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Thespian Society to stage ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

GOWANDA — Imagine this: You discover a kingdom waiting for its young prince to marry a princess so that all residents may also be married because of this edict: “Throughout the land, no one may wed, till Dauntless to the altar’s lead.” Unfortunately, the queen and her wizard are doing all they can to prevent Prince Dauntless from taking a trip to the altar. Then court royals Lady Larkin and Sir Harry find out they are expecting, the search for a princess becomes urgent. Harry sets out and finds a very unlikely princess named Winnifred. The musical “Once Upon a Mattress” — based on the story “Princess and the Pea” with a modern twist — takes the audience through Winnifred’s test of “sensitivity,” and the kingdom’s attempt to sabotage it.

The Thespian Society of Gowanda High School has been working since June to bring “Once Upon a Mattress” to life and is excited to showcase its talents for the community. The musical will be staged in the district auditorium Wednesday and Thursday, Nov. 6-7, 2019, at 7 p.m. The public is warmly encouraged to attend in support of our talented students and staff. Buy tickets at the door: Adults $8, senior citizens/students $5.

A special free preview for senior citizens is scheduled Monday, Nov. 4, 2019, at 1 p.m. Those attending the matinee on Monday should bring identification to check in via the district’s new Raptor security system.

“Once Upon a Mattress” features music by Mary Rogers, lyrics by Marshall Barer and the story is based on a book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Barer. Songs include “In a Little While,” “Shy,” “The Swamps of Home,” and “Yesterday I Loved You.”

The cast of characters includes: Tia Moppert as Queen Aggravain, Riley Tighe as Lady Beatrice, Zac Nash as Prince Dauntless, Emma Taylor as Emily (Chambermaid), Patrick Strawder as Sir Harry, Meredith Wheeler as Jester, Sam Latimore as 1st Knight, Hayden Kaus as 2nd Knight, Jack Warrior as 3rd Knight, Hanna Green as 1st Lady, Arley Sommers as 3rd Lady, Malarie Carroll as Lady in Waiting, Andie Baco as Lady Larken, Sierra General as Lady Luce, Emma Christopher as Lady Lucille, Beth Stang as Lady Merrill, Emagin Warrior as Lady Rowena, Grace Wakefield as Minstrel, Gabby Whipple as Princess #2, Alex Neumeister as King Sextimus the Silent, Hudson Smith as Sir Studley, Paige Gabel as Winnifred and Abby Valone as Wizard.

Behind the scenes is a theatrical force. Heading up the production staff are: Mr. Matthew Bannister as artistic director/set design/lighting design; Mr. James Welch as music director; Mr. Adam Bett as photographer and co-producer along with Mrs. Robin Smith. Mrs. Laura Bannister is choreographer; Mrs. Bonnie Ferry and Mrs. Lea Golden are costume designers/construction; Mr. Garry Smith is set design/set construction; Ms. Cassidy Smith is stage manager; Ms. Kyra Delano handles props; Mr. Pat Murphy helps with lighting design; Mr. Glenn Bernardis on sound design; Kyle Eastland as sound crew chief; and Michelle Valone on hair design. Stage crew consists of Jessup Donohue, Miranda Kaminski, Tyler Kirkpatrick, and Paige Szalay. Sound crew is Rebekah Austin, Olivia Latimore and Will Sylvia.

Pit orchestra consists of: Mr. James Welch as director; Brieana Ventrice on oboe, Kyle Kohan on clarinet, Jacob Swanson on bass clarinet, Will Jenney on guitar, Max Gucinski on bass guitar, Kyle Michaels on percussion and Riley McDonough on keyboard.

The district is grateful to the students, parents, volunteers, faculty, staff and community members who have dedicated their time and continuous support to the arts.

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