A fairy tale presentation of “Sleeping Beauty” premiering at the Elm Street Theatre on Friday through April 28 will offer young patrons a chance to be a part of the action as well as watch the story unfold.
“There’s nothing like watching children watch their first live play. They become so engrossed they comment on the action sometimes and even have to be held back from coming up onto the stage,” said composer/playwright and Elm Street Artistic Director G. Lora Grooms. “It’s just not like television and movies. They want to be part of it — jump inside the story with the actors.”
With the Elm Street production of “Sleeping Beauty” children will have several opportunities to participate in the live action on stage. They even get the chance to help get rid of Horrible Hortense, the wicked fairy, played with gusto by Katelyn Chupp of Woodstock.
“They might get to come on stage and be part of a scene where Young Rosamond, played by Charlotte Brown of Marietta, is painting a picture and needs some more people to pose for her artwork,” Grooms said.
With this brand new premiere musical production of “Sleeping Beauty,” Princess Rosamond, played by Samantha Marie Kuzian of Marietta, is not only pretty but smart with a university diploma and a true talent for art, just like her true prince, who is played by Brett Leverette of Woodstock.
In fact, the visual arts are heavily incorporated into the performing arts with this show. In dreams, they’ve had 100 years apart, the Princess and Prince have a vision of the other person, then wake up and draw their picture in Grooms’ adaptation of the story.
Prince Edward walks into the audience to see if the young lady he has drawn lives in the “village.” The sketches used in the production were created by Elm Street‘s Artist in Residence Debbie Tidwell.
“In over 20 years of writing, I have always enjoyed giving fairy tale princesses additional character traits beyond just good looks,” Grooms said. “And I also make sure that no one gets married at the end of the play unless they have had a couple of years to really get to know each other first. At the conclusion of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ the prince asks permission of the King to date Rosamond. The King agrees since he can see they already have a lot in common as outstanding students of the fine arts.”
The production staff includes directors Matthew Luce and Casey Hofmann, with Elm Street Musical Director Amy Noel Welch at the piano providing live music for the singers. Cindy, Jim and Britt Flanders created sets and props assisted by Shannon Sokol.
The cast includes Allie Hendrix, Amy Partain, Brett Leverette, Charlotte Brown, Chris Hotz, Daniella King, Frances Brown, Grace Johnson, Grace Regan, Hailey Elswick, Ivy Gibbins, Jacob Adams, Joy Przybyla, Kaitlyn Jones, Karen Dedier, Katelyn Chupp, Kerrison Carter, Kristina Welch, Lilly Davis, Olivia Smith, Samantha Marie Kuzian, Sheridan Bass and Sydney Wakeford.
Performances are April 19 to 21 and April 26 to 28. Shows are Fridays at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m.
All seats $10 in advance online, which includes sales tax, and $12 at the door.
The performances are at City Center Auditorium 8534 Main Street in Woodstock. For information visit www.elmstreetarts.org or call (678) 494-4251.