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"A Christmas Story," adapted by Philip Grecian from the film, at the Nashville Repertory Theater. Pictured: Jamie Famer and Samuel Whited. (Photo by Britanie Knapp)

Cumberland County Playhouse Outlines 2016 Season

New works and old favorites are among the offerings on display at rural Tennessee’s largest not-for-profit theatre.

CROSSVILLE, TENN.: Tennessee’s Cumberland County Playhouse has announced its upcoming theatrical season, a slate set to include adaptations of works by Roald Dahl and Frances Hodgson Burnett.

“We’re thrilled to announce next year’s lineup,” said associate producing director Bryce McDonald in a statement. “It’s filled with some of the biggest titles to have appeared on Broadway in recent years. We’ve also secured the rights to new titles by the authors of some of the playhouse’s biggest hits, along with bringing back the perennial favorites Smoke on the Mountain and A Sanders Family Christmas.”

The season will begin with Church Basement Ladies (Jan. 16–March 25, 2016), the lighthearted story of four women staving off disaster in rural Minnesota.

Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka (Feb. 6–March 4, 2016), an adaptation of the classic children’s novel and 1971 film, will follow.

Next is The Nerd (March 11–April 16, 2016), Larry Shue’s character-driven farce about a bumbling houseguest who long overstays his welcome.

The Sparkley Clean Funeral Singers (April 1–May 28, 2016), the regional premiere of a darkly comic new musical from playwright Lori Fischer, will follow. The production, appropriately, will be sponsored by the local Bilbrey Funeral Home.

Shortly afterwards will be the premiere of Southern Fried Nuptials (April 22–June 10, 2016), a new work about an on-again, off-again wedding from the authors of Southern Fried Funeral.

Next is Elemental: Forces of Nature (May 13–14, 2016), an exploration of the makeup of the cosmos coproduced by Cumberland County Playhouse’s Triple Threat Performance Program.

Cumberland County Playhouse’s 23rd annual production of Smoke on the Mountain (June 3–July 29, 2016), a rustic bluegrass musical comedy, will follow.

Next is The Little Mermaid (June 17–Aug. 28, 2016), the Disney adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale.

Mamma Mia! (July 15–Sept. 9, 2016), the bestselling ABBA jukebox musical set on an island in the Aegean Sea, will follow.

Not long after will be a production of Lend Me a Tenor (Aug. 5–Sept. 22, 2016), an operatic screwball comedy from Ken Ludwig, author of The Fox on the Fairway.

The Secret Garden (Sept. 16–Oct. 23, 2016), a musical adaptation of the Victorian–era English novel, will follow.

Next is The Addams Family (Sept. 30–Nov. 12, 2016), a Halloween-appropriate musical comedy starring American cartoonist Charles Addams’ macabre cast of characters.

A Christmas Story (Nov. 4–Dec. 18, 2016), the Broadway musical adaptation of Bob Clark’s 1983 cult classic film, will follow.

Closing the season will be A Sanders Family Christmas (Nov. 18–Dec. 22, 2016), a collection of touching tales and Southern gospel tunes from the authors of Smoke on the Mountain.

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