in association with Concord Theatricals
Music by Mary Rodgers
Book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer
Lyrics by Marshall Barer
- “Prologue” – The Minstrel, The Jester, Company
- “An Opening For a Princess” – Prince Dauntless, Lady Larkin, Lucille, Rowena, Company
- “Many Moons Ago (Reprise)” – Company
- “Shy” – Princess Winnifred, Prince Dauntless, Ladies, Knights
- “Sensitivity” – Queen Aggravain, The Wizard
- “The Swamps of Home” – Princess Winnifred, Ladies
- “The Minstrel, The Jester, and I” – The Minstrel, The Jester, The King
- “Happily Ever After” – Princess Winnifred, Prince Dauntless, Ladies
- “Yesterday I Loved You” – Sir Harry, Lady Larkin
- “Spanish Panic” – Company
- “Song of Love” – Prince Dauntless, Princess Winnifred
- “Quiet” – Queen Aggravain, Knights, Ladies
- “Finale” – Company
The Minstrel and the Jester, serving as our narrators, introduce us to a kingdom that existed many moons ago. This kingdom is ruled by a King cursed by silence and his very talkative wife, the queen. The Queen has decreed that until her son, Prince Dauntless, finds a suitable princess for a wife, no one in the kingdom is allowed to marry.
After Princess #12 fails her princess test, administered by the Wizard, Prince Dauntless, Lady Larken, Lucille, and Rowena bemoan their inability to find true love and get married. Sir Harry, the beloved knight of Lady Larken, sets off on a quest to find a princess worthy of Prince Dauntless… or at least one who can pass the impossible tests concocted by the queen and her wizard.
Sir Harry returns with a very unusual princess: Princess Winnifred the Woebegone of the swamplands. She arrives at court and excitedly introduces herself, apologizing for being “shy”. Prince Dauntless is immediately smitten, and the kingdom is excited to see a princess who just might be able to pass the test. Horrified at the potential of losing her baby boy, the Queen plots with the Wizard to create a nearly impossible task to prove Winnifred unworthy. They decide to test her sensitivity by testing to see if her sleep is interrupted by hiding a single beneath twenty mattresses.
Meanwhile, Winnifred tells the ladies in waiting about her home in the swamp and meets the King, and they immediately like each other. Then, after spilling a vase of flowers, Winnifred is caught cleaning the mess by Lady Larken who mistakes her for a chambermaid. Harry gets mad at Larken for her mistake and they get in a fight. Larken vows that she will run far far away where she will never see him again. The King overhears the argument and confides through pantomimes to his confidantes, the Minstrel and the Jester. He tells them to not say a word, but they both are more worried about the King letting it slip, because even though he is mute, he can still communicate.
Fred and Dauntless study for the test, and Fred convinces Larken to fix things with Harry. Dauntless bids Fred goodnight, and now she is left alone. With her ladies-in-waiting, she complains about how other fairy tale princesses had it easy and how she wants to live happily ever after. Larken goes to find Harry and reconcile.
Later that night, the Queen throws a ball so Winnifred can dance the most exhausting dance in the world, “The Spanish Panic”. The Queen hopes that Winnifred will tire herself, but the plan fails. Winnifred is the last one standing as everyone collapses from exhaustion at the dance’s climax. She asks Dauntless to try to give her a clue as to what the test might be, but he’s not sure. Winnifred mentions that her nickname is Fred and Dauntless sings of his love for her as she practices numerous tasks she might have to do for the test.
Fred grows tired, and the Queen prepares her bedchamber with the twenty mattresses. An exhausted Winnifred tries to fall asleep, but is kept wide awake. It seems that there is some “lump” under the mattresses that is keeping her from relaxing. She starts counting sheep.
The next morning, everyone gathers in the throne room to see if Winnifred passed the test. Queen tells Dauntless to his great disappointment that the test has already happened and what it was. Dauntless is heartbroken until Winnifred drowsily stumbles into the throne room while still counting sheep. Everyone is ecstatic that Winnifred has passed but the Queen insists that Dauntless should not throw himself away on Winnifred. Dauntless has had enough of his mother’s attempts to control his life and finally tells her off. The curse on the King is lifted (the “mouse”- Dauntless, has metaphorically devoured the “hawk”- Queen Aggravain). Aggravain discovers that she cannot talk and the King can, so Dauntless and Winnifred are free to be married.
Finally the real reason why Winnifred passed the test is revealed. After learning about the test, the King, Minstrel, and Jester stuffed the mattresses full of a variety of bulky items. All the items are removed by the Minstrel and the Jester in the finale. After the items are removed Winnifred climbs to the top of the mattresses and finally falls asleep. Everyone, in classic fairy-tale tradition, lives happily ever after.
* denotes a Peacock Players Mainstage debut.
Ava Simone Durden
PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER
Raylynn Despres, Maggie Dustin, Maizie Hennessy, Colin Scribner, Sophia Scribner, Kendall Toupin, Gabby Wallace
SCENIC DESIGN LEADS
Rayssa Santos, Amelia English, Elle Millar
SCENIC CREATION VOLUNTEERS
Michelle Bedy, Natasha Briere, Tyler Briere, Sue Cooper, Jackie Cormier, Fred Daniels, Amelia English, Thomas English, Will English, Taylor Kudalis, Elle Millar, Gray Paradise, Lyra Plerhoples, Colin Scribner, Sophia Scribner, Tommy Stachowiak, Gabby Wallace
Thunder & Lightning Productions
LIGHTING BOARD OPERATOR
Thunder & Lightning Productions
DIGITAL PLAYBILL & GRAPHICS DESIGN
Special Thanks to
Diane Veino & City Hall Administrative Services
Ross Dugas & The Risk Management Department
Jay Hunnewell, Mike Migneault, & the Department of Public Works
Nashua House of Pizza
The Bedy, Cooper, English, and Scribner Families
And the countless Peacock Players students, parents, alumni and volunteers that helped to guide and support this specific Mainstage production.
Peacock Players Board of Directors
Shannon Galinson & Jenn Morton