A Concert Presentation of: Once Upon a Mattress

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The world premiere of A Concert Presentation of: Once Upon a Mattress from Mason's School of Theater and the Mason Players was performed in TheaterSpace on Mason's Fairfax campus from April 26-28, 2024.

The musical was directed by Erin Gardiner and Joe Walsh gave Musical Direction. Here is how our director brought the script to life: 

"Once Upon A Mattress landed on Broadway in 1959 as a quintessential musical comedy. Mary Rogers composed the score in a time when men dominated the musical theater writing profession. The show won a Tony for Best Musical and a Tony nomination for Carol Burnett who made her Broadway debut in the lead role. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale, The Princess and the Pea, Mattress is funny, witty, with rousing choruses, dance, and a great score. Two women were the backbone of this musical and so it is no surprise that the show plays with gender stereotypes, gender expectations, and pushes against those while still charming its audience. The show uses comedy to pull people in and create positive emotional connection, which can inspire engagement and action. Whether it is 1959 or 2024, we need to keep representing characters that break the rules, go against the norms, and charm us all while accomplishing the task. Brilliantly, this show makes you laugh at the absurdness we put on gender roles and makes you love the characters not in spite of how they are different but BECAUSE they are different. We hope this production of Mattress has the power to do that for you. These students have explored the comedy and satire of the piece with a boldness that continues to wow me. I hope this production gives you that joy that keeps us coming back to these classic shows for there is richness in the art and lessons of the past. “Oh life is grand! It’s very int’resting, I think I understand!”