LITTLE ROCK A case of mistaken royal identity, a matter of physical sensitivity and a small legume all figure into the Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre’s production of The Princess and the Pea, which opens Friday and runs through March 24 at the Arts Center in Little Rock’s MacArthur Park.
Alan Keith Smith penned the adaptation of the story by Hans Christian Andersen. Bradley Anderson directs.
Rachel Haislip plays Cordelia, the actual princess of the title, though none of the supposedly sensitive-skinned people in the kingdom of Sensitivia knows that. Lucy Miller plays her servant, Jane, whom the Sensitivians mistake for the princess. If she’s sensitive enough, she will marry Prince Perry (Jeremy Matthey), who may lose the throne if he doesn’t find a princess to marry by his 23rdbirthday, three days hence.
Haislip explains the theatrical device that creates the misunderstanding: “She’s wearing my traveling cloak.”
“They think I’m the princess the whole time,” Miller adds.
The co-stars are students at Little Rock Central High - Haislip is a junior, Miller a freshman. They’re both veterans of the Arts Center’s Summer Theatre Academy and the Children’s Theatre stage (Miller played Lucy Pevensie in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; Haislip has played two previous title princesses, Cinderella in Cinderella and bad-girl Goldilocks in last season’s Goldilocks and Little Red Riding Hood).
Aleigha Morton as Queen Perimeta, John Isner as Womlitt, Michael Pere as Count Quint and Brooke Melton and Rachel Caffey as Servants 1 and 2, respectively, round out the cast.
The show was originally pitched as a musical - “We thought it would be,” Haislip says. “They asked us to sing at the auditions,” Millerchimes in - but somewhere along the line, although it will feature scoring from musical director Lori Isner, the songs got cut.
The Princess and the Pea 7 p.m. Friday, 3 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday through March 24, with special Spring Break Matinees at 2 p.m. March 19-22, Arkansas Arts Center Children’s Theatre, Arkansas Arts Center, MacArthur Park,10th and Commerce streets, Little Rock Sponsors: Landers Fiat; Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield; Martha Logue in memory of Christina Forbes Tickets: $12 (501) 372-4000; (800) 264-2787 arkarts.com
Weekend, Pages 31 on 03/07/2013
Print Headline: Princess is sensitive story