2014 Arts Medal Ceremony with Margaret Atwood (4 p.m., Sanders Theatre)
If the HUDS menu ever strikes you as something out of “Nineteen Eighty-Four” or “Never Let Me Go,” you’re not alone. The Canadian author Margaret Atwood MA ’62 set her 1985 dystopian masterpiece “The Handmaid’s Tale” in a future vision of Harvard (minus the tourists and plus some public executions on the steps of Widener). On Thursday, Atwood will receive the 2014 Harvard Arts Medal from President Faust. Atwood, also known for writing 2003’s equally dystopian “Oryx and Crake,” will discuss her life and works with host John Lithgow ’67. This is an opportunity to see a perennial Nobel Prize contender who’s still producing great works (see 2013’s “MaddAddam”) in conversation with the voice of Lord Farquaad—what’s not to love? Tickets are free but required for entry.
The Freshman Musical: 'HERO' (7 p.m., Agassiz Theatre)
Tywin Lannister, Simon Cowell…what’s the difference, really? “American Idol” meets “Game of Thrones” in this year’s Freshman Musical, “HERO,” running May 1 to 4 in the Agassiz Theatre. The show, directed by James M. Graham ’17, follows five contestants as they compete in front of a panel of three judges to see who can get the most medieval. “HERO” features an original book by Jacob D. Rienstra ’17 and music composed by Mayer M. Chalom ’17—in fact, as you may have guessed, everyone involved in the show is a freshman. Check out what Harvard’s youngest can do when left to their own devices! Tickets are $7, but students with a Harvard ID get in free on opening night.
An Afternoon with Speak Out Loud (2 p.m., Science Center C)
Harvard’s spoken word student group hosts guest poet Megan Falley, a professional writer and performer. A two-time winner of the Write Bloody Open Book Competition, Falley has one poetry collection published, with another slated to be released this fall. She also teaches an online poetry course called “Poems That Don’t Suck.” Come to Science Center C on Thursday to hear some poems that don’t suck, or even to perform your own during the open-mic session. Either way, this is a unique and informal opportunity to learn about spoken word and slam poetry, which are growing more and more popular and prominent both at Harvard and on the national stage. No tickets required.
Haydn’s 'Paukenmesse' and C.P.E. Bach’s 'Magnificat' (8 p.m., Sanders Theatre)