The Happy Prince
By Oscar Wilde
Adapted and directed by Michael Whaley, formerly of American Players Theatre (1985-91; Academy Director, Associate Artistic Director)
Oscar Wilde's most beloved fable, transformed into a 75 minute play featuring chamber music and dance.
High above the city, on a splendid column, stands the statue of the Happy Prince. Gilded with gold from head to toe, he has sapphires for eyes and a ruby on the hilt of his sword.
But despite his name and fine appearance, and unbeknownst to the townspeople below, the Prince is far from happy, as a little Swallow discovers after landing at his feet one cold autumn night. For, from his pedestal the Prince can see the sadness and misery of his people, and he is powerless to help them.
Together, however, this unlikely partnership of an immobile statue and a self-absorbed and restless Swallow somehow manage to find a way to ease the suffering.
Written by Oscar Wilde in the 1880s as a gift to his two young boys, The Happy Prince is a timeless tale about friendship, compassion, and the transforming power of selfless love. Today, as we in America witness an ever-widening gulf between the wealthy and the poor, and busy ourselves with exporting our way of life to the rest of the world, this moving story may be even more important and poignant than it was a century ago.
Produced by the Sauk Prairie RiverSide Players, at River Arts Center at Sauk Prairie High School, 105 9th Street, Prairie du Sac.
Performances: April 14-16, 2000
Fri Sat Sun April 14
2 pm and 8 pm
Ticket Prices $7.00 adults; $5 under 12/over 65. Call 608-643-7959 or 608-4838 for reservations or more information.
Michael Whaley holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale Drama School. From 1983 to 1991, he served at American Players Theatre as Academy Director and Associate Artistic Director. He directed Hamlet and A Winter's Tale. Choreography for the Happy Prince is by Kate McQuade, whose Madison area teaching credentials include the Wisconsin Dance Ensemble, Ballet Madison, Wisconsin Academy of Ballet. She is currently coaching advanced level students seeking a professional career. Janet Mangin will serve as arranger and musical director; Jan is a graduate of the UW School of Music and a long time area piano teacher and musician.