Character Descriptions: Once Upon A Mattress is a delightful confection, primarily responsible for giving us Carol Burnett, the great, unparalleled, legendary, and gifted American comic actress, who originated the role of Princess Winnifred. The play is gently satirical, wonderfully melodic, totally charming, and ultimately heartwarming. As with the Minstrel, we'll want to perform with a twinkle in the eye and hearts full of love.
The Minstrel The narrator of the story who also blends into the scenes. Has an air of confidence and enjoys telling the real story to the audience. A very likeable character and cunning when need be. Plots to spoil the Queen’s plan of preventing her son to marry “Fred”.
Princess Winnifred the Woebegone She is not the “classical” princess in any sense of the word. Spirited and fun, gracious and friendly, and perhaps a bit quirky, she can swim moats, lift weights and prefers the swamps of home to a fancy castle. Needs to be able to belt.
The Jester An energetic character who is the King's right‐hand and assists him with every endeavor. Has a hidden passion for show business and the “good old days”. The Jester also plots with the Minstrel to spoil the Queen's plans. Some tap/soft-shoe ability will be helpful.
Prince Dauntless the Drab A nice everyday type of Prince who desperately wants to get married and is held back by his mother. He is child-like, naïve, with a likeable sense of innocence. He adores “Fred” and is in awe of her every step. No one in the kingdom may marry until he does!
Queen Aggravain Domineering and attached to power. Tries to intimidate, and usually succeeds. Talks relentlessly - hard to get a word in edgewise. Something of a hypochondriac and a schemer. Loves being Queen, and does not want to see her son getting married as she will then no longer be the apple of his eye and may have to go into retirement.
The Wizard An egotistical, ex-performer who directly serves as the Queen’s Loyal Confidante. Prides herself/himself in this position and basically obeys all of the Queen’s orders. Moderate speaking requirements.
Sir Harry He is a manly knight, the most influential in the kingdom, but also a bit of an egotist. He is desperate to find Dauntless a wife so he and Lady Larken can marry. He is chivalrous, brave, determined and a bit taken with himself.
Lady Larken Classic leading lady; the Lady in Waiting with highest status in the Court (Sir Harry's love); an ingenue with a bit of an edge. Manages to be ungracious to Princess Winnifred when she mistakes her for a scullery maid. But sweet and plaintive in spite of it all, and in spite of her dilemma (pregnant ; therefore eager for Prince Dauntless to find a bride/take a wife so that she and others can be married, too). Loves Sir Harry but is insecure enough to doubt his love for her. Bold enough to want to risk all and run away.
King Sextimus the Silent Thwarted into silence by his wife, Queen Aggravain. Loveless marriage; Communicates through pantomime. Non-singing; excellent movement/mime skills will help. Loves his son and is very happy when finally, "the mouse devours the hawk" and his powers of speech are restored. (entirely non-singing role and mostly non - speaking)
Knights: Sir Studley A member of the court who dances, few speaking lines, also in chorus
Sir Luce Part of chorus has a few speaking lines.
Queen’s Ladies in Waiting : Rowena, Merrill, Lucille Some speaking lines, dance numbers, choral singing
Lady Helena, Lady Sarah, Lady Mabelle Ladies of the court
Princess #12 Speaking lines
The Nightingale of Samarkand(whistling skills may help);
Scullery Maids, Ladies of the Court. . . Wonderful parts, singing and some dancing/movement skills necessary. Looking for lightness, zest, and buoyancy; people with a sense of fun and a bit of tongue-in-cheek-i-ness. People who will work hard and enjoy being part of a greater whole - and a great production.
Prologue Dancers 2 dancers for the prologue ballet
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