Located on a private airfield about 45 miles east of Memphis, West Tennessee Skydiving drops parachute-wielding thrillseekers into freefall with the assistance of a USPA-licensed instructor. For those who don't feel comfortable skydiving solo, tandem skydiving allows rookie divers to experience parachuting while harnessed to a professional instructor. Aspiring air-plungers start by learning skydiving basics with a 20-minute video briefing and short lesson from their tandem instructor. After climbing up to 14,500 feet in one of West Tennessee Skydiving's planes, you'll securely hook suits with an instructor and leap out for a 50–60 second freefall, reaching speeds of 120 mph. Once your parachute opens, you'll serenely glide above the globe for five minutes, then steer your canopy in for a cushy landing with the help of your newly minted Siamese un-twin. Afterwards, divers receive a certificate verifying their obedience of the laws of gravity and have the chance to discuss the experience with their figuratively down-to-earth instructor. You can also use this Groupon to get 10% off a DVD of your jump made by a professional freefall photographer ($100).
Theater should inspire wonderment. That's the view at Tennessee Shakespeare Company, an artistic organization dedicated to bringing new life to William Shakespeare's words. Each of its productions aims to burrow beneath the play's familiar surface, finding deeper explorations into psychology, government, and philosophy. This approach brings new life to the timeless works—TSC's Macbeth, for instance, highlighted the civilian cost of civil war, while an all-female Julius Caesar embodied "a bold new way to look at honor, womanhood, and power," according to The Commercial Appeal. That same sense of exploration is extended to contemporary pieces. Once a year, the company members hang up their iambic pentameters to produce the Southern Exposure festival featuring new works from the region.
Canada's Classical Theatre Project shatters modern preconceptions about the dryness of Shakespeare by infusing the romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet with a potency and youthful electricity that snuffs reluctance in the Bard-averse. On an inventive chalk-circle set, the Toronto players whisk viewers to an Elizabethan marketplace in the 16th century, engaging the imagination without relying on cumbersome stage props. Hearts melt as Romeo, the Montague, and Juliet, the Capulet, fall in love against the odds, sweeping the audience along on their way to ghost prom. Shakespeare’s colloquies come naturally from the mouths of the virile acting talents, who translate the text for this generation’s ears without changing a word. Classical Theatre Project's rendition of Romeo and Juliet, intended for ages 11 and older, treats Shakespeare's tragedy like a rock concert, except with better enunciation and a higher mortality rate. A surviving artifact established in 1890, the historic and lovingly restored Orpheum Theatre adds majesty to the performance with its brocade draperies and crystal chandeliers.
Fun Junction delivers safe and futuristic fun within its 3,000-square-foot Lazer Runner arena, capable of handling up to 20 players at a time. After splitting up into four teams of elite commando squads, you and your friends will blast your way into the battle-station-themed arena, zapping your way through black lights, fog, and obstacles. Although laser-tag rounds tend to turn into apocalyptic sci-fi scale battles, combatants must still obey the basic rules of laser engagement, which include no climbing, no lying on the floor, no covering sensors, and no using unauthorized jetpacks.
Your Groupon is good for one of the company's final three productions of its 40th season. Reacquaint yourself with the classic Oliver! and sing along to the musical tunes of your childhood, such as "Food, Glorious Food," and "Consider Yourself," as the rapscallion orphans of Dickens's tale tear through the streets of 19th-century London. Or opt for a ticket to the regional premiere of Red, White, and Tuna, a two-man portrayal of the inhabitants of a small Texas town with more than 15 characters and 40 lightning-quick costume changes. Or take in the musical Hairspray to relive the trials and tribulations of Tracy Turnblad as she breaks into the 1962 Baltimore dance-show circuit. Instead of threatening lawsuits or vicious revenge, the cast of local Memphis actors will dazzle audiences with their triple threats of singing, dancing, and acting.
As the head trainer at Raintree Equestrian Center—and in previous roles—Shannyn Welsh has worked in riding disciplines including Western pleasure, hunter/jumper, and barrel racing with horse breeds ranging from all types of top-bred warmbloods to arabians, andalusians, and tennessee walkers. Equestrians from all over the country and from Europe trust Shannyn’s experience so much that they routinely send her their own horses to help with problem solving, preparation, and training. Students of all riding levels also seek out Shannyn’s expertise to improve their skills. While practicing within the 60-foot round pen or the 100’x200’ lighted arena, or experimenting with a Fosbury flop on the full-jump course, students learn to exhibit the hallmarks of good riding technique, including center balance, soft hands, and firm legs.