Once Upon A Mattress is based on the famous fairy tale, The Princess and the Pea. Because of her noble birth, the Princess is unable to sleep on a bed of many mattresses when a tiny pea is placed underneath the bottom mattress.
The kingdom is an unhappy one. King Sextimus has been struck dumb by a witch’s curse and is condemned not to speak again until “the mouse devours the hawk!” Queen Agravia has assumed power and she talks enough for the whole Royal household. She has decreed that no one in the Kingdom may wed until Prince Dauntless is married to a true princess of Royal blood. So far the Queen has tested the eligibility of eleven applicants and each has failed the almost impossible tests the Queen has devised.
The Knights and Ladies of the Court are most distressed by the situation but the most concerned are Lady Larken and her handsome lover, Sir Harry. Lady Larken has informed Sir Harry that he is to be a father so the situation is quite desperate. Sir Harry, determined to find a true princess, sets off for, until now, unexplored parts and returns with Princess Winnifred. She arrives dripping wet have swum the moat and proceeds to act as unlike a princess as one could possibly imagine. Prince Dauntless is very impressed by the new princess and is soon obviously in love with her – to the consternation of the angry Queen, who decides to give her an impossible test. She consults the Wizard and together they decide on the the sensitivity test – a pea is placed beneath twenty mattresses and the Queen decrees that if Princess Winnifred cannot sleep she will prove her royal birth. However, to ensure that she does sleep, she proceeds to do everything to make her tired out. A ball is held where the dancing is fast and furious and Winnifred is encouraged to drink heavily. She is also given a sleeping draught and a singing bird is provided to sing her to sleep.
However, the Queen fails, for Winnifred cannot sleep and spends the night counting sheep. The Queen is furious and orders Princess Winnifred to leave, but Prince Dauntless defies her and puts an end to the curse upon the King for, as the Jester proclaims, “the mouse has devoured the hawk!”
At the final curtain, we discover that the Princess was unable to sleep because the Jest has placed under the top mattress his lute, a helmet, a large spiked ball, some livestock and some old armour. Of course, all ends happily and the Queen is punished.
Auditions: Friday, May 10 – 3:30pm-6:30pm at Indian Hill High School
Auditions are not required, however if you would like to be considered for a role you must audition. All students that do not audition will still be an integral part of the camp and will be in the shows ensemble. Please prepare the audition materials below. If you would like to audition for a role but are unavailable on May 12th or you have other questions regarding auditions, please email Kimberly@CincinnatiAPA.org.
Please prepare this cut of Shy if you are interested in the role of Winnifred along with any other roles you may be interested in. Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to practice and learn the song.
Shy Excerpt – 00:44-01:27
Please prepare this cut of Sensitivity if you are interested in the role of the Queen or the Wizard along with any other roles you may be interested in. Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to practice and learn the song.
Sensitivity Excerpt – 00:00-00:51
Please prepare this cut of Yesterday I Loved You if you are interested in the role of Harry or Larken along with any other roles you may be interested in. Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to practice and learn the song.
Yesterday I Loved You Excerpt – 00:00-00:52
Please prepare this cut of The Minstrel, The Jester and I if you are interested in the role of the Minstrel, Jester, or King along with any other roles you may be interested in. Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to practice and learn the song.
The Minstrel, The Jester and I Excerpt – 00:30-00:50
Please prepare this cut of Song of Love if you are interested in the role of Dauntless along with any other roles you may be interested in. Click on the link above for a PDF of the music and use track below to practice and learn the song.
Song of Love Excerpt – 00:50-1:02
The following dialogue will be used in auditions. Look at these scenes beforehand especially if you’re interested in a specific part. These do not need to be memorized.
Lucille –A little younger and less disciplined than Rowena, Lady Lucille doesn’t have as good a grip on her emotions and sometimes blurts out what she thinks. She is high-spirited and excitable and may have a nervous tick. Advises The Queen on fashion.
Beatrice – Must be high energy. Lady Beatrice and her partner, Sir Harold, dance a lively but very short duet and are featured in a production number .Beatrice also doubles as a maid in one scene. She is a stately and courtly Lady-in-Waiting who lights up when performing as Court Dancer. Ability to do acrobatics is a plus, but not a must.
Harold – A courtly Knight when not letting loose on the dance floor, Sir Harold is a singer and a featured dancer (with Lady Beatrice) during “The Spanish Panic. They dance an energetic, but very short, duet.
THE KNIGHTS: (Medieval Knights guarded the castle, supported their king in warfare and served according to the Code of Chivalry. This Code dictated that Knights be brave in battle and exhibit cultured qualities such as loyalty and courtesy in court). Knights sing and dance and have extensive stage time. They must be good actors who stay in character and in the moment; care about the outcome; and react with facial expressions and body language as the story unfolds. Knights will be asked to double as needed. All Knights should enunciate and project well and carry themselves with pride.
THE LADIES-IN-WAITING: (In medieval times, the role of a lady-in-waiting was to assist and attend to women of the noble classes such as a Queen or Princess. The Ladies usually were noble women themselves, but of lesser rank). The Ladies sing and dance and have extensive stage time, they are good actresses who stay in character and in the moment; care about the outcome; enunciate and project well and react with facial expressions and body language as the story unfolds. Must be able to sing while moving and/or dancing; keep time clapping and/or stamping feet to music; and willing to double as needed.