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PECI version of Paper Bag Princess creates performance for all ages

Robert Munsch’s classic ‘The Paper Bag Princess’ will be told in a whole new light as Prince Edward Collegiate Institute drama students present their own version of the story for public and student audiences this week.
Two elementary matinees are set for Wednesday and a PECI student matinee will feature Thursday in preparation for three public performances Friday, April 20th (7pm) and Saturday, April 21st (2pm and 7pm).
The PECI version of the story has broken from the traditional three characters (Princess Elizabeth, Prince Ronald and the Dragon), and has been expanded to include more than 15 characters. The cast includes students from Grades 9 to 12.
“We’ve worked extremely hard to piece this production together,” said Matt Sheahan, drama teacher at PECI and the show’s director and producer.  “The kids are very talented and have dedicated themselves to learn some new dance moves as well as some fight choreography.  The audience members should be in for a treat.”
The traditional story of The Paper Bag Princess focuses on an upcoming wedding between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Ronald, which is spoiled by an untimely dragon attack. The princess is left without any clothes, so she has to put on a paper bag before setting out to win her prince back, only to realize before it’s too late that he is not the right person for her.
In the PECI version of the story, the Princess and Dragon have deep dark secrets that will take the moderately sized cast through a whirlwind of action, love triangles, subplots and talking dogs named Charlotte who will do anything for extra Beggin Strips.
“It focuses on a theme to be true to yourself and hold on to your dreams,” said Sheahan. This is not just a children’s show. The children will love the talking animals and action, while some of the humour is reserved for a teen and adult audience.”
Cast members include Samantha Kuipers as Princess Elizabeth, Sydnee Mulridge as the Dragon, Keelan Hill as King George, Emily Sanders as Queen Margaret and Bertha Queen of the elves, Anna Koning-Nguyen as Princess Veronica, Iain Stenhouse as Prince Ronald, Miranda Boultbee as Jane the Seamstress, Ben See as Leroy the stable boy, Patricia Kelemen as Mrs. Cobblepot, Meghan Lal as Charlotte the Dog, Peter Calver as Hughbert Smitherman the local storyteller, Alison Stenhouse as Beatrice Smitherman, and Olivia Claver, Gianna MacDonald, Kayley Reid, Jessie Reed and Leah Snyder as Henchman, townspeople and elves.
In an attempt to explore new territory, this year’s production is moving outside of the school to the space above Books & Company, downtown Picton.
Tickets ($5) are available at Books and Company for the Friday and Saturday shows and may also be purchased from Matt Sheahan at PECI.

Filed Under: Featured ArticlesHastings & Prince Edward District School BoardPECI - It's a Panther Thing

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