The Light Princess Lights the Stage
by Liz Spencer
It’s Tech Week for cast and crew of the Light Princess. The Light Princess focuses on a princess who lost her gravity causing her to float, but it’s discovered that when she is wet, she gets her gravity back.
“It’s not that she floats which she does, she also can’t take anything seriously. She has no gravity, and she’s weird and she knows that she’s weird. She’s a big brat at the beginning, but the prince comes and that all changes,” Alyssa Russell, the Light Princess, says.
This is the first lead the junior has ever had. “It’s a lot harder than I thought it would be, but it is rewarding. You get a lot more lines and a lot more stage time, and you have a chance to develop a character more and when you are the lead it’s like your character is giving the audience the impact.”
Alyssa isn’t the only one who has their first lead. This is also junior Brandon Barney’s first leading role. “I was in the Tempest, and I was Stefano and that was really fun. It was not a big part, but I had a pretty good chunk of lines. He (Stefano) is a drunken butler, to a king.”
In this play Barney is the prince. “He is a prince who is looking for a princess. He’s kind of a jerk, because he thinks he’s so cool and stuff like that. But really deep down, he’s a nice guy.”
Sophomore Sydney Orason, another new leading performer, plays the witch. “I was a sprite in the Tempest and I crewed on Charlie Brown.”
Orason is the wicked witch that cast a spell on the Light Princess. “She’s everything that she hates about everything because of the loneliness that she feels and she feels like no matter what she does, she’s never been the favorite over the king.”
Every story has to have a narrator. Sophomore Jeremy Saunders takes on being the narrator in the Light Princess. This isn’t Jeremy’s first leading role. “My first time was actually last year in my freshmen year. That was Curses; it was the eighth grade- ninth grade play. I was Hexmaker Golblewand, the evil fairy.”
But the narrator is “really neutral to the story. He doesn’t really have any preferences, beefs with anyone. He is a true narrator, he states the story, states the facts and he just wants to get the plot moving.”
Emily Snyder is the director of the Light Princess. “I was asked to do the festival show, and we had a couple of limitations like we had to have a small cast, and we had to have a set that can travel, because we are going to Leominster and hopefully to other places in Massachusetts with the show. It could only be 40 minutes long because those are the rules of
Every year, the Drama Society has a theme for their plays. “This year’s theme for the drama department is ‘Anything’s Possible’. That’s why we did Charlie Brown and we’re doing Cinderella, and to fit in to that I knew this fairy tale called the Light Princess by George McDonald, it was public domain now. It has a lot of tricks which I thought would be fun to figure out, like how to make a princess fly, and how to make people swim without water, and all sorts of fun things like that.”
With every production there are always shenanigans going on behind the scenes. Jeremy Saunders causes most of the shenanigans during rehearsal. “I still like to creep up behind people and whisper into their ear when they don’t know it.” Everyone has their own reaction when he does this. “My best reaction happened yesterday, where I did this to one of the castmates and they jumped four feet in the air and fell to the ground. That was pretty good.”
When getting into character, many of the cast have different approaches. “I like to listen to Disney songs on my IPod, princess songs, and I like putting on my costume. It really gets me into character. I just think about what it would be like to float my whole life and not care about anything and it’s really fun.”
Alyssa has a favorite one that she loves to listen to. “The one I listen to before every rehearsal is from Sleeping Beauty ‘Once upon a Dream.’ It’s really fun to dance to and I love it.”
“I mentally prepare myself and think about what I am doing for the rest of the rehearsal,” Barney says.
Sydney has a very lonely character. “Since my whole character is about being alone, it sounds really dark and dreary, but I go to a time when I was most alone in my life and I felt like there was no one there for me. But the most important thing is that once you’re off the stage you can forget about it because there are other people that are just let them consume them and so I think about things that have happened to me that make me feel how my character feels but I try not to let them consume me.”
Since opening night is approaching, I asked the cast if they are nervous. Russell says “Yes, I am extremely nervous because the whole time, I am being carried by people on their shoulders and even if I work really hard to make it perfect, I could still be dropped or fall, and the show is coming up and its really scary, also. But I have faith in it; it’s going to be good. I hope people come to see it. Everyone should go see it.”
Barney says “Yes, I am really nervous. It’s my first time having a big part and having monologues to memorize. It’s stressful.”
The Light Princess will be performed at Leominster High School for a play competition this Saturday. If they place, they will move on to the next competition.
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