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FPAC Announces 2023-24 Season

The Franklin Performing Arts Company (FPAC) is excited to announce its 2023-24 season of musicals and plays in their home venue THE BLACK BOX. The exciting lineup will include Disney’s The Little Mermaid, Buyer & Cellar, Bright Star, Tarzan, and August: Osage County. Additionally, FPAC Holiday Productions will present holiday favorites The Nutcracker and Humbug! A Christmas Carol Musical with a twist at the Franklin High School Auditorium.  

FPAC will open its season with Disney’s The Little Mermaid directed and choreographed by Broadway’s Christopher Rice-Thomson (Hamilton, Book of Mormon, Pretty Woman) October 13-22. Based on one of Hans Christian Andersen’s most beloved stories and the classic animated film, Disney’s The Little Mermaid is a hauntingly beautiful love story for the ages. With music by eight-time Academy Award winner, Alan Menken, lyrics by Howard Ashman and Glenn Slater, and a compelling book by Doug Wright, this fishy fable will capture your heart with its irresistible songs, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and “Part of Your World.” With music direction by Hallie Wetzell.   

The season continues with the hilarious comedy Buyer & Cellar starring Paul Rescigno November 17-19 at THE BLACK BOX. Alex Moore has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., he takes a job working in the Malibu basement of a beloved megastar. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? Buyer & Cellar is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. Winner of the 2014–2015 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Solo Show. Directed by Nick Paone.   

FPAC Holiday Productions will mount their annual production of The Nutcracker December 2 and 3 featuring live orchestra, special guest artists, and more than 100 area dancers. The holiday magic will continue on December 16 and 17 with Humbug! A Christmas Carol Musical with a twist. With musical hits of every genre and live accompaniment by a 10-piece band of professional musicians, Humbug! transports audiences from Dickensian England to contemporary America as the novel’s iconic characters and storyline are cleverly reimagined with modern setting and dialogue. FPAC Holiday Productions are presented at the Franklin High School Auditorium. 

After the holidays, FPAC will present the musical Bright Star January 5-7 at THE BLACK BOX. Featuring the Tony-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, Broadway’s Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past—and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. Directed by Raye Lynn Mercer. Music Direction by Hallie Wetzell.  

The 2023-24 season will continue with a reimagined immersive production of Tarzan the Broadway musical starring Broadway’s original Tarzan Josh Strickland March 8-17. THE BLACK BOX will be transformed into a multi-stage rock concert centering the iconic Phil Collins music, while telling the classic story by blending Broadway and concert experience. Conceptualized and directed by Raye Lynn Mercer and Ali Funkhouser with choreography by Broadway’s Clay Rice-Thomson (Moulin Rouge!, KING KONG, Newsies, Matilda). Music Direction by Hallie Wetzell. Based on Disney’s epic animated musical adventure and Edgar Rice Burrough’s Tarzan of the Apes, Tarzan features heart-pumping music by rock legend, Phil Collins, and a book by Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang. High-flying excitement and hits, like the Academy Award winning “You’ll Be in My Heart,” as well as “Son of Man,” and “Two Worlds,” make Tarzan an unforgettable theatrical experience. 

FPAC’s season will conclude with Tracy Letts’s Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning play August: Osage County June 7-9 at THE BLACK BOX.  A vanished father. A pill-popping mother. Three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the large Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoman family homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling secrets. Mix in Violet, the drugged-up, scathingly acidic matriarch, and you’ve got a major play that unflinchingly—and uproariously—exposes the dark side of the Midwestern American family. 

FPAC is an Actors’ Equity Small Professional Theater company based at THE BLACK BOX in downtown Franklin. Each season, FPAC produces musicals, plays, ballets, and more featuring Broadway stars, professional actors, local artists, and students of the arts. Tickets for the 2023-24 season will be on sale soon. Follow Franklin Performing Arts Company and THE BLACK BOX on Facebook and Instagram for updates on programming.