HU theater mainstage season opens with comedic fairy tale

HUNTINGTON, Ind. HUTC has an opening for a princess.

Applying for the position is senior theater performance major from Reading, Pa., Meagan Heffner. Beginning Nov. 3 through Nov. 12, Heffner will play the lead role of Princess Winnifred in Huntington University Theatre Company's production of "Once Upon a Mattress."

Many people may know this musical as the show that launched the career of comedic actress Carol Burnett. This comedic fairy-tale musical tells the story of a princess, a pea and a kingdom full of people unable to wed until the queen (Breana Balliet) can find an eligible bride for her son, the prince (Josh Cookingham). Princess Winnifred (Heffner) arrives in the nick of time, but will she be able to overcome the queen's obstacles in order to win Prince Dauntless's heart?

This hilarious rendition of "The Princess and the Pea" story, written by Mary Rodgers, Marshall Barer, Jay Thompson and Dean Fuller, will leave audiences humming and dancing in their seats.

Well-known songs from the musical comedy include "Shy," "Opening for a Princess" and "In a Little While."

"Once Upon a Mattress" will be performed in the Studio Theatre of the Merillat Centre for the Arts at Huntington University Nov. 3-5 and Nov. 9-12. All evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. with a special 2 p.m. matinee performance Nov. 5.

Tickets cost $12 for general admission, $10 for students and seniors, $6 for children 13 and younger, $5 for HU students and $9 for HU faculty/staff.

For reservations, call the MCA Box Office at 260-359-4261 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Tickets also will be sold at the door before every performance. Tickets are now on sale. Buy your tickets today as seating is limited.

"Once Upon a Mattress" marks the opening production for Huntington University Theatre Company's 2011-2012 season. Jay Duffer will direct the show with musical direction from Leta Horan and choreography from Melissa Duffer. Duffer last directed the 2010-2011 season production of "Guys and Dolls."

"Once Upon a Mattress" first premiered on Broadway in 1959. The musical ran for 460 performances and received a Tony Award for Best Musical and a Tony Award nomination for Best Leading Actress for Carol Burnett.

For more information about the Huntington University Theatre Company, visit