Although not as well known as many musicals, John Cooper School Performing Arts Director Mary Rotella selected A Little Princess for the school’s annual fall production because of the message it sends. “It’s really a play telling a story set to music about how the power of imagination can change the world,” Rotella said. “Audience members of all ages will enjoy using their own imaginations to travel from London to Africa in this very meaningful tale.”
A Little Princess will be performed on the main stage of the Glenn Performing Arts Center on campus and includes 7 p.m. performances on November 9 and 10 and 2 p.m. matinee performances on November 10 and 11. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and go on sale to the public on October 30. Tickets can be purchased online at www.coopertickets.org.
Based on the classic Victorian novel by Frances Hodgson Burnett, the storyline revolves around Sara Crewe, played by sophomore Phoebe Hollingsworth, who uses kindness and creativity to overcome all odds. Playing the lead male role is sophomore Oliver Tipler as Sara’s father, Captain Crewe. Other lead roles include Becky, played by sophomore Samantha Sardina; the mean Miss Minchin, played by senior Bea Portela, the kind Miss Amelia, played by sophomore Kat Endom and Pasko, played by sophomore Jay Suresh. Supporting lead roles are Aljana (Mady Tozer), Ermengarde (Emily Hamer), Lottie (Maci Flanagan), Levinia (Bailey Leavitt), Nora (Juliet Johnston), Jessica (Rebecca Juranek) and Jane (Brigitte Rock). Students who are performing additional parts and are part of the Ensemble for the show include: Preston Rowley, Ally Coulton, Anna Broussard, Karson Smith, Colleen Skinner and Alyssa Hu.
The set design, created by students in Marcus Bridgewater’s technical production class, makes use of windows to let the audience know whether the scene is taking place in a courtyard or boarding house in London, or in Timbuktu, West Africa. The music, led by Director of Choirs Rae Moses, is fun and very melodic. Rotella said that for the students, learning to speak with British accents, and learning African dances, provide unique and interesting new educational opportunities.
There are a couple of important messages that the characters of this show demonstrate, according to Rotella. “We see people who appear to be mean and learn that it is really due to their own unhappiness,” she said. “Then we see characters who open their hearts and represent the importance of kindness, integrity and friendship.”
Based on the classic Victorian novel, all ages will enjoy this musical that shares the story of a young girl who uses kindness and creativity to overcome all odds. Audience members of all ages will enjoy being transported from London to Africa to learn how the power of imagination can change the world.