A group of local residents who brought a musical about Hans Christian Andersen to life last year will be taking their show on the road this month, traveling to the Illusion Theater in Minneapolis for four performances June 28-30.
The musical, “Andersen: A Fairytale Life,” is an original work penned by Carmel residents June and John Clair and composed by Derek Hakes. The show premiered at the Center for the Performing Arts in June of last year. “Andersen” was featured on the cover of the June 14, 2011, issue of Current in Carmel.
Financial support for the musical was provided by a $25,000 Lilly Endowment Teacher Creativity Grant in 2008. June directed the drama program at Clay Middle School before retiring last year. Hakes is an educator at Creekside Middle School.
The musical follows the life of Andersen from a young boy in Denmark through his tremendous success in adulthood as a poet, novelist and author of fairytales.
“I thought, here’s the story that’s never been told,” Clair said of her inspiration to write the musical. “He’s the ugly duckling. That story is totally autobiographical. Here’s this gangly kid, and he’s Hans Christian Andersen.”
In addition to the Clairs, members of the original 43-person cast will be traveling to Minneapolis as well to recreate the musical. In the original production, Andersen in different stages of his life was played by three local actors: Blake Miller, Eric Weigand and Carmel City Councilman Rick Sharp.
With so many actors traveling to Minneapolis, Clair said she is looking for sponsors to help subsidize a portion of expenses. For more information about the musical or sponsorship opportunities, contact June Clair at firstname.lastname@example.org.