Hans Christian Andersen tale "The Nightingale" to be presented at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts


Hans Christian Andersen's timeless tale "The Nightingale" will take the stage on Sunday, April 6, and Monday, April 7, at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts. The Sunday performances will take place at 1 and 3 p.m. The Monday shows, which are geared to school groups, will take place at 10 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

Part of the Washington, D.C.-based Kennedy Center Imagination Celebration on Tour, "The Nightingale" is the story of an emperor locked away in his porcelain palace. He believes himself to be the wisest man in China and his bumbling courtiers, who comply with his every wish, do nothing to change his high opinion of himself.

One day, the king hears the lilting strains of a nightingale and its enchanting song of freedom and joy makes him realize there is more to life. He tries to hold the bird captive and when she inevitably escapes, he builds an ornately decorated mechanical replica. While beautiful, the bird cannot sing and is of no comfort when the king falls ill. When the live nightingale returns, she strengthens the king with her song. In the finale, the king realizes that to be truly wise is to be compassionate and free to discover the joys of the world and one's own true self.

Acclaimed writer/director Mary Hall Surface and choreographer Dana Tai Soon Burgess reshaped this classic tale into a powerful theatrical presentation filled with dance, colorful sets, humor and action.

Surface is an internationally recognized author of 15 plays for family audiences. She has written plays about the lives of Jackie Robinson and Alexander Calder, and her play "Prodigy," about the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was published in a 1990 anthology of the best new plays for young audiences in Europe.

Burgess is the founding director of Moving Forward: Contemporary Asian American Dance Company. His choreography has graced the stage at The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center and The United Nations. He is the 1994 recipient of the Washington, D.C. Mayor's Arts Award for Outstanding Excellence in the Arts and is an appointed Arts Commissioners for the District of Columbia.

The Kennedy Center production features a comprehensive package of educational materials designed to help teachers enhance the performance for school groups.

Tickets for the Sunday, April 6, performances are $12 for adults, $10 for children. Tickets for the Monday, April 7 show are $5. The Monday performances are part of the Quick Center's "ArtsBound" Schoolday Series, which is funded, in part, by Regina A. Quick, the Greater Bridgeport Area Foundation and the Educational Foundation of America. For tickets, call the Quick Center box office at (203) 254-4010 or toll free at 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, visit the website at www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Nancy Habetz, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2647, nhabetz@fairfield.edu

Posted on March 10, 2003

Vol. 35, No. 228