The Ugly Duckling

“Please remember, my fledglings: ‘Different’ isn’t always ‘weird.’ And weird isn’t always bad”. 

What can you do when you’re different if all you’ve ever wanted was to fit in? Find out as we join the Ugly Duckling in this funny, tender and quirky update on Hans Christian Andersen’s tale of growing up. It’s a journey filled with the discovery that it takes all kinds to make the world work, and the acceptance and hope that true worth is more than skin deep. A new version by Gay H. Hammond.

Rated G     Run time: 55 minutes



Family Performances
Sep 27 and Oct 4 & 5, 2019 at 7:30pm
Sep 28, 2019 at 4:30pm
Sep 29, 2019 at 2:30pm

School Matinees
(Pre-registration only. Closed to the public.)

See “Teachers” tab for matinee details.
Sep 26 & 27, Oct 2-4, 2019 at 9:30am & 11:30am

Special Events

FREE Stage Tour (a peek behind the scenes!)
Tuesday, Sep 17, 2019 at 6:00pm in Pearce Auditorium

FREE Meet-the-Actors Reception
(following the performance): Sep 27, 2019

FREE Ice Cream Social with the Cast
(following the performance): Sep 29, 2019


Brenau University’s Historic Pearce Auditorium, 202 Boulevard NE, Gainesville, GA 30501

Buy Tickets

Ticket Information

Family performance tickets are $12-15 for adults and seniors, $8-10 for students* and children, depending on seat location. Select your seats online or call the box office at 678-717-3624. The Box Office can also make arrangements for ADA seating or, if you have a group of 12 or more, a group discount of 20% off — making a night of live theatre a great option for friends, family, church groups or scouting troops!

*UNG and BU faculty/staff/students must contact the box office for discount tickets. UNG or BU ID required.

Create your own package!

Purchase tickets to this production AND to one other production at the same time and you’ll get an automatic 10% discount; 3 to 4 shows will receive a 15% discount, and 5 shows or more gets an automatic 20% off. Discounts will be shown (with your savings) in the payment screen.


School matinee reservations for The Ugly Duckling have closed. We hope you join us next season!

Teacher tickets are free (up to 1 per 10 paid tickets) and student tickets are $6. Chaperones pay $10 per seat. We welcome homeschool families at school matinees in groups of 10 or more (one free ticket per 10 paid tickets rule applies).

Before making your reservations, please read our Reservation/Cancellation policy for our WonderQuest school matinees regarding deadlines, etc.:

WonderQuest Reservation/Cancellation Policy

Cast & Crew

Creative Team & Crew Heads

    Playwright and Director: Gay H. Hammond, WonderQuest Director, GTA Resident Dramatist, and Brenau Associate Professor
    Scenic Designer: Celeste Morris, GTA Resident Designer and UNG Associate Professor
    Lighting Designer: Matthew Sand, GTA Alumnus and Guest Artist
    Sound Designer: Kyle Cantrell, GTA Guest Artist
    Technical Director: Ali Hooks, GTA Assistant Technical Director
    Stage Manager: Rachel Ray, UNG Junior
    Asst Scenic Design/Paint Charge/Props Crew Head: Surena Arnall, UNG Senior
    Asst Costume Design/Wardrobe Crew Head: Kai Delap, UNG Senior
    Master Electrician: Sabrina Smith, UNG Junior


    Mama Duck: Bethany Hanna, UNG Junior
    Duckie: Bennett Welch, Brenau Senior
    Dickie: Michael Dotson, Brenau Junior
    Dixie: Halli Rider, Brenau Freshman
    Boss Beaver: Emily Barnett, Brenau Junior
    Bev Beaver: Jesse Smith, Brenau Senior
    Mandarin Duck: Daniela Santiago, Brenau Senior
    Peeper: Josh Turner, Brenau Sophomore
    Tad: Merrick Couch, UNG Sophomore
    Polli: Olivia Pelton, Brenau Junior
    Great Blue Heron: Cole Ferguson, Brenau Senior
    Molly Mouse: Madeline Brashier, Brenau Senior
    Cob: Sam Bradford, UNG Sophomore
    Pen: Lauren Wilson, Brenau Senior
    Cygne: Nicole Hart, UNG Junior


The Ugly Duckling to Descend Onto Stage in Pearce Auditorium

It’s been almost 10 years since Gay Hammond penned a play featuring animals as the main characters. This year she felt compelled to write a new script for WonderQuest’s fall production and decided to use a classic fairy tale as inspiration.
Read More →

GTA’s WonderQuest presents a modern take on The Ugly Duckling

Get your ducks in a row and waddle on down to see The Ugly Duckling presented by Gainesville Theatre Alliance’s WonderQuest. In this original play, a misfit duckling leaves the nest in search of adventure, family, and his own identity. The new script has its world premiere, Friday, Sep. 27 at 7:30 pm in Brenau University’s historic Pearce Auditorium, 200 Boulevard NE, Gainesville.
Read More →

‘The Ugly Duckling’ brings laughter to Pearce Auditorium

Children and adults learned about finding their inner selves during The Ugly Duckling, presented by WonderQuest and held at Brenau University’s Pearce Auditorium. The Ugly Duckling, held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 5, was written by Hans Christian Andersen and adapted for the stage by Gay Hammond, Brenau’s associate professor of theatre.
Read More →


The Ugly Duckling is a hit with audiences! We thank our patrons for the incredible feedback.

WonderQuest continues to provide excellence in children’s theatre. The exquisite costumes, the incredible attention to detail in the characters… it’s truly great theatre.

Gay H. Hammond is an extremely talented writer, and with The Ugly Duckling, she has written a story that touches both children and adults.

The performances were amazing, the sets were stellar, and the costume design was jaw-droppingly good. All in all this was one of my favorite theatrical experiences and I’m so glad I got to share it with my children.

Excellent, clever, and funny.

The show was fantastic! The meet & greet ice cream social put the experience over the top!

The concept and script were one of the very best from Gainesville Theatre Alliance.

I took my seven year old granddaughter. She enjoyed it so much that at bedtime she asked when she could see another play.

There was a little boy in front of us and he giggled throughout the performance. I must say, he stole the show for me. His joy was contagious!

Loved the way the characters took on the mannerisms of their particular “animal.” Their timing and interaction with each other was spectacular!!! Loved it and so did my grandchildren!!

A wonderful, feel-good performance!!

Most positive play for all audiences that we have seen. Wonderful messages. Excellent actor portrayal. Beautiful set design.

I loved the message of the story, and the changes were relevant and respectful to the original text. The costumes were amazing! It was a great experience.