The Home of HRG&SP

The Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players are proud to be the largest independent student-run theatrical organization at Harvard College. Each year, we produce two operettas from the grand canon of Victorian duo William Schwenck Gilbert and Sir Arthur Sullivan.

Our fall production will be Ruddigore; or, The Witch’s Curse, conveniently opening Halloween weekend! A full listing of show dates and times is available on our Happening Now page.

Please email with any questions about ordering tickets for this season’s show.

Any new announcements will be posted right below this!

The Ruddi-staff

Written by Raymond Ng

Behind-the-scenes of Ruddigore are the painters, costumers, designers, builders, and many other staff who work tirelessly to turn a group of college students on an empty stage into the ghosts and townspeople of Rederring. As one of the producers, I’ve had the immense pleasure of working with the staff, meeting many times to ensure that Opening Night will be spectacular. I look forward to sharing what we’ve created!

Here are our dedicated and talented staff:

Senior Staff

Raymond Ng
Laura Peterson
Anne Power
Guan Chen
Sean Rodan
Peryn Reeves-Darby


Stage Director
Music Director
Stage Manager

Designers and Technical Staff

Elizabeth Pattyn
Rahul Kulka
Kathleen Zhou
Alice Hyde
Cassie Lowell
Julia Thomas
Zoë Burgard
Trevor Mullin
Barra Peak
Susan Li

Lauren Reisig
Hunter York
Allegra Caldera
Brad Latilla-Campbell


Co-Set Designer
Co-Set Designer
Lighting Designer
Props Mistress
Co-Costume Designer
Co-Costume Designer
Makeup/Hair Designer
Technical Director
Co-Charge Painter
Co-Charge Painter

Poster Designer
Co-Publicity Manager
Co-Publicity Manager
Orchestra Manager


Susan Li
Brian Cami
Bowen Lu

Kelly McGee
Kevin Yang
Cecilia Laguarda

Michaela Kane
Yasmin Yacoby
PJ LeBlanc

Katie Farineau
Rachel Nafis
Karaghen Hudson
Camille Crossot

Alice Newkirk
Lilly Shen
Rachel Martin


Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager

Assistant Carpenters
Assistant Carpenters
Assistant Carpenters

Assistant Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designer
Assistant Lighting Designer

Assistant Painter
Assistant Painter
Assistant Painter
Assistant Painter

Assistant Costumer
Assistant Costumer
Assistant Costumer


Set Designer Elizabeth Pattyn painting for the set!

First Orchestra Rehearsal!

Written by Alex Raun

The first Ruddigorechestra rehearsal took place this week! The musicians, from college freshmen to Cambridge community members, met each other and played through most of the show under the direction of Sean Rodan, our music director. They sounded incredible, and with vocal rehearsals underway, we can’t wait for the Sitzprobe, which will take place in a couple weeks! Stay tuned. (Pun intended)


Welcome to Ruddigore!

Written by Kat Zhou

Welcome to a new semester of blog posts! We are so excited to share the show process with you. This week, we held our first rehearsals and now have a set design plan. Elizabeth Pattyn and Rahul Kulka have done an amazing job with their design, and I’m so very excited to see it get built and painted.

I would also love to share with you our poster for this year:

Ruddigore (15) Poster

We look forward to seeing you at our shows! Click below to see the cast and staff list!

Continue reading

Iolanthe Photos Now Available!

Hello friends! I hope you’ve had a wonderful summer. I’ve finally put up the production photos from our spring production of Iolanthe. They are available here.

We hope to see to see you this year during our 60th season! We are so very excited for such a big year, starting with Ruddigore this fall and culminating in H.M.S. Pinafore this spring.

As always, please be in touch if you have any questions or concerns!

A Senior Farewell

Apologies for lacks of posts lately! Everyone was in the midst of finals, and then my immune system broke down as soon as I got home, but here we are with a post from graduating senior Christopher Y.M. Marks ’15. The board of directors wishes to bid a fond farewell to Angela S. Berkowitz, C. E. Chiemeka Ezie, Christopher Y.M. Marks, and Rebecca C. Rosen. Congrats also to graduating Iolanthe cast and staff Kait Boudah, Charlie Caplan, Molly Finlayson, and Kim Onah. I would also like to add a special goodbye to Chrissy Rodriguez and Evan Schueckler, who have been such a central part of the technical team, and have been such wonderful mentors to younger technicians. Congratulations to everyone, and best of luck to everyone in their future pursuits! See you at Vic Ball!

This is the last post until the fall! I hope everyone enjoys their summers!

– Kat C. Zhou ’17

Written by Christopher Marks

When you look at it objectively, the Ag is a strange theatrical space. Sight-lines and acoustics are wonky as all get out, the geometry of the stage is bizarre, schlepping large and heavy set pieces (that more often than not I made heavy through over-building them…sorry…) up two flights of stairs is never fun…the list could go on and on. In short, it’s not an ideal theater in almost any sense. And yet, to many productions and many generations of students the Ag has become a safe space where art can be made and friendships formed, its quirks and drawbacks more than outweighed by the sense that Agassiz House has become a home away from home to so many of us.
And so it is, I think, with Gilbert & Sullivan. What we do is rather strange, if you take a second to think about it; we dedicate ourselves to putting up the works of two not very well known British playwrights from the late 19th century, with references and plots that make little sense in today’s cultural context, at a school where up until now there has been no theater program. There is no pressing need for any of us to do theater or to ensure that Gilbert & Sullivan to be performed. And yet, we keep coming back, every semester, to the strange space that is the Ag to put up the strange works that are Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and I don’t think any of us would have it any other way. And through this strange activity we meet amazing people, form wonderful friendships, and find a safe space in the wild ride that is college.
This is why, I think, we do Gilbert & Sullivan: to be a part of this community. And it is this community that I am going to miss most. It’s been an honor and a privilege working on these shows with you all, and I wish every single one of you all the best.

HRG&SP At Arts First

Written by Kat Zhou

Alice Newkirk '17, Lorena Benitez '17, Tamsin Jones G4, Julia Belanoff '18, Molly Finlayson '15, and Sophie Welsh '16 performing

Alice Newkirk ’17, Lorena Benitez ’17, Tamsin Jones G4, Julia Belanoff ’18, Molly Finlayson ’15, and Sophie Welsh ’16 performing “Tripping hither, tripping thither.”

Working on any theatrical production is an incredibly demanding endeavor. The end of a run, though sad, brings a little bit of relief. It is a return to normalcy and catching up on schoolwork and sleep. However, it is around this time of the year that I miss working on a show. Fortunately, Arts First was here to bring back light opera to my life.

HRG&SP was delighted to have the opportunity to play in the Science Center Plaza yesterday afternoon. We performed pieces from earlier year, such as “From the sunny spanish shore” from The Gondoliers (performed by Camille Crossot ’16, Rahul Kulka G1, Asia Stewart ’17, and Jack Weyen ’16). Of course, we could not fail to include songs from our most recent production of Iolanthe, including our beautiful fairies’ rendition of “Tripping hither, tripping thither” and the much beloved Lord Chancellor’s (Aaron Slipper ’18) “Love, unrequited, robs me of my rest.” It is even rumored that John Lithgow ’67 attended the performance due to his appreciation of the role of Lord Chancellor.

C. E. Chiemeka Ezie '15, Laura A. Peterson '16, and Brad A. Latilla-Campbell '16 performing the matter patter!

C. E. Chiemeka Ezie ’15, Laura A. Peterson ’16, and Brad A. Latilla-Campbell ’16 performing the matter patter!

Finally, we finished with songs from our upcoming season. Our president Laura A. Peterson ’16 sang H.M.S. Pinafore‘s “Sorry her lot who loves too well,” and we closed with a rapid patter “My eyes are fully open” from Ruddigore. It was all in all a wonderful show, and one that made me quite excited for our next two shows. We hope you had a chance to catch the performance yesterday! If not, see you in the fall for Ruddigore!

Spring Tea

Written by Raymond Ng

The annual Spring Tea is definitely one of my favorite social events hosted by HRG&SP. As the semester draws to an end, members of the G&S community, old and new, gathered one last time to celebrate another incredible year. I myself had an amazing time enjoying the company of fellow cast members, staff, and musicians whom I’ve had the pleasure of working with these past two years.

And what better way to welcome the spring weather than by being surrounded by the most delicious baked goods, all tirelessly prepared by G&S Board members the day before. My personal favorite was the banana and chocolate scones smothered in jam. And of course, there were also cookies, sandwiches, and irresistible chocolate-covered strawberries – I stuffed those into my mouth as if I was preparing to hibernate for the next few months!

A hallowed tradition of Spring Tea is the Ladies’ Hat Competition and the Gentlemen’s Bonnet Bout, where men and women displayed their diverse head gear in hopes of being named the prestigious “Queen of the Tea”. The competition was fierce, with participants bringing what could only be described as their “schwenckiest” creations. But in the end, the judges rightfully crowned Rebecca Rosen, Cassie Lowell, Jack Weyen, and Aaron Grand.

Though the Spring Tea marks the last official G&S social event of the semester, the G&S spirit is still quite alive. Already, we are gathering a set of staff for our next fall show, Ruddigore; Or, The Witch’s Curse – shameless plug: if you would like to contribute to Ruddigore in any capacity, let us know! But even if you can’t, we’d love to see you at future G&S events.

And on that note, on behalf of the G&S Board of Directors, I wish you a rapturous spring season!

Spring Tea 2015 - Photo courtesy of Joey Goodknight

Spring Tea 2015 – Photo courtesy of Joey Goodknight

Director’s Notes

I’m pleased to introduce this week’s blog author, C. E. Chiemeka Ezie ’15, who was the director of this spring’s production of Iolanthe.

Written by Chiemeka Ezie

As the school year draws closer to a close, I wanted to take some time to reflect upon the experience of working on Iolanthe over the past few months. This has been my fourth semester of involvement with the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert & Sullivan Players, and I was very happy to be spending my last semester as an undergraduate in the organization helping to put up my favorite show in Gilbert and Sullivan’s canon. But, rather than subject readers to my further musings and pontifications on the merits of the show – there was plenty of that in the Iolanthe program – I just wanted to share some reflections on the experience of this show.

Iolanthe was not the first time I have had the opportunity to stage direct a production for Gilbert and Sullivan. My first directing effort was Spring 2013’s lofty Utopia, Limited. Since that show, I have gained additional experiences as a performer and a director that (I hope) have somewhat improved my effectiveness in the role of a director. Still, as this semester began and casting week approached, I found experiencing familiar anxieties. It’s not uncommon for actors who audition for plenty of shows on campus in the fall semester to decide to take a break from theatre in the spring to focus on other pursuits. Furthermore, as much as I love Iolanthe, there is no denying that among today’s audiences and performers it doesn’t seem to have as much fame and recognition as the likes of The Mikado, The Pirates of Penzance, or HMS Pinafore, that triumvirate of well-known Gilbert and Sullivan operettas we sometimes refer to as “The Big Three.” So, what if not enough people auditioned for our production? What if we simply didn’t have enough performers to be able to do the show? This probably crosses the mind of many a director of shows on campus at some point or another, and in most shows things turn out just fine. And yet, every semester this fear seems all too real.

Happily, by the end of the casting period my worries were totally assuaged. We managed to assemble a remarkably talented group of musicians and actors in the process of mounting this production. Their energy, creativity, and dedication to the show made my job as director unceasingly pleasant, and they duly received hearty applause at the conclusion of each performance. However, the incredible staff that worked tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the show on track also deserve recognition. We had a small volunteer army of designers and technicians with us this semester, and I can’t thank them enough for their efforts. I’d particularly like to mention Sam Wu, the music director, who diligently and fastidiously helped the cast and orchestra, all while balancing his work on the show with his responsibilities to the various other musical ensembles on campus. I don’t know how he does it, but he does, and I learned quite a lot from watching him work.

Something else that I found particularly gratifying about this show was seeing the number of first-time cast members, staff members, and musicians who ended up becoming involved. Being a part of the Gilbert & Sullivan community on this campus has been a consistent highlight of my undergraduate experience, so I am always very happy to see that community expanding and gaining new members. It is my hope that some of them can find a home-away-from-home in HRG&SP, as I and many others have.

Another Wonderful Victorian Ball

Written by Rebecca Rosen

Victorian Ball is my favorite event on the HRG&SP social calendar. It combines the glamour of a white-tie event with the nostalgia and fun of a reunion; that one night constitutes perhaps the largest gathering of current HRG&SP members, alumni, and patrons all year, and it all happens in the Horner Room behind the stage. This semester we held our 10th annual Victorian Ball, and everyone had a blast!

The first Victorian Ball was held in the fall of 2006 as part of our 50th anniversary celebration. Since then, we’ve had lots of fun every year with a grand ball full of delicious food and stellar decorations courtesy of our wonderful caterer, Cindy. This year, she transformed the Horner Room into a magical forest, covering every surface with fabric, flowers, statues, and greenery. It was so wonderful to see the room that for as long as our organization has been in the Agassiz has spent much of our residency covered either in dropcloths and half-finished set pieces or cast members napping or doing homework during the show now transformed into a beautiful ballroom. It’s easy to forget the beauty of the space our organization has the privilege to occupy for several weeks every semester, and Victorian Ball always seems to renew both love for HRG&SP and for the Agassiz itself.

This year, we had a huge group of alumni come to the ball, and it was wonderful getting to know them! Most of the alumni who came this year were HRG&SP company members from the last 15 years, but we had a few alumni come back who had been a part of our organization even earlier (the earliest alumni I spoke with at the Ball were involved in the 1975 production of The Gondoliers; if you were involved in earlier years and came to the ball, we’d love to know!). There was plenty of dancing and lots of chocolate mousse, and it seems like everyone had a great time getting dressed up in their fanciest attire and partying with HRG&SP old and new. Thank you to everyone who came to the ball and made it a success; I know I can’t wait to come back for Victorian Ball next year!

(Photos below courtesy of Guan Chen unless otherwise noted)

The spread (before the doors opened)

The spread (before the doors opened)

Bradford A. Latilla-Campbell prepares himself for ticketless ball-goers

Stellar conversation!

The wonderful musicians who performed for much of the ball

Cast & staff enjoying delicious snacks

Some of the alumni who came back for the Ball

More alumni!

HRG&SP old & new

No Victorian Ball would be complete without a picture of our fabulous and fabulously-dressed paint crew!

This was supposed to be a serious photo.

This photo was taken well into the evening.

President Laura A. Peterson addresses the revelers while Bradford A. Latilla-Campbell surveys the crowd

The traditional "Board Plus" photo

Lots of HRG&SP alumni! (Photo courtesy of Joey Goodknight)

From the Costumer’s Dungeon

This week’s blog post (on schedule!) is brought to you by costumer and sass-master Anne A. Power ’16. You may have seen her womanning the box office at shows. She writes about mayhems and mishaps encountered through the process.

Again, it has been so lovely to see all of you at the show. We hope to see you today at Victorian Ball!

Written by Anne Power

HRG&SP’s spring production of Iolanthe has been the third HRG&SP show that Cassie Lowell and I have costumed together. One might think that at this point we might have worked a system that would make the process smoother, less stressful, and less daunting. One would be right, but also so very wrong.

From a more general aspect, the costuming process for HRG&SP always remains the same. At the beginning of the semester there is a trip to our Narnia-like storage container, where we get to muck about in hoop skirts, dress up in princess dresses, and, of course, pull useful items for the show. Then there are periodic meetings with the directors and producers, who let us know their plans and visions. To accomplish this vision, we combine the items from our storage run with those pulled from the ART’s extensive stock, supplemented by items ordered especially for the show.

While this schedule is more or less idiot-proof (believe me, we’ve tried), it is not fate-proof. Every production has its big and little (but actually big) challenges that must be addressed. For instance, one of the primary struggles in costuming Iolanthe was the size of the choruses. In addition, because of the nature of the show, each chorus had to have its own uniform, meaning that Cassie and I had to scramble to fabricate eight matching lord’s costumes and seven fairy costumes that fit and flattered. What’s more, all of these costumes had to hold up to eight shows of sweating actors with fiddly hands and propensity to eat in costume.

By spending the better part of a week in the Ag and blowing through our budget, Cassie and I managed to rig together costumes that put the fun in functional. We are especially proud of the lords’ capes, which came to us as gross Amazon purchases and left, with the help of faux fur and black sharpie, as ermine fit for a king. For the fairies, we took white leotards and skirts and paired them with bluish-grey sashes, shoulder draping, and a small bustle for a look that was ethereal but still a touch Victorian.

Now in their second weekend of use, the costumes have yet to disintegrate and we can breathe a sigh of relief. That sigh of relief can’t be too long, however, because we have to get back to the Ag so that we can help fairies tie sashes, lords find their crowns, and make sure the Lord Chancellor’s wig isn’t completely blocking his face.