Big Nate

Big Nate

by  Christopher Youstra, Lincoln Peirce, Jason Loewith

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

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

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McDonald’s to bring back Happy Meal Books, Including BIG NATE
by Courtney Kochuba
January 9, 2015

Re-Imagining The Musical: The Story of BIG NATE 
by David Kimple 
January 26, 2016

Videos

  • Big Nate the Musical at Adventure Theatre MTC
  • Big Nate Behind the Scenes
More videos +

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. 
  • Additional Features: Audience Participation/Interactive, No intermission, Physical Comedy, Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Music

  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway, Pop/Rock
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Small/Combo

Song Samples

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

4m, 3f

NATE WRIGHT: Male, 11-12 (Range: Tenor, B2-A4)
You can call him “Big Nate.” The king of detention and mischief, but it’s never his fault. A brilliant cartoonist who is “destined for greatness.” Optimistic about the future but just trying to survive sixth grade.

TEDDY “√” ORTIZ: Male 11-12 (Range: Tenor, C3-F4)
Nate’s other best friend. He has a distinctive laugh (which Nate refers to as a “constipated llama”).

FRANCIS BUTTHURST POPE: Male, 11-12 (Range: Tenor, C3-F4)
Nate’s best friend since kindergarten. Intriguingly smart, or kind of nerdy, he is excited about the little facts of life. Can double as Mrs. Hickson, Mrs. Shipulski (Voiceover).

ARTUR PASHKOV: Male, 11-12 (Range: Baritone with Falsetto, A2-C5)
The Byelorussian Butthead. Exchange student with a heavy accent who hasn’t quite grasped the English language. Incredibly smart, extremely courteous, and a top rated chess champion. Thinks Nate is a great guy. Can double as Marty Wright, Mr. Staples, Spitsy, Calvin.

GINA HEMPHILL-TOMS: Female, 11-12 (Range: Mezzo Soprano, B3-E5)
Nate’s arch-nemesis. A teacher’s pet who lives to get Nate in trouble. A true brainiac and studies during recess. Can double as Mrs. Czerwicki, Galvinator #1

JENNY: Female, 11-12 (Range: Mezzo Soprano, B3-F5)
Nate’s soul mate (at least he thinks so), but she’s more interested in Artur. Can double as Coach John, Pickles, Galvinator #2, Principal Nichols (Voiceover).

ELLEN WRIGHT: Female, Age Flexible (Range: Mezzo Soprano, A3-E5)
Can double as Mrs. Godfrey, Galvinator.


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Cast Attributes

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

Casting Notes

*The original production was a cast of adults. While the main characters are in middle school, casting adults may help with doubling roles. 

Resources

Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

10 Piano/Conductor Scores
Guitar
Bass
Percussion

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Authors

Christopher Youstra

Christopher Youstra

Lincoln Peirce

Lincoln Peirce

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

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