‘The Outsiders’ and ‘Cat in the Hat’ Among NCT 2014-15 Delights

NCT-logoNashville Children’s Theatre (NCT), the nation’s oldest professional theater for children, today announced its 83rd season of performances. NCT has been an integral part of Nashville’s families over the years, entertaining and inspiring audiences from childhood to grandparenthood.

NCT is poised to continue that tradition with a season of professional productions ranging from adaptations of beloved storybooks to an original Appalachian musical for the whole family.  As an added bonus, NCT will also offer occasional Saturday evening performances to provide an atmosphere more appealing for older audiences.

“We know that Nashville is the ‘it’ city for music, but NCT is also putting Nashville on the map for outstanding family theater.  This season features two regional premieres never before available to Middle Tennessee audiences, an adaptation of the best selling young adult novel of all time, and an original musical that comes to NCT’s mainstage season through a co-commission with Nashville Children’s Theatre and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts,” explains Kathryn Colegrove, Managing Director.  “We have always been a clear choice for bringing young children to the theatre, but with work like The Outsiders, James and the Giant Peach, and Jack’s Tale, this season throws its doors open to the whole family.”

Nashville Children’s Theatre 2014-15 Season

The Outsiders

Sept. 18 – Oct. 5

Adapted by Christopher Sergel from the novel by S.E. Hinton.

The story and action of this play may be too intense for younger children.

The best selling young adult novel of all time comes to NCT’s stage in a powerful, hard-edged production that has been three years in the making!  In this intense coming-of-age story set in 1965 Tulsa, Oklahoma, you’re either a Greaser or a Soc. When these two gangs from opposite sides of the track clash, young Ponyboy will have to depend on his brothers and friends to survive.  Written by a teenager, about teenagers and for teenagers, S.E Hinton’s explosive first novel has captured generations of adolescent readers and is just as relevant today as it was when it first burst on the scene almost 50 years ago.

NCT’s Artistic Director Scot Copeland says, “Under the inspired direction of Jeff Church (in my opinion the most innovative theatrical director for teenage audiences in America) collaborating with NCT’s amazing creative team, and featuring a powerhouse cast of Nashville’s most exciting young actors, we are finally ready to rock Nashville with a production that will not soon be forgotten!”

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach

Regional Premiere

Nov. 6 – Dec. 14

Music and Lyrics byBenj Pasek and Justin Paul. Book by Timothy Allen McDonald. Based on the book by Roald Dahl.

Appropriate for families with children old enough to appreciate Dahl’s delightfully bizarre writing style.

Young James (orphaned when his parents were killed in a tragic rhinoceros accident), longs to escape the custody of his hilariously horrible aunts.  When the backyard peach tree magically yields a fantastical fruit of preposterous proportion, James and a group of colossal creepy crawlers roll off together on a series of amazing adventures!

In addition to the wacky, wicked wit of Roald Dahl, this delicious new musical features a knock-your-socks-off score from the Tony-nominated Broadway songwriting team of Pasek and Paul.  It offers a perfect family treat for the holiday season.

Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! 

Regional Premiere

Jan. 15 – Feb. 8, 2015

Script and lyrics by Mo Willems. Music by Deborah Wicks La Puma.

Appropriate for families with children of all ages.

When Elephant Gerald and his perky, smiley friend Piggie receive an invitation to the Squirelles party, they find themselves in a predicament. Is it a fancy party? A pool party?  A costume party? A fancy pool costume party!?  Whatever will our beloved characters do? Author and playwright Mo Willems answers these questions – and more – with his new Elephant & Piggie’s We Are in a Play! Based on his own award-winning series of cartoon books for early readers, this musical is part vaudeville, part absurd, and entirely hilarious. As these two best-bestus beasties don their finest finery, trendiest trunks, and most marvelous masks, they find themselves singing and dancing their way through plenty of pachydermal peril and swiney suspense. You will find yourself pulled into the action as our heroes, Elephant and Piggie, can finally say, “We Are in a Play!!!!!!”

Jack’s Tale

A Mythic Mountain Musical

Feb. 19 – March 8, 2015

Book by Scot Copeland. Music by Paul Carrol Binkley. Lyrics by Paul Carrol Binkley and Scot Copeland.

Appropriate for families with children of all ages.

Everybody knows Jack!  Old King is lookin’ to get the best of him, but Jack’s a clever’un who ain’t afeared of hard work nor Bluebeard Giants nor Raggedy-Bones his own self.  He’ll outfox that Old King, he’ll win the heart of Old King’s Daughter, and he’ll carve out a brand new world with his own two hands.  Inspired by the old-tyme tales and music of the Appalachians, NCT’s own Scot Copeland and Paul Carrol Binkley have nursed this labor of love for several years, through its various phases of workshop presentations. Thanks to a co-commission with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the authors are taking Jack one last step to glory.

NCT will premiere this uniquely southern piece with our own actors and a live string quartet for one-night only at The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. before Jack comes home to NCT, bringing with him this authentic gem of a mountain musical as sweet, dark and rich as the soil from which it sprang.

Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat

April 9 – May 17, 2015

Based on the book by Dr. Seuss. Play originally produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain.

Appropriate for families with children of all ages.

For the 56 years the Cat’s been on the page,

we could never get rights to put him on our stage.

We’ve asked quite politely, we’ve pleaded just so,

but the answer was always, no, no, no, no, NO!

Now, thanks to the National Theatre of Britain,

at last a stage version has finally been written —

With no added text (lots of mime, dance and movement)

and Seuss illustrations (which need no improvement!).

The Cat in the Hat will be here in the spring,

but he won’t be alone, no, he’s going to bring

The Pink Fish, Thing One and Thing Two,

they’re all going to be here, so how about you?

2014-15 Season Subscriptions are on sale now online at nashvillect.org or by calling NCT’s box office at (615) 252-4675, Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.

NCT’s subscriptions are incredibly flexible and affordable with tickets priced at $14 each for adults or youth.  Subscribers can choose to purchase any three or more performances and pick your seats now, or purchase a reloadable FlexPass for six tickets that can be used any time throughout the season. Standard subscriptions are available anytime, but FlexPasses are only available through August 16th when single tickets go on sale.

FlexPass Subscribers and Standard Subscribers receive great benefits such as:

• Additional tickets for adults or youth at $14 each throughout the 2014-15 season

• Free ticket exchange within the run of a show

• Early-bird registration and a 10% savings on all NCT drama classes and camps from September 2014 – August 2015

Thanks to funding from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Kennedy Center Office of Accessibility as well as the support of many local individuals and organizations, NCT will continue to ensure that all audiences can experience theater through physical accessibility, sensory friendly and sign-interpreted performances, and a financial assistance program for students and families.

Special Events

NCT has several special events planned for the 2014-15 Season, including the following:

• The Quest – Saturday, Oct. 4

Are you a Soc or a Greaser?  Put your team of four together and join Nashville’s favorite scavenger hunt followed by the Quest Rumble complete with Outsiders-themed costumes, dancing, food, drinks, and prizes! In this rumble, everybody stays gold.

• Grand Day – Sunday, April 19, 2015

A celebration of the generations of families who have supported NCT, Grand Day begins with a 2 pm performance of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat and is followed by a carnival of games, rides, food, and fun for the whole family!

About Nashville Children’s Theatre

Nashville Children’s Theatre is a professional theater company providing the children, families and educators of Middle Tennessee with extraordinary shared theatrical experiences that inspire imagination, develop creativity, and build community. NCT was founded in 1931 by the Junior League of Nashville and is recognized as the oldest professional children’s theater in the country. A national leader in professional theater arts and education programs for young people, NCT was ranked by TIME magazine as one of the top five children’s theaters in the country.

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