'Once Upon A Mattress' Opens This Weekend At East Hampton High

Don't miss this weekend's performances.

East Hampton High School students are set to unveil their production of "Once Upon A Mattress" this weekend.

The show will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $10 for ages 10 and up; kids under 12 and seniors over 65 cost $5.
The show, written as an adaptation of the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Princess and the Pea," was written by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller and Marshall Barer, with music by Mary Rodgers and lyrics by Marshall Barer. The show opened in 1959 and later moved to Broadway.

"It's a funny, funny story," said the school's director Debbie Mansir. "There are such comedic moments in the story that I thought, with this particular group of kids, it would be perfect."

The show holds special memories for Mansir. "It was my senior high school play," she said; she understudied and performed the role of Princess Winnifred. "That's what really got me started in the theater. It gave me the bug, and once you get it, it never really goes away," she said.

The show is Mansir's first full directing gig; she was assistant director under Serena Seacat for over 10 years; Seacat has since retired.

The show also features a number of former students who came back to their roots, including assistant director Riley Tibbitts, who graduated EHHS in 2003 and studied at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy, choreographer Laura Sisko, who graduated in 2006 and studied with the Adephi dance program, and lighting designer Brian Niggles, and New York University graduate.

The fact that all three alumni have returned to their high school stage speaks to the lifelong impact the performing arts have on a student, Mansir said.

Directing the young people is fulfilling, she added. "You never know what you have in some of these kids; they're always full of surprises," she said. "It's such a joy to witness and to watch. This will be fun."

The show also features great costumes, Mansir added. "After a cold, nasty winter, this is the perfect thing to warm your heart," she said.


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