The Ugly Duckling
April 30 to May 2, 2010
4:00 p.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m.
Every year for the past 14 years, the Sunken Garden Children’s Theater revives a portion of every undergraduate’s childhood by putting on a performance of “The Ugly Duckling,” a fairy tale written by Hans Christian Andersen. The performances run all through the weekend of Arts First.
“The Ugly Duckling” separates itself from many of the other dramatic performances during Arts First weekend for several reasons. For starters, it will last roughly 20 minutes and will be performed outside. In addition, the show’s attendees can expect that the performance will not take itself too seriously. Gus T. Hickey ’11, the show’s director, says, “It’s kind of silly and very fun.” Indeed, though many of show’s 17 actors are seasoned performers on the Loeb Mainstage, Hickey says that the audience can expect, “lots of silly, loud voices and silly jokes. There will be lots of fun and energy,” making it clear that the show will carry a light, enjoyable, and easy-going air despite its veteran cast. And, though the show is scripted, Hickey says “There was very minimal rehearsal for the show,” which should, as it has in the past, create some fun, impromptu humor that highlights each actor’s personality.
Unlike many of the other shows put on during Arts First week, this performance will not be catered directly to Harvard undergraduates. Rather, the performance is designed to bring the performing arts to younger audiences and the Cambridge community as a whole. Anthony J. Sterle ’11, the show’s producer, says, “This is one of the few shows on campus which targets members of the Cambridge community.”
Hickey adds, “The show is for the little kids. It’s a really silly fairy tale, and it’s nothing serious. The show is about exposing kids to theater and having community involvement in the Arts First weekend.” Although the show is primarily targeted at much younger audiences, the performances nevertheless draw a wide range of age groups. Sterle explains, “There’s definitely humor in the show that undergraduates and adults will understand and find amusing,” he says.