Natalia Vargas
Lincoln County elementary and middle school students and Missoula Children’s Theater presented the retelling of the fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”

On March 31 and April 1, local elementary and middle school students, in collaboration with Missoula Children’s Theater, took the stage to present a new spin of the Hans Christian Andersen classic fairy tale “The Princess and the Pea.”

This version includes new additions like kingdoms of snow, green rolling hills and running rivers, and their subjects the Blizzard Bringers, Icle Sharpeners, River Runners, Tree Barkers and an unique Leprechaun clan. The story is set off when the pesky but well-meaning Jack Frost starts freezing everything in both kingdoms, and the Leprechaun clan have to find a way to stop him, by uniting the rivaling kingdom’s’ efforts.

Directed by Nick Spencer from Missoula Children’s Theater, the play featured cheery and adorable performances from the talented Lincoln County kids, ranging in ages from 7 to 13. It included the performances of Riston Miller and Kassidy Mathews as Storm King and Snow Queen, Gareth Frehner as Jack Frost, and Donovan Plunkett, Irish Bleak, Sierra Phillips and Loni Phillips as King Size, Queen Size and the Princess and the Pea, respectively.

Created by Michael McGill, the show featured upbeat songs about valuable family messages like the importance of embracing your differences, saying please and thank you, the power of friendship, and some not as valuable yet still charming messages, like electing a Pea as president.

Performing to two packed audiences, the kids’ performances were outstanding, with complex lines and dialogues masterfully executed. Their success is even more remarkable when considering they only had four days to rehearse.

At the end of the play, director Spencer remarked the great support he and his team had throughout the process. He said that this would not be possible without the help of Missoula Children’s Theater’s own actress Daja Middleton, Hunter Blood as Assistant Director, Andy Robinson with Sound, Wesley Lebaron with Lightning, local moms, Jenny Allen with hairstyling and Pete Peterson for reaching out and making the whole play possible.

Peterson gave special thanks to Jackie Thomas, Kylie Lytle, Pam Teel, Stephanie Vincent, Cherry Florence and Raymond Wadsworth.