The Drama Department gave the last of its performances of "Once Upon a Mattress" on Sunday, ending a run of four shows in three days.
Based on the Hans Christian Andersen story "The Princess and the Pea," "Once Upon a Mattress" is the story of the mute King Sextimus, his terror of a wife Queen Aggravian and their son Prince Dauntless. Because of a longstanding curse, Sextimus is unable to speak and will not be able to do so until "the mouse devours the hawl."
Also, Dauntless cannot marry until a princess passes one of Aggravian's personal tests, which have stumped 12 of Dauntless's potential brides. Furthermore, nobody else in the kingdom can marry until Prince Dauntless gets hitched, forcing Sir Harry and Lady Larken to wait.
But with the help of Sir Harry and Larken, who is pregnant with Harry's baby, Dauntless meets the lovely Princess Winnifred the Woebegone. Convinced she lacks refinement and sensitivity, Aggravian and her sidekick, the Wizard, plot their latest impossible test, scheming to place a pea among 20 thick downy mattresses. Only if Winnifred has trouble sleeping will she possess enough sensitivity to wed Dauntless.
But much to Aggravian's chagrin, Winnifred passes the test. She advises Dauntless not to marry Winnifred, but the formerly Dauntless (the "mouse") tells his mother to "shut up," metaphorically devouring the hawk. Sextimus's curse is lifted and is transferred onto Aggravian, who is forced to prance around without speaking, much to the delight of all those who suffered under the queen's oppressive regime.
Despite her public embarrassment, Aggravian's disbelief proves to be well-founded when it is revealed that Sextimus, the Jester and the Minstrel stuffed the mattresses with weapons, jousting equipment and other sharp items to ensure Winnifred would pass the test. However, when the objects are removed, leaving just the pea, Winnifred still has trouble sleeping until the now-heroic Dauntless removes the troublesome legume.
The play, which was directed by Cindy Bell, employed two casts. In the "Winnifred" cast, Anna Clark played Winnifred, with Andrew Emmons (Dauntless), Emily Day (Queen Aggravian), Bennett Medeiros (King Sextimus), Kaleigh Stopa (Lady Larken), Nolan Murphy (Sir Harry), Danielle Lamb (the Minstrel), Medha Sthalekar (the Jester) and Carly Ristaino (the Wizard) playing starring roles.
In the "Dauntless" cast, Lanie Meyers (Winnifred), Taylor Rowles (Dauntless), Ilana Kittrell (Queen Aggravian), Abby Meltzer (King Sextimus), Sophie Cronin (Lady Larken), Robbie Seymour (Sir Harry), Mai Hartwich (the Minstrel), Ariana Ameli (the Jester) and Evan Lodondo-Ayr (the Wizard) played starring roles.