Thomas Jefferson performers piece together a fairy tale
That first hug was just — well, awkward.
The prince and the princess performing in the fractured fairy tale on the Thomas Jefferson High School stage barely knew each other off stage, and that made things a bit uncomfortable as they rehearsed romantic scenes.
“It was awful. I'd hug him, and I'd go home, and go, ‘Oh my gosh I need to figure this out,” said high school senior Allie Saltzman, 17, who plays the Princess in the school's fall play, “The Princess Who Had No Name.”
Two months — and many hours of rehearsals later — the 48 cast member all have become a big family, Saltzman said.
“I'll pass through a hall and see other kids that I'd never even known their name, and now, I stop and ask how their day is going. It's like we're family — like sisters and brothers,” she said.
The unity among cast members shows on stage, students and directors said. The fall play will be performed on Nov. 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. in the high school auditorium, with a preshow starting at 6:30 p.m.
The show follows a princess who loses her way and identity in the woods and meets fairy tale characters, such as Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Hansel and Gretel, Rumpelstiltskin and Goldilocks on her journey to discover herself.
“It's going to be something that people of all ages can enjoy. You're going to have the little kids see the characters that they love dressed up like princesses and princes, with sword fights and all the rest. You're going to hear the humor and the twist on the characters that the parents will appreciate and the teenagers will find funny,” Saltzman said.
Thomas Jefferson English teacher and fall-play director Logan Dillinger said she selected the play because of its appeal to children. To her surprise, some of the high school students, though, didn't even know some of the fairy tale characters in the show, she said.
Because the show is a fractured fairy tale, many of the characters differ from their original portrayals. Snow White is a princess, but she's southern.
That made playing some of the characters, such Cinderella, easier for the cast members.
“You kind of get to put your own twist on it. Because it is a fractured fairy tale, the characters aren't the same as they were when you were a kid,” said junior Liz Mason, 16, who plays Goldilocks. “Cinderella is sassy.”
Yet, shaking that stereotype of the princess was difficult for Saltzman, she said.
“It was a huge struggle for me to get out of the usual princess voice and find a normal voice on stage,” she said.
The show took students back to their childhoods, they said, remembering what it was like to be a child watching “Snow White,” “Beauty and Beast” and “The Lion King” on television.
At least that was true for the girls.
“I feel like I'm the odd man out,” said senior Chris Serrao, 18, who plays Prince Reveille. “They say, ‘Be like Gaston,' or do this from a certain fairy tale, and I'll say, ‘What is that exactly?'”
And while the show has all of the frills of a typical fairy tale, it also includes humor and a message for the adults.
“Growing up, you'd always want to be the pretty princess and, like, that's always good and fun to pretend like you're royal for a day, but I really like the kind of gritty and more down-to-earth comedy of it,” Mason said.
Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Brentwood celebration kicks off Friday with street fair
- Software will screen visitors at West Jefferson Hills school buildings
- Little library adds to learning experience at Pleasant Hills Arboretum
- Library Corner: E-resources can give students a head start
- Officials to discuss work on Pleasant Hills’ Old Clairton Road