Nan Knighton is an American playwright, lyricist and poet. She received a Tony nomination for Best Book of a Musical for The Scarlet Pimpernel, for which she also wrote the lyrics to the music of Frank Wildhorn. Pimpernel ran on Broadway for 3 seasons and had 2 National Tours. Pimpernel will have a special concert production (full book, lyrics and music) in 2019 at David Geffen Hall in Lincoln Center. The production will feature 3 brand new songs written by Nan Knighton. Pimpernel is also produced around the world in everything from major theatrical productions to regional U.S. theatres to high schools, which particularly delights her. In Japan, Pimpernel has played at the Umeda Arts Theatre and is an annual favorite at the Takarazuka Revue.
Ms. Knighton wrote the stage adaptation of Saturday Night Fever for both the West End production in London (Olivier nomination) and its Broadway production. Fever is regularly produced around the world. She wrote book and lyrics for Camille Claudel, which premiered at Goodspeed Opera House’s Norma Terris Theatre and will be produced at the Signature Theatre in 2020. Ms. Knighton was co-lyricist for Rudolf, a musical which continues to have runs across Europe. Her play The Portrait Room will be directed by Peter Pileski.
Knighton’s lyrics have been performed at Carnegie Hall, Radio City Music Hall and numerous cabarets including “Nan Knighton at 88’s“ and a sold-out run at Sam’s Dream Street Cabaret -“Storybook: The Songs of Nan Knighton”. Her song “Gold” (from Camille Claudel) premiered at the Opening Ceremony of the 2002 Winter Olympics. Composers she has worked with include Frank Wildhorn, Jonathan Larson and Howard Marren.
Ms. Knighton’s musical Snapshots had both a workshop and reading at Manhattan Theatre Club and her play Man With Two Hearts Found on Moonhad its first reading at the Roundabout Theatre with Swoosie Kurtz and Neil Patrick Harris in the leading roles. The reading of her mystery play Bad Dreams starred Estelle Parsons, Brian D’arcy James and John McMartin.
Ms. Knighton was honored for being one of the lyricists in the Dramatist Guild’s Fund 2016 gala “Great Writers Thank Their Lucky Stars.” Other lyricists honored that night included Lin-Manuel Miranda, Stephen Schwartz and Stephen Sondheim.
Knighton’s poetry, essays and photography have been published and she was writer and lyrist for the PBS nationally broadcast “Consumer Survival Kit.” In film, she co-wrote “My Little Girl,” starring James Earl Jones and Mary Stuart Masterson. She has served as a judge for both The Kleban Foundation Award and The Young Playwrights Festival. She is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and alumna of Harvard University. Her M.A. was awarded at Boston University, where she was thrilled to be taught by novelist John Barth and Pulitzer Prize winning poet Anne Sexton.
Ms. Knighton lives in New York and is married to producer John Breglio, whose credits include the revivals of A Chorus Line and Dreamgirls. Breglio is also the author of “I Wanna Be a Producer: How to Make a Killing on Broadway…or Get Killed.” She is most proud of her two daughters- Eliza and Nola- and her two grandchildren- Sadie and Max.