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Dorman’s The Princess & the Pirates Weaves a Compelling Tale of Hilarity and Responsibility

By David L. Hawkins, III / Published on Friday, 20 Sep 2019 20:46 PM / No Comments / 88 views


Tonight I saw the latest show from Dorman’s Theatre Department, a program I had the privilege of participating in last year.

This year’s children’s production, The Princess & the Pirates, is a comic homage to the classic movie, The Princess Bride. The show centers around Margaret (Chrisyn McLyea), a young girl too preoccupied with video games to focus on her math work. In an attempt to motivate her, her Poppa (Peyton Rollins) tells her a story within the play’s story. To parallel McLyea’s Margaret, we are introduced to Princess Margaret (Cassy Rollins) and her own similar situation. Her parents cannot get her to focus on her math work, much to the dismay of Professor Archimedes (Helena Bennett-Jones). Prof. Archimedes is her tutor who just wishes the princess’ parents had the willpower to get their own child interested in math.

Along the way, these two similar stories intertwine into a tale full of hilarity. Some comical highlights include the Fawnover Twins (Reagan Hendricks & Corrine Wilson) who, as you may have guessed, will fawn over just about anyone. I could not help but laugh each time these two got to the point of fainting. The pair of them played very well off of each other. Another comical highlight for me was King William the Chicken (Jayson Adams), Princess Margaret’s father. I have gotten to act alongside Adams on several occasions and I know how well he is able to comedic roles. As the King, he plays off of Archimedes and Queen Should’ve Had the Fish (Tenaee Simpson) superbly. I do not want to spoil many of the moments with there being two performances left but I will assure you that you will laugh.

On the technical side, the lighting and sound design were amazing. One great lighting moment was when Princess Margaret freaks out due to Archimedes taking away her controller. Not only is Rollins’ performance solid, but the flashing lights accompanying the scene begin and end at the perfect time and effectively highlight the drama of the fit. Great sound design moments include the perfectly timed splashes as the pirates throw people overboard. The set was also very well designed. We got to see a variety of locales, including Margaret’s bedroom, the royal breakfast room, and a pirate ship. I definitely have to give the tech crew props for a very solid performance. Julia Richardson stage managed along with Vincent Pederson and Trinity McDowell as assistant stage managers. The show’s projection and light designer was Troy McDowell, Dorman Theatre’s technical director. The show’s sound engineer was Rusty Milner. The set design was done by the show’s director, Leah Wren, head of the Dorman Theatre Department.

Overall this is a funny, well-designed show with a cast full of both energy and chemistry. Theatre is a live medium and many talented people are involved in making sure it goes well with no retakes. You may not even notice or realize all the people working on stage and behind the scenes. I could not mention everyone within this article, but I encourage you to show up tomorrow, September 21st, to see one of the final two shows and support their art. I had a great time seeing this show and just laughing. It is a great show for kids that teaches to be responsible with one’s school work while also having fun. This isn’t an after-school PSA, it is a comedy. Details for the final two shows can be found on the poster below.



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