Hans Christian Andersen's The Flea and the Professor

by  Jordan Harrison, Hans Christian Andersen, Richard Gray

Full Length Musical, Comedy  /  4m, 3f

Adapted from the last story by master author Hans Christian Andersen, this new musical odyssey celebrates friendship, whimsy, and the excitement of the unknown.

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Hans Christian Andersen's The Flea and the Professor

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 3f
  • Duration


    60 minutes (1 hour)
  • SubGenre


    Adventure, Adaptations (Literature), Theatre for Young Audiences, Fables/Folktales
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Appropriate for all audiences
    • Children (Age 6 - 10)
    • Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13)

Additional Info

A young professor loses just about everything in the world - everything, that is, except for the flea who lives in his vest. Starting over again, the professor and the flea become the best of friends, start a circus act, and set off to tour the world. Together they must overcome shipwrecks, cannibals, and tickling. Adapted by Jordan Harrison and Richard Gray from the last tale by master storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, this new musical odyssey celebrates friendship, whimsy, and the excitement of the unknown.
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  • Winner! 2011 Barrymore Awards, Best Production of a Musical and Best Leading Actor in a Musical
    Official Selection! The Kennedy Center's New Visions/New Voices Festival



"Exciting, funny, and creatively imagined." - Philadelphia Inquirer

"Splendid entertainment, boasting eye-popping design, a witty script, and marvelous performances. The Flea and the Professor is a lot of fun, thanks largely to its style and showmanship. Satisfies the adults in the audience without talking down to the children." - Talkin Broadway

"The musical is full of comical moments, touching scenes, adventure and delightful music." - Delaware County News

"The Flea and the Professor is the kind of entertainment capable of forcing young children to lift their sagging heads up out of their laps while also filling their tiny hearts with a wonder available nowhere but on a stage." - Out With the Kids


  • The Flea and the Professor
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Performing Groups

  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups


  • No Special Cautions

License details

  • Licensing fees and rental materials quoted upon application.



  • Time Period: Victorian (British and American), Not Applicable
  • Duration: 60 minutes (1 hour)
  • Setting: A 19th century circus theater.
  • Additional Features: No intermission, Physical Comedy
  • Features / Contains: Elaborate / High Volume Costumes, Fantasy Costumes


  • Musical Style: Classic Broadway
  • Vocal Demands: Moderate
  • Orchestra Size: Piano Only
  • Chorus Size: No Chorus


4m, 3f
THE FLEA - played by a big man
THE PROFESSOR - played by a little man
THE CANNIBAL PRINCESS - played by a woman of any size; big voice
THE STORYTELLER - whose real name is Livia
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Cast Attributes

  • Ensemble cast
  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Expandable casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Very important: The Cannibals should not be depicted as a 19th-century European’s idea of natives. I think of them instead as a brash, nouveau-riche suburban California family with all the comforts money can buy. With a few strange twists to suggest that they are from some civilization heretofore out of contact with ours: Maybe they wear their clothes backwards, maybe they drink with their noses.


Rehearsal Resources

Music Material Rental Packages Glyphs / UI / Tooltip

Full Package

8 Piano/Vocal Scores

Available Services



Jordan Harrison

Jordan Harrison was a 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist for Marjorie Prime. The play had its New York premiere at Playwrights Horizons and its Chicago premiere at Writers Theatre after premiering at the Mark Taper Forum/CTG in Los Angeles. His play Maple and Vine premiered in the 2011 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Lo ...

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Hans Christian Andersen

Hans Christian Andersen's fairy tales make up a necessary componenant to any collection of fairy tales. In fact, Andersen's life was like a fairy tale in many ways. Out of the poverty, hardship, and loneliness of his youth, he came to be one of the most honored men of his time. Many of the more than 16 ...

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Richard Gray

Richard Gray

The Flea and the Professor was commissioned by the Arden Theatre Company and written with support from the Kesselring Fellowship at the National Arts Club and the New Visions/New Voices Festival at the Kennedy Center. It received its world premiere at the Arden Theatre in Spring 2011 under the direction of Anne Kauffman.

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