The William Carey University Theatre will present the original children’s show, “The Princess and The Dragon,” December 8-9 at 7 p.m. and December 10 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in the Joe and Virginia Tatum Theatre in Hattiesburg. “The Princess and The Dragon” is an original puppet play, written by WCU theatre faculty member Dewey Douglas, which features student-designed puppets that will be manipulated by actors on the stage.
“These are not the type of hand-in-sock puppets that hide behind a cut-out screen,” said Douglas. “Some of these are pretty large for puppets. Each actor brings their character to life and having designed and built them themselves, have created a symbiotic relationship that the audience will witness and enjoy.”
A Storyteller (Abby Sewell of Walls) leads the audience through a world-traveling adventure as the English Princess Rayna (Catherine Kennedy of Meridian) and her friend Pickering (Jason Piglia of Picayune) team up with two ghosts (Billy Burkes of Meridian and Jana Barkley of Picayune) to save a unique Egg (Carol Fairbanks of Houston, Texas) from Bandits (Zach Lancaster of Picayune, David Regan of Hattiesburg, and Chris Permenter of Oak Grove). The group travels through Africa where they meet Mbusi the Goat (Ben Salters of Vancleave), Sefu the Goat Herder (Larry Gordon of Hattiesburg), Sefu’s Wife Nuru (Brandy Cramer of Gulfport), Swala the Antelope (Sarah Fox of Poplarville), Korongo the Stork (Rebekah Chancellor of Vossburg), Tembo the Elephant (Beth Bonnin of Biloxi), Mamba the Crocodile (Alisha Fishel of Olive Branch), and Simba the Lion (Cameron Moesta of Carriere). In India they meet Vrishabh the Bull (Sydney Dedeaux of Pass Christian), the Mahaaraaja (Gordon) and Mahaaraani (Ashlyn Watts of Picayune), and a Cobra (Amanda Walley of Bay St. Louis).
Their journey ends in Japan where they meet Bamboo (Chancellor), talking Cherry Trees (Watts), Lotus Blossoms (Kayla Weaver of Lucedale), Koi (Dedeaux), Baby Dragon (Fairbanks), Uekiva the Gardener (Burkes), Kamisan the gardener’s wife (Fox), Hiroshi (Regan), Misaki (Walley) and the Mama Dragon (Barkley).
Dewey Douglas, KCACTF regional design faculty honoree, is director and design mentor. The play is entirely student designed. The scenic designer is Chris Permenter, the scenic painter is Ashton Somerville of Hattiesburg, the lighting designer, Jason Piglia and the costume designer, Abby Sewell. Tim Matheny, chair of the theatre and communication department, Cameron Moesta and Zach Lancaster are sound designers. Stephanie Keller of Picayune is stage manager. Light board operator is Dwight Kendall of Mobile, Ala. and sound board operator is Whit Sanguinetti of Oak Grove.
Tickets are $5 for general admission. Reservations can be made by calling 601-318-6221. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. beginning December 5.