A Little Night Music – Creative Response Contest

May 31, 2013

Stephen Sondheim has influenced a generation of theatre artists and audience members. But who influenced Sondheim? He credits his mentor Oscar Hammerstein, saying that one legend of musical theatre passed the torch to another.

Sally Mercer as Madame Armfeldt. Photo by Mark Garvin

In A Little Night Music, each character holds onto memories of a person that influenced them. Whether a distant memory of a liaison for Madame Armfeldt, the rekindling of an old flame for Desiree, or discovering love for the first time like Anne – each person is molded by the people they meet, carrying those memories with them.


We want you, our audience, to share with us who has influenced you. What experience or memory has stayed with you, making you the person you are today?

Share this story with us in the form of a poem, play, story, painting, video or song – it is a Sondheim show after all, so we encourage all art forms!

  • Email your contribution to creativeresponse@ardentheatre.org (Videos should be sent as links to content hosted online. No attachment should exceed 5MB).
  • Submit your response by Monday, July 1 at midnight.
  • Members of the Arden staff will then select 10 finalists to be featured on the Arden blog. These finalists will be open for voting by leaving a comment on the entry here on this blog or on the Arden’s Facebook page.
  • We will announce the winner by July 17, 2013.
  • 1 Grand Prize – A prize package valued at $100, plus and an invitation for two to opening night of Parade next season
  • 2 Runners Up – A prize package valued at $50 and two tickets to the run of Parade
  • All 10 Finalists will receive 2 tickets to Parade in our 2013-14 Season


Happy Creating!


The Arden reserves the right to post, share, and publicize all entries with proper credit to the creator.

19 Responses

  1. Roberta Sharf says:

    The show was very good. Enjoyed it very much.

  2. e wallack says:

    Great show. Had guests with us who usually go to the
    Wilma – very impressed with the Arden, they say they will never return to the Wilma!

  3. Samuel Klausner says:

    The music was masterfully played and sung. The theme was a piece of fluff. The actors recited a text as impressive thespians of the old school..

  4. Samuel Klausner says:

    The music was masterfully played and sung. The theme was a piece of fluff. The actors recited a text as impressive thespians of the old school..

  5. Ed says:

    It was very good play. We truly enjoyed the evening. The Arden theater makes the show exciting with it’s intimacy of allowing everyone a chance to feel close to the stage and the actors. The seating is wonderful. The play was very enjoyable and we were able to feel as if we were part of the characters. The actors worked hard to make sure that the character was alive and fun to watch and hear. We left the theater with a warm feeling that we had the opportunity to enjoy a mystical evening. This is a must see show again. We also look forward to more plays at the Arden

  6. Dorothy says:

    The first play I attended was Opus, which I thought was just a wonderful presentation, with very very good actors throughout. When I attended Candide, I thought I had seen the best of good productions. Loved every minute of it. But this play, with its music, and its acting was the best I’ve seen here!!!! It was just wonderfully done, and I enjoyed every minute of it. You have some very very talented actors, and some beautiful voices, in your theater. Keep up the good work!!!!

  7. Claire W. says:

    Working right now on a submission – I hope to get those tickets!

  8. Len says:

    My wife and I love the theater, though from Wilmington, this was our first trip to the Arden. Based on this play, it will not be our last. We both loved the show, and the way the actors handled fantastic, but difficult, music. We also loved the Arden. Staff was great, and the theater itself was comfortable and intimate. We cannot wait for the next show.

  9. Deborah Kravetz says:

    I always enjoy the Arden’s Sondheim productions. The music is wonderful and I have been singing snippets for a week now. Terry’s direction brings it to life – this is a universal theme – never dated – and Smiles of a Sumemr Night contains timeless wisdom. Grace was wonderful!

  10. Mildred Brooks says:

    We have thoroughly enjoyed this season, and look forward to next.
    Left the theater yesterday feeling quite satisfied—what a delightful
    production. We’ve come to expect great theater from the Arden,
    and we’re rarely disappointed. Thanks

  11. Sidney Margulies says:

    It was a very impressive performance. It would have been even better, if I could have heard and understood every word being sung. Fortunately, this is the second time I have seen the show and I still remember some of the first Broadway experience. It is sad to see that singers in a small theater like yours have to resort to mikes to be heard and still are not clear to an older person in the audience.

  12. Michael Kenig says:

    Terry Nolan is a brilliant director. His production of Sunday in the Park with George with Jeffrey Coon and Krissy Fraelich was the most magnificent version I have seen. A Little Night Music was a superb combination of beautiful performances, technical magic and wonderful orchestrations that made the show magical. It put to shame the recent production on Broadway.

  13. Marianne says:

    Really enjoyed the show. There was one point where I couldn’t hear the actress sing very well, but it was just once. I have been an Arden subscriber for many, many years but I am also a Wilma subscriber. Each theater is different and each sends me home thnnking.

  14. Evelyn Levit says:

    What a marvelous afternoon with ‘A Little Night Music’ amazingly beautiful both in acting and singing. After many years of subscribing to the Arden, we are still delightfully awed that each production is filled with great actors, thoughtfulness and casual precision to make one feel that we are part of the performance. That is the very best in theatre.
    May you continue doing what you do so well with our appreciation and thanks.

  15. peter damato says:

    What a wonderful production of “A Little Night Music”. This is truly a Sondheim gem. I saw this show in 1995 at the Arts Bank and have seen this show many times and I delight in seeing the show every time. I urge you to bring “Follies” to The Arden and Philadelphia as your productions of Mister Sondheim’s shows are always first rate.

  16. loved the show – still humm the music

  17. Susan Herron says:

    This is not a particularly creative response, but…I really liked the staging. It’s a simple story, so the staging is important. The use of silhouettes was particularly well done. I can’t remember where, but I’ve seen A Little Night Music before, perhaps in New York. The Arden production was much better.

  18. Natalie Arost says:

    Well, well, well….I have never enjoyed a Sondheim musical and was prepared to leave at intermission. HOWEVER, the show was so entertaining that we stayed to the very very end (and it was long).

    We mostly enjoy ALL of the Arden productions and have subscribed for several years.

    Continue the good work and we’ll continue subscribing.

  19. tony pomeranz says:

    We loved the performance – we are a 52 yr old male and a 43 yr old female. We enjoy seeing performers we know from other shows, like Ben Dibble, and great actresses like Grace Gongliewski. Keep producing Sondheim shows!

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