Students in the Murray State department of theatre have been hard at work for the last three weeks preparing for their annual children’s show.
This year, the students will be performing the classic play, “The Princess and the Pea,” directed by Pamela Hamilton. Built upon the notion of purity, the story follows a young princess, who must notice a small pea that has been hidden under her many mattresses as a test before she may marry her prince.
Hamilton said she chose the play because it is generally a well-known story among elementary aged kids, is fun and upbeat and has a storyline that is perfect for kids. It teaches them morals while captivating their attention with its princes, princesses, villains and trolls.
“It’s a great story because all the kids recognize the storyline and the teachers recognize it also and will bring the kids to the performances,” Hamilton said. “We do the children’s play because it is one of the theater’s biggest fundraisers, but also because we want to encourage those elementary art programs. We want to help those last.”
This year’s play is comprised of a majority of new actors, but Hamilton said they are all doing extremely well.
“This play has really been an eye-opening experience because I only have one returning actor,” Hamilton said. “I’ve had to get to know all of the new faces and I’ve really had to adjust as I’ve learned what everyone can do and what they’ll give to each character.”
Kristie Beadnesll, Noah Van den Bosch, Andrew Castleverry, Chase Chadwick, Hannah Dewilde, Laurel Henning, Timothy Lewis, Colleen Ohler, Alexis Riley, Alex Routen and Dexter White make up the play’s cast.
“The best thing about kids is that, normally when you have like a thousand kids in a room, it’s almost impossible to get their attention, but when you’re on the stage, you have their absolute attention,” Chadwick, senior from Murray who plays Gustaf the Troll, said. “For example I was in ‘Robin Hood’ last year, and if ‘Robin Hood’ had said be quiet, it would have happened just like that, in a matter of seconds.”
The cast members enjoy the time outside of the spotlight as well as they fly through rehearsals full of smiles, laughs and dancing. “Being in the children’s show is a really great way to meet everybody because it’s such a fun show and everybody gets to have so much fun together,” said Henning, freshman from Louisville, Ky., who plays the Princess Astrid. “You really get to know the other people in the theater department and you get to have a great time.”
The play includes lively choreographed dances, dramatic fights, powerful secrets and romance both good and bad as the actors and actresses create for everyone a story of another time in a land far far away.
The play is at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 10 a.m. and noon on Tuesday, Oct. 23 and 10 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 25. The shows are all located in Lovett Auditorium. Tickets may be reserved or bought at the door for $3. All Murray State students get in free with a Racercard. For more information call 270-809-4421.
Story by Shannon MacAllister, Staff writer.