‘Next to Normal,’ ‘Fences’ to lead off Nashville Rep’s 36th season

Nashville Rep virtual season reveal party

Featuring three musicals, a classic play, and the introduction of the Rep’s new ‘Contemporary American Voices’ series.

Nashville Repertory Theatre’s original plan to announce its 36th season at a large public party on March 16 didn’t happen as expected due to the COVID-19 outbreak and city recommendations to limit public gatherings.

But artists and arts organizations always know how to adapt, which is why the Rep announced its season in a series of videos on social media last week — featuring three musicals, a classic play, and the introduction of a new Contemporary American Voices series.

The season opens in September with Next To Normal, a rock musical with a powerful score that pulls back the curtain on what appears to be a “perfect loving family.”

The second production of the season is August Wilson’s Fences, a Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning drama that explores dreams deferred and an African American man’s struggle to support his family during the Civil Rights Movement.

Throughout the holiday season, a Christmas favorite comes alive in Elf the musical. Based on the Will Ferrell film of the same name, Elf teaches audiences of all ages, “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

To kick off 2021, plays by two contemporary American playwrights take the stage in repertory in February. School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play by Jocelyn Bioh and Primary User by Nate Eppler will play on the same set with alternating performances.

School Girls is a teen comedy that spotlights the universal similarities—and glaring differences — of teenage girls around the globe. Bioh, a Ghanaian-American playwright, has appeared on the Kilroy’s List twice, including once for School Girls.

Primary User, a millennial ghost story and an examination of disconnection and grief in the age of loneliness, had its premier reading at the 2017 Ingram New Works Festival. Eppler is the Rep’s Playwright-in-Residence and the director of the new works project.

The season will close with Ragtime, an epic musical tapestry in which three families’ stories intertwine in restless New York as they pursue their versions of the American Dream at the turn of the 20th century.

Information about season tickets, auditions, and more will be available soon at NashvilleRep.org.

Nashville Rep’s 2020-21 Season:

Next to Normal

Next to Normal

September 12-27, 2020

August Wilson's Fences

August Wilson’s Fences

October 17 – November 1, 2020

Elf the Musical

Elf – The Musical

November 28 – December 27, 2020

School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play

School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play

February 6-20, 2021

Primary User Nate Eppler

Primary User

February 6-21, 2021

Ragtime the Musical


March 27 – April 4, 2021

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