A kingdom of lively characters will take the stage in Uplands Elementary’s spring musical this month.
Around 150 students in Grades 4, 5 and 6 are split into two shows to make up the ‘The Princess and the Pea’ cast. The story follows a disgruntled queen, a frustrated king and their son, the prince, who just wants to get married.
But much to the chagrin of the three princesses, a young woman emerges as a possible addition to the royal family.
Director Robin Hollet says students have been through more than 100 rehearsals before and after school since January for the play, which is put on every second year.
With such a large cast, the two performances will feature different actors each night to give more students more opportunities for speaking roles, dancing and musical numbers.
“The kids discover a lot about themselves in the process,” Hollet says.
Adding a twist to the performance, school staff constructed a 20-foot ‘fire-breathing’ dragon that will prove to be a worthy adversary to the royal family’s army of brave knights.
The costumes and props have been made tirelessly by Suzanne Hallabowski and Marilyn Earl, says Hollett. The pit band will be in the theatre with musicians including Daryl McDicken, Julia Yoo, Marc-Olivier Chouinard and Hollett. A backdrop was painted by Amy Pienaar of Painted Squirrel.
“It brings the community together like nothing else, and the kids get excited about a common project,” Hollet says.
The show will run at the REM Lee Theatre from May 3-4. Tickets on sale at Misty River Books and at the school.