Auburn University Theatre opens 2015 season with 'Once Upon a Mattress'

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"Once Upon a Mattress" is the first production of 2015 by Auburn University's Department of Theatre. The satirical take on Hans Christian Andersen's the Princess and the Pea will open Thursday, Feb. 19, at 7:30 p.m. on the Telfair B. Peet Theatre main stage.

"Mattress" opened on Broadway in 1960 with television comedy legend Carol Burnett in her breakout role as Princess Winnifred the Woebegone. It is a musical comedy about Queen Aggravian taking over the Kingdom from her cursed husband, Sextimus the Mute. She declares that no one in the Kingdom shall marry until her hapless son, Prince Dauntless the Drab, finds a wife.

"'Mattress' is one of the great Golden Age Broadway musicals, and has been very popular with audiences through several different iterations on Broadway and television," said Scott Phillips, director and Department of Theatre chair. "Like all period pieces, 'Mattress' is very much a product of the values and assumptions of its time. Princess Winnifred the Woebegone is in some ways ahead of her time. She is the one who saves Dauntless and not the other way around. She's a pre-Shrek princess whose awkwardness, lack of social grace and disregard for pretense confer upon her an agency that we don't see in earlier princess characters, earning her a special place in a continuum that stretches from the Cinderella of the Brothers Grimm to Frozen's Elsa of Arendelle."

The cast includes Gabriella Anderson as Lady Larken, Paula Bagley as Winnifred, Anna Caudle as Queen Agravain, Ian Downes as Wizard, Hannah Rae Faulk as Lady Rowena, Jordan Lunstead as Jester, Dani Majors as Lady Luce, Taylor Thomas as Sir Luce, Jacob Walker as King Sextimus and Alec Wesolowski as Dauntless.

Show dates are Feb. 19 – 21 and Feb. 24- 28 at 7:30 p.m. with matinees on Sunday, Feb. 22, and Sunday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased online at or by phone at (334) 844-4154. Tickets to "Once Upon a Mattress" are free to Auburn University students with ID, and $15 for the general public.

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