Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
based on the book by Judy Blume
adapted for the stage by Bruce Mason
directed by Robin Larsen
May 19, 2017 - June 4, 2017

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Logo

Judy Blume’s enormously popular book hits the stage with hilarity, and sibling rivalry never has been so much fun. Well, two-year-old Fudge is having fun, and so is the audience. Big brother Peter has had enough, and when his turtle ends up in Fudge’s tummy, it’s time for drastic measures.

Previews: May 19-26, 2017
Regular Performances: May 27 – June 4, 2017

Recommendation: Grades K-6. Theatre for Young Audiences … and Their Families is just that, a multi-generational experience for all ages, except children under the age of four and babes-in-arms. The only requirement is that each audience member occupies a seat and sits quietly through the performance while having a wonderful time.

Running Time: Theatre for Young Audiences performances are never more than 90 minutes.

Bruce Mason (Playwright) is an award-winning director and writer for theatre, film and television. In 1997, the Kennedy Center mounted his play Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and toured it nationally. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he was educated at Emerson College in Boston and at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles.

Judy Blume (Author) gained popularity with children of all ages in the 1970s for her unique ability to tackle real-life issues in a kid-friendly manner. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the first in a series of four “Fudge books.” Blume’s best-selling novels include Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret and Blubber. Sales of her novels for children and young adults exceed 80 million. In 2004, Blume was awarded the National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. In 1996, the American Library Association selected Blume for its Margaret A. Edwards Award for her contributions to young adult literature. Blume received the Library of Congress Living Legends Award in the “Writers and Artists” category in April 2000 for her significant contributions to America’s cultural heritage.

Learn more about the production, cast & creative team with a peek into the program. Read full artist bios, in-depth articles and more.

Joshua Wolf Coleman* (Dad, Ralph). My dad used to read The Lord of the Rings to us kids when we were little. He used so many different voices for all of the characters—all of which I loved—that I was probably influenced at that time to become an actor when I grew up. Also, my dad gave me ‘Wolf’ for a middle name, so maybe he wanted me to grow to be an orc or a dwarf or something (which is cool, since actors get to play orcs and dwarves—and lawyers and dancers and doctors and daddies and mommies and superheroes and all sorts of things!!!). I’ve acted in movies and on television and a lot a lot of theatre for a long time (more than 20 years!) and really love acting and am hoping that this play makes you laugh a lot...!”

Brad Culver* (Mr. Yarby, Jimmy Fargo, Sam, Nurse, Director, Dr. Cone). I have been an actor since I was a much smaller person. In my very first play, Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, I ate too much candy backstage and ran around the stage like a monkey. There is no monkey character in The Giving Tree and I completely embarrassed my mother. It was during that performance, at the age of five, that I first fell in love with the stage. Since then, I have acted in movies, TV and a lot of plays. I have done the voices for a few characters on Cartoon Network’s “Regular Show.” I have performed in places like Croatia, Germany and Scotland. I love to write music and I play bass guitar in a band. I received my bachelor of fine arts from the California Institute of the Arts. I’m thrilled to be back at SCR and I’m excited to share this amazing story!

Fran DeLeon* (Mom, Ms. Vincent) Like many of you out there, I’m California-born and raised—from Hollywood, to be exact. Growing up, I was always reading Judy Blume’s books, so I’m really excited to be doing this show. I didn’t start acting ’til I was in high school, but it became my dream when I was six, after watching Jesus Christ Superstar. I thought that the girl who played Mary looked like me and that inspired me to learn every single song on the soundtrack. I love traveling and I get to see a lot of our country when I tour my one-person show, Faces of America. I mostly travel to colleges, but also to special events for the United Nations Association. My husband, Colin, and I run Will & Company and we do a lot of shows for schools in L.A. and Orange County. I’ve also done a lot of Shakespeare, but lately I get to act in plays that are brand new and have never been done before. The last show I did here at SCR was Charlotte’s Web. When I’m not on stage, I’m usually home gardening, listening to my 13-year-old son, Kieran, playing drums, or taking my dogs on hikes.

Celeste Den* (Mrs. Yarby, Sheila Tubman, Jennie, Dr. Brown, Janet, Ambulance Driver). My favorite place in the world is the theatre because there is nothing more fun than making people laugh and cry through stories. It’s a great joy to be able to play pretend for a job, especially when it takes me to places I’ve never been, like London, San Francisco, Oregon and Hong Kong. But, no matter how far I go, I am always grateful to return home to SCR’s stages, where I was last seen in the young audiences shows, Flora & Ulysses and OZ 2.5. I was also at SCR in Trudy and Max in Love, Death of a Salesman and Chinglish—that last one is where I got to speak my first language, Chinese, on stage! It takes a lot of bravery to stand up tall and use your voice to speak the truth—in acting and in life—so I thank my family and friends for showing me what courage looks like and teaching me what strength feels like.

​​​​Michael Faulkner* (​​​​Fudge). I love eating fudge, but this is the first time I've played Fudge...or a two-year-old! Fudge hates sharing, but I have shared laughter all over the world as a performer with The Reduced Shakespeare Company. I love “un-reduced” Shakespeare, too, and have played his funny characters with names like Malvolio, Feste, Launcelot Gobbo and others. I learned to love the theatre and make people laugh from Danny Scheie, who taught at UC Santa Cruz; making kids laugh is extra special. I just directed the musical, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, at the MainStreet Theatre Company in Rancho Cucamonga (a funny name). At SCR, I've done OZ 2.5, Six Degrees of Separation, Rhubarb Jam and The Stinky Cheese Man (2006). Coincidentally, my wife was in the most recent Stinky Cheese Man. Luckily, people don't refer to us as that “stinky couple”!

​​​​​​Matthew Grondin* (​​​​Peter). Hello! Thanks a lot for coming to see Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing! This is my second play at SCR. The first one was based on a play by William Shakespeare. In that, I was a guy from Ireland who fell in love with a girl from America. It was fun! I grew up in a small town in New Hampshire and have been acting since the first grade. My very first role was a dog; I barked a lot. Since then, I have played a rat, a cowboy, a very old man and even a statue! I have been in many plays based on books you might have read—such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Charlotte’s Web. I am especially happy to be in Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing because this was one of my favorite books growing up. I love reading now, but had a lot of trouble learning how to read Judy Blume and her stories helped me so much with that!
Creative Team
Robin Larsen (Director) is thankful the arts were loved and supported where she grew up in Miami, Fla. Starting in fourth grade, she left her elementary school one day a week to attend a special arts school where she got to make believe all day long in drama class. It wasn’t until college that she considered she would do anything other than act in plays. There was a great artist at her college who taught the directors how to direct. His directing work inspired her. He taught her how to imagine what the story on the page looks and feels like off the page, with actors and designers telling the story upon the stage. Her work on Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is dedicated to her seven-year-old daughter, Caroline, who asked her to direct a play for children. She has given her some great ideas for the show.

Sara Ryung Clement (Scenic Design) started to pick out her own outfits when she was just two years old. Pretty soon, she was telling her mother what to wear, too—although her mom did not always take her advice. She went to the Yale School of Drama to learn more about theatre, painting and how to turn drawings into costumes and sets. Now that she is a theatre designer, she works with the director to decide what the places in a play look like or who wears what in a show and why they wear what they wear. You may have seen her costumes at SCR in OZ 2.5, Ben and the Magic Paintbrush or Junie B. Jones and a Little Monkey Business. She’s glad to have the continued support of her parents, who still put her drawings up on the fridge.

Kathryn Poppen (Costume Design) Her theatrical career all started when she ran away to the circus. That is Music Circus in Sacramento, where she interned while in high school. She realized theatre allowed her to combine her favorite subjects (art, history and literature) with her favorite hobby (sewing) to tell a story through the characters’ clothing. Since earning her BFA in design from the University of Southern California, she has worked across the country designing and assisting. She has bedazzled Pee-Wee Herman, crafted an entire show of paper, created backyard wrestler costumes, designed a chicken Elvis and bought a lot of socks. She previously designed costumes (and bunny costumes) for SCR’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.

Karyn Lawrence (Lighting Design) is a theatrical lighting designer. She loves the art of storytelling and grew up drawing, dancing and acting. She fell in love with lighting design while studying at the University of California, Irvine. From magical twinkle lights to flashy rock ‘n’ roll strobes, she loves to paint with light! She has designed numerous plays and events including SCR’s Theatre for Young Audiences productions of The Light Princess, A Year with Frog and Toad and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, as well as Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, Peter Pan, Annie and Seussical for SCR’s Theatre Conservatory. One of her favorite designs each year is lighting the haunted mazes for Universal Studios’ Halloween Horror Nights! When she’s not playing with lights, she’s riding her horse in the mountains near her home in Los Angeles.

Jeff Polunas (Sound Design) is excited to be sound-designing this production at SCR. He has designed many TYAs including Flora & Ulysses, The Light Princess, Ivy + Bean: The Musical and Anastasia Krupnik. During the summer, he loves designing for SCR’s Summer Players, which he has been doing for the last five years. He attended San Diego State University and UC Irvine, where he earned degrees in theatre and sound design. He loves what he does and has designed productions from San Francisco to San Diego. He enjoys taking the sounds we hear and creating something magical from them.

Kathryn Davies* (Stage Manager) grew up in Nova Scotia, Canada, where she studied piano, ukulele, recorder and tap dancing. Her parents took her to see a lot of shows and she decided to become a stage manager when she was in the 12th grade. Her high school drama teacher, Mr. Drew, inspired her to do this. Throughout the years, she has studied French, Italian, German and Spanish, which has helped her to work on big opera productions. She is very grateful to her parents for making her keep up with her music lessons, because if she hadn’t, she wouldn’t be able to do what she does now. Today, Kathryn gets to work with amazingly creative actors, directors, designers, singers, musicians and film stars in several countries.

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

​Matthew Grondin and Michael Faulkner​ in TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Photo by Debora Robinson.
Brad Culver, ​Matthew Grondin, Michael Faulkner​ and Celeste Den and Joshua Wolf Coleman in TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Photo by Debora Robinson.
Fran de Leon, Michael Faulkner and Brad Culver in TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Photo by Debora Robinson.
Michael Faulkner and ​Matthew Grondin in TALES OF A FOURTH GRADE NOTHING. Photo by Debora Robinson.
From the Blog
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing CastMeet the Cast of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing is the story of sibling rivalry—the funniest you’ve ever seen! Meet the six-member cast as they dish on their own childhood pets, siblings and more.read more
Tales of Turtles and TroubleTales of Turtles and Trouble
Turtles and trouble are among the Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing. Dramaturg Kat Zukaitis gives a look into this stage adaptation of the popular book.read more
Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing Study Guide

​Olivia and Alan Slutzky
Phyllis and Larry Hogle

Wells Fargo

OC Register Family

Events For ​Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing

Plan Your Visit   Ticket Discounts
Visit Our Blog   Email Us
Print   Share
Donate Now