Pellissippi State presents ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’

Andrew Jackson artwork

Pellissippi State Community College will present “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” a satirical emo rock musical and dramatized retelling of the controversial presidency of Andrew Jackson, in late October and early November.

Performance dates and times are 7:30 p.m., Oct. 28-29 and Nov. 4-5, and 2 p.m., Oct. 30 and Nov. 6. All performances are in the Clayton Performing Arts Center at the college’s Hardin Valley Campus, 10915 Hardin Valley Road. Tickets are $14 for adults or $12 for seniors or students. Purchase tickets at

“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” written by Michael Friedman, discusses the role of populism in the actions of America’s seventh president and draws parallels to today’s political climate. The play is for mature audiences and is not suitable for children.

“Populism is a huge theme in the play,” said director Grechen Wingerter. “It’s this idea of ‘taking your country back’ and what the people want. When he was elected, Andrew Jackson wasn’t one of the elite — he didn’t come from the right family or go to an Ivy League school. He marketed himself as a president of the people.”

Wingerter noted that there are clear parallels to this year’s election cycle — from the themes of populism and its political consequences to elections that feature the establishment versus the outsider. The play broaches topics like the 1830 Indian Removal Act and Jackson’s debated marriage to his wife, Rachel.

“The play is controversial because Andrew Jackson was, and is, controversial,” Wingerter said. “We still see the implications of what he did, particularly to Native Americans. This production might evoke a strong emotion, and that’s OK, even if it’s anger. That’s the purpose of theatre and of art — there is truth behind the satire that will allow the audience to think critically and make their own choices.”

The performance on Sunday, Oct. 30, will be followed by a panel discussion on the play’s themes. The panel will feature Wingerter; University of Tennessee professor Daniel M. Feller, caretaker of the Jackson papers, and a representative of the Cherokee Nation.

The performance will feature guest musical director Michael Shirtz, a jazz musician and composer and faculty member at Terra State Community College in Ohio.

“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” is one of the events that make up Pellissippi State’s arts series, The Arts at Pellissippi State. The series brings to the community cultural activities ranging from music and theatre to international celebrations, lectures and the fine arts.

For more information about this production, visit or call the box office at 865-539-7529. To request accommodations for a disability at this event, contact the executive director of Equity and Compliance at 865-539-7401 or


Download this press release: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson