Grayling High School Players present three public performances of musical on March 17-19
Tue, 03/21/2023 - 10:57am caleb
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
The Grayling High School Players presented three public performances of “Once Upon a Mattress” – a musical based on the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea” – over the weekend.
“Our performances went great and we had lots of amazing compliments on our show,” Director Mark Binert-Armstrong said.
The cast and crew put a lot of time and preparation into the production. Binert-Armstrong said auditions started on January 4-5 and rehearsals began on January 9.
“We met Monday through Friday for two and a half hours each day. Monday through Thursday was spent going over music, blocking scenes, and rehearsing lines. Fridays were spent working on choreography,” Binert-Armstrong said.
The performances of “Once Upon a Mattress” were held at Grayling High School’s Joseph Stripe Auditorium on Friday through Sunday, March 17-19.
“This year we had a live pit for the first time in 10 years. It was a great experience for the actors and musicians,” Binert-Armstrong said. “There is a lot of time spent auditioning, casting, planning set designs, picking costumes, constructing and painting sets, altering and making costumes, setting light cues, sound checks, planning scene changes, blocking scenes, learning music, choreography, publicity, programs, meals, makeup and hair. It takes a community of people to make this all come together. I have an amazing community of parents and volunteers that make this all happen.”
According to the Grayling High School Players, the cast included: Alea Cobb (Princess Winnifred), Emily Kanary (Queen Aggravain), Colm Smith (King Sextimus the Silent), Nickoli Dreffs (Prince Dauntless), Del Patterson (Sir Harry), Katie Mahaffy (Lady Larkin), Deacon Stambersky (Minstrel), Asher Smith (Jester), Isaac Cole (Wizard), Alex Graziano (Sir Studley), Jensen Shambarger (Sir Luce/Nightingale), Jonah Gildner (1st Knight), Landen McColley (2nd Knight), Alesha Bilyeu (3rd Knight), Abelina Sanchez (1st Lady-in-Waiting – Rowena), Phoebe Binert (2nd Lady-in-Waiting – Merrill), Alivia Covieo (3rd Lady-in-Waiting – Lucille), Faith Gantner (Lady Maybelle), Ashley Bennett (Princess No. 12), Madison Fries (Ensemble), Gabby Helinski (Ensemble), Alyssa Hopkins (Ensemble), Brody Scott (Ensemble).
The production/creative team included: Mark Binert-Armstrong (Director), Chuck Hughes (Vocal Director), Jeff Muraida (Instrumental Director), Hannah Artfich (Vocal Assistant), Sam Spicuzza (Vocal Assistant), Gabby Helinski and Lizzie Kucharek (Choreographers), Bonnie French, Angie Graziano, Gretchen Walsh, and Ilene Wilson (Costumes), Jason Graziano and Tom Graziano (Set Construction), Chris Smith (Catering), Angie Graziano and Lisa Schade (Catering Assistants).
Crew members included: Karlie Smith (Student Director), Dylan Ellis (Student Technical Director/Sound), Hailee Jane Lovely (Stage Manager), Sophie Rakoczy (Lights), Sarah Schade (Lights), Quinn Brado (Stage Crew), Lucille Burns (Stage Crew), Chloe Crandall (Stage Crew), Hailey Greene (Stage Crew), Morgan Jones (Stage Crew), Ahryn Lavigne (Stage Crew), Taylor Lozon (Stage Crew), Javin Maclellan (Stage Crew).
Orchestra members included: Sam Spicuzza (Bass Clarinet), Makynna Holmes (Clarinet), Madelyn Mora (Flute), Cady Muraida (Horn), Fox Marculewicz (Percussion), Jamison Moran (Percussion), Iowa Gilley (Percussion), AJ Stancil (Piano), Aidan Mericle (Trombone), Annie Hayden (Trumpet).
“We as a cast, crew, and pit spend a lot of time together. We have probably spent more time together in the last two weeks than we have spent with our own families. After a while we start to act and look like a family, a big family, but a family nonetheless,” Binert-Armstrong said. “I am very proud of this cast, crew, and pit. We have overcome snow days and ice days and lost rehearsal time, but these kids have made up the time by working hard.”