September 2017

by DeeGee Lester

Ernie Nolan, NCT’s Artistic Director; Photograph by Reed Hummell

Nashville Children’s Theatre’s delightful fall lineup weaves together a trilogy of stories of hope and transformation. Each play is a reminder to children that we never really know what a person is capable of achieving; that behind what we see each day may be a life quietly transforming itself.

“Because theatre mirrors the world we live in, I want NCT to be a place where everyone has a story. In addition to current patrons who might have memories of visiting our theatre as a child, it’s my hope our work engages new audiences with our 2017–18 season,” says Ernie Nolan, NCT’s Artistic Director.

In The Hundred Dresses (September 14–October 1), viewers can simultaneously see the cruelty of bullies, the silence and guilt of bystanders, and how hidden truths and talents reveal a surprising young heroine. The play, by William Kent Williams, is based on a popular book by Eleanor Estes.

“While written in 1944, The Hundred Dresses is an incredibly topical play for young audiences, especially those in Nashville. Statistics show that 100 people a day are moving to our incredible city. This play is an opportunity to discuss with young people how we might welcome new Nashvillians. Eleanor Estes’s moving story asks us to reflect on whether we will choose to be a friend or a foe to those that look or sound different from us.”

The centerpiece for the fall lineup (October 26–December 3) is a charming musical production, Mr. Popper’s Penguins. “At the heart of Mr. Popper’s Penguins is a story about believing in the power of possibility,” says Nolan. “Through ingenuity, hard work, and moxie, Mr. Popper’s dreams come true. This production allows NCT to celebrate the magic of live theatre. It also offers the opportunity to showcase the amazing homegrown talents of puppet designer Brian Hull, our NCT resident designers Scott Leathers and Patricia Taber, as well as our cast of singers and dancers. This tuneful charmer is getting a one-of-a-kind production here at NCT.”

Cinderella; Photograph courtesy of NCT

To close out the fall season (December 14–21), NCT brings back a classic. “This holiday we are also bringing back Scot Copeland’s witty and effervescent adaptation of Cinderella. It’s an NCT original production that has quickly become a classic for our audience. Featuring many favorite NCT actors, it’s an enchanting and memorable night at the theatre for the whole family.”

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