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When princesses get 'nasty'

Lake Middle School's production of "Seven Nasty Princesses," which opens Nov. 10, tells the story of seven sisters who each want to marry the prince, so they try to foil each other's chances through a variety of ways.

In most fairytales, princesses are portrayed as beautiful, kind hearted and friends to animals. Lake Middle School is turning that perception on its head with its production of "Seven Nasty Princesses."

The school's fall play opens Nov. 10.

"Seven Nasty Princesses" is the story of seven sisters - Ruby, Garnet, Sapphire, Amethyst, Emerald, Diamond and Pumice - who live in the Castle of Gems. Each of the sisters wants to marry Prince John, but he can only choose one. So the seven sisters turn to two witches, Barfette and Hurlish, to cast spells against each other. The witches' nephews eventually recognize the consequences of the sisters' nastiness and try to un-do the spells.

Lake Middle School will be taking "Seven Nasty Princesses" on the road also, when it goes to Middleton Elementary for a performance.

"We get to tour with it this year," play director Tami Provencher said. "We're kind of excited to be able to do that."

Provencher said she landed on "Seven Nasty Princesses" for this year's show because it allowed for a wide range of characters since each of the princesses has her own characteristic trait. For example, Emerald is a dancer, Pumice loves clothes, Amethyst sings and Ruby is obsessed with her smile.

"There's a lot of really broad characters that the actors could sink their teeth into," Provencher said.

Provencher said she also chose the play because it was a fun show that allowed the cast to experiment with slapstick comedy.

"Personally, as a director I do like the comedic bent - that's something that's really fun to do," she said. "And as an actor, my favorite thing to do on stage is get a really good laugh -I love the feeling it gives me."

Elise Hallstrum, who plays the witch Barfette, said has enjoyed being able to tap into her comedic side.

"The humor is so silly" she said. "It can be the smallest thing, but it will get a huge laugh. I love being on stage and being able to get a laugh."

Provencher said she had to spend some time with her actors teaching them slapstick skills and educating them about physical comedy.

"I had to make sure they know how to do it on stage without injuring themselves," she said.

Provencher said she is excited about the show and is optimistic the audience will enjoy it.

"I think there's enough jokes for a middle school audience and an adult audience," she said. "Comedy and laughter is just such an amazing function of who we are as human beings."

Lake Middle School's production of "Seven Nasty Princesses" will be Nov. 10-12 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $4 for adults, $3 for students and children under 5 years old are free.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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