Since one of the goals of the Mouse River Players is education in theater arts, director Jennifer Brandt is exposing as many young actors as possible to "Once Upon a Fairy Tale."
"We have 18 kids on stage at one time," she said. "With doublecasting, we have 36 kids on stage and some strictly backstage, with each actor performing three shows over the two weekends."
The experience levels range from novice to experienced, and Brandt has taken advantage of mixing the two together.
Submitted Photo - - Joslynn Wells, standing, as Group B Beullah the witch, screams at the three Group B trolls holding her cauldron, played, from left, by Kaz Brandt, Mia Keys and Taylor Olson, all watched by the Group B magic “mirror,” played by Alyssa Johnson, shelf, in the Mouse River Players production of “Once Upon a Fairy Tale.”
Submitted Photo - - Cali Lurvey as Princess Rose from Group A is surrounded by the Group A trolls played by Isabella Dobrinski, Willow Charbonneaux and Kaya Shaw.
Submitted Photo - - In the Mouse River Players production of “Once Upon a Fairy Tale,” roles were double-cast to get more kids involved. Morgan Coleman plays Beullah, the witch from Group A.
Submitted Photo - - In the Mouse River Players production of “Once Upon a Fairy Tale,” roles were double-cast to get more kids involved. Mya Temanson plays Princess Rose in Group B.
"One of the reasons I chose this play was because there was a handful of really good main characters and main characters with good presence and fewer lines, and others that are not so fully blown, so they're not too much for the newcomers."
In Group A, Brandt has cast Morgan Coleman, an experienced actress, as the witch Beullah, and newcomer Cali Lurvey as Princess Rose. Group B has newcomer Joslynn Wells as the witch and experienced Mya Temanson as the princess.
Twisting the classics
"Once Upon a Fairy Tale"
Performances are at The Arlene, 115-1st Street SE, Minot, and reservations aren't required.
Admission is part of the season ticket, or $5 per seat. Young children may sit on parents' laps free of charge.
Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., Sunday at 2 p.m., and again April 8 and 9 at 7 p.m., and April 10 at 2 p.m.
"It's a twist on classic fairy tales," Brandt said, "with a princess, a hero and a witch, all with different sides. It's a combination of Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and some others, but with an original script by Christopher Burutto.
"It's the classic tale format, with a couple of spells and a poisoned apple," she said. "This is definitely a comedy."
As part of the FAME (Future Actors of Minot Entertainment) Program of the Mouse River Players, Brandt is trying to have children ages 5-14 doing as much as possible both before and behind the curtain, including stage management, props, prompting and scene changes.
Thomas Burke, a teenager fresh from the program, is handling the lighting for the production. The costumes were designed by Brandt, with some borrowed from Minot State University's theater department, some created especially for the show, and some from the Mouse River Players shop.