Executive Artistic Director Ernie Nolan is proud to announce the 2023/24 season lineup, which is comprised of 6 productions, 5 of which are world premieres for family audiences. “Whether playing on the basketball court or swimming in the deep blue season, our heroes this season celebrate and embrace their unique qualities and personalities. They face the worlds they live in and announce, “I am courageously me!”
Opening August 12, 2023 in the NCT Snuggery, THREE LITTLE KITTENS, created and directed by Nolan, is a detective game with cat-titude. When three little kittens discover they’re missing their mittens, they go on an adventure to find them before Mother Cat finds out. This interactive, immersive spy play takes little ones on a journey that involves meeting neighbors; building unexpected friendships; and like all good adventures, pie. “Nashville Children’s Theatre is one of the only theatres in the US that is dedicated to consistently producing work for the youngest of theatregoers, ages 0-5 years old. This makes us not only national leaders in theatre for the very young, but a part of an international conversation as well.”
The first production in Hill Auditorium is the world premiere of STRONG INSIDE, adapted by Tyrone L. Robinson from the New York Times best selling book by Andrew Maraniss. This portrait of fortitude is the inspirational true story of Nashville native Perry Wallace. Recruited and accepted to Vanderbilt, Wallace makes history as the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference. “Perry’s story asks a powerful question,” says Nolan, “How do you do something you love while surrounded by hate?” Also directed by Robinson, this homegrown hero’s story plays until September 26, 2023.
Opening in time for the holidays, the world premiere young audiences version of Roald Dahl’s CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, with music by Marc Shaiman, lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman, and book by David Greig, plays from November 4 to December 17, 2023. Based on the famous novel by Roald Dahl, The world-famous Willy Wonka is opening the gates to his mysterious factory…but only to a lucky few. Young Charlie Bucket and four other golden ticket winners will embark on a life-changing journey through Wonka’s world of pure imagination including chocolate waterfalls, nutty squirrels and the great glass elevator, all to be revealed by Wonka’s army of curious Oompa-Loompas. This TYA world premiere features an original score and lyrics by Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray) as well as songs from the beloved 1971 film picture including “Candy Man,” “I’ve Got a Golden Ticket,” “Oompa Loompa Song,” and “Pure Imagination.”
Life continues to be sweet at Nashville Children’s Theatre in the new year with THE GINGERBREAD KID, a pop music fairy tale frolic, with music by Jodi Marr and book and lyrics by Abe Reybold. A remix of the traditional story of The Gingerbread Man, NCT’s third world premiere of the season opens January 27, 2024 and runs until February 25. When the magical child of a baking couple accidently eats all of their parents’ sweets, they run away as fast as they can from facing the consequences. As the race builds, Allspice meets a kooky cast of storybook favorites including Henny Penny and her gang, Little Boy Blue, and Foofinella, of Little Bunny Foo Foo fame. Will Allspice always be on the run? Or will a hungry fox stop them in their sugary tracks? “NCT continues to not only give our audiences new, world premiere productions, but also the national field,” cites Nolan. “The new works that NCT has created have gone on to be some of the most produced plays in the country. THE GINGERBREAD KID is sure to become a new classic made right here in Nashville.”
Following THREE LITTLE KITTENS in the Snuggery, THE FLOPSY BUNNIES: A PETER RABBIT ADVENTURE opens on March 9, 2024 and runs until June 30. In this world premiere, based on a story by Beatrix Potter, the Flopsy Bunnies have disappeared! But have no fear, Mama Bunny is in pursuit. Come along with her as she travels to Mr. MacGregor’s garden following a trail of lettuce leaves in this interactive, immersive play especially designed for the very young. Join in the celebration as this bunny bunch is reunited in time for tea with the help of a tiny, resourceful friend. “NCT has been an introduction to theatre and the arts for millions of Nashvillians,” reminds Nolan. “Our Snuggery productions are Wiggle Welcome Zones especially designed for the youngest of theatre-goers to have an arts experience on their own terms.”
Finishing the season from April 6 to May 19, 2024 in Hill Auditorium is the TYA world premiere of Disney’s FINDING NEMO, music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez (FROZEN) and book adapted by Lindsay Anderson. The beloved 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo comes to life on stage, with new music by award-winning songwriting team Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez (Frozen). Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves.
2023/24 School field trip reservations and season memberships are available now. Single tickets go on sale July 1.
For the best seats and availability, reserve and purchase your memberships now at this link.