What’s the biggest challenge currently facing the Nashville Children’s Theatre? Our primary audience can’t be vaccinated yet, so there are extra precautions that we need to take. A normal day for us saw over 1,000 elementary school students in the building. With students behind in school and districts limiting field trips — or, in some cases, challenging our safety precautions — we know that it will be a long time before we see the numbers of young people we used to in the building.
When you look back over the past 18 months, what accomplishment are you most proud of? I’m incredibly proud of the ingenuity and moxie of our staff and artists. In March of 2020, NCT’s Drama School was one of the first in the country to create an entirely new curriculum for our classes and camps that embraced Zoom’s capabilities. Since then, children in 17 states and five countries have been served by those classes.
What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learned during the pandemic? Without the ability of having people in our building, it’s forced us to think of new ways to continue to serve our audiences. I think we’ve definitely seen the positive results of our creativity during this time.
What is in store for the 2021-22 season for the Nashville Children’s Theatre? 2021 is our 90th anniversary! NCT is Nashville’s oldest cultural institution. We’re the oldest professional theater for young audiences in the United States. This year’s season was selected to not only highlight celebrating, but also to showcase the magic of live theater.
Is there a particular show or event you’re most excited about? NCT’s resident musical director, David Weinstein, and I have created a new musical version of Peter Pan. It’s all the things you love about the story but told in a new and surprising way, especially focusing on Wendy. I can’t wait for audiences to experience it.
For those wanting to support the Nashville Children’s Theatre, what are the greatest needs or ways they can help? Come and see a production! Our programming is multigenerational. We need your support right now more than ever, whether [it’s] a ticket purchased or a donation made. We’re looking forward to NCT’s next 90 years, and in order to do that, we need your support.