Big Nate

Big Nate

by  Jason Loewith, Lincoln Peirce, Christopher Youstra

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  4m, 3f

Nate Wright, a detention-riddled sixth grader (and drummer) hopes to capture beautiful Jenny’s heart by winning “The Nicholodeon”, the first prize in his school’s Battle of the Bands.  
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Big Nate
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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    75 Minutes
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Theatre for Young Audiences
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    Not Applicable
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences

Additional Info

Nate Wright, a detention-riddled sixth grader (and drummer for the greatest garage band in the history of the galaxy, Enslave the Mollusk!) hopes to capture beautiful Jenny’s heart by winning “The Nicholodeon”, the first prize in his school’s Battle of the Bands.  But when Artur and Jenny team up with Nate’s arch-rival Gina to form the sap-pop band Rainbows and Ponies, he’s gotta take his game to an all-star level.  Using his superior cartoon skills, Nate concocts a super-charged, spectacular dedication to Jenny during his song’s climax, which will blow Rainbows and Ponies away and make Jenny realize her mistake. But since it’s Nate Wright, the plan backfires, and Enslave the Mollusk gets disqualified.  Nate manages to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat with a little honest help from Artur.  Nate and his band win The Nicholodeon, but Jenny rewards Artur for his honesty by agreeing to “have steadiness” with him.  
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Reviews

"Bursting with energy and fun music, great lyrics and true to life comic strip characters, Big Nate, based on the familiar comic strip,  is a rocking fresh bundle of raucous fun." - DC Theatre Scene 

"...the popular children’s book series and comic strip Big Nate has arrived at Adventure Theatre MTC in a sparkling world premiere musical...Overall Big Nate is a delight for all ages. With a great book and score..., this is a musical that I can highly recommend for you and your children to enjoy together." - MD Theatre Guide

"The musical pays loving homage to the Peirce canon. For the many fans of that canon, the homage will strike just the right rock-star-worthy note." - Washington Post

"
[Big Nate] captures the essence of middle school with contemporary comedy when singing catchy musical numbers...The 90-minute, one intermission afternoon passes quickly while enjoying the melodies of the musical score...Each lyric and song by Chris Youstra and Jason Loewith glorify the traumas of middle school life with enchanting humor." - Broadway World Reviews

"
A musical production filled with immense fun...BIG NATE extolls the virtues of best friends. Even when a school day, an event, go amiss, these 6th graders' dreams might still come true, and your friends stand beside you to get you through the day. This theme underscores BIG NATE's musical mayhem, an exceptional message that instills in every young performer, or those sitting in the audience, the inspiration to overcome life's setbacks with confidence knowing that tomorrow circumstances will bring success." - Broadway World Reviews

Videos

  • Big Nate the Musical at Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Big Nate Behind the Scenes
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Elementary School / Primary
  • Jr High/Primary
  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day, New Millennium/21st Century
  • Duration: 75 Minutes
  • Setting: Various locations in Nate's middle school. 
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Easy

Song Samples

Another Day in the Life of Big Nate
0:00
It’s Your Day
0:00
It’s Our Day
0:00
I Like Boys (Especially You)
0:00
Another Day in the Life of Big Nate (Reprise)
0:00

Casting

4m, 3f
NATE WRIGHT
TEDDY “√” ORTIZ/Mr. Galvin
FRANCIS BUTTHURST POPE/Mrs. Hickson/Mrs. Shipulski (Voiceover)
ARTUR PASHKOV/Marty Wright/Mr. Staples/Spitsy/Calvin
GINA HEMPHILL-TOMS/Mrs. Czerwicki/Galvinator #1
JENNY/Coach John/Pickles/Galvinator #2/Principal Nichols (Voiceover)
ELLEN WRIGHT/Mrs. Godfrey/Galvinator

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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Flexible casting

Casting Notes

As Nate is himself a brilliant cartoonist – and the plot hinges on the revelation of his drawing skills – the script features a number of images.  These can be achieved via printed images on posters or revealed on sets and props (like lunchboxes, flats or chair backs), via projections, or via other creative means.  The premiere production used images on foam core held by actors, along with projections.  Lincoln Peirce has drawn custom images which are available for use by post-premiere productions.

Although there are many locations specified in the script, the premiere production set design is a non-naturalistic classroom, which the actors rotate to reveal Nate’s garage. The set from Adventure is designed to tour.  The authors intend scenes to move fluidly and encourage less set, more rhythm.


Resources

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Authors

Jason Loewith

Jason Loewith produced and co-wrote the world premiere of Adding Machine: A Musical, winning Lucille Lortel and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best New Musical of the Season, as well as four OBIE Awards for direction, design, and performance; and is published by Samuel French. He is currently the Artistic Director of ...

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Lincoln Peirce

Lincoln Peirce

Christopher Youstra

Christopher Youstra

Commissioned for Adventure Theatre. Based on the cartoons and books by Lincoln Peirce. 

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