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NRACT’s New Adaptation of “A Little Princess,” Written by Kendra Thomas, Debuts Dec. 2nd

"A Little Princess" will run Dec. 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18 at NRACT

"A Little Princess" will run Dec. 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18 at NRACT

North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre will present a brand-new family-friendly adaptation of A Little Princess, written by Raleigh, NC dramatist Kendra A. Thomas, based on the 1905 children’s novel by English author and playwright by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1849-1924), on Dec. 2-4, 9-11, and 16-18 in its small black-box theater in the Greystone Village Shopping Center, in north Raleigh.

“I was not originally set to direct this show,” reveals NRACT operations manager Beth Brody, “but when the initial director had to step back, I was asked and accepted for a couple of reasons. One, whenever we do a family-friendly production here at NRACT, it gives me the opportunity to work with a wide range of talent and ages. I enjoy directing children, and love to watch them go through the process for the first time.”

She adds, “The play is based on the classic story originally written by Frances Hodges Burnett. It is a timeless story that centers around a young girl, Sara Crewe [Eilish Urgo], who is in a private school in London, while her father [Will Jones as Captain Crewe] is in India working. The beautiful, rich young Sara is very smart and kind and spends much of her time weaving elaborate tales for the students around her.

“Of course there are a variety of interesting characters in the school that add to the richness of the tale,” says Beth Brody. “[There is] A very stern and greedy director of the school, Miss Minchin [Sheila Outwaite], who is only concerned with how much money she can make from Sara Crewe, a mean girl named Lavinia [Kelly Richard], who looks for every opportunity to point out that Sara is not a princess, [and] a scullery maid named Becky [Maya Ruegg], whom Sara befriends and convinces all little girls are princesses not matter what their circumstances.”

Brody adds, “News travels to the school that Sara’s beloved has died and that she is now penniless, Miss Minchin is furious and relegates Sara to a scullery-maid position. But true to Sara’s character, she still believes she is a princess and continues to act like one, surprising all those around her.”

Besides the actor and actresses named above, the NRACT cast for A Little Princess includes Sandra Shelton as Grandmother, Kate Urgo as Margot, Erin Cutler as Lizzie, Liz Anderson as Miss Amelia, Anna Ford as Jesse, Sutton Jones as Molly, Nicole Cashman as Gertrude, Caroline Cearly as Helen, Ella Headrick as Lottie, Grace Berry as Ermagarde, Maggie Birminghan Corbett as Mariette/French Teacher, Brianna Gilmore as Emily Doll/Anna, Tanner Lagasca as Ram Dass, Chandler Marr as Carmichael /Doll Seller, J.T. Packer as Carrisford, Josh Leonard as Mr. Booker, and Hannah Perez as a Bakerwoman. Lauren Gray and Morgan Walsh portray various Washerwoman, Cooks, and Londontowners.

Beth Brody says the show will unfold on “one simple set, with the scene changes illuminated on a rear projection screen; and the costumes for A Little Princess are “period 1890 Victorian costumes, created by a talented group of volunteers.”

In addition to producer, director, and set designer Beth Brody, the North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre creative team for A Little Princess includes assistant director Liam Yates; technical director Michael Anderson; costume designers Beth Brody, Sheila Outwaite, and Elizabeth Anderson; and properties managers and stage managers Brianna Gilmore and Elizabeth Anderson.

She adds, “This is a show for all ages! … [A Little Princess has] a large cast — 23 in all — and many actors were new to the process. This is always a challenge, but one that I enjoy.”

North Raleigh Arts and Creative Theatre presents A LITTLE PRINCESS, a new play by Kendra A. Thomas, at 7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 3, 3 p.m. Dec. 4, 7 p.m. Dec. 9 and 10, 3 p.m. Dec. 11, 8 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17, and 3 p.m. Dec. 18 at NRACT, in the Greystone Village Shopping Center, 7713-51 Lead Mine Rd., Raleigh, North Carolina 27615.

TICKETS: $10 matinees and $15 evenings ($12 students and seniors62+).

BOX OFFICE: 919/866-0228, info@nract.org, or https://www.vendini.com/.

SHOW: http://www.nract.org/2011/11/28/a-little-princess/.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.nract.org/.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.idiots.net/improv-raleigh-village-idiots-contact.html.

OTHER LINKS:

The Novel (background): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Little_Princess (Wikipedia).

The Novel (e-text): http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/146 (Project Gutenberg).

Frances Hodgson Burnett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frances_Hodgson_Burnett (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell is editor and publisher of Triangle Theater Review, a FREE weekly e-mail theatrical newsletter that provides more comprehensive, in-depth coverage of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill theater than all of the other news media combined. This preview is reprinted with permission from Triangle Theater Review.

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