Becoming Nancy

Becoming Nancy

Music by George Stiles
Lyrics by Anthony Drewe
Book by Elliot Davis
Based on the novel Becoming Nancy by Terry Ronald

Originally produced at Alliance Theatre, Atlanta, GA
September 5 - October 6, 2019

About the Premiere Production:


Synopsis: It’s 1979 in the south London suburb of East Dulwich and David Starr is unquestionably one of the smartest, most talented kids in the 12th grade – he’s got a wild imagination, a vocal range to die for, and a bedroom plastered with posters of his beloved pop idols: Blondie, Sting, and Kate Bush. But smarts, talent, and great taste in music may not be enough to get him through secondary school, where, to his great surprise, he’s just been given the female lead in the school play. The unconventional casting sends shockwaves through David’s small town, first with David, and then with his parents, his aunt, and his classmates. Before long, it seems like everybody has an opinion on whether David should go on with the show, inspiring him to turn to his no-nonsense best friend Frances and his unlikely co-star Maxie, the enigmatic captain of the football team. Becoming Nancy is the huge-hearted new musical that weaves a story of family bonds, first loves, and the courage it takes to find your own spotlight.

Artistic Statement: Becoming Nancy has all the parts of a musical the American public loves – empathetic characters, catchy songs, and a storytelling arc underscoring that more unites us than divides. This story of self-discovery uses a high school production of Oliver! as a framework to give the audience an easily accessible path into the story of David Starr as he experiences falling in love for the first time and learning to stand up for who he is no matter what.

Whether you were a high school theatre kid or not, David’s story reminds us of what it was like to pine for the person opposite you or the feeling of “I want to do (fill in the blank here), but Mom and Dad will never approve.” David’s story is our story – a story of desperately wanting to fit in while knowing you were born to stand out. Becoming Nancy is a true love story. But, it is not searching for a happy ending. Those stories have already been told. Becoming Nancy is searching for and finding self-acceptance and confidence.

The characters are unique, fully-formed humans with real emotions often in conflict with one another. The music is a terrific soundtrack of heart-warming and memorable numbers guiding David on his journey to becoming Nancy.

Grant Statement: The Alliance Theatre’s production of Becoming Nancy will premiere on our Coca-Cola Stage and open our 2019/20 season. Like our wildly successful production of The Prom, Becoming Nancy has a team of commercial producers who are looking to the Alliance and our Atlanta audience to test the musical’s potential for Broadway success. During the past 20 years, the Alliance has grown our reputation as a world premiere powerhouse with an audience base who loves seeing new work first. Becoming Nancy had a successful developmental workshop in New York City in 2017 and has ambitions for Broadway after the Alliance fully develops and produces it in Fall 2019.

With an additional week of rehearsal, the production will rehearse from July 23 to September 4, 2019, with 32 performances from September 5 to October 6. Support from the Edgerton Foundation will extend Becoming Nancy’s rehearsal period from a budgeted three to four weeks. This additional week of rehearsal will enable the creative team to adjust the script and give them time to go down creative roads, see results, and make changes

Director: Jerry Mitchell

Music Director/Conductor: Ryan Fielding Garrett

Set DesignerDavid Rockwell

Lighting DesignerPhilip Rosenberg

Costume DesignerAmy Clark

Sound DesignerJohn Shivers