Princess and the Pea Coming to SWOSU


Classic children’s show The Princess and the Pea will be presented by the Southwestern Oklahoma State University Theatre and the Weatherford Arts Council on April 20-22 on the SWOSU campus in Weatherford.

SWOSU and the WAC are joining forces to stage the show at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Old Science Building Auditorium. Tickets are $3 for adults, $1.50 for non-SWOSU students and free for individuals with an SWOSU I.D.

Morning and afternoon performances on April 20-21 have already been filled with area elementary students. Proceeds from the production will fund theatre scholarships and other endeavors with the Weatherford Arts Council.

According to production director Steve Strickler, the play is an ingeniously hilarious and highly entertaining version of Hans Christian Andersen's very short story in which King Maximillian of Maxwell-by-the-Sea and his mother, Ancient Queen Maude, summon Esmeralda Smythe, the only, and therefore wisest gypsy in the kingdom.

According to the Ancient Book of Wit and Wisdom, the Prince must go on a journey to seek a bride. Prince Valiant and his loyal squire, Donald Dunce, begin the search for a real princess. During his journey, he meets a number of quite unusual princesses: Princess Minerva the Marvelous of Marvy, Princess Diana Dingaling of Dingdong, Princess Beulah the Beautiful of Burgundy, and Princess Stella the Strong of Slobovia.

When none of these seem to be the right match, Prince Valiant returns home. That evening, in the midst of a great storm, Princess Olivia arrives at the castle gate with her lady-in-waiting, Hildegarde. Valiant immediately likes Olivia and asks Granny to give her the family's “real princess test.” Secretly placing a small dried pea under a huge stack of mattresses, Granny privately explains to King Maximillian that if Olivia is unable to sleep that night because of one very small pea placed at the bottom of many layers of mattresses, she will pass the test and show that she is a princess of the truest princessness, and worthy to marry into the family.

“The 75-minute play is sure to please audiences of all ages – especially the young and the young at heart,” said Strickler.

The play stars SWOSU students Steven Doughty, Yukon freshman, as Prince Valiant and Alex Corder, Baytown (TX) senior, as Princess Olivia. Weatherford junior Samuel Jennings plays King Maximillian while his grumpy old Queen mother is played by Sentinel senior Julie Barnett. The loyal servants are portrayed by Burns Flat sophomore Jess Moore as Donald Dunce and Yukon sophomore Amanda Tyson as Hildegarde.

Finishing out the cast in zany roles are Lauren Helmke, Nashoba senior, as Esmeralda and Princess Stella; Kendra Hines, Hobart junior, as Princess Minerva; Sarajane Bidwell, Norman junior, as Princess Diana; and Tiffany Tuggle, Hollis sophomore, as Princess Beaulah.

For additional information, please call 580.774.3240.