Community Corner: Summer Theatre with the Kaneland Arts Initiative

By on June 5, 2014

by Maria Dripps-Paulson
Executive director, Kaneland Arts Initiative
The Kaneland Arts Initiative (KAI) will conclude its 2013-14 season with the fifth annual Summer Theatre Production.

This year’s production will be Once Upon a Mattress,” directed by Diane McFarlin. Auditions were held in May, and a cast was chosen for this lighthearted retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Princess and the Pea.”

Opening in May of 1958, “Once Upon A Mattress” delighted audiences with songs such as “Shy,” “Song of Love” and “Happily Ever After.” The show is notable for the Broadway debut to a young Carol Burnett, who played principal character Princess Winnifred, resulting in the introduction of America to one of its brightest stars.

KAI in pleased to announce this year’s cast members: Pamela Gianakakos, Alec Kovach, Peter Loptin, Beth McDonald, Jordyn Withey, Mitch Bateman, Teresa Arnold, Steve Hommowun, Emily VanDelinder-Birchfield, Nicole DiSandro, Trisha Mills, Claire Cerny, Aimee Frost, Sabrina Massa, Anna Lopatin, Mace Jendruczek, Jarod Kovach, Josh Herrero, Patrick Murphy, Zack Eckhardt, Chris Wido, Erica Johnson, Connie Gush, Robyn Lycan, Sally McClellan, Sarah Ball, Caitlin Carlson, Zoe Haenisch, Abigail Heinicke, Julianna Klecka, Julianna Miller, Betsy Mills, Natalie Mills, Emily Murphy, Cyrena Pierce, Mirella Ramos and Jade Sadowski.

“Once Upon A Mattress” is produced by the talented team of producer and pit conductor Maria Dripps-Paulson, director Diane McFarin, music director Brandon Staker, choreographer Rebecca Hof, technical theatre director Chad Carlson, scenic designer Emily VanDelinder-Birchfield and stage manager Andriy McFarlin. As one would expect, to create a professional quality production such as is the practice of the Kaneland Arts Initiative, volunteers are always welcome to help with set construction, ushering and much more. Volunteers are encouraged to contact Laura McPhee at

“Once Upon A Mattress” will be presented in the Kaneland Auditorium of Kaneland High School, July 11-13 and July 18-20. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7 p.m. and Sunday performances begins at 2 p.m. The show is appropriate for all ages and runs 2 hours long, including one 15-minute intermission.

Tickets are currently on sale on the Kaneland District webstore, The prices are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens and students, and $25 for the ever-popular Family Ticket. The Family Ticket admits all family members currently living in one household for a singular price. As always, preschoolers may attend for free. Seating is reserved. Groups interested in seeing the show should call (630) 365-5100, ext. 180, for group-rate pricing. Please visit the KAI website,, for more information.

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