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Deerfield preps for spring musical

From left, Maci Williams plays the jester, Sam Isert the king and Marli Collier the minstrel during last week’s rehearsal of Deerfield-Windsor’s production of  “Once Upon a Mattress.”

From left, Maci Williams plays the jester, Sam Isert the king and Marli Collier the minstrel during last week’s rehearsal of Deerfield-Windsor’s production of “Once Upon a Mattress.”

ALBANY — Deerfield-Windsor School is wrapping up rehearsals for its 25th annual spring musical. More than 85 players and stage hands will lift the curtain on “Once Upon A Mattress,” set for Friday through April 22 at the Albany Municipal Auditorium.

“Yes, it’s a lot of kids and it is sometimes like herding cats,” DWS Literary Coordinator and show Director Dianne Giddens said. “The most difficult part of rehearsals is trying to get everybody to be quiet. In fact, we rehearse in shifts.”

“Once Upon a Mattress” is an adaptation of Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”

“It’s a story about a dominating queen who is looking for a bride for her son the prince,” Giddens said. “She is very picky because she doesn’t really want her son to get married. We’ve added a twist to the ending, but I can’t tell you what it is.”

There are six major characters in the play — Princess Winnifred, played by Emily Stone; Prince Dauntless, played by Chandler Lane; Queen Aggravain, played by Caroline Davis; King Sextimus the Silent (he’s been cursed), played by Sam Isert; Lady Larken, played by Amelia Middlebrooks, and Sir Harry, played by Trey Puckett.

This is Giddens’ “eighth or ninth” production and she says she picks her plays on the strengths of her young actors.

“I”ve been with the seniors since middle school and already have a good idea of who the stars will be,” Giddens said. “I will pick the shows depending on my personnel. It’s really a lot of fun. I expect this show to be a huge success, but it is also a very sad time for me because I’ll be losing some seniors I have grown very close to.

“Still the show must go on.”

Shows are scheduled at 7:30 p.m. for Friday and Saturday. The April 22 Sunday performance is set to begin at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 each.