The Royals of ‘Once Upon A Mattress’

Sounds of South presents the character-rich musical comedy based on the tale of the Princess and the Pea.

actors dressed as medieval court members dance on stage

Photo: Sounds of South

A festive moment from the Sounds of South production of "Once Upon a Mattress.

Event Information

Once Upon a Mattress

musical based on the tale "The Princess and the Pea"


Bloomington High School South

Saturdays, October 20, 27 and November 3 at 7:30

Once Upon a Mattress at Bloomington High School South is a character-rich musical comedy based on the tale of “The Princess and the Pea.” We sat down with three Sounds of South veterans to talk about their roles as the prince, the queen and the king in the production directed by Gwen Witten Upchurch.

Ethan Hamilton said that he fit right into the role of Prince Dauntless. “The names in this show either tell you about the character or they’re just the reverse,” Hamilton says. “Dauntless is anything but dauntless. He’s kind of silly.” Hamilton goes on to say that he looks back to cartoons for inspiration. “I just think about all those characters who were up against Bugs Bunny, and it works.”

Olivia Houston’s character’s name is a bit more evocative of her real nature. “It’s a lot of fun to play a character who’s so bossy. She always has plenty to say,” says Houston. “Queen Aggravain fits both halves of her name very well.  She is aggravating and she’s vain.”

Our third guest presented a problem for a radio interview. Quinn Galyan plays the silent Kind Sextimus. Actually, Galyan had trouble at first as well. “I just was always talking,” says Galyan. Our director Ms. Witten would say, “Quinn, do you know you’re talking?” And I’d just have to say, no. It’s been a very interesting challenge to play a character who has to do all his acting physically. But frankly, it’s a bit of a relief when the curse is lifted and I actually get to talk.”

George Walker

George Walker was born in Winchester, Virginia, and raised in Owl’s Head, Maine, and Valhalla, New York. After graduating from the University of Michigan, he came to Bloomington in 1966 and completed an M.A.T. degree in English at Indiana University. George began announcing for WFIU in 1967. Currently, along with regularly hosting classical music shows, he interviews artists in a wide variety of areas and reviews plays and operas. He’s the proud father of grown sons Ben Walker (and his wife Elise Katzif Walker) and Aaron Walker. In his time away from WFIU, George enjoys an active life with wife Carolyn Lipson-Walker, singing, reading, exercising and playing guitar.

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