantly help make this a FREE EVENT for the public! We believe that everyone should have access to high-quality theatre, and your contribution will help bring professional theatre to the West Georgia region.

Click here before donating to check out our sponsorship packet and to see what perks may lie in store!

Newnan Shakes is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit.



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Who Are We?

Madeline Sain

Co-Founder/ Managing Director/ Director

Madeline Sain is a Newnan native and grew up acting at Newnan Theatre Company and Newnan High School. She graduated with a BA in Performance from LaGrange College in 2015 before studying at the Stella Adler Summer Conservatory in New York City. She was a 2019-2020 Acting Apprentice at Little Five Point’s own Horizon Theatre Company and has acted and directed at other theaters around Atlanta including Role Call Theatre and Theatrical Outfit.

James Hendley

Co-Founder/ Artistic Director

James Hendley is a Newnan native. As an actor James has appeared at theatres around the country including the Barter Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Stage Company, Oak Park Festival Theatre, and First Folio Theatre. James holds an MFA in Acting from Northern Illinois University and a BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Carolina University. He is proud beyond words of the efforts of the entire company of Twelfth Night for helping bring live theatre back to the Greenville Street Park. Enjoy the show!

Joe Arnotti

Player One: Orsino, Sir Andrew Aguecheek

Atlanta: Aida, Wizard of Oz (The Atlanta Lyric) Pricilla; Queen of The Desert, Rocky Horror Show, La Cage Aux Folles (Out Front Theatre) Mamma Mia!, Hairspray; In Concert, Christmas Canteen (Aurora), Dreamgirls, Elf The Musical (Springer Opera house), Working (Alliance Theatre) Peter Pan (Legacy), Footloose, Little Shop Of Horrors, Men Of Motown (The Strand) Regional: Holiday Inn, The True Story Of The Big Bad Wolf (Circa ‘21) By Wheel and By Wing (Off Broadway) Sound Of Music (Non-union Tour). Entertainer at Six Flags Over GA, the GA Aquarium, and Stone Mountain Theme Park. Kiwanis member and Co-founder of the Newnan based production company Arnotti-Stephens Productions, Joe is the current entertainment coordinator for the Coweta County Fair. Metro Atlanta Theatre Award Winner, SUZI Bass Award Nominee. He thanks his sweet and generous husband, Kendrick Taj Stephens. IG @JoeArnotti


Kirstyn Sanders

Player Two: Sir Toby Belch, Valentine, Priest

Kirstyn Sanders is excited to be in her first production with Newnan Shakes! After studying at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York and Flagler College in Florida, she has recently moved to Atlanta and works frequently in film and theater. Her favorite Shakespearean character is Coriolanus.

Madison Smith

Player Three: Olivia, Captain, Officer

Madison Smith is a New York City-based actor and trained vocalist, from Atlanta, Georgia. Madison holds a BA in Theatre, as well as a BS in Psychology, from Georgia College and State University. Some previous roles include: Sally Bowles (Cabaret), Alysha (American Idiot), and Olympia (Big Love). She made her professional debut as CB’s Sister in Dog Sees God at Outfront Theatre Company in Atlanta. Her Off-Broadway debut was in 2021 as Beth in The Non-Essentials.  She had the privilege of working on a devised adaption of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree featured at Unfix NYC Theatre Festival in 2021. In New York City, she has worked with Theater for the New City, The Lower East Side Festival of the Arts, and had a Marketing Internship with The Barrow Group. In Atlanta, she has worked with The Alliance Theatre, Aurora Theatre, The Performer’s Warehouse, and GC Theatre Camp. She has worked in Film, TV, and Theatre. Her goal is to be performing in a capacity that reminds others that they’re not alone. She wants to make the personal universal. She would like to thank her family, friends, and teachers for their love and support. More information available at madisonsmith1022.com  


Elisabeth Clements

Player Four: Viola/ Cesario

Elisabeth Clements (she/her) is an Atlanta-based actor who graduated from LaGrange College with a Bachelor of Arts in Musical Theatre in 2017. Since graduating, she has been working as a professional theater artist and film actor in the Atlanta area. Elisabeth also has a passion for creating theater with children and young adults, writing, choreographing, singing, playing music and song-writing. Elisabeth is represented by East Coast Talent.

Mackenzie Nelson

Player Five: Maria, Antonio

Mackenzie recently graduated with her BFA in Theatre Performance with a concentration in Musical Theatre from Baylor University. Most recently, she was seen as Juliet in Wild Imaginings’ Romeo and Juliet and Dot in Baylor’s Sunday in the Park with George. She is passionate about both classical and contemporary theatre, and is excited to be working with Newnan Shakes! Instagram: @mackenzieelisa7

Brian Chenard

Player Six: Sebastian, Fool, Curio

Brian Chenard is a local Atlanta actor who graduated from the University of Georgia. He was a member of the 2019-2020 Acting Apprentice Company at Horizon Theatre, and he can be seen performing in the metro-Atlanta area. This is his first time appearing with Newnan Shakes.

Taj Stephens


Kendrick Taj Stephens, a Newnan native, is humbled to be sharing the stage with some of Georgia’s finest talent! Taj has studied Music Therapy at University of Evansville and Vocal Performance at Columbus State University. A few past Atlanta theatre productions include The Tinman in The Wizard of Oz (The Lyric Theatre), White Christmas (The Lyric Theatre), Rocky Horror Picture Show (Out Front Theatre), Smokey Joe’s Café (Stage Door Players) and the beautiful concert version of Once on this Island (Jennie T. Anderson Theatre). Taj has also worked for the entertainment departments of Six Flags Over Georgia, Stone Mountain Park and is the Associate Producer of Arnotti Stephens Productions working alongside his husband and award-winning thespian, Joe Arnotti. Taj would like to thank Madeline Sain, Newnan Shakes and especially the Newnan Cultural Arts Commission for bringing high art and artistic opportunity to the City of Newnan!  ig-@kendricktaj #NewnanStrong


Work With Us

We are always interested in getting to know more artists in our area!

Are you an actor/director/educator/stage manager in the Atlanta area? Are you interested in working with us? Send us an email at newnanshakes@gmail.com and let’s start a conversation.

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