On the weekends.of Feb. 1 and Feb. 8,the FJC Drama Department presented their first Children's Theater Prodliction. The play was,"The Dream'Princess", by Richard Thompson (a Buena Park High School teacher).
The play, as a fantasy, was well written. It can be favorably compared with "Sleeping Beauty" and "Cinderella". The play's aim was of course to please the children who comprised the majority of the audience. However, a number of adults (other than baby sitters) were present at some of the performances. We can hardly blame them as the story has an appeal for both young and old, whether romantics or just plain kids.
It. is the story of two men in love with two women. That the men are a prince and a court fool, and that the women are both princesses, makes the story a little more interesting. Add to this the fact that one princess comes only as a dream to her prince, mix in the Dragon King of the Black, Forest who holds her captive. Sprinkle, liberally, with assorted demons and forest trees, plus a bombastic kind, a frustrated queen, and a helpful little bird. Blend well, and an enchanting little story has been created.
To enhance the script, the production staff produced excellent effects of lighting and sound. The use of excerpts from Stravinsky's, "Rites of Spring", was especially effective. Set design, costumes, and makeup were quite professional in quality. In fact, there was a "Disney" quality to the production. Evidence of the Disney influence was apparent through. out the play. The sleeping prince, the color and style' of costuming, and the gnarled trees of the forest were all reminiscent of "Sleeping Beauty".
Individual performances were generally very good. Terry Lamb and George Spelvin (Prince Gregory and The Court Fool) turned in good performances after a rather slow start. Marilyn Henyan was not very convincing as Starflower, but Jackie Nolton was an excellent demon, the children Joe Deel and Trina Portillo made quite good as Princess Marguerita loved their antics. Noticeable performances were those of Sandy Mann (Little Bird), Leonard Wingett and Sandy Klein. Wingett and Klein were excellent · as the blustering , King Buffo and Eisa Lanchester-like Queen Chaterly. Mike Renard's projection was weak, but he conveyed enough savagery to be : effective Dragon KingThe choreography by Mrs. Veitch was excellent throughout. An interesting highlight was Ed Hayes, who entertained as a strolling minstrel during the intermission.
In general the play was very good. It had a slow start but warmed up· to a climactic battle between good and evil (Prince Gregory and the Dragon King). Most important of all, the children loved the show.