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The story of the Princess and the Pea is well-known to many.

The East Central University School of Fine Arts’ musical production of Once Upon a Mattress tells a version of this story through song, comedy, relationships and a bit of seriousness, according to Director Kurt Edwards.

Three performances of Once Upon a Mattress will take place on Feb. 14-16, at the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m.

“It’s not as clear as a fairy tale. This story has more to it,” said Edwards. “There’s a reason they need to find a princess. They have to get the prince married before everybody else. The kingdom is under a curse and the king cannot speak until the curse is broken.”

According to Edwards, a wide range of emotions will be dealt with during the production.

“It’s very funny…slapstick comedy at times and witty at times,” he said. “It will deal with father-son relationships and mother-son relationships as well as with man-woman relationships. It’s sometimes serious and sometimes comical. The story is told in wittiness fashion.”

The musical production, written by Mary Rodgers, daughter of Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame, will feature 18 songs, which also help tell the story, according to Edwards.

“This is a real great collaboration between the theatre and music. The set has big and beautiful scenes. It’s a full-on Broadway-type show in Ada with people who are diligently working on something here to make it special,” said Edwards.

The Feb. 14 Valentine’s Day performance will have special added features as carnations will be sold and attendees have the opportunity to purchase and get their picture taken with the princess, after the event.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for senior citizens and non-ECU students. ECU alumni also receive a $1 discount. Admission is free for all ECU students, faculty and staff with ECU identification.

For more information about the performance, contact the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center Box Office, 580-559-5751 or visit This event is sponsored in part by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the ECU Foundation, Inc., the East Central Credit Union, Citizens Bank, the ECU Bookstore, Blue Moon Café, Valley View Regional Hospital and Bob’s BBQ. Season ticket holders can receive a 10 percent discount the night of the show at Blue Moon Café, Chili’s Bar & Grill, Rib Crib and Vintage 22 by presenting their season patron card.

The Santa Fe Cattle Co. will give a 10 percent discount to anyone who presents their patron card or a ticket stub from the performance.

Following is the cast list with character, name and hometown:

The female cast members are: Winnifred the Wobegone, Lacee Elliott, Davis; Queen Aggravain, Barb Tiry, Skiatook; Lady Larken, Amber Simpson, Ada; Mabelle, Caitlin Giles, Indianola; Nightingale of Samarkand and Princess No. 12, Danielle Hayes, Sapulpa (Glenpool High School); Wench, Mason Gibson, Ada; Emily, Haley Cantrell, Dewar; Rowena, Ashley Simpson, Ada; Merrill, Kayla Horton, Moore (Southmoore High School); Lucille, Micah Hobday, Poteau; Helena, JamieLee Beuchat, Sapulpa; Sarah, Rachel Hayes, Tulsa (Union High School); Beatrice, Micah Worcester, Ada; Servant and Lady No. 1, Melody Dunn, Sulphur; Servant and Lady No. 2, Emily Taylor, Jenks; Servant and Lady No. 3, Amber Huffman, Ada; Servants/Ladies: Lori Stanton, Dickson; and Sarah Snow, Shawnee (Bethel High School).

The male cast members are: Minstrel, Steve Filkins, Oklahoma City (Carl Albert High School); Wizard, Dorn Carey, Ardmore; Jester, Kevin Gottman, Tuttle; King Sextimus, Jeff Bush, Bowlegs; Dauntless, Seth Stuart, Noble; Sir Harry, Kaleb Gordon, Seminole; Sir Studley, David Spradling, Marietta; Sir Luce, Ben Eckert, Wellston; Sir Russell (Knight No. 1), Ibrahim Nour, Chad, Africa; Sir Michael (Knight No. 2), Kane Berry, Shawnee (Bethel High School); Sir Humphrey (Knight No. 3), Matt Roland, Shawnee (Bethel High School); and Sir Paul (Knight No. 4), Cristian Nazario, Puerto Rico.

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