Do you have what it takes to be FANCY? Based on the acclaimed children’s books by Jane O’Connor, Fancy Nancy The Musical is coming to Grand Rapids Civic Theatre’s stage April 21-30!

This stellar volunteer cast is entirely made up of children and just one adult! Carolyn Peterson, who plays “Mother,” debuts at Civic in Fancy Nancy after her 31-year hiatus from the theatre. She has what it takes to be fancy as she dares to challenge herself on and off the stage.

Carolyn Peterson at the Gardens

                Carolyn Peterson aka “Mother”


What is it like being the only adult cast member in Fancy Nancy?

​Challenging! Being the “new kid on the block,” I’m not quite sure where to fit in; whether to hang out as a kid or to act own my age. For the most part, I just observe, respond, and try to lead by example.​

What motivated you to return to the stage?

I was 14 when I last auditioned for a play. Then I worked behind the scenes until I turned 16, at which point a job took precedence over pleasure. Once I entered the work force, I got caught in the waves of life. Now that I’m older, wiser, and my children are adults, I’ve decided to fight against the fear of failure and live the dreams I had as a child. I now have a very supportive man in my life, and when I told him about the auditions, he encouraged me to fulfill my dreams, not just dream them.

When did you first get involved at Civic and what motivated you?

​Fancy Nancy is my first involvement with Civic Theatre. I was drawn to Fancy Nancy because I love children and miss my daughters dearly now that my nest is empty. God pointed out the word “AUDITION” displayed directly under the Fancy Nancy performance dates link. I had been wanting something exciting and different in my life, and the auditions were the next week. My next thought was, “Who am I to argue with God?” So, I signed up and auditioned. I never dreamed I would actually get the part. As a result, I didn’t have the guts to turn it down!

What does Civic mean for you? How has your experience shaped the way you see theatre and/or volunteering?

​Being cast with Civic, particularly for the role of “Mother” in Fancy Nancy, has a much deeper seeded meaning than any one can imagine or than I can ever convey. I will say it’s given me part of my life back, has shown me that second chances are close to limitless, and it is going to help me show my own girls to never give up your dreams​. It has both empowered me and humbled me at the same time. I would encourage anyone who ever thinks “if only…” to just go for it! You’ve got nothing to lose… but you might get it, and succeed!

What else can we look forward to with Fancy Nancy?

​Compared to the kids in this play, am the novice! There is some amazing talent in this city. I saw 28 callback auditions, and I did not envy the director’s task of having to choose only 5!​ They did an incredible job with casting, and I am so honored to be here. Everyone’s hearts are as big as their smiles at Civic, I am truly blessed to perform with them.

You can see Carolyn perform in Fancy Nancy The Musical at Civic April 21-30. Tickets are selling fast, so get your tickets online today before they are all gone!