“Once Upon a Mattress impresses Milford community


Shown above is the whole cast of the fall MHS Performing Arts production, Once Upon A Mattress, with the Knights, Ladies-In-Waiting, and Mini-Kingdom Players (All photos courtesy of Tara Johnson Photography).

Christen Broughton and Emmaline Allen

The Milford Theatre Company, has expanded and evolved to tremendous heights since its initial establishment in 2005 by Megan Weeks; Milford High school alumni, class of 94’, as well as Milford’s English, broadcasting, and drama teacher. Based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairytale, Princess and The Pea, Once Upon a Mattress is a musical comedy about a kingdom in which everyone must wait to be married until the prince finds a bride. The queen (Amelia Beesley) has high expectations; each potential bride must pass a test to prove that they are a true princess. If the lady passes, they shall be allowed to marry prince Dauntless (Tim Dawe).

Desperate to marry his now-pregnant Lady Larken (Jillian Armstrong), knight Harry (Ben Mondrush)  sets out on a quest to find the last princess near their kingdom and bring her back to marry the prince. Harry is successful in doing so, however, she beats him there by swimming across the moat.

The princess’ name is Winnifred (Julia Kanak), or Fred for short. She is sloppy and ill-mannered, but nonetheless, Dauntless instantaneously falls in love, as well as the entire kingdom. Not happy in the slightest with the princess, the queen conspires with the sorceress (Bryn Graskewicz) to create an unpassable test: Fred would lie on top of 20 mattresses, with a single pea at the bottom, after a long night of dancing and multiple cups of the sorceress’ special drink. If the lady is unable to sleep, she is truly a princess, and she shall be allowed to marry the prince.

There is so much that goes into putting on an amazing show. Many said that preparing for it was chaotic and strenuous. “All of us spent late nights working on the show while still keeping up with classwork,” says Student Tech Director Rachel Martin. Audiences must also take into consideration the drastic changes to the theater department in the past year: a new choir teacher, incoming freshmen, and graduated seniors. In reference to preparations for this musical, Junior Center Stage member Aubrey Snavely said, “It was very busy and very stressful, but in the end, it was very much worth it.”

        While preparing and rehearsing for the show was very stressful, it was also exhilarating and gratifying. “The serotonin we got when everyone cheered and when we were taking a bow on stage, realizing that all of our hard work was worth it,” said Snavely when asked what her favorite part of the musical production was. “When we started to put things together and it all started to make sense… it’s just- it’s very rewarding,” said Dawe when asked the same question.

The student cast and crew is just as important as the adult crew members. Brittany Miller, Milford Theater Company’s newly appointed music director. “It was really fun; there was a lot of good talent to work with. There were a lot of fun group numbers, good harmonies, and good musicians, which really made everything come together. We are also really lucky to have Mrs. Granroth.” Said Miller. (Brenda Granroth is the Performing Arts accompanist for not only Milford Highschool, but schools all across Huron Valley)

Overall, it seemed to be a very fun time; preparing for and performing in this musical. But the fun didn’t stop when the curtains closed. The cast closed the weekend with their formal cast party, but most were just grateful for the rest. “Just unraveling and relaxing after being so bound to a schedule is really nice,” Said Junior concert choir member Austin Matlis. “I also celebrated by finally getting good sleep.” Dawe said.

While this production was hectic and draining, everyone had fun and the show came out amazing. There’s so much that goes into putting on a production as large as this at a high school level. Overall, it was an amazing experience for those in the audience and in the play.

Shown above is the whole cast of the fall MHS Performing Arts production, Once Upon A Mattress, with the Knights, Ladies-In-Waiting, and Mini-Kingdom Players (All photos courtesy of Tara Johnson Photography).
From left to right: Ben Mondrush, Amelia Beesley, Jillian Armstrong, Joseph Meagher and Ben Sanko preparing to thrill audiences for their upcoming performances.
Pictured above are the Crew. The Crew is integral to the whole show and to keep things running smoothly. They are in charge of things such as sound, lights, hair, makeup, costumes, and more.
Pictured from left to right is Ben Sanko, Ben Mondrush, Joseph Meagher, Xander Martin, and in the middle is Jillian Armstrong portrayed as King Sextimus, Sir Harry, The Minstrel, The Jester, and Lady Larken.