The Martensville High School Choir has been hard at work perfecting their skills for opening night of this year’s performance “Once Upon a Mattress”. A cast of 14 members, along with a nine person stage/sound/light crew began working on the musical this past spring, and following summer break, jumped right back in with rehearsals that took place most mornings, during lunch breaks and after school. The concept for this year’s musical is based on the fairytale about the Princess and the Pea. “I chose this musical simply because I thought it would be fun. Rodgers & Hammerstein write the music and they always write fantastic music. I love the lyrics to the songs, as they are funny and light hearted,” MHS Teacher and Director Mrs. Beck explained. With the students involved putting in many hours ensuring they are prepared, Beck noted that there is an abundance of pride working with this group. “It has been really fun to see the students internalize their roles and really become the person that they are playing. I hope people come out and enjoy the show. It is funny and the students have worked so hard.”
Not only have the students put work into their performances, they have also gained numerous new skills through this opportunity; whether it be teaching others how to dance, learning to work with lighting and sound equipment, how to stitch repairs on their costumes, and many others. Kate Jalbert and Kaelyn Coulthard worked with their fellow cast members on the choreography. Both, who had never taught dance before, were pleased with the progress that was made, and feel proud of the end result. “We really wanted to focus on repetition, because not everyone is a dancer, so our goal was to ensure that everyone felt comfortable before we moved on because we didn’t want to have someone feel unsure of themselves on stage,” Coulthard said. For other students, this experience was one that they were nervous about taking on; however, now that they have, the sense of confidence that this experience has created, leave little room for nerves. “I wasn’t quite sure about joining, but after thinking about it, I decided to jump in with both feet, so I did and I have loved it,” Chelsea Sander stated. “This is my first year participating because other years I was too nervous. Now, being here, it has been a lot of fun and I have made a lot of new friends. It has been such a great experience,” Adrian Skelton added.
As opening night nears closer, some students are already feeling a sense of sadness knowing that the musical will soon have come and gone. Anaya Elias noted that, “I am really excited to perform for everyone, but at the same time, I am sad that it is almost over. At least we can begin to look forward to next year!” Not all students have the option of performing in the high school musical again next year, as Winsorbless Lumapas, who plays Princess Winnifred knows firsthand. Having been in choir since grade 9, there is a sense of sadness knowing that this will be her last performance before graduating this school year. “Throughout the four years that I have been in choir, it has helped me gain more and more confidence every time. I am so proud to be a part of this, and I am really grateful for the experience. We all support one another and accept each other for who we are,” Lumapas explained.
“Once Upon a Mattress” will take place November 2nd and 3rd at 7pm in the Martensville High School Theatre. Tickets are $10 for adults and $6.00 for students and can be purchased in the high school office. “Working with the students has been wonderful and they have put so much time and effort into their performances. We know that it is going to be a great show full of energy,” MHS Teacher Mike Kaweski said.