Old Rochester thespians take the stage in ‘Once Upon a Mattress’

Mar 14, 2023

MATTAPOISETT — There’s an “opening for a princess” at Old Rochester Regional High School that the drama club hopes to fill in its production of “Once Upon a Mattress.”

According to Old Rochester student Calder Eaton, who plays the valiant knight Sir Harry, “Once Upon a Mattress” is a musical comedy that riffs on the classic tale of the Princess and the Pea.

The musical tasks a kingdom with finding a suitable bride for Prince Dauntless (Thomas Berry), while his overprotective mother Queen Aggravain (Kathleen Dunn) thwarts his efforts to marry Princess Winnifred (Emily Wyman). Meanwhile Sir Harry and his partner Lady Larkin (Chloe Bean) handle their own relationship issues.

Berry counts his role as Prince Dauntless as one of his favorites.

“It’s really fun and awkward,” he said. “And I think I can be really awkward at times, which is great for me.” Throughout the show, Berry’s character is childish and coddled by his mother — yet still puts on a brave face when trying to woo his bride-to-be.

According to Wyman, Princess Winnifred — or Fred for short — is “very over-the-top” and is outside of her comfort zone at times. Despite singing a song titled “shy,” Wyman has active choreography and big scenes that highlights the character’s extroverted nature.

“My favorite part of the show would be seeing the set come along,” said Wyman. “We have a really intricate set. There were a lot of parents and set kids and everyone in the drama club put a lot of effort into it.”

While a large castle set takes up most of the stage, the mute King Sextimus (Maddie Dugas) fills the open space with miming and physical humor that makes up for the fact that Dugas doesn’t speak throughout the first act of the show.

According to Berry, he hopes that the audience “has a good laugh.”

“Really the whole point is to have a good chuckle about everything,” said Eaton.“It’s a pretty dire situation but it’s really funny — I would be watching everyone else’s scenes and I would be chuckling to myself, it’s really funny.”

Once Upon a Mattress will take the stage on March 30, March 31, and April 1 at 7 p.m., and April 2 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Marion General Store, Isabelle’s in Mattapoisett, Friends’ Marketplace in Rochester, at the door and online for a small service fee through Eventbrite: http://orrspringmusical2023.eventbrite.com/. Students and senior citizens, $12, general admission, $15.