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home : schools and education : schools May 3, 2016

2/6/2014 2:27:00 PM
CHS students perform "Once upon a mattress"
Princess Winifred, played by Sarah Kunkel (right), speaks with Queen Aggravain, played by Romaine Doty, at last Thursday’s performance of “Once Upon a Mattress” at Chelan High School’s theater.
Princess Winifred, played by Sarah Kunkel (right), speaks with Queen Aggravain, played by Romaine Doty, at last Thursday’s performance of “Once Upon a Mattress” at Chelan High School’s theater.
Matt Baide
Staff Writer

Last weekend's performance of "Once Upon a Mattress" was the culmination of months of rehearsal for Chelan High School drama students.
The musical is based off of the literary fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea." Prince Dauntless, played by Drew Carleton, is seeking a princess to marry, while his mother, Queen Aggravain, played by Romaine Doty, is picky about a mate for her son.
Along comes Princess Winifred, played by Sarah Kunkel. She swims the moat and into the prince's heart. Aggravain is unhappy about her son's choice, so she hatches a scheme to test her royalty. The queen tests the princesses royalty by giving her a sensitivity test by placing a pea under 20 mattresses.
The Jester, played by James H. Cogswell, and Minstrel, played by Javier Navarro, provide comedy throughout and help the princess complete her test.
The show was chosen by Marile Kunkel, head of the school's drama department. The students have been practicing since before Thanksgiving, with all of the hard work culminating last weekend.
"It's a huge time committment for the kids," Producer Desirea Doty said. "These kids were practicing everyday after school."
Chelan's drama department participates in the Fifth Avenue Awards, which honors high school musical theater throughout the state. The application is filled out early in the school year so the musical can participate in the contest.
During one of the three nights of the musical, there were evaluators from the Fifth Avenue Theater there to watch the performance. After seeing all of the performances, the evaluators nominate performances for certain categories such as most outstanding musical production, best actor and actress and outstanding direction. The nominees and awards are announced in May with an award show. Chelan students get to take a trip to Seattle for the ceremony and get to watch a performance at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.
"It's a big thing for high school students," Doty said. "They are competing against huge schools with huge drama budgets."
Last year, Chelan won the Educational Impact Award, as well as former CHS actress Lea Poirier earning an honorable mention in the outstanding performance by an actor or actress in a non-singing role. Poirier played the cook in last year's performance of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."
The students aren't aware of when the evaluators will show up to a performance, but Kunkel keeps the students on their toes.
"She has a head's up, but she always tell's them everyday that they are here," Doty said. "We have our fingers crossed that we will win an award."
The last performance is always sad, because the drama department will have to say goodbye to its seniors. This year, seniors Carleton, Romaine Doty, Kunkel, Cogswell, Navarro and Kevin Soto performed the final musical of their high school careers.
"It's always a bittersweet part when you have seniors in their last performance," Doty said.
The play also starred CHS student's Chris Weahtersby, Lilly Nelmida, Ben Flores, Samirah Mashayekh, Vanessa Miller, Emma Elsner, Rhiannon Davis, Josie Gallup, Elli Vegdahl-Crowell, Annika Nolen, Nora Hollingsworth, Carolyn Martin, Ana Doty, Jordyn Eldred, Eva Aneshansley, Marc Nimz, Max Nimz, Michael Nichols and Gage Martin.

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