‘The Selfish Giant’ set to take the stage this weekend

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After nearly six months of preparation, BYU’s Department of Theatre and Media Arts is set to release “The Selfish Giant” to audiences this upcoming weekend, May 30–31, in the Pardoe Theatre in the Harris Fine Arts Center.

Adapted from Oscar Wilde’s 1888 short story with the same name, “The Selfish Giant” focuses on a self-centered giant who is unwilling at first to share his beautiful garden with the children who long to play in it but then finds happiness when he at last welcomes the youngsters onto his patch of lovely earth.

The story carries significant symbolism and is an allegory of Christ’s love. It tells a story of friendship, faith and the power of transformation.

"The Selfish Giant" comes to life May 30th with the help of puppets, actors and stilt walkers. (Photo by BYU Photo)
“The Selfish Giant” comes to life May 30 in the HFAC with the help of puppets, actors and stilt walkers. (BYU/ Photo)

The performance is sure to be different from what most audience members have ever seen before. Through the use of puppets and live adult and child actors, the Selfish Giant, as well as the rest of the story’s colorful characters, come to life.

The over-10-foot giant takes six different puppeteers alone to maneuver the character around the stage, with one on each arm, each leg, torso and the head.

“This story is very unique,” said puppeteer Britney Miles, a theatre arts and education major who controls the giant’s right leg. “Not many shows have puppets, actors and stilt walkers. It’s really a simple and beautiful story.”

Earlier in the week the puppeteers took the show’s larger-than-life character out for a “walk” around campus to increase publicity for the upcoming performances. Kids came running up to the giant seemingly unaware of the six puppeteers that were operating him.

The show is schedule for performances on Friday and Saturday throughout the next three weeks, May 30–31, June 5–7 and June 11–13 at 7:00 p.m. Matinee shows are also available. Tickets are $12 with discounts for students, BYU alumni and seniors. Check the BYU arts website, www.arts.byu.edu, for a full listing of performances as well as ticket information.

The show is an hour long with the idea of younger audiences in mind. It will definitely be a show audience members will not want to miss.

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