Q&A with Tracy Ward, Director of Fancy Nancy, The Musical

Performance Days

  • April 11 - May 3: Fridays, 7 p.m., Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m. & 2 p.m., Freight & Salvage, Berkeley
  • May 9 - May 17: Saturdays, 4:30 p.m., Sundays 11 a.m., 2 p.m., & 4:30 p.m., Front Row Theater, San Ramon
  • May 23 - June 7:  Saturdays & Sundays, 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m. & 3 p.m., Marin Theatre Company, Mill Valley
  • June 13 - June 21: Saturdays & Sundays, 11 a.m., 2 p.m. & 5 p.m., Children's Creativity Museum in San Francisco

$18 children | $22 for adults | $20 seniors | $13 group of 15+

The performance will be 70 minutes, including intermission.

Ages: 4-8 but Appropriate for all ages. Don't forget your fancy ACCESSORIES when you come to the show!

The Bay Area Children’s Theatre (BACT) presents ‘Fancy Nancy, The Musical,' a pink and sparkly stage adaptation, based on the Fancy Nancy series by Jane O’Connor. Nancy is a Francophile girl with a booming personality who adores all things fancy and likes to uses big words. I spoke with the play's director, Tracy Ward, about this exciting production debuting in theaters across the Bay Area.  

Can you tell me about the play "Fancy Nancy, the Musical"? 
The play is about Nancy and her friends, Bree, Rhonda, Wanda, and Lionel. It's based on a book in the Fancy Nancy series, The Mermaid Ballet. There's a ballet recital at school and Nancy has her heart set on being the star but doesn't get the part she wants. Now she must deal with this situation in the best way only Fancy Nancy knows how.

Will this performance appeal to boys?
My directing approach is to engage all audience members to use their imagination, expand vocabulary and inject a "fancy" word to things, which I think that has a broader appeal. There's a boy character, Lionel, who dances and raps but this show is classically Fancy Nancy, with all her accoutrement (that's a fancy word for accessories.)

What is it about Nancy that has made her such a successful character? 
Nancy is inspiring and unique in the way she looks at the world. She sparks everybody’s imagination with the way she thinks of things which comes naturally to kids when they play. Nancy is clever, adaptable and an inspiration to those around her. 

What drew you to direct this play?
My daughter, Soleil, was so enamored with Fancy Nancy, and we read many of the books. So, I thought this play would be a really fun adventure to explore with a professional cast. There are more option on stage then the books in terms of character, interpretation, and choices.

Tell me about your background and what you bring to the production.
I've been directing new works and children’s theater for 30 years. I worked with BACT on the Magic School Bus and Strega Nona. I met the founders of BACT at the Kaiser Permanente Education Theater programs, which is where it all started from. And I love working for a young audience, because they're the most challenging and the reward is so high to figure out ways to keep an audience of kids engaged. 

Why is it important to create theater for young audiences?
Theater is life. It's essential to understanding and creating connections to people. I think it’s more essential now then it’s ever been because our kids are so marketed to and screen oriented. Kids crave and appreciate live theater where anything can happen. Theater gives them a real experience to get away from screens and see what life really offers.

For more information or to purchase tickets to Fancy Nancy visit them at bactheatre.org/shows/FancyNancy.