Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT) begins its 84th season with Einstein is a Dummy, opening Thursday (Sept. 17) and running through Oct. 4, a joyous celebration of Albert Einstein and the courage to think differently. This will be the second time the play has been staged at NCT.
This uplifting play about a fictional day in young Einstein’s life confirms that each of us is both ordinary and special. As an adult, Albert Einstein changed our view of the universe. But as a boy, he struggled with the same issues any twelve-year-old might: keeping up with violin lessons, impressing the girl next door, figuring out how to get along with the other kids in class, and of course, comprehending the relationship of space and time to the speed of light.
The musical was first produced at NCT in 2007, and features music by Deborah Wicks La Puma, composer of the popular play Elephant and Piggie: We Are In A Play!, a huge hit when performed on NCT’s stage last season. The book and lyrics were written by award-winning playwright and 2006 Francesca Prize winner Karen Zacarías, one of the most produced and lauded Latina playwrights in the nation.
“Zacarías and La Puma posit a wild, absurd, thoroughly hilarious scenario that is, remarkably, absolutely consistent with Einstein’s descriptions of his mental process of discovery,” says NCT Producing Artistic Director Scot Copeland. “They revel in an exhilarating theatrical celebration of the power of the human mind unbound by the limits of human convention. Along the way, they give solace and encouragement to every different-thinking child that is fortunate enough to encounter the piece. Einstein is a Dummy is one of the most important plays of my lifetime, and its time has come.”
The cast is lead by NCT newcomer Mikey Rosenbaum as young Albert with James Rudolph as his amazing Cat. Also onstage at NCT for the first time is beloved local actor Megan Murphy Chambers, who will lend her powerhouse vocals to the role of Elsa, fellow oddball student and the object of Albert’s affections. NCT veteran Bobby Wyckoff plays Albert’s absolutist violin teacher Herr Schloppnoppdinkerdonn and frequent company collaborator Shawn Knight steps back into the shoes of bully Constantin, a role he first played in their 2007 production.
NCT’s artistic team has created an exhilarating, absurdly original theatrical thrill-ride through the cosmos. Copeland will wrangle the outstanding team of actors, with music direction by Russell Davis. Choreography is by Pam Atha; set and lighting design by Scott Leathers; costume design by Patricia Taber; multimedia design by Colin Peterson; and sound design is by Kitchen Sink, Inc.
This production of Einstein is a Dummy is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts and AT&T.
There is a preview performance this Thursday (Sept. 17) at 6:30 p.m. at a discounted rate of $7 per child and $15 per adult. School performances are weekdays at 10 and 11:45 a.m. Weekend performances are open to the public and scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays Sept. 20 through Oct. 4; reservations are recommended. There is no Saturday performance on Sept. 19. Individual weekend ticket prices are $15 per child (ages 2 to 17), $20 per adult; group, senior, educator, and military discounts are also available. A homeschool performance is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Sept. 30, and a sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for Sept. 27 at 2 p.m.
A Sensory Friendly performance is available Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. This performance is open to the public and is designed to be a safe and accepting environment where children with disabilities and their typically developing peers are free to speak and move in reaction to the story being told onstage. For all performances, NCT provides a Comfort Room in the back of our theatre where audience members can always adjust both light and sound levels.
To purchase tickets please click here or call (615) 252-4675 Tuesdays – Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Thanks to funding from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Memorial Foundation and the Shubert Foundation as well as the support of many local individuals and organizations, NCT will continue to ensure that all audiences can experience the theatre through physical accessibility, sensory friendly and sign-interpreted performances, and a financial assistance program for students and families.
About Nashville Children’s Theatre
Nashville Children’s Theatre is a professional theater company providing the children, families and educators of Middle Tennessee with extraordinary shared theatrical experiences that inspire imagination, develop creativity, and build community.
NCT was founded in 1931 by the Junior League of Nashville and is recognized as the oldest professional children’s theater in the country. A national leader in professional theater arts and education programs for young people, NCT has been ranked by TIME magazine as one of the top five children’s theaters in the country.
*Photos of Mikey Rosenbaum as Albert and James Rudolph as Cat by Colin Peterson courtesy NCT.