WWU to Present Musical ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

William Woods University will open its theatre season Oct. 6 with production of the musical “Once Upon a Mattress.” It is the story of “The Princess and The Pea,” re-worked by Broadway into a high-spirited twist on the well-known classic.


According to Joe Potter, assistant professor and artistic director of theatre, “There is plenty of great music, hilarious and raucous comedy and good old romance. This musical favorite will provide plenty of side-splitting entertainment for the whole family.”


Music is by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer. The book is by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer.


WWU student performers include Kristin Bailey of Columbia, Mo., as Queen Aggravai; Taylor Davidson of Kansas City, Mo., as Prince Dauntless; Daniel Saults of Rolla, Mo., as King Sextimus the Silent; Cody Olendorff of Pacific, Mo., as Sir Harry; Arin Brewington, of De Soto, Mo., as Princess Winnifred, and Eric Dunn of Bowling Green, Mo., as the Jestor.


Student members of the ensemble are Joel Cornwell of Mokane, Mo.; Bethany Hall of Des Moines, Iowa; Maggie Inhofe of St. Peters, Mo.; Anthony Underwood of Camdenton, Mo.; Brittney Jewell of Mora, Minn.; Stephanie Powers of Florissant, Mo.; Bryan Schmiderer of Pacific, Mo.; Victoria Staats of Farmington, Mo., and Allison Ward of Hazelwood, Mo.


Cast members from the community and Westminster are Matthew Pedersen, a North Callaway High School student, as Minstrel; Laura Smith, a Westminster College student, as Lady Larkin, and George Spratt of Fulton, as Wizard. Other ensemble members include Carol Fulkerson, alum Jody Paschal, Henry Ledbetter and Thia Hawkins, both Westminster College students.


According to Rodgers & Hammerstein Theatricals, “If you thought you knew the story of ‘The Princess and The Pea,’ you may be in for a walloping surprise! Did you know, for instance, that Princess Winnifred actually swam the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab? Or that Lady Larken’s love for Sir Harry provided a rather compelling reason that she reaches the bridal altar post haste? Or that, in fact, it wasn’t the pea at all that caused the princess a sleepless night?


“Carried on a wave of wonderful songs, by turns hilarious and raucous, romantic and melodic, this rollicking spin on the familiar classic of royal courtship and comeuppance provides for some side-splitting shenanigans. Chances are you’ll never look at fairy tales quite the same way again.”


The production will be directed by Joe Potter. Adrienne Branson, adjunct dance instructor and WWU alumna, will be the choreographer. Cindy McClain, the director of music and coordinator of fine arts for Westminster College will provide musical direction. Jane Friedman, staff costumer, will design the costumes.


Performances are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 6, 7, 13 and 14, with a matinee at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 8, in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.


For tickets, call the box office at (573) 592-4267. Tickets for “Once Upon a Mattress” will be $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens (55 and up) and $5 for children 6-17.


Season tickets are available until the night of the first performance. For more information on season tickets, call Joe Potter at (573) 592-4281.