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New Carousel Theatre at UT named in honor of Jenny Boyd

Boyd and husband Randy Boyd have given $5 million toward construction of a new theater on the site of the existing Carousel.
Credit: UT
UT's new Carousel Theatre to be named after Jenny Boyd.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A new Carousel Theatre will be built on the University of Tennessee campus and named in honor of community leader and UT graduate Jenny Boyd.

The new building that will sit by the Clarence Brown Theatre will be called the Jenny Boyd Carousel Theatre, UT announced Friday. Boyd's husband, Randy Boyd, president of the University of Tennessee System, surprised her Monday morning on campus with news of the honor.

The UT Board of Trustees approved the name Friday.

It follows a $5 million gift by the Boyds toward construction of a new theatre at the site.

Plans have been in the works for several years to replace the existing Carousel, which dates to the 1950s and started with the intent of being a temporary structure.

The venue is a sentimental favorite among audiences, but it's aging and has limited and primitive accommodations for actors backstage and can become cramped when trying to put on a play with a larger cast.

Recent shows there have included "People Where They Are," "Hamlet" and "Detroit '67."

The new structure will remain small and intimate but it'll be up-to-date technologically and able to accommodate the demands of productions in the 21st century.

There's an ongoing capital campaign to raise $15 million for the building. The goal has almost been met. According to UT, another $1.5 million is sought to build out the interior and install technology.

Groundbreaking likely wouldn't be until at least 2022.

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