Fleetwood Area High School presented their spring musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” March 17 to 19. This hilarious retelling of the fable of the princess and the pea features music by Mary Rodgers and Marshall Barer.

More than 60 students were involved in cast, orchestra and stage crew. Cast included 10 seniors, three juniors, 12 sophomores and eight freshmen.

Set in 15th Century Europe, Mattress takes place in a cartoonish kingdom ruled by a scheming Queen Aggravain, the pantomiming mute King Sextimus, and their single, naive son, Dauntless the Drab. The smothering queen has decreed that only the princess that can pass her test may marry her son. Furthermore, no one else in the kingdom may marry until after Prince Dauntless does. When the unlikely Princess “Fred” is found, the queen plots against her.

First created in 1958, Once Upon a Mattress is popular for high schools and community drama groups because of the large number of leads, lively music and opportunity for bright, flamboyant costumes and makeup. Fleetwood’s production was set against a subtle background which allowed the color to really pop on stage. When Pam’s Dress Shop in Kutztown Renninger’s closed in September 2016, the owner generously donated more than 100 gowns and fabric swatches to the school’s drama department which were repurposed and used heavily in the show. She was a guest at the Saturday performance and received rousing applause and thanks from cast members backstage.

To prepare for their production, cast and crew had been rehearsing since December, while constructing set and props after school and on weekends. Students took major production rolls, as the entire show was choreographed by Fleetwood junior Maya Evans, and the Stage Manager was Fleetwood junior Jenna Masenheimer.

Despite a blizzard, Snowstorm Stella, during the final prep week before the show, the cast, crew and pit presented a memorable musical that demonstrates the talent and dedication of their theatre family.

Production staff included Director Elaine Hilbert, Producer Erin Barnett, Vocal Director Cathy Williamson, Choreographer Maya Evans, Orchestra Director Sarah Shuey, Tech Crew and Special Effects Kirby Barnett, Set Construction by Elaine Hilbert and Kirby Barnett, Costuming by Cathy Reed, and Makeup by Erin Barnett.

See more photos on A8.

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