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The Daisy Princess

a Children’s Show
by Meredith Kisgen

COMPANY : Onion Man Productions [WEBSITE]
ID# 4949

SHOWING : September 01, 2016 - September 11, 2016



A new play for the whole family, telling of self-discovery and love that dives into a world of fairy tales long forgotten.

Director Patrick S. Young
Sound Editor Cat Roche
Prince Keswick John Bonds
Christabel Nicole Convis
Princess Isabella Ahsha Daniels
Psyche Emma Greene
Tintern Tali Higgins
Queen Erika Ragsdale
Prophyro Buster Shadwick
Queen Understudy Paige Steadman
Corydon Bella Westwood
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


A New Fairytale
by playgoer
Sunday, September 4, 2016
Meredith Kisgen’s "The Daisy Princess," like most fairy tales, shares similarities with other stories. The relationship of the wizard Psyche (Emma Greene) to kidnapped Christabel (Nicole Convis) contains hints of the Prospero-Miranda relationship in Shakespeare’s "The Tempest." The mistaking of Christabel for Princess Isabella (Ahsha Daniels) and of Prophyro (Buster Shadwick) for Prince Keswick (John Bonds) bears a resemblance to the plot of A. A. Milne’s "The Ugly Duckling." The internal rebellion of the princess against her demanding mother the Queen (Erika Ragsdale) is a convention as old as time itself. There are enough original elements to keep interest, though, and the symbol of the daisy ties the story up neatly.

At one point, Christabel relates the story of a male nymph (a contradiction in terms: nymphs are female spirits; perhaps "imp" was intended) who uses a thorn dipped in honey to paint freckles on people as they sleep. It’s a nice idea, reminiscent of Jack Frost and the Sandman, and it reveals Ms. Kisgen’s virtuosity in creating original elements that follow the traditions of beloved children’s stories. This particular story has little relevance to the overall plot, but it’s a delightful touch.

We are ushered through the story by a pair of mischievous elves, Tintern (Tali Higgins) and Corydon (Bella Westwood), who are servants of the wizard Psyche. It’s another lively, theatrical touch that works well. If Ms. Westwood works on her diction and enunciation and projection, this element of the production will come through even stronger.

Patrick S. Young has directed the cast to perform in an elevated, stylized fashion with lots of stock movements and tons of energy. It’s just the sort of acting that can delight children and adults alike. He has also designed the set (hanging fabric panels, tree flats and a wooden chest left over from the Lakeside plays, and a couple of chair/table settings), the lights (along with James Beck), and the sound (full of shimmering fairy tale music, with one detour into modern dance music). His sensibility can be seen throughout the production. The performance of Mr. Shadwick, in particular, seems to be a carbon copy of the type of performance Mr. Young himself would have created onstage.

Costumes, by Patrick Young (again), Paige Steadman, and Dogwood Studios (Erin Bushko) definitely have a medieval flair, but have a bit of a haphazard feel. The elves and wizard are very nicely costumed, but some of the others wear clothing that doesn’t fit particularly well. Nevertheless, the costumes definitely add color to the production.

"The Daisy Princess" may not be an indelible new fairy tale and it may not be stunningly designed, but it is a charming entertainment for the whole family. The cast puts its all into the production, and the production elements cohere enough to let the entertainment value come sparkling through. Patrick S. Young and his cast have whipped this new work into wonderful shape. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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