Arts & Entertainment

A story of magic, a king and his daughters

Leave it to the Brothers Grimm to come up with a magical story that could easily be put to music.

Such is the case with the Academy of Children's Theatre fall production of 12 Dancing Princesses, which opens Nov. 7.

Stretching the imagination further is a 40-member cast of characters that includes singing cows, princes, cow herders and, of course, all those princesses.

As the story goes: There are these 12 sisters who fall under the spell of an evil enchantress who, after the girls are tucked into bed at night, lures them to her castle through a secret chamber and makes them dance all night at her parties.

Each time the girls return to their own beds, they are exhausted and fall ill, which worries their father the king.

The king issues an edict to any prince: Whoever can solve the mystery and find out where his daughters go each night can choose one of the girls as his bride.

Naturally, the summons draws a plethora of suitors, but each prince who takes up the challenge also ends up falling under the enchantress' spell.

That is, until Prince Michael shows up with a magic flower that allows him to be invisible. He follows the girls and discovers the ruse of the evil enchantress, thus saving the day as well as winning the hand of Princess Linda.

Scott Forman, a Kamiakin High sophomore, is Prince Michael with Lauren Roberts, a junior at Richland High, playing Princess Linda.

Other key characters include Freja Elrod, a Tri-City home-schooled seventh-grader, as Lady Steno; Kelsey Forman, a seventh-grader at Highlands Middle School in Kennewick, as Lady Sniffles; and Drake Haren, a junior at Southridge High in Kennewick, as Prince Youngblood.

In the adults roles, Josh Darby plays the king and Anne Spilman is Sterling, the silver fairy.

"We've got the cutest cast and some wonderful pros (actors), so this will be a fun, quality show," said director Linda Hoffman.

This is the first time ACT has performed on Richland High's main stage, which had Hoffman a little worried at first.

"Richland High's stage is huge and we've never worked in that large a space before," she said.

ACT usually performs its productions in the smaller auditorium at Chief Joseph Middle School or in its own makeshift theater at the studio on Wellsian Way. The theater group is working toward building its own auditorium in the near future, which will be built on the studio grounds.

"We also have a dozen kids who have never been in a main stage production," Hoffman added. "The challenges have been great, but (Richland High) was the only space we found available for two weekends this entire fall.

"We even thought about using a tent for this production. We really need to get our own theater built."

*Dori O'Neal: 582-1514;