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Princess vs. Princess on stage

The Queen (Libby Munn, right) chastises two of the Royal Guards (from right), Hannah Quinn and Briana Moynihan, for attempting to handcuff Princess Popplepea (Emma Grinager) in a scene from "The Princess and the Princess" at Red Wing High School. Ruth Nerhaugen/Republican Eagle

How can you tell a real princess?

Young girls in the audience will discover that fancy dresses and glittery crowns aren't the only important clues when they attend "The Princess and the Princess," the fall children's play at Red Wing High School.

The play, by Colleen Neuman, will be staged by RWHS drama students at 5 p.m. Wednesday and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Friday in the high school's Little Theatre. Tickets, at $1 for students and $2 for adults, will be sold at the door starting 45 minutes before the curtain.

According to teacher/director Jillynne Raymond, the play "challenges the qualities of a princess when a recognized princess and less-than-recognized princess encounter each other on a steep mountain."

For several seniors in the cast, the annual children's play is the most fun production on the schedule.

"It's always fun to see the children and their imaginations" at work in the audience, said Libby Munn, who plays the Queen. She's been in the fall show all four years at RWHS.

"I started to do theater in third grade in Arizona," Munn added. "It really sparked my interest in the arts," so she got involved in the musical when she came to Red Wing as an eighth-grader. "It was a way to get to meet people," she said. Her involvement has continued, on stage and backstage.

The Queen's role is one of the bigger parts she's played. "I definitely love it," she said. Next year she'll attend McNally Smith College of Music in the Twin Cities and study music business. "Theater has really helped me with that."

Mackenzie Savage, who is The Lady Who Tells the Story, also is happy to be playing a key role -- especially since that role involves speaking. For the past two years she has been actively involved in Speech Team, competing in the humorous speaking category, plus she played the Emperor in last year's children's play.

The storyteller does much more than the name implies. "I'm like in the crowd," she explained. The actors bring her into the action as the story unfolds. "I communicate with the people in the audience while I tell the story. I sort of weave them together," she said.

"I think the children's plays are so much fun -- to be able to interest the kids and to see everyone having a good time," Savage added.

She hopes to continue being involved in theater at Itasca Community College in Grand Rapids, Minn., or in community theater.

Emma Grinager plays Princess Popplepea, who teaches a lesson about behaving like a princess.

"My character is just trying to be polite and get people to like her -- as well as prove she's a princess," she explained.

Grinager also has appeared in a variety of productions, including children's shows. "I like the stories. They're happy," she explained.

The other princess, Twinkleberry, is played by Demi Brunkhorst. Also in the cast: Royal Guards -- Briana Moynihan, Danielle Patterson and Hannah Quinn; General Google -- Brianna Crosby; soldiers -- Mikayla Cota, Dani Mathies and Heidi Westphal; Ladies-in-Waiting -- Jessica Scherer, Jacklyn Collinge and Jenna Fox; Stagehand -- Vanessa Solis; and Royal Wise Person -- Ruth Lambert Students also handled set construction and painting, and lead the crews: Michelle Ferrian, stage management team; Dylan Lee, sound team; Jacob Chalmers, lighting.