By Hannah Rowen
Auditions for next semester’s musical, “Once Upon a Mattress,” took place Nov. 28 through 30, and the final casting was decided over the weekend.
Dr. Neal Woodruff, music professor, and Jerry Cohagan, communication professor and theater director, judged the singing and acting portions of the auditions. Senior Hannah Jacobson, the musical’s choreographer, led the dancing auditions.
Roughly 40 hopefuls began the process with singing and dancing auditions, before about 12 were called back for an acting audition.
“Not everyone we use in the show is called back,” Cohagan explained. “We only call back the roles we are undecided on. Just because you don’t get a call back doesn’t mean you are not in the show.”
The low turnout disappointed Cohagan.
“Forty people is a low number for the musical,” he said. “And we chose this musical based on the response we had for auditions last year, when more guys auditioned than girls.
“We thought we could do a musical that had a chorus of men and women, and surprisingly, we only got 10 guys to audition, which is a bummer.”
Males are an important part of the comedy, which is based on “The Princess and the Pea.”
The musical takes place in a kingdom ruled by King Sextimus, who is unable to speak due to a witch’s curse, so his wife, Queen Aggravian, takes control of the kingdom
The queen declares no one in the kingdom can get married until Prince Dauntless marries a princess of royal blood. The decree prompts the vexed Sir
Harry to begin a search for the princess so he will be allowed to marry his lover, Lady Larken.
The plot only calls for eight speaking roles, but the show contains a chorus line that Cohagan hopes to fill with 12 to 22 people. Regardless of how many people he casts, Cohagan is optimistic about the future of the musical.
“I have high hopes,” he said. “I go into everything with high hopes. There are a lot of talented folks here at Olivet, and … I believe [the show] will be worth going to.”
At the time of this printing, it is unknown when the final cast will be announced.