Adapted from the book by Harry Allard and James Marshall
Book, Music & Lyrics by Joan Cushing
Commissioned by: Imagination Stage Bethesda, MD
World Premiere: November 12, 2003 – January 11, 2004
National Tour: Omaha Theatre Company
Highlight:  Finalist, 2005 National Children's Theatre Festival
Representation By: Imagination Stage

Synopsis  |   Production History  |   Production Photos  |   Song Samples  |   Quotes  |   REVIEWS
What the critics are saying:
"Frolicking football players, a perky cheerleader, a hilarious spatula-wielding cafeteria lady, and an electrifying Viola Swamp, who transforms from the sweet-faced Miss Nelson to the dreaded coach, all play to the appreciative giggles of local school kids... The carefully choreographed slow motion finale is as grittily elegant as anything on "Monday Night Football."
  – The Washington Post
"Miss Nelson has a 'Field Day' on Imagination Stage!...As good, if not better, than the original Miss Nelson...The highlight of the show is the "slow motion" football game at the end, both realistic and hilarious...With the Miss Nelson plays, Junie B. Jones, and, at Adventure Theatre, Brave Irene, Miss Cushing is making a name for herself in children’s theater."
  – Montgomery County Sentinel
"Bright and lively, with catchy songs and nifty slow motion effects, Miss Nelson serves up the concepts of losing, scoring, and winning...Cushing’s book is clear and the plot easy to follow, even for those not particularly schooled in football."
  – Potomac Stages
"A singing, dancing, football-in-slow-motion extravaganza that is part NFL, part SNL, part reggae party and part "Chariots of Fire."...Sitting in the audience at Imagination Stage is the next best thing to suiting up and sitting on the sidelines...90 minutes of football-themed American dream set to music: do your best, practice hard, respect your teachers and take one for the team."
  – The Gazette
"A sequel to the joyous Miss Nelson Is Missing, it expands the picture book with a spatula-wielding cafeteria lady (male actor) who is given a voice and a song, and Viola Swamp, clad in a fabulously witchy pair of high-heeled sneakers and sporting glittery talons, determined to make the Smedley Tornadoes a force of nature once again....In the process, the players learn about teamwork, respect, for themselves and others, and the importance of not giving up. The slo-mo sequence gives a hilarious ‘Chariots of Fire’ quality to the Tornado’s victorious game against their arch-rival."
  – The Washington Times
"Fun for the whole family" may be a stale cliché, but it is a more-than-fitting description of Manhattan Children’s theatre’s production of Miss Nelson Has a Field Day…. a delight for parents and children with its catchy, beautifully performed tunes and entertaining plot that involves a losing school football team that wins back its pride and self respect with the help of a frightening and hard driving substitute teacher turned coach. The music, penned by Joan Cushing, makes the play shine – from the sad refrains of a defeated team to the spirited beat of a team on the rise."
  – The Tribeca Trib
"It’s a childrens musical about a losing middle-school football team, but it scores right away….Cushing’s sassy lyrics seemed to entertain the teachers seated near me as much as the kids."
  – Omaha World Herald
"Miss Nelson Has a Field Day! scores a touchdown at Magik Theatre."
  – The Express News, San Antonio, TX


"Muhlenberg Summer Music Theatre has another crowd-pleaser... 'Miss Nelson Has a Field Day' is a lively, engaging, interactive show, full of humor and with the expected moral for children - work hard, and you'll succeed."
  – The Morning Call, Allentown, PA


"Joan Cushing, whose adaptation "Miss Nelson Is Missing!" ran here in 2005, has created another tour de force...The Smedley football team...has a bad attitude.  So when the beleagured Coach Armstrong has a breakdown, Viola Swamp tackles the job.  You can imagine the final game, which the director, Bruce Merrill, has hilariously staged as a slow-motion ballet."
  – The New York Times

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