The majesty, grace and poetic ritual of ancient China are vividly depicted in this enthralling tale of the Emperor who neglects the lyrical song of a humble nightingale for the artificial splendor of a mechanical bird. The real nightingale is banished from the empire. Years pass by unhappily until one day the Emperor falls gravely ill. As the figure of death lingers near his bed, the Emperor cried out for music from the artificial bird. But the bird does not respond; there is no one to wind it up. Suddenly, from the window, the song of the real nightingale fills the room. She had heard the Emperor’s suffering and had returned to bring him hope and comfort. Death retreats from the Emperor’s chambers and he rises from his bed, giving thanks to the nightingale.
Hans Christian Andersen, author
Marisha Chamberlain, playwright
40 pgs. 5 female, 17 male + ensemble
Originally produced in CTC’s 1983-1984 season
Run Time: 90 minutes
Audience Recommendation: 6+
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‘The Nightingale is an engaging tale of an emperor and his court who are charmed by the beautiful song of an ordinary bird.” -Aberdeen News
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