Mid-Ohio Valley high school students and young adults are invited to audition in April for the local Theatre de Jeunesse theatre arts program's production of the musical comedy "Once Upon A Mattress."

Licensed by Rogers & Hammerstein, "Once Upon A Mattress" is loosely based on "The Princess and the Pea". This program is offered free of charge to Mid-Ohio Valley young people.

If you thought you knew the story you may be in for a delightful surprise. In this version, Princess Winnifred swims the moat to reach Prince Dauntless the Drab, and it isn't the pea under the mattress that causes the princess a sleepless night.

This rollicking spin on the familiar classic has roles for singers and non-singers, and is filled with wonderful songs, both hilarious and romantic, and side-splitting shenanigans. This production was the Broadway debut of Carol Burnett portraying Princess Winnifred, and the 1996 revival starred Sarah Jessica Parker.

Those preferring technical theatre can register instead to join the technical crew. The selected technical crew will assist the Technical Director in the design and creation of the set, props, lights, and sound for the production.

They will also provide the backstage and light rail support for the production as: stage crew, stage manager, assistant stage manager, and lightboard, sound, and followspot operators. Technical interns interested in Costuming will assist the Costumers in the research, design, and construction of costumes.

Guest professional artists will present workshops in their area of the arts throughout the rehearsal process. Six performances of the production will be presented in July at the Friederich Theater in the Hermann Fine Arts Center at Marietta College. The program is not affiliated with Marietta College.

Technical crew registrations and pre-audition Open Houses provide interested young people the opportunity to meet the staff, ask questions about the program and the production, and review the audition music and scenes in advance.

They will be held on Saturday, March 31, from 1:00 - 3:00 at the Hermann Fine Arts Center, 500 Butler Street in Marietta and Sunday, April 1, from 1:00 - 3:00 at the Parkersburg Academy, 1300 38th Street in Parkersburg.

Auditions and technical crew registrations will be held on Saturday, April 14, from 1:00 - 4:00 in Thomas Hall Room 320 at Marietta College (park at the Hermann Fine Arts Center, 500 Butler Street and walk up College Mall to Thomas Hall on the left at Putnam) and at the Parkersburg Academy, 1300 38th Street in Parkersburg on Sunday, April 15, from 1:00 - 4:00 and on Monday, April 16, from 6:00 - 8:00.

This program is sponsored by Easton Printing. It is presented with financial assistance from the Ohio River Border Initiative, a joint project of the Ohio Arts Council and the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, and in partnership with the Parkersburg Arts Center and the Allohak Council #618 of the Boy Scouts of America.

All required forms and more information about the program, staff, and production can be found on the website at www.tdej.org, or join us on Facebook at Theatre de Jeunesse.

Please email any questions to theatredejeunesse@yahoo.com

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