The Circle Players take a huge bite out of the modern American musical pie with a challenging mounting of the big Broadway show based on Alice Walker’s contemporary classic novel. Nashville’s oldest community theater is also expanding its organizational scope for this undertaking by partnering with Tennessee State University’s theater program — a move that helps strengthen the cast of more than 30 while also securing Circle use of TSU’s high-tech and spacious Cox-Lewis Theater. A touring company of this epic opus — featuring a book by Marsha Norman and music and lyrics by Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray — has visited Nashville previously, but this will be Music City’s first homegrown mounting. Two of Circle’s best resident directors, Clay Hillwig and Tim Larson, will share directorial duties, and the cast encompasses Circle regulars, young locals and up-and-coming TSU talent. The players include Kelsey Porter, LaToya Gardner, James Rudolph, Cristina Fentress and Justin Boyd.