A new play is opening Friday at the Biddeford City Theater, and it provides a fresh take on the Disney princess narrative.
“Disenchanted,” a musical created by former middle school teacher Dennis T. Giacino, will have its first showing at the City Theater at 7:30 p.m. Showings will take place every Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2:30 p.m. through Oct. 29. The production runs 90 minutes in length.
The musical follows 10 Disney princesses — Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Hua Mulan, The Little Mermaid, Pocahontas, Rapunzel, Baldroulbadour and the Princess Who Kissed The Frog, Tiana — as they return to the spotlight to tell audiences their side of the story, and who they really are at heart.
Artist Director Linda Sturdivant said she has been a fan of the musical’s premise for years now and is glad Biddeford residents will have an opportunity to experience the critically acclaimed play.
“I’m always very interested in doing shows that would be fun to put on but aren’t done very often,” Sturdivant said. “Probably three years ago this one hit my radar. I read the premise and loved it from the start, the music as well.”
Sturdivant said the humor is best described as sassy and contains some explicit language. She added that she’s had many phone calls from parents asking if the show would be suitable for children. She usually tells them the musical is more suited for young adults.
“The reason I would say this play isn’t for kids is because it would disillusion them and how they look at Disney princesses,” Sturdivant said.
“Still, it has a wonderful message that we don’t need to live up to the Disney and other storybook characters standards, and view princesses in that light,” Sturdivant said. “It shows that we’re fine just the way we are, and princesses are real people.”
Each of the princesses have their own moment onstage to express “the history of their character and how’s it been maligned through history,” Sturdivant said.
She added there are various group musical numbers as well.
Thus far around 40 people have worked on the production. Sturdivant believes that by the time the box office workers and ushers are hired, the number will climb to 80. The number of volunteers and employees is high, but pales in comparison to the 175 people needed for the “Wizard of Oz” production the theater put on prior to during the summer
Sturdivant acts as the artistic director and is responsible for planning the season and directing all the shows, five productions, at the City Theater. She was joined by music director Kevin Smith and choreographer Mariel Roy for “Disenchanted,” whom she says have “outdone themselves again.”
Karl Carrigan has taken on the role of set designer while Ed Wood acts as the master carpenter. Jessica Chaples Graffam — scenic painter — is responsible for the musical’s set, while Heather Crocker assists with her lighting design skills. Alysa Avery designed all of the musical’s costumes.
Those looking for more information on ticket prices and casting should visit http://www.citytheater.org/shows/disenchanted/.