Children’s Theatre Inc. casts ‘The Spell of Sleeping Beauty’

Giovanni Harding portrays King Rudolph and Kaitlyn Clendaniel plays Queen Eleanor in The Children’s Theatre Inc. production of “The Spell of Sleeping Beauty.” The show will be performed Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover. (Marc Clery)

Giovanni Harding portrays King Rudolph and Kaitlyn Clendaniel plays Queen Eleanor in The Children’s Theatre Inc. production of “The Spell of Sleeping Beauty.” The show will be performed Saturday night and Sunday afternoon at the Schwartz Center for the Arts in Dover. (Marc Clery)

DOVER — After nearly a two-decade absence, The Children’s Theatre Inc. will perform “The Spell of Sleeping Beauty” at the Schwartz Center this weekend.

“The last time we did the show was 17 years ago,” said Pat Beetschen, director of the show.

“It was the first play I directed and it’s been such a long time. We’re working with a totally new group of kids so it was time to bring it back.”

The tale is similar to Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” with the focus of the story being the battle between good and evil.

“It’s similar to the original story but there are a few different characters and some different twists and turns,” said Kayla Mercer of Magnolia.

Kayla’s character, a spider, is one of the added characters.

“She’s Evilina’s servant and Evilina is the villain of the story,” she said. “My character gets bossed around a lot and has to do a little fighting but it’s actually one of my favorite parts.”

Straying from the tale of Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Spell” features several witches instead of only one and almost all the actors filling the roles are new to the Children’s Theatre although most have their fair share of experience acting in front of family and friends.

“I’m really nervous,” 8-year-old Madi Sullivan said. “But I’m really excited too. I think it will really fun.”

“This is my seventh or eighth play so I feel like I get to be the leader and help all the new girls,” said Emily DeMarie of Dover.

“She’s the most experienced of the witches. “I feel like the grown up of the group.”

But 11-year-old Emily has nothing on 16-year-old Kaitlyn Clendaniel and 13-year-old Giovanni Harding who have both been acting for as long as they can remember.

 From left, Ace Clark as Prime Minister, Lillian Mandalas as Quill, Giovanni Harding as King Rudolph, Avery Young as Nursemaid and Kaitlyn Clenndaniel plays Queen Eleanor.

From left, Ace Clark as Prime Minister, Lillian Mandalas as Quill, Giovanni Harding as King Rudolph, Avery Young as Nursemaid and Kaitlyn Clenndaniel plays Queen Eleanor.

“Since we’re older now, we’re definitely the veterans,” Caitlin said. “We have to be the bad cop sometimes but it really goes along with our characters.”

Andrew Roisland, 13, of Dover, portrays the Dark Knight and as a more experienced actor has more responsibility than ever this time around — serving as the understudy for all the male parts.

“It’s a lot of fun,” he said. “Sometimes we interact in character even when we’re not rehearsing. It’s a place where you can really get to know each other because everyone is free to embrace their inner weirdness.”

Ten-year-old Vincent Chas has also been one of the actors embracing his character outside of rehearsal, practicing his Italian accent.

“I play a chef and he gets worked up easily. He talks loudly and rolls his r’s,” he said. “It’s taken a lot of work and practice to get the accent right and be able to stick with it.”

The show at the Schwartz Center, 226 S. State St. in Dover, will be performed Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $10 and available at the door.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Ashton Brown is a freelance writer living in Dover.

From left, Savana Clements as False Princess, Claire LeCompte as  Wall of Throrns, Kayla Mercer as Spider, Paul Edelman as Cat, Carly LePore as Evilina and Andrew Roisland as Dark Knight.

From left, Savana Clements as False Princess, Claire LeCompte as Wall of Throrns, Kayla Mercer as Spider, Paul Edelman as Cat, Carly LePore as Evilina and Andrew Roisland as Dark Knight.

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