Allie Stapleton, a USQ theatre graduate directs this version of The Ugly Duckling. Allie graduated in 2005 as an acting student, however took a liking to directing and is now completing her honours degree focusing on directing and writing under the direction of Dr Janet McDonald and Scott Alderdice. Allie has previously focused on women's issues through theatre and wishes to incorporate this knowledge in the production of The Ugly Duckling with the use of strong female characters.
The theme most prevelant in this version of the story is one of self-discovery for children, and the idea that it is how a person acts rather than what they look like that matters. On the issue of children in today's society Allie states, "children's identity is constructed for them before they have a chance to choose". The play The Ugly Duckling has been reworked by Scott Alderdice to focus more on issues of appearance which are relevant to youth in today's society.
Considered the most autobiographical of all his tales, Hans Christian Andersen first published The Ugly Duckling in 1844 when he was 39 years old. He admitted on many occasions that the tale mirrored his own life in terms of how he felt different throughout his formative years, only to become one of the most recognised storytellers of all time.
Many scholars believe that this tale is a re-working of the Brothers Grimm's Cinderalla, only using the differences between ducks and swans as the metaphor for this "coming of age" story.