The first show of the summer at the local theater, this version of “Princess and the Pea” was written by G. Lora Grooms, Elm Street’s artistic director, who served as composer and playwright for the project.
“The original tale is very, very short allowing a writer the fun opportunity to fill it out with additional characters and business,” Grooms said. “I’ve added a couple of characters who are in disguise as well as a wacky court jester and a secondary plot line.”
In the play, the kingdom of Skalamia is ruled by a strong-willed queen and a funny king who talks to his mini-me puppet, often in knock-knock jokes, a synopsis of the play reveals. The queen sends the jester into the countryside to announce a contest to find a princess for her son, Portnoy.
“The underlying message is to marry someone you know — a best friend and go to college first,” Grooms said. “There is a fair amount of audience participation and interaction which the younger patrons really enjoy.”
Among the court there is a mysterious young lady named Kristina and her equally mysterious brother, Luke. Portnoy and Kristina have become acquainted over time and discover they both intend to marry their very best friend, not just a handsome hero or a dainty princess.
A group of princesses opt to join in on the contest and demonstrate their various talents and skills in science, gardening, art, dance, singing, fashion and athletics for the queen.
Then, the audience gets to choose who will marry the prince, Grooms said.
The show has been in rehearsals for about two months and is sure to be a fun show for the whole family, according to those involved with the play.
“’Princess and the Pea’ helps share with kids what is really important in life,” said Leslie Gostin, one of the co-directors. “And there are also fun stories about what happens to those who do not get the prince.”
Brett Leverette, co-director of “Princess and the Pea,” also feels that the show has multiple story lines that are not all what you expect.
“This show is different from the storybook version. There are twists that you will not see coming,” he said.
Costuming team Cindy Flanders and Julie Sokol worked to find the perfect princess dresses for all of the princesses in this show.
Kaitlyn Pierce, the show’s Scenic Designer, has created a design that will really help bring the audience into the storybook world, the co-director said.
“We went with a pop-up book design” Leverette said “it will be a new and exciting way to look at an old fairy tale.”
“Princess and the Pea” will be playing from June 11 to 25 on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Shows will be on Wednesdays are at 10 a.m. for the family, and Saturdays and Sundays performances are at 2 p.m.
Group rates are available for “Princess and the Pea.” Single Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. For more information and to inquire about tickets, visit elmstreetarts.org or call (678) 494-4251.
The Elm Street Cultural Arts Village and City Center Auditorium is at 8534 Main Street, Woodstock.