On Oct. 4, 2013, Weber State University’s Val A. Browning Center hosted the world debut of the musical “The Plain Princess.”
Since that time, the production has been awarded a spot at the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. The regional festival will take place at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Feb. 12-15.
To prepare for its performance at the festival this year, “The Plain Princess” is slated to return to the stage for three encore performances for the weekend of Jan. 24. The encore performances will provide the student actors another opportunity to perform the musical and practice for an audience. The proceeds from ticket sales will help pay for the traveling costs for the students, props, set pieces and other performing necessities.
Jim Christian, the writer and director of “The Plain Princess,” elaborated on the nature of KCACTF. “It is the only national organization that is dedicated to the promotion and recognition of quality achievement in academic theater at the university level,” Christian said.
Mandee Shaffer, WSU theater student and costume designer for the musical, described KCACTF as “like the NCAA of theater. It is our finals. It is a really big deal.”
Christie Denniston, director of marketing and public relations for the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities, said that being selected for the festival “really showcases the depth and the breadth of the quality of our faculty members and students. Weber State’s theater department is definitely a leader in the region for quality performances.”
Denniston invites those who want to see the musical again and those who haven’t seen it yet to come to the encore performances.
“’The Plain Princess’ is a family-friendly production about the Princess Esmeralda,” she said. “She has everything a princess should have except that she is deemed very plain by her people. It’s definitely a transformative story of how pretty on the inside makes pretty on the outside. It is also a great musical. It will have your feet tapping along with the numbers.”
While most productions held at the Browning Center require attendees to be at least 8 years old, this production has lowered its age limit in order to continue with the family-friendly nature of the show. “Any child of age 5 and plus is really going to enjoy this performance,” Denniston said.
All three encore performances will take place in the Browning Center’s Allred Theater: Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m., and Jan. 25 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are being sold at a flat rate of $15. Tickets can be purchased at www.browningcenter.org or 801-626-8500, and will also be available at the door.
“Everyone should come,” said Lindsay Blackman, who will reprise her role as Princess Esmeralda. “It’s a good show and it has a great message.”