The original production opened on May 11, 1959 on Broadway for a total of 244 performances. It had also received several Tony nominations and was adapted to television in 1964, 1972 and 2005. It is the story of life in a fictional medieval kingdom ruled by the devious Queen Aggravain and the mute King Sextimus the Silent. They are looking for a princess for their son, Prince Dauntless and have ruled that no one else in the kingdom may marry until he does. The Queen makes it difficult for any would-be princesses to pass her tests. When Princess Winnifred arrives by swimming the moat, she is put to the test of being sensitive enough to not be able to sleep on 20 downy mattresses because there is a pea beneath the pile. Many more twists and turns ensue as “Once Upon a Mattress” is a delight for audiences of all ages.
The Quincy High School Drama Club and children’s ensemble have been rehearsing since January and look forward to performing this comedy/musical. The cast includes: Erin McMillen, Maura MacDonald, Grace Austen, Rachael Zisk, Amanda Burke, Lydia Culp, Kate Stevenson, Kelsey Dyer, Emily Crosta, Christina Haley, Leanne Gough, Courtney Smith, Emily Barker, Nora DeBonis, Julia Doyle, Cailyn Halley, Shelby Maze, Terry McMillen, Sammy Pendleton, Kelly Donahue, Chrissy Broderick, Brianna Cristiani, Kelsey Dunn, Julia Ford, Angela Grasso, Julia Larkin, Alexis Marshall, Rachel Knight, Kendall Kelleher, Shaheen Soto, Brooke McCarthy, Allie MacPherson, Joe Scott, Raymond McCarthy, Austen Kimmell, Jack Donnell, Rob Smith, Billy Maier, Joe Cristiani, Noah Culp, Curtis Ajavon, Jake Louzan, Jake Morse, Nick Warner, Aidan Dennis, Bryan Hanly, Lezly Acevedo, Tess Louzan, Isabelle Assaf, Grace Healy, Grace Cunniff, Adam Maier, Joey Dyer, Bobby Stevenson, Cady Kelly, Paige Maze, Sarah Gorham, Lucy Lynch, Jennifer Small, Megan Lyons, Kate Lyons, Jeff Burke, Shane Cunniff, Maeve Lehan, Lilly Hanly, Abby Hanly, Olivia Herman, Aisling Mannion and Isabelle Hanley.
Margaret Spencer (Director) performed with Fontbonne Children’s Theatre from the age of 10-17. After performing with the ESP Playhouse at M.I.T.’s Kresge Theatre, she pursued a bachelor’s degree in Drama and Speech at Northeastern University and studied voice at The New England Conservatory of Music. She co-founded the improvisational comedy troupe, The Three Penny Company and appeared on several episodes of Channel 5’s “Jabberwocky.” As a senior, with a concentration in acting and directing, she took an independent study course in theatre Education and the rest is history. After receiving her Master of Arts in Teaching from Boston College in 1975, she began her career in QPS and has been writing and producing shows with Quincy’s children ever since. Mrs. Spencer was one of the founders of Raise the Curtain and served as its director and administrator for over 20 years. She is a recipient of the Outstanding Arts Educator of the Year Award from the MA Alliance for Arts Ed. Although she retired in 2010, she continues to teach an acting class for the talented and beloved performers of Quincy High. This year, Ms. Spencer has been nominated by the Tony’s for Excellence in Theatre Education Award. It is the first year this award will be given to celebrate the educators who have transformed lives through the power of the arts. The recipient will receive a cash prize for his or her school of $10,000. The ceremony will be held in New York City on June 7, 2015.
Many people along with Ms. Spencer make these quality shows possible: Michael Murray, Musical Director; Thomas Doucette, Fine Arts Educator at Quincy High, Technical Director and Scenic Designer; Mr. Cheney and his carpentry class; Renee Smith for Costumes along with many behind the scenes and the support of Principal Larry Taglieri.
Performances will be held Friday, March 27, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 28 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 29th at 2:00 p.m. at the Lloyd Hill Performing Arts Center at Quincy High School, 100 Coddington Street, Quincy. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling Deb Dyer at 617-593-1056 and at the school store from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and in the auditorium from 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Tickets can also be purchased at the door. They are $12 for general admission and $5 for students under 18.