Art Beat: Princess and the Pea this weekend at Performing Arts Center

It's a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale so many of us grew up reading.

Princess and the Pea

In this week's Art Beat the children's troupe from Black Hills Community Theatre take us into a kingdom and an enchanted forest for a story with feeling.

A royal family, their pursuit to keep the kingdom free,and the quest to find a true princess who will save the day. Cherry Street Players present, The Princess and the Pea.

Carrie Murphy is the new Education and Outreach Director at Black Hills Community Theatre.

She spent the first five weeks of the 12 week session teaching the kids, ages 8 to 14, the basics of theatre.

Then came auditions, and rehearsals for their upcoming production of The Princess and the Pea.

This version of the story follows the book pretty closely, but also features some exciting characters for the kids to play and the audience to experience.

Carrie Murphy, Education and Outreach Director says "In our version he gets to go on adventures with his jesters which creates lots of fun for the prince and the audience to watch and there's kings and there's queens. There's an eveil witch and gobline in this version. So there's lots of ups and downs and excitement for everyone involved."

In order to keep the kingdom free, the prince must find and marry a true princess. He searches through the magical forest, where the evil witch and goblins loom.

Many venture to the kingdom and claim to be a princess. At bedtime they climb to the top of the stack of mattresses, and the test to see if they can feel the pea as they sleep begins.

Only the true princess can feel the pea.

Lucy Buell, the True Princess says "After being captured by witch Zelda, she is taken back to the castle and sleeps on a bed and she cannot sleep whatsoever because there is a pea and since she is a princess with such delicate skin, she can feel it like under 20 mattresses."

For the kids the play is an adventure .

Khloe Hanson says "Yea, it's really fun meeting other people from new cast."

Lucy Buell says "It's just great, it's fun to interact with all these people and get to see costumes and set pieces. "

But it also has a good message we can all take to heart.

Carrie Murphy says "You know the prince and the exterior and who he thinks might be a princess doesn't actually turn out to be a princess. And the person he ad no idea was a princess, really is the true princess. So I think if we were trying to find a deeper meaning, it would be that you can't always judge by appearances."

In addition to teaching the kids acting skills they also learn the techical side of theatre and see how the professionals set the scene with their creations.

Carrie Murphy says "We needed a castle and we of course needed a big bed with 20 mattresses for the pea to hide under and there is a deep, dark, dangerous forest as well."

There were enough students in the Cherry Street program this semester to have two complete casts for this show, which hits the stage this weekend.

The Princess and the Pea will be at the Performing Arts Center Friday at 7, Saturday at 2 and 7 and Sunday at 2. Tickets are available online at performing arts r-c dot org or at the door before each performance.