Comedy. By Ernie Nolan.
Cast: 7m., 4w., or 6m., 4w., extras. Thirty or more roles possible. This fantastical tale weaves together biographical elements of Hans Christian Andersen's childhood with his famous stories: The Nightingale, Thumbelina, The Swineherd and many more! Seventeen-year-old Hans Christian Andersen, the son of a simple shoemaker, is a real-life ugly duckling dreaming of the day he will become famous. Attending school for the first time as a teenager, he's not only surrounded by classmates years younger but also bullied and teased for the stories he shares. When the intimidating Headmaster Meisling announces a contest for the student with the "most incredible talent," Hans sets to work on creating delicate paper cutouts in hopes of winning the coveted prize: a trip to Copenhagen. Shortly after starting, he is interrupted by Edvard, the smartest boy in school. As an unlikely friendship begins to develop between the two outsiders, Hans shares the fascinating story of his young life as well as new stories he has created. Just when it looks as if Hans will finally have a happy ending, Klaus, a bullying classmate, destroys his entry for the contest and dashes his hopes for visiting Copenhagen. Summoning all the confidence and creativity that he can muster, Hans creates a powerful and moving entry that proves this ugly duckling is really a swan! Unit set. Approximate running time: 1 hour.