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!

Farewell, Ruddigore

Apologies for missing last week’s blog post! This week’s post is brought to you by Allegra C. Caldera ’17, one of the producers for next semester’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore! Thank you all so much for coming to see Ruddigore! We are so excited to start working on Pinafore. See you soon!


Written by Allegra Caldera

What a great weekend! Thank you so much to everyone who attended our production of Ruddigore; or, The Witch’s Curse, and congratulations to the cast, staff and orchestra on a successful run. Closing weekend was long, but rewarding.

Backstage tour led by Raymond W.S. Ng ’17 after the Milk and Cookies Matinee

We had a lively Milk and Cookies Matinee Saturday afternoon. During the backstage tour Raymond W.S. Ng ’17, one Ruddigore’s producers, explained some of the secrets of our life-sized, hand-painted ‘ghost portraits.’ If you, too, want to know how our amazing paint team captured the actors so well, or just how dark it is inside a ‘ghost box’ – well, you’ll just have to come to a backstage tour to find out!

Later on Saturday evening, we hosted a reunion-filled Alumni Night – capped off with the traditional trip to the Kong, for Chinese food and cross-generational conversation. I was lucky enough to sit with several recent alumni, who had inspiring (and cautionary) tales of life and theatre post-Harvard.


Then, Sunday afternoon, we took (well, tore) down the set. All those painstakingly painted muslin drops had to come off the walls sometime! It was bittersweet – but also therapeutic – to bring down in just a few hours the set we’d worked on for weeks. We chopped, swept, folded and drilled our whole set off the stage, right into seven overstuffed trashcans outside back of the Ag. (In case you were worried, though, no ghost portraits were harmed in this Ruddigore strike – all of them have found good homes with actors, designers, or in our own office!)

Well, fall show down…. time to get ready for H.M.S Pinafore this spring!

If any alums are interested in being involved with our 60th anniversary production of Pinafore, we’d love to hear from you – please reach out to!

Set and Costumes and Lighting! Oh My!

As we hurtle towards opening night next Friday, Tech Week is well underway. The Agassiz stage is morphing into the world of 1920s New Orleans under the vision of our set designers Elizabeth Pattyn and Rahul Kulka and the technical expertise of Trevor A. Mullin ’17.

The cast, staff, and board are all working together to ramp up the show process this week. After load-in on Sunday, most of the drops were up and the team began to figure out how to engineer the set change. Ruddigore is one of the more challenging technical shows in the G&S canon with the transition from the street scene of Act I to the Ruddigore mansion in Act II. Those of you who joined us for The Gondoliers last fall will recall the change of scene from the piazzas of Venice to the palace of Barataria, and we hope to enchant you again with two distinct settings! Our talented lighting designer Kat C. Zhou ’17 has been up in the scaffolding all week as the build crew works hard in the set shop downstairs. Our costumes team is in the process of sewing dresses for the gaggle of bridesmaids and clothing the ghosts of Murgatroyds past in spooky garb that will certainly be Halloween appropriate.

Tech week is definitely my favorite part of the show process—the astounding amount of time and energy our talented technicians put into their work is incredible, and we can’t wait for you all to see it soon!

Tickets for Ruddigore can be purchased through the Harvard Box Office or at the door (cash only). The show runs October 30-November 1 and November 5-8, click here for more information about showtimes and receptions.


Written by Emma Adler

Ruddigore; or, The Witch’s Curse, was the tenth penned of Gilbert and Sullivan’s fourteen comic operas. Like all of Gilbert and Sullivan’s works from Trial by Jury onward, Ruddigore debuted at the Savoy Theater, under the auspices of the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company. Premiering in 1887, Ruddigore followed fast on the heels of The Mikado; this would prove to have a detrimental effect on the opera’s critical reception, causing many to dismiss the ghostly comic opera as not on a par with its predecessor. The New York Times review noted: “When the curtain fell there was a hissing – the first ever heard in the Savoy Theatre.”

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Ruddigore Sitzprobe!

Written by Laura Peterson

This past Sunday, the cast and orchestra of Ruddigore joined together for the time-

Ruddigore (15) Sitzprobe 1

The ghosts of Ruddigore sing.

honored tradition of Sitzprobe! With our conductor, Sean Rodan, at the helm, the orchestra played through the entire show while the cast sang along. It is amazing to see how many people return to our productions semester after semester. We as the producers and the Board of Directors were extremely pleased with the progress made by all of the musicians throughout the rehearsal process this far, and we cannot wait to see the strides they continue to make between now and opening night on Friday, October 30.

Ruddigore (15) Sitzprobe 3

The whole orchestra, conducted by Sean Rodan ’17

The camaraderie of the cast and orchestra was evident in the applause that followed each and every number. We could see the eyes of the cast sparkling at the full sound of the overture, and the orchestra members were finally able to hear the vocalists they will be accompanying during the run of the show. Among the cast, there were cheers, smiles, and laughter all around as they watched their friends sing thrilling harmonies and glorious patter songs. For many of them, it was the first time they performed their songs for the full cast and G&S board. New cast member, Brad Latilla-Campbell, flourished in his sight-singing of Sir Roderic. Even amidst a few stumbles by singers and instrumentalists alike, everyone was there to support one another and to work through the trouble spots together. We are all extremely excited as Ruddigore approaches, and we hope you will be able to join us for what is sure to be a bewitching experience!

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!

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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!