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 The Mikado; or, The Town of Titipu, running October 28-November 6! A full listing of show dates and times can be found on our Happening Now page.
Please email email@example.com with any questions about ordering tickets for this season’s show.
Any new announcements will be posted right below this!
By Elena Sokoloski
The orchestra is warming up, the lights are coming on, and the actors can be heard warming up backstage.. tech week is underway! Backstage, the floor Horner Room is protected by a paint-speckled tarp as our paint team is working on the final touches on The Mikado hotel, orchestra members are marking the last of the cuts and transitions into their music, and in front of it all, our fearless stage and music directors are bringing it all together.
Programming outside the theater is also ramping up. We began last semester with a series of community conversations held both as a thermometer for student opinions towards our decision to stage the Mikado, and as an opportunity for members of the Harvard community to give their input on our staging of the show. This semester’s programming kicked off with a screening of the Mikado Project, and will be continuing in the following weeks with a series of teach-ins, talkbacks, and community discussions of the Mikado and its complicated racial history.
We’re in the final stretch of show prep, and look forward to sharing our hard work – both onstage and offstage – soon!
By Michaela Kane
The Las Vegas Mikado hotel and casino is readying itself for its grand opening on October 28! The talented staff from all departments of HRG&SP have been tirelessly working in preparation for our Load-In Sunday. After The Scottish Play left the historic Agassiz theater, we swooped in and finished setting up larger set pieces, began painting some lovely Japanese screens, and set up all of the onstage lights. Time has been of the essence, so all of cast and staff will be working together in the coming weeks to paint the stage, build platforms, and get the stage set up and ready for business. With the dynamic trio: set designer Elizabeth Pattyn, light designer Kathleen Zhou ’16, and technical director Sabrina Yates ’19, we had an incredibly efficient and productive Load In, and we look forward to the weeks of tech ahead!
By Arianna Paz
The fall weather is growing colder, which means we are getting closer and closer to the opening night of this fall’s production of The Mikado! The cast, staff, and orchestra have been busily rehearsing and preparing to bring Las Vegas to the Agassiz Stage in this creative setting for Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta.
In most recent rehearsal news, sitzprobe was this past Sunday night! The cast and orchestra finally got to rehearse together for the first time under the guidance of this fall’s music director, Sydney Mukasa. The two groups sounded wonderful together, and the rehearsal went incredibly smoothly. Stage director Zachary Mallory even joined in on the fun when he grabbed a score and sang along. It was truly a treat to see that the hard work of both the cast and orchestra has really been paying off!
As rehearsals continue, both groups will be perfecting the patter songs until the curtain rises on October 28th!
By Allegra C. Caldera
Yesterday I picked up my first red-gold leaf off the sidewalk. Today, I cracked open a box of sweaters and contemplated re-introducing scarves to my wardrobe. There’s a crisp chill in the air, a beautiful New England fall on the way, and, of course, another HRG&SP production in the works. Our orchestra members are sight-reading their music; our designers are getting re-certified to work in the scene shop; and our cast, directors and stage manager and are already busily rehearsing. Together, they’re getting ready to create a refreshed and reinvented Mikado, with a new Las Vegas spin.
Fall Evening outside of Agassiz Theater
Maybe it’s because my first G&S show was a fall production of Pirates of Penzance, but I’ve always thought the red-velvet decor of the Ag fits perfectly with autumn. The smell of new sawdust and the laughter of sing-through go just right with the fall weather. So, as the leaves change and the chill begins to settle in, wish us luck with our preparations to bring laughter and light (opera) to Harvard Yard… and make sure to catch The Mikado at the end of October!
by Alex J. Raun ’17
With the closing of Pinafore almost a month in the past, we have all been having intense G&S withdrawals over these past few weeks. However, last week, we were able to have a much needed reunion at our annual Spring Tea! The event was filled with great conversation, creative hats, and of course, amazing food (I think I’m still full). Anne A. Power ’16 lead the charge as the master chef, and some classic dishes included Coronation Chicken sandwiches, homemade scones, and coconut macaroons. Additionally, we concluded the event with our traditional hat competition. This year, the winner was Barra A. Peak ’18! Her outstanding hat can be seen in the picture below.
Spring Tea 2016
Overall, Spring Tea this semester was a huge success and the perfect way to see everyone before the long summer months ahead.
By Emma R. Adler ’16
With this spring’s production of H.M.S. Pinafore sailing off into the great blue eternity of HRG&SP posterity, it’s time to set our sights on what’s to come. HRG&SP is thrilled to announce our season for the coming year: The Mikado; or, the Town of Titipu in the fall, and The Sorcerer in the spring.
The Mikado will be helmed by the topnotch producing team of Peryn E.A. Reeves-Darby ’18, Michaela J. Kane ’18, and Alexander A. Raun ’17. With this production of The Mikado, HRG&SP hopes to subject problematic aspects of the show to scrutiny, and to contribute to other campus organizations’ efforts to facilitate greater mindfulness and commitment to social justice among Harvard students.
The Sorcerer, written just before Pinafore, has historically enjoyed much less acclaim than The Mikado (not to mention many fewer productions). However, HRG&SP believes that there is plenty to be said for this ugly duckling of the G&S canon, and that its mockery of Victorian obsessions with rank and social niceties will cause it to dovetail nicely with The Mikado, which places similar mores under a satirical microscope.
The Mikado will run in the Agassiz Theater from October 28 through November 4. In the meantime, be sure to check out the production photos from Pinafore, taken by HRG&SP mainstay Joey Goodknight.
by Peryn E.A. Reeves-Darby
The HRG&SP’s production of H.M.S Pinafore successfully set sail and is now drifting off to the horizon as we set our sights–land ho!–on the town of Titipu.
The first weekend of shows went off without a hitch, as members from all around the community came to see Josephine (Olivia Miller ’16) and Ralph Rackstraw (Alex Raun ’17) sing their way to true love despite the barriers of social class and Josephine’s prearranged marriage to the brilliantly pitiful Sir Joseph (Kevin Hilgartner ’16). Ben Kelly ’17 dazzled as Captain Corcoran and eventually won his superb Buttercup, portrayed with charm and coy humor by the memorably excellent Laura A. Peterson ’16. Our superb chorus of sailors, sisters, cousins, and aunts was second to none and brought great depth to the musical joy of Pinafore.
On a wave of laughter, baby-farming, deadeyes, sisters, cousins, and aunts we were washed ashore to the second weekend where we were delighted to celebrate our 60th Anniversary as an organization. The weekend kicked off with an enthralling talk entitled “Pinafore in America” from the learned Russ Sype, who explored the Pinafore explosion that swept the US on the back of a copyright loophole that allowed pirated performances by the dozens. The HRG&SP alumni panel highlighted the accomplishments of our graduates and showed us how passion for G&S can shape professional paths and ambitions. A definite joy was the sing-through full of beloved classics and lesser known works sung by one and all. The always marvelous Victorian Ball was full of joy and rapture, where we rung in the merry bells of 60 years of HRG&SP with clinking glasses, dancing feet, and lots of delicious delights.
After nine wonderful performances with our two directors, Olivia Munk ’16 and Jacob Moscona ’16, at the helm and a 60th Anniversary Celebration that even Arthur and William would be proud of, we would personally like to thank you for coming to see H.M.S Pinafore and for all for your continued support and enjoyment of HRG&SP!
We hope to see you in the fall for The Mikado!
With one week to opening and our brilliant cast and crew on leave from the HMS Pinafore for spring break, we’re excited to welcome you to the Agassiz House for our first weekend of shows starting March 25th! Don’t forget our second weekend too and associated 60th Anniversary celebration! Tickets available from the Harvard Box Office*
And, hey students! Come see Pinafore for FREE on Wednesday March 30th with student ID at the door! Otherwise, student tickets are $10.
*A quick announcement that our friends at the Harvard Box Office will be relocating temporarily to Farkas Hall (10 Holyoke Street) and will open March 25th for walk-up sales. Box office hours will remain the same, 12 noon-6pm Tuesday–Sunday. The customer telephone 617-496-2222 will not change. You are still able to call to order tickets or may do so online, or can purchase seats at the door at Agassiz House.
Our ship has finally docked at the historic Agassiz Theater. Staff members from all departments have been working arduously over the last couple of weeks to prepare for our Load In. As we finally reached started to build in the theater yesterday, the cast and staff came together to assist with many of our large-scale build endeavors. Under the masterful leadership of our technical director, Katie Polik ’18, we were all able to come together and complete the installation of many of these key scenic elements.
For the first time since the Harvard-Radcliffe Gilbert andSullivan Players’ 2012 production of The Mikado, we have once again raked the stage of the Agassiz Theater. Designed by Evan Schueckler ’15, this configuration offers a unique scenic perspective and will surely be something you will not want to miss!
Over the next week, our technical departments will continue to work hard to complete a bulk of their workload before spring break. Katie and our master carpenter, Raymond Ng ’17, will be working on decking the ship to convey a resounding maritime atmosphere. Our brilliant costume team of Julia Thomas ’17 and Katherine Smith ’18, with the assistance of Cassie Lowell ’17, will continue to bring this nautical chicness to life in the actors’ wardrobes. Additionally, Yasmin Yacoby ’19, our lighting designer, will have to refocus all the lights I bumped my head on at Load In to convey seafaring glow through her noteworthy lighting.
- Load In tech crew gives their “seal” of approval to the raked stage!
We are just over two weeks out from opening night, so be sure to order your tickets today!
By Barra A. Peak ’18
Orchestra rehearsal may have ended last night, but the tune of “I am the Captain of the Pinafore” is still in my head. I find Sullivan’s peppy, cheerful music to be a joy to listen to and a joy to play, and this semester it seems the whole orchestra is in agreement; rehearsal is a fun time!
This semester we’re pleased to welcome many new faces to the HRG&SP orchestra alongside our steadfast returning players. Under the baton of veteran HRG&SP music director Jacob Moscona ’16, the orchestra has been hard at work for the past month to learn the music for H.M.S. Pinafore. Last night the cast and orchestra came together for the first time to run the whole show. There were hiccups—skipped repeats and misplaced fermatas—but the energy and skill of all our musicians shone through. We look forward to serenading you a month from now with what promises to be a show to remember!
If you are interested in joining the HRG&SP orchestra, please email firstname.lastname@example.org! The orchestra is open to all Harvard affiliates and members of the Boston/Cambridge community.
Tickets to H.M.S. Pinafore are available through the Harvard Box Office. We hope to see you there!