Theatre Club Prepares for Musical Preview

The cast rehearses the choreography.
Photograph Courtesy of @shstheatre via Instagram
The cast rehearses the choreography. Photograph Courtesy of @shstheatre via Instagram
@shstheatre via Instagram

The theatre program has been preparing for the musical preview of “Once upon Mattress” scheduled for March 22 at the high school. 

 The show is based on the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”

 “‘Once Upon A Mattress’ is set in a kingdom where a manipulative Queen Aggravain disapproves of every potential bride for her middle-aged son Prince Dauntless.  Unfortunately, the rest of the kingdom are also banned from marrying until the prince weds, which leaves Lady Larken,” according to Common Sense Media. 

 Musical director Will Jenkins has been preparing his cast, making sure everyone is ready for the preview.

“In order to prepare for the preview and the show in general, we are running multiple rehearsals for choreography, vocals and blocking,” Jenkins said.“Once each part is finished, we put them all together with the pit orchestra and begin to put all the pieces together.”

The pit rehearses the music for the preview.
Photograph Courtesy of @shstheatre via Instagram (Photo courtesy of SHS theater Instagram)

 For the preview to look great, everyone will have to do some work to make sure there are no problems.

“The hardest part of preview day is ultimately the schedule,” Jenkins said.“By the time the actors hit the stage, they know what they’re doing, but moving from school to school and repeating that preview four times makes for a long day for the actors.” 

Senior actress Cordelia Jenkins has the lead role of Winifred in “Once Upon a Mattress,” and she is looking forward to playing up its humorous aspects. 

“ I think that what makes this show stand out from some others is just how absolutely insane a lot of it is,” C. Jenkins said.“It takes the story of ‘The Princess and the Pea’ and completely turns it on its head, having this princess from the swamps come in and play the part of the beautiful princess. …it completely changes a story we already know into something so fun and just plain goofy.” 

Jenkins is realistic in the amount of preparation left until opening night.

“Being that we’re still a month away from the show, it’s hard to say they are “ready,” but they are working hard to get to that point,” Jenkins said.

Music teacher Miriam Presley is helping to prepare the musical components. 

“As we roll into March, it’s time to put all of the pieces together for show prep,” Presley said. “That includes vocals, dancing, and acting. Up to this point, each piece has been rehearsing separately. Starting next week, we’re putting it all together. This weekend is also our first time singing with the pit ensemble. It’s called a Sitzprobe and will be a run through of the show only involving the music, though.”

The music should become an area of strength for the cast.”

  “ I think that the music itself is…really approachable and easier for the cast to learn,” Presley said. “The harmonies are really lovely but interesting, which makes the ensemble pieces a little more full sounding. This show features a lot more opportunities for everyone on stage to be actively involved in some way, which I love.” 

The theatre cast rehearses the opening scene.
Photograph Courtesy of @shstheatre via Instagram (@shstheatre via Instagram)

The important components of the preview should work together to  engage the audience.

“The overall purpose is to engage with the audience to give them a taste of the show and inspire them to come to the full performance is so important,” Presley said. “Especially for the elementary schools- we’ve had students ask their parents to come to the show based on the preview performances alone.” 

  1. Jenkins knows full auditoriums on show night are the end goal.

“The most important aspect of any musical preview is just trying to highlight some of the more exciting parts of the show to really draw people in and have them come see the shows,” C. Jenkins said.


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