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Senior Citizens Rediscover
The Princess And The Pea

(2/11) Gettysburg Community Theatre, the non-profit 501c3 organization located in the original Elks Lodge building at 49 York Street within the first block of Lincoln Square in historic downtown Gettysburg, opens its second production of their 8th season with the zany musical Once Upon a Mattress. The production will perform at GCT at 7pm on February 26, March 11, 12, 18 and 19, and also at 2pm on February 27, 28, March 6 and 13.

A hilariously nutty retelling of the story of "The Princess and the Pea," Once Upon a Mattress is filled with wonderful songs and sidesplitting shenanigans. This raucous, romantic, and melodic spin on a familiar classic is recommended for ages 10 and older. Once Upon A Mattress marked the Broadway debut of legendary stage and TV personality Carol Burnett, who garnered a Best Leading Actress Tony nomination and won a 1960 Theatre World Award for her role as Princess Winnifred. The role of Winnifred the Woebegone is one of those typical fish out of water roles; a brash, unrefined princess enters the royal court to charm Prince Dauntless the Drab while dodging the slings and arrows of his mother, the devious Queen Aggravain. If ever there were a performing arts paradox, it is the image of the great American comedienne Carol Burnett belting out the song "Shy" in the original 1959 Broadway production. This is the show and role the catapulted Ms. Burnett to stardom. Once Upon A Mattress also received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical. It features a musical score by Mary Rodgers with lyrics by Marshall Barer, and book by Jay Thompson, Dean Fuller, and Marshall Barer.

"Composer Mary Rodgers was the daughter of the legendary Broadway composer Richard Rodgers," says Chad-Alan Carr, GCT Founding Executive/Artistic Director. "She wrote only a handful of Broadway shows of which Once Upon a Mattress is surely the best. It should also be noted that her son, Adam Guettel, is also a very successful Broadway composer having won accolades for such shows as Floyd Collins and The Light in the Piazza. Clearly, the vein of musical talent in the Rodgers family ran deep."

The GCT production is directed by Pamela Hurlbert and features the talents of Vanessa Rice as musical director and Buff Wills as choreographer. This production is especially different, because it features a cast made up entirely of Senior Citizens ages 55+. Last year’s popular senior citizen production of Fiddler On The Roof lost two of six performances due to snow, but GCT audience members that did get a chance to see it were very impressed. Senior Theatre at GCT will continue once a year to win the hearts of young and the young at heart in the community. The cast of Once Upon A Mattress stars Phyllis French as the Queen, Barbara Dempsey-West as Princess Winnifred, and Steve Huete as Prince Dauntless along with a cast and crew of about 20 Senior Citizens from York and Adams Counties.

Tickets are $18 plus tax/fees for the limited reserved seating in the intimate 80 seat theatre at GCT and may be purchased online at the theatre’s web site at to pick your own seats or by calling 717-334-2692 with credit card to purchase what seats may be left available. GCT is fully accessible and has an ADA compliant ramp at the back of the building. Special seating is available for patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.

This production is sponsored in part by the Adams County Arts Council's STAR Grant which is funded in part by the Adams County Commissioners and the Robert C. Hoffman Charitable Endowment Trust. GCT thanks them all for their generous support of this program which would not exist without their understanding of the value of the arts in our community.

GCT Mission Statement: To inspire creativity and confidence, provide cultural enrichment, and instill a love of the theatre arts in young and the young at heart through quality education, training and performing experiences in musical theatre.

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