The Best School Year Ever

Sept 7-Sept 29, 2024

In Hill Auditorium | World Premiere Directed By Ernie Nolan Sponsored by AMAZON

About the production

The second in a series of stories featuring characters from “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” Beth and Charlie Bradley fear starting another school year with their notorious classmates Imogene, Leroy and Gladys Herdman. When Miss Kemp assigns the students at Woodrow Wilson Elementary to think of compliments for their classmates and Beth picks Imogene’s name, an unforgettably hilarious school year commences complete with a tattooed baby, a mysterious teachers’ lounge and a compassionate discovery that might prove there’s something good about this crazy clan after all.

Show Length

TBD - No Intermission

Recommended Ages

K-6

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Accessibility

Theatre is for everyone.

ALL shows at NCT are Sensory Friendly. Learn more about our accessibility options.

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Is my child ready for this show?

Look at these scaled categories (0-5) to make a decision.

1/5

Language

More Information

Kids use unkind words about each other (such as dumb, rude, etc.)

2/5

Violence and Scariness

More Information

The show opens with Beth having a very brief nightmare. There are depictions of bullying and misconduct. The fire alarm goes off and students get scared, but it’s just a drill. Students start running chaotically.

2/5

Sensory Advisories

More Information

There are theatrical effects such as sound and lighting throughout the show. Specific sudden sound effects include: school bells, fire alarms, whistles, car
beeps, bullhorn announcements, and trumpet blowing.

3/5

Potentially Anxious Moments

More Information

There are references to misbehavior (such as smoking
cigars, setting fires, teasing, etc.) and depictions (cheating, vandalizing, lying, etc.). Imogene has a box of mice for a science project and scares another student with them. There is a reference to Leroy putting a cat in a washing machine. The Herdmanns take Baby Howard, scribble on his head, and charge people to look at him. Eugene faints. Characters joke that students never return from the teachers’ lounge. Mrs. Wendelken gets stuck in a room when a lock jams. See “Violence and Scariness.”

Other Things to Know

This play is based on the book by the same title by Barbara Robinson. It features characters from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and came out after. Mrs. Bradley shares that the Herdman’s dad left town and never came back. Students briefly joke that teachers smoke, drink beer, and play poker in the teachers’ lounge. The play takes place in the 1980s. There will not be an intermission.

NCT puts together tips to help families and schools prepare their children for their experience. Numbers indicate the “score” of each category – 1 representing a small amount and 5 representing a large amount. NOTE: Education Staff will continue to update these tips on our website as the show may change throughout the rehearsal process.

Social Story

A Social Story is a tool to help improve a child’s understanding of expectations during an unfamiliar event. They were originally designed to support neurodivergent individuals. However, this can be a useful tool for any person who is unsure about what to expect from a new experience.

Cast & Crew

Meet the people behind the production.

Team Category
Team Category
Ernie Nolan

Ernie Nolan

Director

Kenny Dozier

Mr. van Daan

Abby Austin

ASM/PA

Hannah Boner

Stage Manager

Ernie Nolan

Director/ Choreographer

James Rudolph II

Miss Gulch/ Wicked Witch of the West

Richard Daniel

Multiple Roles

Jonah Jackson

Toto/ Nikko/ Multiple Roles

Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva

Cowardly Lion

Gerold Oliver

Tinman

Matthew Carlton

Uncle Henry/ Multiple Roles

Megan Murphy Chambers

Prof. Marvel/Wizard

Shelby Smith

Dorothy Gale

Corrie Maxwell

Aunt Em/Glinda

Ben Friesen

Scarecrow

Kenny Dozier

Mr. van Daan

Abby Austin

ASM/PA

Hannah Boner

Stage Manager

Ernie Nolan

Director/ Choreographer

James Rudolph II

Miss Gulch/ Wicked Witch of the West

Richard Daniel

Multiple Roles

A Transformational Experience Awaits You!

Pick a Day for Your Play

Each NCT production schedules a Neuro-Inclusive Performance, ASL Interpreted Performance, and Discovery Day (Post Show Q&A) so everyone can enjoy.

Before You Take Your Seat

Unique preshow lobby activities that explore the show's themes are available for the entire family to enjoy an hour before every performance.

Not a Bad Seat in the House

Whether you're tall or small, there's not a bad seat in the auditorium. Booster seats are available so everyone can see the magic.

What To Expect

Accessibility

NCT is completely wheelchair accessible, and we make accommodations for mobility and physical disabilities.

Attention Aids

We always us visual schedules - so students know what to expect. We also include access to sand timers, bubble timers, and visual clock timers.

Chill Corner

Our ‘chill corner’ is a place where students can take a break if an game is becoming too over-stimulating. Noise-reducing headphones are also available.

Helpful Visuals

We always us visual schedules - so students know what to expect. We also include access to sand timers, bubble timers, and visual clock timers.

Class Expectations

All classes utilize verbal as well as discussed written expectations so students understand classroom behavioral expectations

Class Nametags

All class nametags are printed in the color and have the name of the class color printed on them for colorblind students.

Convenient Location

We're located just a few blocks from Downtown Nashville, near hotels, restaurants, and other popular attractions.

Free Parking

From minivans to caravans, we have space for you in our dedicated lot. Parking is always free and easy at NCT.

Accessibility

NCT is completely wheelchair accessible, and we make accommodations for mobility and physical disabilities.

Magical Memories Are One Click Away!

For Educators

Ready for a field trip you can enjoy just as much as your students? We make field trips easy and fun for EVERYONE, especially teachers.

Young child looking out of bus window

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