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PJC Opens “Princess Camp: The Musical”

Cinderella (at left, Rylie Johnston) and Sleeping Beauty (Brenna Mills) curtsey after performing the Book Ballet, designed to improve their posture.
Mary Merryweather (Addison Brown) ponders choices while villains Grudge (T.K. McGee) and Smudge (Emma Davis) sneak up on her.
Mary Merryweather (Addison Brown) listens to Arthur (Justice McMenamy) explain his frustrations about trying to pull a sword out of a stone.


It’s too bad Princess Camp doesn’t have any horses because Princess Mary Merryweather would rather ride a horse than dance at a ball. That’s the heart of a fun, family-friendly musical that takes the audience on an adventure to be true to oneself. It opens Thursday, April 25, at 7:30 pm at Paris Junior College.

“I’m really excited about the musical,” said Addison Brown, who plays Mary Merryweather. “Our plays are always fun, but the thing about the children’s show is that there’s more creativity in it, and we get to play around with fantasy. There are a lot of fun little bits throughout.”

Tired of failing at everything a princess is supposed to be, Mary runs away. Between saving a prince, being chased by minions of the Evil Stepmothers Alliance, and some sword-fighting fun, the forest provides the adventure Mary had hoped for.

But getting out of trouble takes more than guts, and proving that a princess can be anything she wants to be will require a little help from Mary’s friends if Sleeping Beauty can stay awake that long.

Drama faculty and play director William L. Walker said, “This is a fun spoof on Disney, where we learn to be ourselves as the genuine thing you should be, rather than what others want you to be. If you try to be something you’re not, you’ll be miserable, and the best person to be is yourself. The whole thing has been a lot of fun.”

“The music is super catchy, and you’ll find yourself humming it a lot. The tunes are very simple, and you’ll hear Disney tunes that are kind of hidden.

Musicals can be a little iffy at times, said Breanna Mills, who plays Sleeping Beauty. But this play is absolutely hilarious. We’ve got so many funny moments in it, and it’s inspiring. The whole family can enjoy it. So it has princesses, bad guys, and jokes. It’s absolutely amazing.”

T.K. McGee plays Grudge or, as he said, a “Henchman with Flair.

Without spoiling too much, McGee says, “there may or may not be a sword fight, and I may or may not be stabbed in a humorous spot. You should come for the villains; we don’t get enough support, and we try hard!”

Smudge the henchman is a ridiculous character, according to Emma Davis.

“My motivation is Grudge, who’s like an older brother to me,” said Davis. I love the production; it’s one of my favorites, and the audience will love it.

Ryan Smith describes Lady Ladysworth as a failed princess who runs a camp to ensure that other princesses don’t fail. She’s not a typical villain.

“She’s selfish and caring, said Smith. “It’s not caring in the normal sense. She’ll be mean to people to get them to do what she wants them to do.”

Justice McMenamy, who plays Arthur, said there’s a nice parallel between his character and Mary’s.

“He chooses between acting as others think he should or what he would like to do, McMenamy said. It’s a story about finding yourself. I think my cast mates have beautiful voices and sing really well. Their acting is on another level.

Princess Camp: The Musical is from a book by Megan Russell, with music and lyrics by Megan Russell and Christopher Russell. The production runs from Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 pm and 2:30 pm on Sunday, April 28. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for senior citizens and students, and for those with current PJC ID, it’s free. You may purchase tickets at the door with cash, check, or credit card.


Addison Brown – Mary Merryweather; Rylie Johnston – Cinderella; Brenna Mills – Sleeping Beauty; Robert Spain – King Merryweather; Emma Davis – Smudge; T.K. McGee – Grudge; Justice McMenamy – Arthur; Ryan Smith – Lady Ladysworth/Rapping Bear; Kai Jackson – Witch/Wolf/Birds/Chorus; Grace Moore – Little Red Riding Hood/Birds/Chorus.


Director William L. Walker; Music Director Alaina Downing; Choreographer Kayleigh Kirby; Costume Coordinators – Sarah Curtis and Celia Ann Stogner; Stage Manager Lisa Martin; Scenic Movement Specialist – Amanda Blouin; Scenic Designers – Will Walker and Andy Johnson; Crew – Amanda Blouin and Andy Johnson; Lightboard Operator – Andy Johnson; Sound Board Operator – Soren Anwell; and Charge Artists: Art faculty Lena Spencer and art students Ryan Jenkins, Jennifer Oropeza, Davie Rater, and Tyler Winn.