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.”