Strong Inside

Sept 7 - Sept 26, 2023

Presented by Vanderbilt University
Adapted by Tyrone L. Robinson
From the book by Andrew Maraniss
Directed by Tamiko Robinson Steele
and Ernie Nolan
In Hill Auditorium | World Premiere

About the production

The inspirational true story of an athlete turned civil rights trailblazer. When king of the boards” Perry Wallace is recruited and accepted to Vanderbilt, his future not only changes, the country’s changes as well. Wallace makes history as the first African American to play college basketball in the deeply segregated Southeastern Conference. But how do you do something you love while surrounded by hate? This powerful world premiere based on the New York Times bestseller is a portrait of fortitude, portraying how Wallace met unthinkable challenges head on.

NCT has created a guide to support families, students, and educators in fostering meaningful conversations about equity and diversity.  We hope these disucssion tips will help you and your children explore the production’s themes with empathy and curiousity and that our shared resources connect you with additional support and context.

 

This production is made possible by support from Vanderbilt University and other generous donors.

 

Show Length

70 Minutes - No Intermission

Recommended Ages

9 & up

Get Tickets

Bring your class
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.

2/5

Language

More Information

  • As a young child, Perry is bullied with words like “nerd” and “Mommy’s boy.”
  • The word Negro is used.

4/5

Violence & Scariness

More Information

  • This show explores and depicts racism and segregation during Perry’s life.
  • It includes a scene of a historical sit-in. A character pours water over another character – this is representatively portrayed. The scene references police pulling and beating people down and making arrests.
  • There are some screams, boos, and jeers throughout the show. At one moment, a character yells, “… kill you!”

3/5

Sensory Advisories

More Information

  • There are theatrical effects involving sound and lighting throughout the show.
  • Images and video are displayed.
  • See the “Violence and Scariness” section.

4/5

Potentially Anxious Moments

More Information

  • See the “Violence and Scariness” section.

Other Things to Know

NCT puts together tips for families and schools to help prepare their children for their experiences. Because the script is still in development, ratings may be adjusted. NCT Education Staff will develop and update these tips on our website throughout the rehearsal process. In the meantime, please see above for more information about current content and what to expect as the script stands at present – knowing that this is subject to change.

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

Gerold Oliver

Perry Wallace

James Rudolph II

Multiple Roles

Will Henke

Multiple Roles

Tamiko Robinson-Steele

Director
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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