This year, the fine arts department’s musical was Once Upon a Mattress, a comedy based on the fairy tale The Princess and the Pea. Once Upon a Mattress is filled with humor and catchy songs. Mrs. Davis said that, “I’ve had this show on my list of possibilities for a while. It has a well-balanced cast of male and female, and the set requirements fit our stage restrictions.” All of the students involved in the musical enjoyed putting the show together. Once Upon a Mattress has a wide cast of characters, so many students were able to play major roles this year.
Sophomore Sara Hudgell played Lady Larken, and she also helped with costumes for the cast. She also has past experience with musicals both in and out of Treynor. She really enjoyed this performance, especially the song Normandy. Her character’s counterpart, Sir Harry, was played by Senior Max Hayes. This was Max’s first year acting in the musical, but he learned quickly and really enjoyed it.
Sophomore Cayden Brown played the Minstrel, a travelling musician that happened to be at the castle during the princess trials. Cayden participated in the middle school production of Alice in Wonderland and last year’s production of Legally Blonde. Junior Ty Kline played the Jester, a comedian that was close with the Minstrel and the King. Kline has been in the musical for the past two years. The last character in their trio, King Sextimus The Silent, was played by senior Craig Chapman. Chapman was in Legally Blonde last year, and also participated in acting speech events.
Queen Agravain, the show’s main antagonist, was played by senior Sophie Showalter. Showalter has been acting in the musical since her freshman year, and has also done several acting pieces for speech. Clarissa Weitzel played the Wizard, who conspired with the queen frequently throughout the play. Weitzel has been involved in the musical since her freshman year, but this was her first show in which she played a lead role. She really enjoyed being a part of the musical, and will cherish her memories of acting.
Prince Dauntless, the male lead, was played by freshman Korbin Horton. Horton has been involved in acting for the last two years in the form of the middle school musicals, which he really enjoyed. Lastly, the main female protagonist, Princess Winnifred, was played by junior Delaney Waterman. Waterman has participated in the musical since her freshman year, and has also performed acting pieces for both large group and individual speech.
Rehearsals for the leads began on September 16th, with practice four days a week for two to three hours after school, and working music numbers during chorus class. Supporting cast and the tech crew joined the leads at rehearsals four weeks into the process. In total, the entire cast only had eight weeks to put the show together, so a lot of time was dedicated outside of school to get the show running smoothly.
Once Upon a Mattress featured a lot of large scenery pieces, such as the castle wall that served as a backdrop during the entire show. Mrs. Davis and her husband, Erich, collaborated on the construction and design of the large wall. It was primarily made of reinforced platforms from storage from storage and plywood. Another large prop was the single tower that doubled as a tower for the wizard’s chamber. This tower has been around since Treynor’s performance of Princess What’s Her Name. It has made several appearances since then, such as in The Wizard of Oz. Some of the paper that was used on the castle and greenery gave the tower new life. There were also moving tents, which were new designs on the ladder carts the Cardinal Vanguard used for their season, created by Mr. Schoening. Erich Davis also built thrones for the royal family, which Madalyn Hass painted on to give them a royal appearance. The last major prop used was the bed, which was constructed on a six and a half foot platform with brackets on either side. The mattress appearance was created by cutting carpet tubes in half, painting them, and sliding them into these brackets. All of the props were a joined effort among Mr. Schoening, the Davis family, elementary art teacher Ms. Weis, and Ms. Crouch.
One of the biggest challenges faced by the cast was scheduling conflicts. All types of students participate in the musical, from those in band, choir, football, volleyball, speech and debate, and cross country. Scheduling has always been an issue for the fine arts department, commented several cast members. By the end of the production time, the musical is always coming together excellently. Mrs Davis said, “By the last performance, the tech crew is owning the transitioning from scene to scene and the cast is hitting all of their cues, and I can truly watch and enjoy the collaboration that has developed over many hours, days, and months of planning. It is so satisfying to see and hear students working together as a team to create live art.”