Upper School Presents Winter Musical, 'Once Upon a Mattress'

Upper Schoolers presented their winter musical, Once Upon a Mattress, based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale The Princess and the Pea, March 5-7 in the Trustey Family Theatre. With music by Mary Rodgers, lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer, Shore's production was directed by theater arts teacher Sarah Carlin; musical direction was by Upper School music teacher Jenn Boyum. Watch the video below.

In this musical comedy set in a far-off, long-ago land, Queen Aggravain has decreed no couples may marry until her son, Prince Dauntless, finds a bride. Princesses come from far and wide to win the hand of the prince, but none can pass the impossible tests given to them by the Queen. That is, until the “shy” swamp princess, Winnifred the Woebegone, shows up and surprises everyone.

According to director Sarah Carlin, “This tale takes place in a time when roles of gender and class were rigid, but Winnifred is no dainty and fair princess. A breath of fresh air, she is a princess who is strong, smart, genuine, and kind—a great role model for anyone.”

Students were in charge of nearly every aspect of the production, explains Carlin, from constructing the set and providing backstage direction to running the show's lighting. The cast, for their part, dedicated many hours to learning choreography, songs, and stage blocking, and for the first time, the majority of musicians playing in the pit orchestra were Shore students.

“It was great fun to shape this production into the colorful, comedic show that it is,” says Carlin. “With so many different groups of people all working toward the same goal—from parent and teacher volunteers to the student cast and crew and their supportive peers—theater truly builds community.”