Marion High School will present a musical fairytale, “Once Upon a Mattress,” Nov. 9 through 11. The musical is based on “The Princess and the Pea.”
“I knew the cast would like this and that it would be fun,” director Janet Killough said at rehearsal Monday. “And I thought the audience would like it.”
Senior Jennifer Fruechting, playing Lady Larkin in her fourth musical, appreciates the humor of the script and the depth of the characters.
“It’s a really interesting twist on an old classic,” Fruechting said.
It is also a challenging show, she said. Most of the songs are at the higher end of cast members’ vocal ranges, and the dances are more technically difficult than most are used to.
The cast of 25 features many underclassmen, but eight seniors fill many of the major roles. Fruechting is happy to see younger students involved in the musical.
“Marion is known for its theater and music, so it’s good to know the younger generation is interested,” she said. She expects this year’s freshmen will put on a great show of their own as seniors in three years.
Producing a musical is no easy task, regardless of how seamless the final product appears, Killough said.
“They (audience members) see the final thing, and it looks so easy, but if they saw it from the beginning, it isn’t,” Killough said.
The biggest challenge is finding time for rehearsals, because cast members are involved in other activities, sports, and jobs. Producing a musical also requires working with people on lighting, sound, makeup, hair, set construction, music, and publicity. It is a huge effort that takes dozens of people who don’t get any time in the spotlight, Killough said.
She is experimenting with a new idea for music this year. For the first time, the orchestra providing live music will be in costume and onstage.
Show times and Tickets
MHS will present “Once Upon a Mattress” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. Nov. 11 at USD 408 Performing Arts Center in Marion.
Reserved tickets cost $3 for adults or $2 for children 12 or younger and are available at County Seat Decorating Center. Tickets at the door cost $5.