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1990 - 1991

Once Upon a Mattress

Once Upon A Mattress was inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea, but any close resemblance between the two is almost coincidental.

The action takes place in 1428 in an unnamed kingdom with a peculiar dilemma. The royal marriage law says no one may marry until the prince, Dauntless the Drab, takes a wife. Queen Aggravain insists that the bride be a "genuine" princess and has devised countless tests to "protect" her beloved son. The tests are outrageous, to say the least, and Princess No. 12 is destined to fail as the play opens.

With hope fading fast, Sir Harry sets out from court in search of yet another princess. Harry has a special interest in getting the prince married off, because his own love Lady Larken is already in a family way.

The princess Harry finds in his quest is Winnifred the Woebegone, who comes from a swampy kingdom where people have frogs instead of dogs for pets. Winnifred, or Fred as she likes to be called, arrives in court by swimming the castle moat rather than waiting for the drawbridge.

Fred's unconventional behavior gives the queen the idea of using a test of sensitivity to eliminate her from the marriage sweepstakes. The plan seems foolproof. First of all, get the princess good and tired doing that new dance, the Spanish Panic, at the royal ball. Then give her some warm milk laced with opium, burn heavy incese in her chamber and make sure the proper incantation is said to activate the hypnotic mirror.

How could anyone go through all that and still be troubled by a tiny pea placed under 20 thick mattresses?

Director: Paul Gaffney

Musical Director: Marlene Hudson

Choreographer: Susie Bregg-Krzyzanowski


Barbara Armstrong

Lady Emily

Barbara Seabright-Moore

Princess Winnifred

Barry Daley

Prince Dauntless

Betsy Wimbs

Lady Merrill

Christine Drew

Lady Rowena

Duncan Morgan

Sir Luce

Eugene Oscapella

Sir Harry

Gary King

Sir Studley

Guylaine Roy

Princess No. 12

Jim Robertson

The Jester

Jonathan Taylor

The Minstrel

Julie Saumur

Lady Mabelle

Kathryn Romanow

Nightingale of Samarkand

Lisabeth Livingston

Lady Larken

Michelle Tardif

Lady Lucille

Robin Bowditch

King Sextimus

Sheila Shields

Queen Aggravain

Vern Fraser

The Wizard

Alan Mainguy


Brenda Firobin


Erika Wood


Jim Morrison


John Murray


Kevin Kelly


Michelle Furlong


Peter Messier


Rose Carnduff


Steve Kerstetter


Suzanne Castanza

ensemble, understudy Queen Aggravain

Wayne Nolan



Art Whitehead

House Manager (Orpheus)

Barbara Seeton

Makeup Design

Bill Butterworth

Sound Technician

Brenda Caiger

Assistant to the Costume Designer

Bruce Morrison

Lighting Designer

Daniel Roberts

Hair Design

Faye Lavell

Production Coordinator

Frank Burke

Sound Technician

J.A. Wallace

Assistant to the Directors

Jill Thompson

Costume Designer

John Solman

Master Carpenter

Karen Belanger


Lorna Rice


Marylin Day

Stage Manager

Melva Scott

Makeup Design

Nancy Solman

Set Designer, Scenic Artist

Sheila Shields

Ticket Manager

Susan Dacey

Properties Mistress

Terry Dacey

Assistant Stage Manager

Tom Shields

Workshop Chairman

Once Upon a Mattress
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