Preview: “Once Upon a Mattress” Cast and Crew Talk Upcoming Musical

Get a sneak peek at NextStop’s upcoming “Once Upon a Mattress” with our exclusive actor/director Q&A

Herndon, VA / Washington, D.C. – Since 2014, NextStop has produced a Community Outreach Show where a cast of kids have the opportunity to work alongside artists from NextStop’s professional company. Professional Directors, Designers, and Actors help kids bring a show to life for families in the community.

On April 27th, the theatre presents “Once Upon a Mattress,” a comedic retelling of the classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea,” which will bring heart and hilarity to the NextStop stage.

In anticipation of the opening, Director Kevin Place and several of the stars of the show chimed in about the themes of the musical and what it means to them to be bringing art to their community – and what it’s like to be a part of the “NextStop family.”

Kevin Place / Director

What messages and themes make “Once Upon a Mattress” notable to audiences?

Despite being nearly 60 years old, “Once Upon a Mattress” feels incredibly relevant and relatable in the way that it challenges stereotypes of how young people should behave based on their gender and social status. Winnifred (“Fred” for short) totally upsets the rigid and repressive rules of the queen and shows all in the kingdom how to live in a way true to themselves no matter what society’s restrictions are. To me this message is both natural and important to share with young artists because they are in many ways less constricted by what others think, but at the same time subject to such incredible social pressure from their peers and others.

How would you describe the story?

The play begins with a kingdom on hold: the queen, dominating the mute king, refuses to let her son Dauntless marry unless the inquiring princess passes a series of impossible tests. So that he can marry his lady love, young knight Harry brings a different kind of princess – this one nicknamed Fred – who scandalizes and excites the young people of the court. When the queen tries to put this new princess through another impossible test, the classic story of “The Princess and the Pea” is transformed.

Learn More Our Community Outreach shows sell out fast - get your tickets early!

Logan Wagner / “Sir Harry”

Why did you want a role in NextStop’s “Once Upon a Mattress”?

I’ve been fortunate to have done previous shows with NextStop Theatre and have really enjoyed every experience, so I decided to audition for this show as well. The fact that they give you the opportunity to not only learn to take and work with notes and ideas for a character, but also give you some freedom to work with and design the character yourself, is very professional. NextStop is also a non-profit theatre, so I know that when I perform there, I am giving back to the community.

If you could invite audiences to “Once Upon a Mattress,” what would you say to them?

I particularly like that our director has merged his ideas and the writer’s ideas together to create this show. The choreography is amazing, the vocals are spectacular, and the acting is outstanding. If you want to come see a show that is full of comedy, adventure, and maybe even some drama, then “Once Upon a Mattress” is definitely a show for you!

Jen Bevan / “Queen Aggravain” – Member of NextStop’s Professional Company

What drew you to act in this production?
When Evan Hoffmann, the Artistic Director of NextStop, asked me if I would like to be a part of “Once Upon a Mattress,” I didn’t hesitate at all to say yes. Both my fiancé and I have worked at NextStop before, and we love how they have started to feel like family. The added bonus is that this show’s concept is different from the rest – an all-children cast except for myself! I was drawn to theatre at a very early age and was in my first play in the fourth grade just like some of my cast mates! I have a huge Peter Pan complex, and I always want to play and imagine, so I can’t think of a better cast to keep my dreams alive, while helping kids along the same path I trod years ago.  
If you could speak directly to the audience, what would you say to them?
Please come and support these children who have worked so hard for months to bring these characters to life! They have been so focused, and they deserve the greatest payoff: to have packed houses giving them standing ovations every night. Also, I give you my word that this show will have you giggling up a storm!

Click here to see the rest of the cast and members of the production team!

Performances are Fridays through Sundays from April 27 to May 6, 2018. Tickets are $25 plus applicable ticketing fees and are available online or by calling 866-811-4111. All seating is General Admission. Performance popularity determines ticket prices and advance booking is strongly recommended. Group discounts are available when purchasing 8 or more tickets in the same transaction by using the promotion code “GROUP8.”

Buy Tickets Tickets are available online or by phone through OvationTix at 866-811-4111

About NextStop Theatre Company:

NextStop Theatre Company is an award-winning professional black box theatre just moments away from Reston Town Center, Historic Downtown Herndon, Dulles Airport, and the Wiehle-Reston Metro Station. The company has established a strong regional reputation for producing critically acclaimed productions and educational programs, while showcasing a wide array of local talent, Broadway headliners, and locally-driven arts relevant to the community.

NextStop Theatre is made possible in part by generous support from the following valued donors: The Town of Herndon, The Ruth & Hal Launders Charitable Trust, The Nelson J. & Katherine Friant Post Foundation, The Arts Council Fairfax County, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, and NextStop’s loyal patron donors.

NextStop’s 2017/2018 Season is sponsored by AutoScandia.

Become a part of the NextStop family by generously donating and helping us keep the lights on!