MVCCT Gives Young Actors the stage in ‘Once Upon A Mattress’

This month, the Alexandria-based children’s theatre puts a new spin on “The Princess and the Pea”.

By Shelby Robinson

From left Maggie McClelland, Adam Ashley, Katie King and Aiden White. Photo courtesy of Laura Marshall.

“Once Upon A Mattress” is a comedic, musical spin off of “The Princess and the Pea” by Hans Christian Anderson, in which a princess is selected for marriage based off of her delicate sensitivity, or her ability to be bothered by a pea under a mountain of mattresses.

In Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theater’s production of “Once Upon A Mattress,” all of the actors are under 18, most of them in elementary and middle school.

The adaptation weaves comedy and music into a performance that assures to be fun for the whole family.

“I have been in theater for two years. I started with MVCCT summer camps. The experience was really fun and it made me want to audition for the bigger productions,” said Brevan Collins, 11, playing Sir Studley in the production. Similarly, Aidan White, 12, who plays Prince Dauntless, said he got started with a MVCCT summer musical theatre camp when he was four.

MacKenzie Rivera, 12, who plays the Jester, said she likes being a part of musical productions.

“I enjoy meeting people from different schools in the area and having something in common right off the bat,” she said. “It is fun to play the part of someone else.  You get to explore your creative side.”

Robin Parker, the director marketing and operations of MVCCT, said children’s theater isn’t about helping kids become actors, but what they learn while putting on a show.

“Kids learn important things when they are involved in theater, about team building, building confidence and learning about time management and conflict management. There are so many valuable skills taught through putting on a production.”

You can catch “Once Upon A Mattress” at Bryant Alternative High School in Alexandria, with evening performances on March 21, 22, 28 and 29 and matinee performances on March 23 and 30

Mount Vernon Community Children’s Theater offers a variety of camps, classes, after-school programs and children’s productions designed to get children involved in theater. The goal is to both provide children with the ability to test their creativity and to promote the arts in Northern Virginia. Check here for more details and a schedule of camps.

“Once Upon A Mattress”
March 21-30, times vary.
Bryant Alternative High School, 2709 Popkins Lane, Alexandria.; Tickets $12.